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  • April 23, 2022

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers shot and injured 3 Palestinians near Surif; 10 settlers had been throwing stones at Palestinian vehicles before 1 of the settlers started shooting at...

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  • November 7, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers physically assaulted 3 Palestinians, with 1 Palestinian suffering a fractured arm, near al-Tha‘ala in the Masafer Yatta area; Israeli forces that intervened gave...

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  • April 18, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces delivered a stop-work notice for renovations at a cemetery near Yatta. Israeli forces also seized 1 bulldozer in Bardala. 4 Palestinians were arrested, including 3...

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  • January 26, 2020

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces injured 2 Palestinians using rubber-coated bullets during clashes in Bayt Umar; 1 was hospitalized for his injures. Israeli forces demolished a water well in al-...

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  • January 1, 2020

    In the West Bank, 1 Palestinian was injured by Israeli forces using live ammunition when clashes erupted during a late-night raid in Tubas. 3 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in...

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  • December 31, 2019

    In the West Bank, 4 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in and around Nablus and Bayt Duqqu. During the raid in Bayt Duqqu, clashes erupted between Israeli forces and Palestinians;...

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  • November 29, 2019

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers set a car on fire and wrote racist graffiti on walls in Taybeh, and 3 cars were vandalized with graffiti and slashed tires in Dayr ‘Ammar. Israeli settlers also...

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  • July 19, 2019

    In the West Bank, 22 Palestinians were injured by Israeli forces using rubber-coated bullets against protesters during the weekly anti-settlement demonstrations in Kafr Qaddum. In Gaza, Israeli...

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  • May 23, 2012

    A Palestinian sniper operating nr. the former Kissufim crossing on the c. Gaza border shoots and wounds 2 IDF soldiers inside Israel; no group claims responsibility. The IDF bulldozes a...

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  • May 22, 2012

    Israeli naval vessels fire warning shots at Palestinian fishing boats off the c. Gaza coast, forcing them to return to shore. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Tulkarm and 2 villages in...

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  • November 21, 2003

    The IDF fires on residential areas of Khan Yunis, Nablus; conducts arrest raids nr. Nablus. On the last Friday of Ramadan, Muslims across the Middle East hold Jerusalem Day rallies in support of...

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  • April 21, 2003

    The IDF undercover units conduct arrest raids in Jenin, shooting and wounding 5 Palestinians, detaining 4; conduct additional arrest raids in Aida r.c., Balata r.c., Bayt Jalah, Nahalin, Ramallah...

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  • April 14, 2003

    The IDF conducts arrest raids in Balata r.c., Bayt Hanun, Jenin; shells residential areas of Rafah; blows up a Palestinian home, 1 unit in an apartment building in Hebron. An IDF military court...

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  • April 12, 2003

    The IDF fires on stone-throwing youths outside Hebron, killing 1 Palestinian bystander; fires on a checkpoint outside Khan Yunis for no apparent reason, wounding a Palestinian waiting to cross. A...

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  • April 11, 2003

    The IDF shoots British ISM activist Thomas Hurndall in Rafah, leaving him brain dead; the Briton was standing btwn. IDF soldiers and a group of stone-throwing Palestinian youths when troops opened...

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  • April 9, 2003

    Hamas mbrs. fire 2 Qassam rockets toward Sederot (1 lands near the town, the other inside Gaza), causing no damage or injuries. The IDF then sends tanks into Bayt Hanun, sparking stone-throwing...

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  • March 26, 2003

    The IDF demolishes 4 Palestinian homes, bulldozes agricultural land, fires on residential areas in Rafah, injuring 2 Palestinians; conducts arrest raids in Jenin; closes a Hamas-run charity office...

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  • March 24, 2003

    The IDF fatally shoots a 14-yr.-old Palestinian stone thrower in Jenin, wounding a 2d boy; surrounds, seals Ramallah; raids, searches, seals an orphanage in Hebron run by an Islamic charity,...

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  • March 22, 2003

    Palestinians report that the IDF seems to have been imposing a system of “creeping curfews” over the past few days, placing 24-hr. curfews on an increasing number of areas, including Hebron, Jenin...

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  • March 21, 2003

    After Friday prayers in Jerusalem, some Palestinians demonstrate against the U.S.-led attack on Iraq; Israeli police use stun grenades, tear gas to disperse the crowd, causing only light injuries...

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  • March 20, 2003

    The IDF fatally shoots 1 Palestinian nr. Morag settlement; demolishes 1 Palestinian home in Bethlehem, 1 in al-Zawayda; raids al-Quds Open University in Ramallah, detaining 300 students for ID...

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  • March 19, 2003

    As the U.S.’s 48-hr. deadline for Hussein to leave Iraq draws near, Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, fearing Israel will step up attacks and impose stiff closures and curfews as soon as war...

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  • October 17, 2002

    The IDF directs shells, heavy machine gun fire at residential areas of Rafah r.c., killing 6 Palestinians (including 2 women, 2 teenagers, a 9-yr.-old girl) and wounding 50; the IDF says it was...

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  • August 19, 2002

    The IDF turns over control of Bethlehem, the main n.+ns. road in Gaza to the PA Preventive Security Force (PSF), lifts the curfew on Bethlehem, keeps troops on the outskirts of the...

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  • February 16, 2001

    Israeli-Palestinian clashes, which have left 365 Palestinians, 19 Israeli Arabs, and 58 Israeli soldiers, settlers, and civilians dead, stretch into their 5th mo. The most severe...

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  • April 3, 2000

    After a mtg. with PM Barak in Israel, U.S. Defense Secy. William Cohen says that plans for a U.S.-Israeli defense pact have been put on hold since the deal is contingent upon Israeli...

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  • March 31, 2000

    Egyptian pres. Mubarak phones Syrian pres. Asad to brief him on his meeting with Pres. Clinton in Washington on 3/28. (MENA 3/31 in WNC 4/5)

    Iraq gives Palestinians who have...

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  • February 21, 2000

    U.S. special envoy Dennis Ross returns to the Middle East to try to revive the stalled Israeli-PA negotiations, meets with PM Barak upon his arrival. Barak proposes 5/00 as a new...

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  • January 26, 2000

    Despite his cancellation of experts meetings with the U.S. (see 1/25), Barak says he is optimistic that talks with Syria will resume in 4+n6 wks. (MM 1/26)

     Israeli and PA chief negotiators...

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  • October 31, 1999

    Israel opens Shuhada Street, which runs along the border of a Jewish settlement in Hebron, to Palestinian taxis. According to Wye II, the route should have been opened to all traffic by yesterday...

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In the West Bank, Israeli settlers shot and injured 3 Palestinians near Surif; 10 settlers had been throwing stones at Palestinian vehicles before 1 of the settlers started shooting at Palestinians. Israeli settlers also threw stones at Palestinian stores and vehicles in the Old City of Hebron, causing damage. Meanwhile, Israeli settlers assaulted 1 Palestinian family near a checkpoint in Hebron. Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Kafr Qaddum, injuring 3 with baton rounds. In East Jerusalem, Israel restricted Palestinian Christians’ access to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre for the celebration of the Holy Fire. 4,000 worshippers were allowed to attend the event. Israeli forces shot and injured 2 Palestinians during a raid in Qalandia refugee camp; 3 were arrested. In Gaza, Israel said 1 rocket launched from Gaza landed in an open area in southern Israel; no injuries or damage were reported. Israeli forces opened fire at Palestinian shepherds east of Abasan; no injuries were reported. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fishermen northwest of Gaza City; no injuries were reported. (HA 4/22; HA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 4/23; +972 4/27; PCHR 4/28; UNOCHA 5/13)

Israel closed all crossings from the West Bank and Gaza to East Jerusalem and Israel for the Jewish holiday of Passover. (HA 4/21)

Israel announced that it had closed the Erez crossing between Israel and Gaza, citing rockets launched from Gaza at Israel. Israel did not say when the crossing would reopen. (AJ, AP, HA, MEE, WAFA 4/23; HA, MEMO 4/24; HA 4/25)

UNRWA commissioner-general Philippe Lazzarini said in a message that the agency is exploring the option of engaging more agencies within the UN in the work of UNRWA to help alleviate UNRWA’s chronic underfunding. (UNRWA 4/23; WAFA 4/27; TOI 5/2)

Iranian media reported that Iranian and Saudi Arabian officials had met in Baghdad to resume talks to mend the 2 countries’ ties. Omani and Iraqi officials were also at the meeting. (HA 4/23; REU 4/25)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers physically assaulted 3 Palestinians, with 1 Palestinian suffering a fractured arm, near al-Tha‘ala in the Masafer Yatta area; Israeli forces that intervened gave 1 of the Israeli settlers the club back to him that he used to attack the Palestinians after separating the 2 sides. Israeli forces shot and injured 1 Palestinian minor with a rubber-coated bullet in Beit Umar. Israeli forces also shot and injured 2 Palestinian minors during a late-night raid in al-Bireh. 6 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Sa‘ir and Qalqilya. In East Jerusalem, 2 Palestinians were arrested during house raids in Silwan. (MEMO, WAFA, WAFA 11/7; HA 11/8; PCHR 11/11; GDN 11/28)

Israel’s Central Command extended defense minister Benny Gantz’s order to declare 6 Palestinian rights organizations “terror groups,” from 10/22, to the West Bank. The extension to the West Bank, where the 6 Palestinian rights organizations operate, means that the Israeli military will be able to arrest their employees, raid their offices, and confiscate their equipment. (HA 11/7; MEMO 11/8)

According to statistics from the Israeli ministry of defense, 8 Palestinians have been killed in 2021 during protests in the West Bank by Israeli soldiers using the Ruger rifle, which Israel uses as a crowd-dispersal tool. In comparison, 1 Palestinian was killed by Israeli soldiers using the Ruger rifle in 2020 and a total of 12 were killed by soldiers using the rifle between 2016 and 2021, according to the Israeli  data. The statistic was released as part of a parliamentary question by Gaby Lasky of Meretz (Vigor), who argued that Israeli forces should stop using the weapon at Palestinian demonstrations. (HA 11/7)

In Iraq, unknown perpetrators tried to assassinate Iraq’s prime minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi at his residence in Baghdad. Prime Minister al-Kadhimi was unharmed, but 6 members of his security force were injured. (AJ, ALM, AP, MEE, MEE, MEMO, REU, WAFA 11/7; MEMO, REU 11/8)

In the West Bank, Israeli forces delivered a stop-work notice for renovations at a cemetery near Yatta. Israeli forces also seized 1 bulldozer in Bardala. 4 Palestinians were arrested, including 3 at checkpoints in Jericho and Bethlehem, and 1 during a house raid in Hizma. In East Jerusalem, for the 6th night in a row, Palestinians protested the Israeli-imposed restrictions on the Old City during the month of Ramadan; Israeli police violently dispersed the protest with water cannons and stun grenades and 3 Palestinians were arrested. In Israel, Palestinian-Israelis protested the sale of a building in Jaffa to a Jewish religious organization, saying their community is being settled by Jewish-Israelis; 3 members of the Jewish organization were reportedly assaulted and clashes with police ensued. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire at agricultural lands east of Abasan and al-Qarara; no injuries were reported. (AP 4/18; HA, HA, TOI, TOI 4/19; HA 4/20; PCHR 4/22)

Gaza saw the highest COVID-19 death toll in a 24-hour period as 23 Palestinians died in Gaza of the virus. 761 people have died of COVID-19 in Gaza since the start of the pandemic. This occurred as Israel reopened society after vaccinating the majority of people within the Green Line while refusing to provide vaccinations to the people in its occupied territory. (HA, WAFA 4/18)

PA president Mahmoud Abbas spoke, via video link, at the annual J Street conference, where he said that the PA is “ready to resume negotiations with our Israeli counterpart on the basis of international legitimacy, resolutions and signed agreements and under the auspices of the International Quartet.” He also said that moving away from a 2-state solution would lead to apartheid. President Abbas also commended the Biden administration for resuming aid and restoring bilateral relations. (HA 4/18)

Israel and Greece signed a defense procurement deal worth $1.65 billion. According to the deal, the Greek air force will get a training center operated by Elbit Systems, and Elbit will maintain the Greek air force fleet for 20 years. The deal was signed in Cyprus after a meeting between the foreign ministers of Israel, Greece, Cyprus, and the UAE. (AJ, HA, REU 4/18)

The Financial Times reported that Iranian and Saudi Arabian officials met in Baghdad on 4/9 to see if the 2 countries could move toward repairing relations. It was reported that no agreement was reached. (AJ, HA, REU 4/18; REU 4/19; AP 4/21)

In the West Bank, Israeli forces injured 2 Palestinians using rubber-coated bullets during clashes in Bayt Umar; 1 was hospitalized for his injures. Israeli forces demolished a water well in al-Zawiya and delivered demolition orders for 4 residential structures near Jenin. In East Jerusalem, the Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court ruled to evict 26 Palestinians from their family home in Silwan. It was the 2d ruling this week in which Palestinians were ordered evicted based on claims that their homes were built on land that was owned by Jews prior to 1948. In Gaza, for the 2d day in a row, Israeli forces struck targets in Gaza, causing damage, after alleging that incendiary balloons were launched at Israel. Israeli forces also shot and injured, with live ammunition, 1 Palestinian minor collecting recyclables east of Bayt Hanun. (HA, HA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 1/26; WAFA 1/27; HA, PCHR 1/30)

2 days before U.S. president Donald Trump was to unveil the U.S. peace plan, Israeli defense minister Naftali Bennet said, doing a speech at West Bank settlement, that “In no case, under no condition, will we allow for the establishment of a Palestinian state or recognition of such a state and we will not relinquish a single centimeter of the land of Israel to Arabs.” (HA 1/26)

In Iraq, 5 rockets were fired at the U.S. embassy compound in Baghdad. 1 hit a restaurant inside the compound, injuring 1. (HA 1/27)

In the West Bank, 1 Palestinian was injured by Israeli forces using live ammunition when clashes erupted during a late-night raid in Tubas. 3 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in and around Jenin and Nablus. During the Jenin raid, a Palestinian was hospitalized after being hit by a rubber-coated bullet. Separately, during a late-night raid in Bayt Furik, Israeli forces confiscated 362 Jordanian Dinars ($510) and 12,070 NIS ($3,500). Israeli forces prevented a farmer from working his land and seized 2 tractors near Bayt Dajan, and seized 3 residential tents in Tubas. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces demolished 2 Palestinian-owned houses in Silwan. In an effort suppress Fatah members and supporters celebrating the party’s 55-year anniversary in East Jerusalem, Israeli forces arrested Fatah’s secretary-general in Jerusalem in Wadi al-Juz and 1 Fatah activist in Issawiyya. Israeli forces also removed several Fatah flags from Silwan, al-Tur, and Issawiyya. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 1/1; PCHR 1/2)

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he had decided to request immunity from prosecution by the Knesset in the 3 criminal cases against him. The Knesset House Committee has to discuss Prime Minister Netanyahu’s request according to Israeli law, and if the committee approves his request, it will go to a vote in the Knesset. However, the House Committee is not expected to assemble before the March elections as it has not been appointed since the Knesset was 1st dissolved in April 2019. Netanyahu also resigned his positions as minister of Health, Welfare, Agriculture, and Diaspora Affairs as required by the indictment against him in the 3 criminal cases. Israel has no law against removing the prime minister from office while indicted. Netanyahu said he would appoint replacements for the 4 ministries in the coming days. (HA 1/1; HA 1/2)

In Baghdad, Iraqi protesters continued attacking the U.S. embassy for the 2d day in a row; however, the crowd was much smaller and no protester breached the gates to the embassy compound. By the end of the day, protesters had vacated the area on orders from the Popular Mobilisation Forces, an Iraqi government-sanctioned paramilitary umbrella organization. (AJ, AJ, NYT, WP 1/1)

In the West Bank, 4 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in and around Nablus and Bayt Duqqu. During the raid in Bayt Duqqu, clashes erupted between Israeli forces and Palestinians; no injuries were reported. During the raid in Nablus, Israeli forces seized a vehicle and 2 computers. During a different late-night raid in Bayt Umar, Israeli forces seized 1 vehicle, 500 Jordanian Dinars ($700) and 3,500 NIS ($1,000). Israeli settlers attacked Palestinian vehicles traveling near the Homesh settlement, causing damage to 25 vehicles and injuries to Palestinians from shattered glass. Israeli settlers also attacked 2 Israeli police officers disguised as Palestinian technicians at the Bat Ayin settlement. The 2 settlers were arrested by the Israeli police officers. In Gaza, Israeli forces opened fire on Palestinian agricultural lands east of Khan Yunis; no injuries were reported. (WAFA, WAFA 12/31; HA 1/1; PCHR 1/2)

In Baghdad, Iraqi protesters attacked the U.S. embassy after funerals were held for the 25 members of Kata’ib Hezbollah who were killed in U.S. airstrikes in Iraq and Syria on 12/29. Protesters managed to enter the embassy compound and ignited several fires. It was reported that the U.S. ambassador and staff were evacuated from the embassy before the protesters entered the compound. U.S. forces remained inside the embassy throughout the attack. According to an Associated Press reporter, a loudspeaker urged the protesters to leave, saying “the message was delivered.” U.S. president Donald Trump said in a tweet that Iran orchestrated the attack on the U.S. embassy in Iraq and that he holds Iran “fully responsible.” As the events were unfolding, U.S. secretary of defense Mark Esper said that the U.S. was deploying some 750 additional troops to the Middle East. (AJ, AJ, AP, CNN, Guardian, HA, HA, REU, WP 12/31; HA 1/1)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers set a car on fire and wrote racist graffiti on walls in Taybeh, and 3 cars were vandalized with graffiti and slashed tires in Dayr ‘Ammar. Israeli settlers also vandalized 30 Palestinian-owned olive trees in al-Sawiya. Israeli forces opened fire on Palestinians trying to enter Israel south of Tulkarm; 1 Palestinian was injured by live ammunition. Elsewhere, in al-‘Arub refugee camp, Israeli forces and Palestinians clashed at a checkpoint, leading to tear-gas related injuries. There was no mass organized protest in Gaza, as the organizing committee behind the Great March of Return called off the protest on 11/27. However, some 300 Palestinians still protested east of Khan Yunis; Israeli forces violently dispersed the protest and 1 minor was killed and 7 others injured by live ammunition. Later, 1 rocket was fired toward Israel, causing no damage or injuries, and Israel conducted several airstrikes in Gaza, causing damage but no injuries. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire on Palestinian fishermen 3 nautical miles from Bayt Lahiya; no injuries were reported. (AJ, HA, HA, PCHR, WAFA 11/29; HA 11/30; PCHR 12/5)

Iraq’s prime minister Adel Abdul Mahdi resigned after days of protest in Baghdad, where Iraqi security forces have killed at least 40 protesters. (AJ 12/1)

In the West Bank, 22 Palestinians were injured by Israeli forces using rubber-coated bullets against protesters during the weekly anti-settlement demonstrations in Kafr Qaddum. In Gaza, Israeli forces injured 97 Palestinians during the weekly Great March of Return protests; 49 of the injured were hit by live ammunition. (HA, WAFA 7/19)

Israel reportedly struck a base in Iraq 24 miles north of Baghdad using missiles fired from a F-35. It is the first time since 1981 that Israel has attacked positions in Iraq. (HA 7/31; WSJ 8/1)

A Palestinian sniper operating nr. the former Kissufim crossing on the c. Gaza border shoots and wounds 2 IDF soldiers inside Israel; no group claims responsibility. The IDF bulldozes a Palestinian barnyard nr. Hebron; tears down 6 residential tents in a different area nr. Hebron; demolishes a poultry farm nr. Ramallah. (PCHR, YA 5/23; OCHA 6/1; JPI 6/15)

At least 25 Senate Democrats (of 53 total) meet with reps. of 17 American Jewish groups in Washington for talks on Iran and other domestic issues. The senators challenge the Jewish leaders’ portrayal of Obama as weak on Iran, stating that more time is needed for strong sanctions to have deep impact. The off-the-record function is organized by the Democratic Steering and Outreach Comm. roughly every yr. to 18 mos. Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), who has been deeply involved in forming the current U.S. policy on Iran as chmn. of the Senate Foreign Relations Comm., says the Obama admin. is willing to take military action if necessary but is concerned about Israel acting alone, stating ‘‘If we must act, we should act together.’’ The meeting coincides with the opening of talks in Baghdad between the P5+1 and Iran aimed at drafting specific proposals and counterproposals for reaching (in EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton’s words) ‘‘a comprehensive negotiated solution which restores international confidence in the exclusively peaceful nature of the Iranian nuclear program.’’ (NYT, WP, WT 5/24; NYT 5/25; WJW 5/31)

Israeli naval vessels fire warning shots at Palestinian fishing boats off the c. Gaza coast, forcing them to return to shore. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Tulkarm and 2 villages in Ramallah in the morning; in 1 village each nr. Jericho and Ramallah in the afternoon; and in Jericho and 1 village nr. Jenin late at night. The IDF also conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Jenin, Nablus, Salfit, Tulkarm, and 1 village each nr. Hebron and Qalqilya. Jewish settlers fr. Tekoa settlement nr. Bethlehem vandalize Palestinian homes in nearby Taqqua’ village; IDF troops observe but do not intervene. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports that in the previous week: (1) Israeli authorities demolished a Palestinian home in East Jerusalem’s al-Tur neighborhood (marking the 1st residence demolished in East Jerusalem for 2 mos.) and ordered a Palestinian family to demolish an addition to their home; (2) the IDF removed a major roadblock on the main north–south road to Hebron, significantly reducing travel times between Hebron and 4 villages to the east; and (3) 2 Palestinians died and 4 (including a teenager) were injured in 4 smuggling tunnel accidents on the Rafah border. (PCHR 5/23; OCHA 5/25)

At the close of 2 days of talks in Tehran with Iranian nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili, IAEA head Yukiya Amano announces that Iran has agreed in principle to provide the IAEA with access to Iran’s nuclear scientists and facilities, but it has not yet signed a formal statement to this effect. P5+1 nations (the 5 permanent UNSC members plus Germany) call the deal ‘‘a step in the right direction,’’ but say they will judge Iran by its actions. Israeli DM Ehud Barak comments: ‘‘It looks like the Iranians are trying to reach a technical agreement that will create a deception of progress in talks in order to reduce the pressure ahead of talks tomorrow in Baghdad and postpone harshening of sanctions.’’ (WP 5/23)

The IDF fires on residential areas of Khan Yunis, Nablus; conducts arrest raids nr. Nablus. On the last Friday of Ramadan, Muslims across the Middle East hold Jerusalem Day rallies in support of the Palestinian claim to Jerusalem. In Tehran, 10,000s of Iranians demonstrate; some 10,000 rally in Bahrain; 1,000s rally in Beirut; Iraqis in Baghdad, Najaf hold rallies for the 1st time in yrs., chanting “Sharon is God’s enemy! America is God’s enemy!” and “No to America!”; in the West Bank, Gaza 1,000s of Palestinians protest against the Geneva Accord. (HA 11/21; IRNA, VIRI 11/21 in WNC 11/25; NYT 11/22; PCHR 12/4)

The IDF undercover units conduct arrest raids in Jenin, shooting and wounding 5 Palestinians, detaining 4; conduct additional arrest raids in Aida r.c., Balata r.c., Bayt Jalah, Nahalin, Ramallah. The IDF also fires rubber bullets at several Palestinian children (ages 9–14) allegedly violating a curfew in Hebron, wounding 1; fires live ammunition at a checkpoint nr. Gaza City for no apparent reason, injuring 1 Palestinian child, damaging several vehicles; shells residential areas of Khan Yunis; demolishes 2 Palestinian homes in Bayt Furik, threatens to demolish a 3d house if the son of the family does not turn himself in for questioning; bulldozes 10s of dunams of olive groves in East Jerusalem to make way for a settler bypass road. A roadside bomb explodes nr. an IDF vehicle in Hebron, causing no damage or injuries. Hamas fires 2 Qassam rockets at Sederot, lightly injuring 1 Israeli. (HA 4/21; HA 4/23; LAW, PCHR 4/24)

U.S. dir. of the reconstruction of Iraq U.S. Lt. Gen. Jay Garner (ret.) arrives in Baghdad to begin work. Garner visited Israel in 1998 at the expense of the pro-Israel lobbying group the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), has signed a statement blaming the Palestinians for Israeli-Palestinian violence, has said that the U.S. needs Israel to project U.S. force in the Middle East. (MM, NYT, WP, WT 4/22)

The IDF conducts arrest raids in Balata r.c., Bayt Hanun, Jenin; shells residential areas of Rafah; blows up a Palestinian home, 1 unit in an apartment building in Hebron. An IDF military court sentences 4 Hamas mbrs. each to 29 life terms plus 20 yrs. for involvement in planning the 3/27/02 Netanya bombing. Jewish settlers fr. Hebron run over, kill an 11-yr.-old Palestinian, chase 2 Palestinian school girls; attempt to reestablish a settlement outpost on the road to the Tomb of the Patriarchs/al-Ibrahimi Mosque, but are evacuated by the IDF, which declares the area a closed military zone. Other Jewish settlers fire on 3 Palestinian cars in Bayt Hanun. (HA 4/15; PR 4/16; LAW, PCHR 4/17)

U.S. Special Forces in Baghdad capture Palestine Liberation Front leader Muhammad Abbas (Abu Abbas). Abbas reportedly had tried to flee to Syria twice but was denied entry; Syria reportedly passed information to the U.S. about his whereabouts. Abbas was convicted in absentia in 1986 by an Italian court for masterminding the 10/85 Achille Lauro hijacking, in which an American was killed. Italy wants to extradite Abbas to serve his life sentence, but the U.S. is debating whether to try him itself. (NYT, WP, WT 4/16; MM, NYT, WP 4/17; PR 4/23; MEI 5/2)

The IDF fires on stone-throwing youths outside Hebron, killing 1 Palestinian bystander; fires on a checkpoint outside Khan Yunis for no apparent reason, wounding a Palestinian waiting to cross. A Palestinian being chased by IDF troops nr. Nablus falls, suffers fatal head injuries. (PR 4/16; LAW, PCHR 4/17)

As coalition forces guard the Iraqi Oil Min. in Baghdad, looters ransack the treasures of the National Museum of Antiquities, one of the world’s greatest repositories of artifacts, destroying what they do not steal. (NYT, WP, WT 4/13; WP 4/14; MEI 4/18)

The IDF shoots British ISM activist Thomas Hurndall in Rafah, leaving him brain dead; the Briton was standing btwn. IDF soldiers and a group of stone-throwing Palestinian youths when troops opened fire, hitting him in the head. IDF helicopters fire missiles at a cemetery in Khan Yunis, injuring 7 Palestinians. The IDF also sends troops, 10s of tanks into Bureij, conducting house-to-house searches, arresting at least 4 Palestinians; conducts similar raids in Nablus, Qalandia. Jewish settlers shoot at Palestinian farmers working nr. Harsina settlement, wounding 5. (HA 4/11; NYT 4/12; LAW, PCHR 4/17)

“Frenzied looting” continues across Iraq, particularly in Baghdad, unchecked by coalition forces, spreads to private homes, hospitals, banks. In Washington, U.S. Secy. of Defense Donald Rumsfeld strongly criticizes press coverage of the mayhem, saying, “Stuff happens! Freedom’s untidy. And free people are free to make mistakes, and to commit crimes and do bad things.” (NYT, WP WT 4/12; MEI 4/18)

Hamas mbrs. fire 2 Qassam rockets toward Sederot (1 lands near the town, the other inside Gaza), causing no damage or injuries. The IDF then sends tanks into Bayt Hanun, sparking stone-throwing protests by Palestinians; the IDF fires on demonstrators, killing 5 Palestinians, wounding at least 10. The IDF also raids Nur al-Shams r.c.; detains all men, arresting 16, busing others outside the camp; conducts house-to-house searches, breaking through walls; demolishes 1 Palestinian home. The IDF also demolishes 1 Palestinian home in Silwan, 1 in Ramallah; detains, beats 2 Palestinian cameramen working for AFP and Reuters for filming troops in Hebron forcing Palestinians to close their stores; conducts arrest raids in Abud. In Jaba‘, a bomb explodes in a Palestinian high school, wounding 19 students; although the Jewish militant group Revenge of the Innocent Babes, which has staged at least 1 (3/5/02, possibly 9/17/02) similar bombing, claims responsibility for the attack, the IDF says it is “confident” that a Palestinian brought the bomb to school. A 12-yr.-old Palestinian dies of injuries received earlier. (AFP, HA 4/9; HA, LAW, NYT, PCHR, PM 4/10; QA 4/10 in WNC 4/11; al-Quds 4/11 in WNC 4/14; PR 4/16; LAW, PCHR 4/17)

Coalition forces secure control of most of Baghdad. By evening, the U.S. declares that Hussein’s government has “collapsed,” but warns that the military struggle may continue for some time, as troops continue to meet significant resistance in some areas. Looting is pervasive in Basra and Baghdad, mostly targeting government buildings, state-owned companies, hotels. (BBC, MM 4/9; NYT, WP, WT 4/10; XIN 4/10 in WNC 4/11; MA 4/11, XIN 4/13 in WNC 4/14; MM 4/14; MEI 4/18; MM 4/22; NYT 4/24)

The IDF demolishes 4 Palestinian homes, bulldozes agricultural land, fires on residential areas in Rafah, injuring 2 Palestinians; conducts arrest raids in Jenin; closes a Hamas-run charity office in Bani Na‘im. (HA, PCHR 3/27; AYM 3/27 in WNC 3/28; LAW 3/28; PCHR 4/3)

With coalition troops nearing Baghdad, Iraq’s elite Republican Guard makes its 1st offensives, taking advantage of ongoing sandstorms, which make U.S. air strikes difficult, to send a column of 1,000 military vehicles s. of Baghdad toward Najaf and some 100 military vehicle southeast fr. Basra to engage U.S. and British troops outside those cities. In the evening, 1,000 U.S. paratroopers land in the mountains e. of Mosul to open a northern front. (CNN 3/26)

The IDF fatally shoots a 14-yr.-old Palestinian stone thrower in Jenin, wounding a 2d boy; surrounds, seals Ramallah; raids, searches, seals an orphanage in Hebron run by an Islamic charity, confiscating documents, computers; conducts arrest raids, fires on residential areas of Jenin late in the evening. The IDF also removes an unauthorized settlement outpost nr. Hebron, evicting 10 settlers, demolishing 1 structure, removing 3 trailers. An IDF military court sentences 3 Islamic Jihad mbrs. to life in prison for staging attacks that killed Israelis. (PM 3/24; HA, NYT, WT 3/25; NYT 3/26; PCHR 3/27; LAW 3/28)

Coalition forces in Iraq continue toward Baghdad, meeting strong resistance in Karbala. Sandstorms slow troops’ progress. Clashes are still underway around Basra, in Nasiriyya, and house-to-house fighting is reported in Umm Qasr. (NYT, WP, WT 3/25)

Palestinians report that the IDF seems to have been imposing a system of “creeping curfews” over the past few days, placing 24-hr. curfews on an increasing number of areas, including Hebron, Jenin, Qalqilya, Yabad. The IDF raids a home in Dayr al-Balah, causing a Palestinian to suffer a fatal heart attack; fires on Palestinians violating the curfew in Qalqilya to buy food, injuring 2; conducts arrest raids nr. Rafah; demolishes a cement factory in Gaza City; bulldozes 15 dunams of olive groves nr. Shuhada Junction. (PM 3/22; PCHR 3/27; LAW 3/28)

U.S.-led forces in Iraq stage the largest bombing of Baghdad since the 1991 Gulf War; launch a ground assault on Nasiriyya, pushing north, meeting heavy resistance; continue efforts to secure Basra, Umm Qasr. (NYT, WP 3/23)

After Friday prayers in Jerusalem, some Palestinians demonstrate against the U.S.-led attack on Iraq; Israeli police use stun grenades, tear gas to disperse the crowd, causing only light injuries. The IDF fires on Palestinians in Qalqilya who defy the 24-hr. curfew to attend Friday prayers, injuring 4; demolishes a Palestinian home in Bethlehem; bulldozes 64 dunams of land nr. Dayr al-Balah. (AFP, HA 3/21; al-Quds 3/22 in WNC 3/24; PCHR 3/27; LAW 3/28)

U.S.-led coalition forces launch the “shock and awe” air campaign across Iraq, intended to precede a major ground offensive toward Baghdad. Ground troops launch operations to capture Umm Qasr, Basra ports and the Rumayla oil field in the south, meeting significant resistance. (CNN 3/21; NYT, WP, WT 3/22)

The IDF fatally shoots 1 Palestinian nr. Morag settlement; demolishes 1 Palestinian home in Bethlehem, 1 in al-Zawayda; raids al-Quds Open University in Ramallah, detaining 300 students for ID checks, holding a number for questioning; conducts arrest raids in Nablus, Qalqilya (targeting Hamas). The PA Preventive Security Forces (PSF) raid a Hamas training exercise nr. Jabaliya r.c., killing 1 Hamas mbr. Hamas later fires a Qassam rocket at a Gaza settlement, causing no damage or injuries. (HA 3/20; NYT 3/23; PCHR 3/27; LAW 3/28)

After dark, U.S.-led coalition forces launch missile, helicopter strikes on Basra, Baghdad in the 1st sustained aerial assaults on Iraq. Coalition troops are also reportedly operating in w. Iraq to prevent Scud missile strikes on Israel. (AP, HA, MM, REU 3/20)

As the U.S.’s 48-hr. deadline for Hussein to leave Iraq draws near, Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, fearing Israel will step up attacks and impose stiff closures and curfews as soon as war on Iraq begins, close schools and businesses, hoard provisions, stay inside. Israel extends the closure on the territories (imposed 3/17 for Purim) until 3/30. The IDF demolishes a Palestinian home in Dayr al-Balah; conducts arrest raids in Jenin, al-Maghazi r.c., Qalqilya, Tulkarm. AMB gunmen ambush, fatally shoot a Jewish settler driving nr. Jenin. Israeli police arrest 3 Israeli Arabs fr. Acre on suspicion of joining Islamic Jihad, plotting attacks on Israelis. (AFP, JTA 3/19; HA, NYT, PCHR 3/20; PCHR 3/27; HA 4/3)

Abbas accepts Arafat’s nomination as PM, is given 3 wks. to form a government. (HA, MM 3/19; AYM, Interfax 3/19 in WNC 3/20; HA, NYT, WP 3/20; AYM 3/25, al-Quds 3/27 in WNC 3/28)

Just 90 mins. after the U.S. deadline passes for Hussein to leave Iraq, the U.S. makes a single strike on Baghdad, acting on intelligence of where Hussein, his top officials and sons could be found, assassinated. The strike marks the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom, but not the start of the “shock and awe” air campaign that the U.S. previously indicated would launch the war. Iraqi TV airs 2 videos of Hussein that suggest he was unharmed. (MM 3/19; HA, MM, NYT, WP, WT 3/20; MM 4/21)

The IDF directs shells, heavy machine gun fire at residential areas of Rafah r.c., killing 6 Palestinians (including 2 women, 2 teenagers, a 9-yr.-old girl) and wounding 50; the IDF says it was responding to Palestinian gunfire on an IDF bulldozer working build an observation tower with an overview of the camp, causing no injuries. The IDF also bulldozes 2.5 dunams of Palestinian land and an irrigation system nr. Tulkarm; conducts arrest raids in Tal; shells, destroys a closed Palestinian summer resort nr. Aley Sinai settlement. The IDF removes Jewish settlers, trailers fr. Havat Gilad; late in the evening, some 300 Jewish settlers retake the site. Settlers voluntarily leave a 2d enclave, allowing the IDF to dismantle it, bringing to 22 the number of enclaves removed in recent days. Jewish settlers assault Palestinians, Israeli peace activists attempting to harvest olives nr. Yasuf village; the IDF presses settlers to leave the area, allow harvesting to continue. Jewish setters nr. Hebron confiscate 90 dunams of Palestinian land. A PA security court sentences 1 Palestinian, a fmr. Hamas mbr., to death for collaborating with Israel. (REU 10/17; HA, MM, NYT, WP, WT 10/18; AFP, al-Quds 10/18 in WNC 10/21; WP 10/19; LAW, PCHR 10/23; MEI 10/25; JPI 11/8)

A fmr. U.S. defense official corroborates rumors that Israeli special forces recently conducted a covert reconnaissance mission in w. Iraq to determine Iraq's capacity to strike Israel with Scud missiles. Military analyst and fmr. Pentagon official Anthony Cordesman says that Baghdad is estimated to have only 12+n25 Scuds; by comparison, during the 1991 Gulf War, Iraq fired 39 Scuds at Israel alone. (WP 10/18) (see 9/29)

The IDF turns over control of Bethlehem, the main n.+ns. road in Gaza to the PA Preventive Security Force (PSF), lifts the curfew on Bethlehem, keeps troops on the outskirts of the city, poised to reinvade if the PA fails to maintain security control; 400 PA Preventive Security Force (PSF) officers take up posts around the city. The IDF fatally shoots a 14-yr.-old boy in Jenin for no apparent reason; blows up a building in Nablus that it claims to be a bomb-making factory; raids a PSF post nr. Ramallah, detaining 6 PSF officers; bulldozes 9 dunams (4 dunams = 1 acre) of agricultural land, 1 Palestinian home in Satar al-Gharbiyya; conducts arrest raids in Jenin r.c. (MM 8/19; MM, NYT, WP, WT 8/20; LAW, PCHR, WP 8/21; AKH 8/22 in WNC 8/23; PCHR 8/26)

Fatah Revolutionary Council (FRC) head Sabri al-Banna (Abu Nidal), who broke with the Fatah organization in the 1970s, is found dead in his Baghdad apartment. Iraqi officials say he committed suicide, but do not explain how he suffered multiple gunshot wounds. (HA 8/19; MM, NYT, WP, WT 8/20; NYT, WP, WT 8/21; DUS 8/21 in WNC 8/22; MA 8/29 in WNC 8/30; MM 9/20)

Israeli-Palestinian clashes, which have left 365 Palestinians, 19 Israeli Arabs, and 58 Israeli soldiers, settlers, and civilians dead, stretch into their 5th mo. The most severe clashes are in Ramallah. 2 Palestinians are killed by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF). Palestinian Auhority (PA) General Intelligence Service (GIS) officer Anwar Mar'i is stabbed to death by Palestinian assailants nr. Salfit; the PA claims it is an IDF-backed assassination. A 4th Palestinian dies of a heart attack when the IDF delays his passage through a checkpoint to a hospital for over 1 hr. The IDF bulldozes Palestinian land nr. the Rafah border, demolishing 7 Palestinian homes, 10 greenhouses; shells residential areas nr. al-Bireh. (WT 2/17; LAW 2/18; SA 2/19 in WNC 2/21; LAW 2/22)

Outgoing Israeli Labor PM Ehud Barak announces he will join a unity government with Likud's PM-elect Ariel Sharon as DM, pending finalization of the government guidelines and the coalition. (MM 2/16; WT 2/17; AYM 2/17 in WNC 2/22; AYM 2/18 in WNC 2/21; MM 2/19; NYT 2/20)

Hizballah fires mortars at an IDF convoy in the disputed Shaba` Farms area of the occupied Golan Heights, killing 1 soldier, wounding 2. In response, the IDF bombards s. Lebanon, using tanks, artillery, helicopter gunships. (NYT, WP, WT 2/17; MM 2/19-21; WJW 2/22)

The U.S., Britain bomb 5 Iraqi sites, marking the 1st strikes outside the no-fly zones since 12/98, signalling a more confrontational approach to Baghdad by the new administration of U.S. Pres. George W. Bush. 3 Iraqi civilians are killed, 25 are injured. France, Turkey, the Arab states condemn the action. (ATL 2/16, ATL, MENA, MIL 2/17, ATL, HJ, JT, al-Quds 2/18, JT, MA, MENA 2/19 in WNC 2/20; NYT, WP, WT 2/17; MIL 2/17, 2/18 in WNC 2/21; NYT, WP, WT 2/18; MM, WP, WT 2/19; MM 2/20; HJ 2/20 in WNC 2/22; MM, WT 2/21; WP 2/22; MIL 2/22 in WNC 2/23; MEI, MM 2/23; al-Quds 2/23 in WNC 2/27; AP, WP 2/25; JP 3/2)

After a mtg. with PM Barak in Israel, U.S. Defense Secy. William Cohen says that plans for a U.S.-Israeli defense pact have been put on hold since the deal is contingent upon Israeli withdrawal fr. the Golan, which does not appear likely. Cohen also discusses Israel's planned sale of sophisticated U.S.-developed AWACS technology to China. (MM, NYT, WP, WT 4/4; WP 4/5; WJW 4/6; MM 4/10; WP 4/11)

Israeli Arab students at Haifa University stage a demonstration to protest the death of a woman during Land Day protests in Sakhnin on 3/31. (HA [Internet] 4/5)

To protest against sanctions on Iraq, an Italian plane carrying EU parliament mbr. Vittorio Sgarbi, an Italian journalist, and a French Catholic priest leaves Jordan's Amman airport and flies to Baghdad without UN permission. (MM 4/4, 4/7; JT 4/7 in WNC 4/11)

Turkey sends 1,000 troops into n. Iraq to hunt down Kurdish separatists, makes air strikes on Kurdish bases. Turkey has previously carried out spring campaigns against the separatists. Since 1,000s of troops, supported by mbrs. of Iraq's Kurdistan Democratic Party, began massing on the border with Iraq in 3/00, there have been a few crossborder skirmishes, but this is the 1st large incursion into Iraq. (NYT 4/4; WT 4/5; see also WP 3/27)

Egyptian pres. Mubarak phones Syrian pres. Asad to brief him on his meeting with Pres. Clinton in Washington on 3/28. (MENA 3/31 in WNC 4/5)

Iraq gives Palestinians who have lived in Baghdad since 1948 (totalling some 30,000 individuals) the right to own property, but stresses that rights cannot be passed on. (JT [Internet] 3/31)

U.S. special envoy Dennis Ross returns to the Middle East to try to revive the stalled Israeli-PA negotiations, meets with PM Barak upon his arrival. Barak proposes 5/00 as a new target date for completing a FAPS; says Israel is willing to offer the PA a confidence-building package, including a release of prisoners, payment of some of taxes, minor changes to maps of the 3d stage of the 2d further redeployment (FRD). (MM, WT 2/21; AYM 2/22 in WNC 2/28; WT 2/22) (see 2/19)

In Cairo, Pres. Mubarak receives Kuwaiti FM Shaykh Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah for talks on Israel attacks on Lebanon. Kuwait says it would attend a pan-Arab summit, even if Iraq were to participate; also says it does not oppose Arab states opening a dialogue with Iraq, though it would not do so until Baghdad apologizes for the 1990 invasion. (MENA 2/21 in WNC 2/23)

Despite his cancellation of experts meetings with the U.S. (see 1/25), Barak says he is optimistic that talks with Syria will resume in 4+n6 wks. (MM 1/26)

 Israeli and PA chief negotiators Oded Eran and `Abid Rabbuh hold a preparatory mtg. in advance of their intensive negotiations on the FAPS, which are set to start on 1/30. (AFP 1/27 in WNC 1/28)

Israel, the PA agree to move forward with plans to build 2 water purification plants along the 1967 border to serve both Israeli and Palestinian towns. Funding would come fr. the EU. (MENL 1/27)

PC passes the FY 2000 budget, its 1st balanced budget. It, however, does not include any funding to implement Arafat's promise to increase the salaries of more than 100,000 civil servants. (al-Quds 1/27 in WNC 2/1; MENL 1/30)

The UN names Swedish arms control expert Hans Blix as head of the new UN Monitoring, Verification, and Inspection Commission for Iraq (UNMOVIC). Baghdad says it will not allow UNMOVIC inspectors into Iraq. (NYT, WP 1/27; MM, WP 1/28; MEI 2/11)

Israel opens Shuhada Street, which runs along the border of a Jewish settlement in Hebron, to Palestinian taxis. According to Wye II, the route should have been opened to all traffic by yesterday. (WP 11/1)

Israel blames a computer problem for the apparent "disappearance" of 17 Palestinians using the safe-passage corridor, who were recorded entering the route but not leaving. (AFP 10/31 in WNC 11/2)

Mauritania recalls its amb. to Iraq and bans the pro-Iraqi Ba`thist party in Mauritania, al-Tali'a, after Baghdad criticizes Nouakchott for establishing diplomatic relations with Israel, threatens retaliation. (AFP 10/31 in WNC 11/2; AFP 11/1 in WNC 11/3; AFP 11/3 in WNC 11/4; NYT 11/4; AFP 11/4 in WNC 11/5; MEI 11/12)