323 / 14704 Results
  • June 6, 2012

    The IDF conducts late-night patrols in 1 village each nr. Jericho and Ramallah; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Jenin. (PCHR 6/7, 6/14; OCHA 6/15)

    The Knesset votes...

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  • May 24, 2012

    The IDF issues a military order confiscating 29 dunams (d.; 4 d. = 1 acre) of Palestinian land in Dayr Istya village nr. Salfit for ‘‘security and military purposes and to combat terrorist attacks...

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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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  • April 7, 2012

    The IDF makes an air strike on a Palestinian rocket-launching team e. of Rafah, injuring 2 armed Palestinians. Israeli naval vessels fire on Palestinian fishing boats off the n. Gaza coast,...

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  • March 4, 2012

    The IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Jericho and 2 nr. Ramallah in the morning; 1 each nr. Jenin (firing tear gas and percussion grenades at stone-throwing youths who confront them, causing no...

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  • September 26, 2011

    In East Jerusalem, IDF undercover units raid a protest tent in Shaykh Jarrah neighborhood, arresting PC mbr. Ahmad ‘Attoun as he prepared to give a press conference on Israeli land confiscations...

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  • September 3, 2011

    U.S. admin. sources say Pres. Barack Obama’s admin. has “launched a last-ditch diplomatic campaign” to convince the Palestinians to abandon their statehood initiative at the UN by making it clear...

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  • July 11, 2011

    At EU urging, the Quartet convenes a senior-level mtg. in Washington to discuss issuing a statement on how to jumpstart the peace process, but because of sharp disagreements over a draft prepared...

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  • March 13, 2011

    The Israeli govt. approves construction of up to 500 West Bank settlement housing units in Ariel, Gush Etzion, Kiryat Sefer, Ma’ale Adumim, Mod’in Ilit (large settlements Israel expects to keep...

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  • March 1, 2011

    IDF troops on the c. Gaza border fire on armed Palestinians operating e. of Dayr al-Balah, wounding 1. The IDF makes a day-long incursion into Khuza‘a village in s. Gaza to level lands and clear...

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  • February 18, 2011

    Gaza’s Rafah crossing opens for the 1st time since 1/29/11 to allow Palestinians trapped in Egypt to enter Gaza. In the West Bank, the IDF enters Bayt Umar village nr. Hebron in the afternoon,...

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  • June 8, 2010

    Under U.S. pressure, Israel announces that the IDF will conduct an internal investigation of the 5/31 flotilla incident and eases the Gaza blockade slightly, allowing in the 1st shipments of jam,...

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  • March 30, 2010

    The UN reports that the IDF has tightened its open-fire rules in the West Bank, no longer allowing soldiers to fire in the air or at stone-throwing Palestinians; allowing fire only when Molotov...

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  • March 22, 2010

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

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  • November 6, 2009

    In the West Bank, Palestinian activists in a number of locations along the separation wall protest in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. In Ni‘lin, Palestinian...

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  • October 16, 2009

    In the West Bank, the IDF fires rubber-coated steel bullets, sound bombs, tear gas at Palestinian and international activists taking part in a nonviolent demonstration against the separation wall...

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  • October 7, 2009

    In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night raids, house searches in and around Jenin town and r.c., arresting 2 Palestinians. (PCHR 10/8)

    Israeli police arrest American-born Jewish...

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  • June 30, 2009

    In Washington, Israeli DM Barak presents U.S. envoy Mitchell and other U.S. officials with a compromise settlement freeze proposal, offering a “complete freeze” to settlement construction for 3–6...

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  • June 1, 2009

    In the West Bank, the IDF removes several tiny settlement enclaves nr. Nablus, including Nahalat Yosef. In response, around 100 Jewish settlers fr. nearby Gilad, Keddumim, and Yitzhar rampage...

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  • April 7, 2009

    The IDF imposes a general closure on the West Bank through 4/18 for the Passover holiday, barring all West Bank Palestinian access to East Jerusalem and Israel. Israeli police fatally shoot East...

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  • March 24, 2009

    Inside Israel, some 100 supporters of Kahane Chai, an extreme right-wing Israeli group that has called for removing Arabs fr. Israel by force if necessary, march in the outskirts of the major...

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  • January 20, 2009

    Obama is sworn in as the 44th president of the U.S. (NYT, WP, WT 1/20; MA, MM, NYT, WP, WT, YA 1/21; HA, JP, MA, MM, QA, al-Ra’i, al-Watan, YA 1/22)

    The IDF completes its withdrawal from...

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  • January 6, 2009

    Sarkozy and Mubarak, with U.S. support, jointly call for an immediate ceasefire followed by talks on Israel’s siege and Palestinian smuggling.

    Combat notes: IDF ground forces expand...

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  • January 5, 2009

    As OCL enters day 10, IDF ground forces tighten the circle around Gaza City and continue to operate against Palestinian rocketlaunching units across n. Gaza, still avoiding entering densely...

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  • December 30, 2008

    International diplomacy to end OCL clicks into gear with France proposing that Israel and Hamas impose a 48-hr. humanitarian truce to try to defuse the violence and restore the Gaza cease-fire,...

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  • December 27, 2008

    After early morning consultations with senior cabinet mbrs., the IDF launches its major offensive on Gaza, Operation Cast Lead (OCL), at 11:25 A.M. local time (4:25 A.M. EST). Israeli DM Barak...

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  • October 26, 2008

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

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  • April 11, 2005

    Israeli DM Shaul Mofaz says that Israel will not respond to the barrage of rocket and missile fire following the 4/9 shooting death of 3 Palestinian teenagers, effectively accepting the...

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  • November 1, 2004

    A PFLP suicide bomber fr. Askar r.c. nr. Nablus detonates a device in a Tel Aviv open-air market, killing 3 Israelis, wounding 32. The PFLP says that the bombing was carried out to warn...

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  • October 7, 2004

    The IDF fires a missile at 2 Palestinian boys (ages 12 and 15) playing with pipes and sticks in a street Jabaliya r.c., killing them; says video footage fr. drones in the area appeared to show...

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The IDF conducts late-night patrols in 1 village each nr. Jericho and Ramallah; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Jenin. (PCHR 6/7, 6/14; OCHA 6/15)

The Knesset votes down (69–22) a resolution that would have retroactively legalized unauthorized settlement outposts built on private Palestinian land. Hundreds of right-wing settlers gather outside the High Court in Jerusalem to protest. The decision clears the way for implementation of a High Court order to demolish Ulpana outpost by 7/1/12 and Migron outpost by 8/1/12 (see QU in JPS 164 for background). In 4/2012, Netanyahu had urged the government to find a solution that would legalize Ulpana, but knew this draft bill would not pass legal muster with Israel’s High Court and had urged MKs to defeat the measure. Instead, he vows to have the Ulpana buildings physically moved to neighboring Beit El settlement and to build 300 new housing units inside Beit El. At the same time, the Israeli Housing Min. announces plans to build another 551 new settlement housing units in various other West Bank settlements. (NYT, WT 6/7; JPI 6/15)

The International Israel Allies Caucus Foundation hosts members of Congress and some 100 evangelical Christians for a prayer breakfast to mark ‘‘the reunification of Jerusalem in 1967.’’ Nine Republican House reps. [Michele Bachmann (MN), John Fleming (LA), Trent Franks (AR), Louie Gohmert (TX), Randy Hultgren (IL), Doug Lamborn (CO), Steve Stivers (OH), Joe Walsh (IL), Allen West (FL)] attend and speak at the session, all calling for moving the U.S. emb. to Jerusalem. (WJW 6/14)

The IDF issues a military order confiscating 29 dunams (d.; 4 d. = 1 acre) of Palestinian land in Dayr Istya village nr. Salfit for ‘‘security and military purposes and to combat terrorist attacks.’’ The IDF patrols in Tulkarm and 2 villages nr. Qalqilya in the morning; stages synchronized patrols in 3 villages nr. Qalqilya in the afternoon; conducts other patrols in 2 villages nr. Jenin and Salfit in the afternoon; and undertakes late-night patrols in Tulkarm and neighboring Nur Shams r.c. Jewish settlers fr. Yitzhar settlement nr. Nablus set fire to a small plot of crop land and attack Palestinians in nearby Madama village. (PCHR 5/31; OCHA 6/1)

Washington Jewish Week reports that in the previous wk., a U.S. court awarded the family of an American teenager killed in a 2006 Islamic Jihad suicide bombing in Tel Aviv (his father was seriously injured in the attack) $332 m. in damages from Iran and Syria. The family’s lawyers argued that Islamic Jihad was sheltered by Syria and funded by Iran. The family is unlikely to collect the money. (WJW 5/24)

After a 2d day of P5+1 talks with Iran, EU foreign policy chief Ashton announces that ‘‘significant differences’’ remain, but enough ‘‘common ground’’ existed to schedule a 3d round of meetings in Moscow on 6/18–19. (NYT, WP, WT 5/25)

The New York Times runs a special report on a congressional race for a House seat representing Queens, NY, that has been dubbed ‘‘Israelapalooza’’ for the way in which the candidates have touted their pro-Israel credentials in effort to win the endorsement of Ed Koch, former Democratic mayor of New York City, and the votes of Jewish constituents who make up 20% of the district’s population. For example, candidate Grace Meng, who built her political career as an advocate for Chinese Americans and yet has never visited China, made a recent trip to Israel that she has highlighted during her campaign. (NYT 5/24)

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)

The IDF makes an air strike on a Palestinian rocket-launching team e. of Rafah, injuring 2 armed Palestinians. Israeli naval vessels fire on Palestinian fishing boats off the n. Gaza coast, forcing them to return to shore. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 6 villages nr. Ramallah and 1 nr. Qalqilya in the morning and early afternoon; patrols in Kafr Qaddum in the evening; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Jenin and nr. Qalqilya. (PCHR, WJW 4/12; OCHA 4/13)

The IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Jericho and 2 nr. Ramallah in the morning; 1 each nr. Jenin (firing tear gas and percussion grenades at stone-throwing youths who confront them, causing no serious injuries), Salfit, and Ramallah in the afternoon; and in 2 villages nr. Jenin and 1 each nr. Qalqilya and Tulkarm late at night. The IDF also conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in al-Arroub r.c., Nablus, 1 village nr. Hebron, and 1 nr. Ramallah. Jewish settlers fr. Yitzhar settlement nr. Nablus stone a Palestinian taxi traveling the Tulkarm–Ramallah, causing damage but no injuries.(PCHR 3/8; OCHA 3/9)

AIPAC opens its annual 3-day conference in Washington, which focuses this on putting pressure on Obama to take a harder stance toward Iran and to be more supportive of Israel vis-àvis Iran, including supporting a U.S. military strike. It is AIPAC’s largest conference to date, with 13,000 attending (including 1,600 students from 500 campuses and more than 200 college presidents from all 50 states). Obama, in his address, states that “now is not the time for bluster.” Though he is willing to use “all elements of American power” to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons, “diplomacy backed by pressure” (i.e., sanctions) must be allowed time to succeed. Obama also reiterates his support for creation of a Palestinian state and a negotiated 2-state solution, but otherwise does not discuss the peace process. (NYT 3/4; NYT, WP 3/5; WJW 3/8)

In East Jerusalem, IDF undercover units raid a protest tent in Shaykh Jarrah neighborhood, arresting PC mbr. Ahmad ‘Attoun as he prepared to give a press conference on Israeli land confiscations in the Palestinian neighborhood. The IDF conducts afternoon and evening patrols in 3 villages nr. Jenin, Qalqilya, and Salfit; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Salfit. Israel releases al-Jazeera Afghanistan bureau chief Samer Allawi (see 8/16) after he agrees to a plea deal in which he is fined and sentenced to time served plus 3 years suspended. (NYT 9/28; PCHR, WJW 9/29; OCHA 9/30)

U.S. admin. sources say Pres. Barack Obama’s admin. has “launched a last-ditch diplomatic campaign” to convince the Palestinians to abandon their statehood initiative at the UN by making it clear that the U.S. will veto and by presenting (soon, via the Quartet) a proposal for renewed talks as an alternative. The sources say that the Quartet proposal is aimed primarily at swaying UN member states to vote against a Palestinian statehood resolution and is not expected to result in a resumption of serious peace talks. (NYT 9/4).

The IDF conducts afternoon and evening patrols in Jenin and 4 nearby villages, 2 village nr. Tulkarm, and 1 nr. Hebron; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Hebron. In Israel, as many as 400,000 Israelis turn out nationwide (more than 300,000 in Tel Aviv) for protests calling for social justice. July 14th movement organizers had called for a million-person march today to revive the Saturday protests, which fell off after the 8/18 Elat attack. After the rally, demonstrators begin taking down tent camps, as organizers switch attention to forming local committees to press for social reforms. (WP 9/4; PCHR, WJW 9/8; OCHA 9/9; Foreign Policy [Internet] 9/12; see also NYT 9/1)

Egypt, in effort to improve relations with Israel by strengthening border security, begins an operation to close smuggling tunnels under the Rafah border. Meanwhile, the Israeli emb. in Cairo hires contractors to erect a 12-ft. wall around the emb. in effort to deter the 100s (and sometimes 1,000s) of Egyptian who have gathered outside since the 8/18 Elat incident to protest the deaths of 3 Egyptian soldiers. (WP 9/4, 9/5)

At EU urging, the Quartet convenes a senior-level mtg. in Washington to discuss issuing a statement on how to jumpstart the peace process, but because of sharp disagreements over a draft prepared by the U.S. in consultation with Israel, the members fail to issue a statement. (AFP 7/11; AP 7/12; WJW 7/14; Foreign Policy [online] 7/22; WJW 8/5) 

Unidentified assailants attack Egypt’s natural gas pipeline to Israel and Jordan again (see 7/4). In the West Bank, the IDF demolishes a grocery store, sheep farm, and garage on land in al-Jib village nr. Jerusalem, strategically located between Givat Ze’ev and Givon settlements; declares a Palestinian olive grove in the Wadi Qana area nr. Salfit a closed military zone and uproots 600 trees; patrols in 3 villages nr. Ramallah, 2 nr. Salfit, and 1 nr. Jenin; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Jenin town and r.c. and in Qalqilya. The World Zionist Organization’s settlement division (newly transferred to Netanyahu’s control; see 6/19) allocates 54,000 d. of agricultural land to 21 Jewish settlements in Jordan Valley, nearly doubling the total farmland under their control to 110,000 d.; it also increases water allocations to Jewish farmers in the Jordan Valley. (JP 6/28; WP 7/12; PCHR 7/14; OCHA 7/15)

The Knesset passes (47-38) into law a bill that would sanction individuals and organizations that call for a boycott of Israel or its settlements, denying them tax breaks and barring them from working for the government. The Knesset’s legal adviser warns, however, that the measure is “borderline illegal” since it strays into the right to free political expression. Human rights groups plan to challenge the law in the High Court within days. (HA, JTA, MNA 7/11; JTA, WJW 7/14; JPI, WP 7/22)

The Israeli govt. approves construction of up to 500 West Bank settlement housing units in Ariel, Gush Etzion, Kiryat Sefer, Ma’ale Adumim, Mod’in Ilit (large settlements Israel expects to keep under final status) in retaliation for the killing of 5 settlers on 3/11 by suspected Palestinians, with PM Netanyahu telling relatives of the victims: “They murder and we build.” The U.S. expresses “deep concern,” saying “continued Israeli settlements are illegitimate and run counter to efforts to resume direct negotiations.” Meanwhile, the IDF continues searches in Awarta, raiding and searching several homes and turning a few into observation posts. At least 16 attacks on Palestinians and their property by armed Jewish settlers exacting revenge for the Itamar murders are reported in Qalqilya (10), Salfit (3), Nablus (2), and Ramallah (1). Incidents involved: setting up a new outpost on Palestinian land (1); rampaging through Palestinian areas (9); attacking Palestinian homes (4, including firing on Palestinian homes, shooting fireworks at Palestinian homes, and attempting to break into houses); and stoning and vandalizing cars (8). The IDF also patrols in Dayr Istya nr. Salfit, photographing several old buildings; raids ‘Anin village nr. Jenin, searching several stores and rounding up patrons for questioning, but making no arrests; patrols in Tulkarm and 3 villages nr. Qalqilya in the afternoon; conducts late-night patrols, arrest raids, house searches in 3 villages nr. Salfit and 1 nr. Ramallah. (WP, WT 3/14; PCHR, WJW 3/17; OCHA 3/18; JPI 3/24)

IDF troops on the c. Gaza border fire on armed Palestinians operating e. of Dayr al-Balah, wounding 1. The IDF makes a day-long incursion into Khuza‘a village in s. Gaza to level lands and clear lines of sight. Israeli naval vessels fire on Palestinian fishing boats off the s. Gaza coast, forcing them to return to shore. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts morning arrest raids, house searches nr. Jenin; raids Hebron in the evening to arrest local human rights activists Issa ‘Amru on charges of incitement and affiliation with an illegal organization (the Youth Commission against Settlement in Hebron); conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron and late-night patrols in villages nr. Jericho and Ramallah. In reaction to the IDF’s removal of 3 structures at Havat Gilad outpost on 2/28, Jewish settlers fr. Yitzhar implement their “price-tag doctrine” of retaliating against Palestinians for any action to curb settlers, throwing a Molotov cocktail at a Palestinian home and smashing the windows of 7 Palestinian cars nr. Nablus. (WT 3/2; PCHR 3/3; OCHA 3/4; WJW 3/10)

By this date, rebel forces in Libya have set up a provisional govt. in Benghazi and today call for international intervention (imposition of a no-fly zone, air strikes, supply of weapons but not ground forces) to topple Qaddafi. Analysts say the country looks poised for a “long and bloody stalemate.” Fierce fighting continues nationwide and more than 100,000 Libyans and foreigners have fled the country. The international community is meeting intensively to discuss options. (NYT, WP, WT 3/2; WP 3/3; NYT, WP, WT 3/4–8; NYT 3/9; WP, WT 3/11; NYT, WP 3/12)

Gaza’s Rafah crossing opens for the 1st time since 1/29/11 to allow Palestinians trapped in Egypt to enter Gaza. In the West Bank, the IDF enters Bayt Umar village nr. Hebron in the afternoon, searching a house and arresting a 10-yr.-old Palestinian for stone-throwing; patrols in 4 villages nr. Qalqilya, 2 nr. Ramallah, and 1 nr. Tulkarm during the afternoon and evening. Palestinians (sometimes accompanied by Israeli and international activists) hold weekly nonviolent demonstrations against the separation wall, land confiscations, and settlement expansion in Bil‘in, Ni‘lin, and Nabi Salih/Dayr Nizam nr. Ramallah, and in Bayt Umar nr. Hebron. IDF soldiers fire rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at the protesters, injuring 8 Palestinians (including 3 children); 15 Palestinians (including 9 children) and 2 international activists are arrested. (Oxfam International 2/20; PCHR 2/24; OCHA 2/25)

Before the UNSC vote reaffirming the illegality of Jewish settlements, U.S. Secy. of State Hillary Clinton phones Abbas to warn him that that U.S. aid could be cut if the vote goes ahead. In Ramallah, the PLOEC and FCC opt to go ahead with the vote saying, “The Palestinian leadership will reject American demands even if our decision leads to a diplomatic crisis with the Americans. We have nothing to lose.” The U.S. vetoes the res. (HA, REU 2/18; HA, WP 2/19; HA 2/20; WJW 2/24; JPI 3/4)

In Bahrain, security forces violently disperse a massive protest in Manama, wounding 10s. From this point, large antigovernment protests (1,000s to 10,000s) become nr. daily events. (NYT, WP 2/19; NYT 2/21)

Under U.S. pressure, Israel announces that the IDF will conduct an internal investigation of the 5/31 flotilla incident and eases the Gaza blockade slightly, allowing in the 1st shipments of jam, juice, halva, shaving razors since 6/07 and saying that spices such as coriander and cardamom will be allowed in as of 6/10. IDF troops on the c. Gaza border e. of Gaza City fire warning shots at Palestinians scavenging aggregate fr. destroyed buildings nr. the no-go zone, wounding 1 Palestinian. In the West Bank, the IDF demolishes 2 building foundations in Beit El settlement, built in violation of the temporary settlement freeze; settlers throw stones, light bulbs full of paint at Israeli police, who respond with tear gas and arrest 4 protesters. The IDF also conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Jenin. (WP 6/9; NYT, PCHR, WJW 6/10; OCHA 6/11)

The UN reports that the IDF has tightened its open-fire rules in the West Bank, no longer allowing soldiers to fire in the air or at stone-throwing Palestinians; allowing fire only when Molotov cocktails are thrown at civilian cars or when soldiers have requested and received permission from commanders. IDF troops on the Gaza border e. of al-Maghazi r.c. fire on Palestinians staging a peaceful march to the border fence to protest Israel’s imposition of a no-go zone, wounding 1 Palestinian; 3 Palestinians are wounded in a similar incident at the border fence e. of Khan Yunis. In the West Bank, the IDF fires rubber-coated steel bullets, stun grenades, tear gas at Palestinian, Israeli, and international activists conducting a nonviolent march to the separation wall outside Budrus village nr. Ramallah, injuring 3 Palestinians; conducts an evening arrest raid into Dayr Istya village nr. Salfit; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in al-Azza r.c. and Dahaysha r.c., both nr. Bethlehem. (WP 3/31; OCHA, PCHR 4/1; WJW 4/8; JPI 4/16)

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

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

In the West Bank, Palestinian activists in a number of locations along the separation wall protest in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. In Ni‘lin, Palestinian protesters also attempt to pull down sections of the separation wall but are dispersed by rubber-coated steel bullets, sound bombs, tear gas fired by IDF troops; 5 protesters are wounded, and 10s suffer fr. tear gas inhalation. The IDF also closes the entrance to al-Ma‘sara, fires rubber-coated steel bullets and sound bombs, violently beats a number of Palestinian and international activists taking part in a nonviolent demonstration against the separation wall there (injuring 2 Palestinians under the age of 13); fires rubber-coated steel bullets, sound bombs, tear gas at Palestinian activists, some of whom throw stones at IDF troops, taking part in a demonstration against the separation wall in Bil‘in (10s suffer fr. tear gas inhalation). The IDF also conducts late-night raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem but makes no arrests. (MNA 11/9; OCHA, PCHR, WJW 11/12; OCHA 11/17)

In the West Bank, the IDF fires rubber-coated steel bullets, sound bombs, tear gas at Palestinian and international activists taking part in a nonviolent demonstration against the separation wall in Ni‘lin (10s suffer fr. tear gas inhalation) and at Palestinian activists, some of whom throw stones at IDF troops, taking part in a demonstration against the separation wall in Bil‘in (injuring 2 Palestinians, 1 French activist, and 1 Canadian journalist); fires sound bombs, tear gas at Palestinian and international activists taking part in a demonstration against the separation wall in al-Ma‘sara, violently beating a number of them (injuring 3 Palestinians); conducts late-night raids, house searches nr. Jenin and Bethlehem, summoning 1 Palestinian for questioning. (PCHR 10/22)

The HRC votes (25 to 6, with the U.S. voting against) to endorse the Goldstone report and refer it to the UNGA. (NYT, WP 10/17; WJW 10/22; OCHA Humanitarian Monitor 10/09)

In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night raids, house searches in and around Jenin town and r.c., arresting 2 Palestinians. (PCHR 10/8)

Israeli police arrest American-born Jewish settler Yaakov Teitel on charges of murdering Palestinians, bombing a leftist Israeli professor’s home, and maiming a 15-yr.-old boy belonging to a community of Jews for Jesus. (NYT, WT 11/2; OCHA, WJW 11/5; OCHA 11/09)

Facing tremendous domestic criticism, Abbas reverses his position on deferring discussion of the Goldstone report at the HRC. (NYT, HA 10/7)

In Washington, Israeli DM Barak presents U.S. envoy Mitchell and other U.S. officials with a compromise settlement freeze proposal, offering a “complete freeze” to settlement construction for 3–6 mos., excluding construction already under way and/or in East Jerusalem. (WP 7/1)

The Israeli navy halts a ship of international peace activists organized by the Free Gaza Movement attempting to sail fr. Cyprus to Gaza with humanitarian supplies to challenge Israel’s blockade; the IDF detains the 21 persons on board, including former House rep. Cynthia McKinney (D/Green Party-GA) and Nobel laureate Mairead Corrigan Maguire (all 21 are deported on 7/6). The UN reports that in the previous wk., 1 Palestinian was killed and 6 were injured in a tunnel collapse on the Rafah border. In the West Bank, the IDF partially demolishes a Palestinian home in al-Tur nr. Jerusalem; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron and Jenin. (IFM, WP, WT 7/1; OCHA, PCHR, WJW 7/2; NYT 7/3; WT 7/7; WJW 7/9)

In the West Bank, the IDF removes several tiny settlement enclaves nr. Nablus, including Nahalat Yosef. In response, around 100 Jewish settlers fr. nearby Gilad, Keddumim, and Yitzhar rampage through Palestinian areas, burning large plots of Palestinian olive trees and crops, blocking roads, and ambushing a minivan of 15 Palestinian workers (beating and seriously injuring 6). The IDF also conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Ni‘lin, nr. Jenin. (NYT, PCHR, WP, WT 6/2; OCHA, PCHR, WJW 6/4)

Israeli DM Barak arrives in Washington for meetings with U.S. officials aimed at defusing the settlement freeze dispute. (National Public Radio 6/1; NYT, WP, WT 6/2; WJW 6/4; WJW 6/11)

The IDF imposes a general closure on the West Bank through 4/18 for the Passover holiday, barring all West Bank Palestinian access to East Jerusalem and Israel. Israeli police fatally shoot East Jerusalem Palestinian Iyad Awaysat when he allegedly attempts to run over 3 officers guarding workers partially demolishing the East Jerusalem home of a Palestinian who killed 3 Israelis with a bulldozer in West Jerusalem in 7/08; the shooting (protested by Palestinian witnesses who say Awaysat was only speeding) and demolition spark stone-throwing by some 50 Palestinians against Israeli border police who fire tear gas to disperse them, causing no serious injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in ‘Askar r.c., Balata r.c., al-Fara‘a r.c., and Nablus for a 2d night, as well as nr. Tulkarm. (NYT, OCHA, WP, WT 4/8; PCHR, WJW 4/9)

Inside Israel, some 100 supporters of Kahane Chai, an extreme right-wing Israeli group that has called for removing Arabs fr. Israel by force if necessary, march in the outskirts of the major Israeli Palestinian town of Umm al-Fahm under heavy police escort for 30 mins., waving Israeli flags and praising Israel as a Jewish state. Umm al-Fahm residents hold a counterdemonstration, raising Palestinian flags and throwing stones at the marchers; Israeli police use tear gas, water cannons, percussion grenades to disperse the Palestinians, resulting in fights that leave 16 police officers and 15 demonstrators injured. In Gaza, a 2d Palestinian dies of apparent torture in Hamas police custody (see 3/16). Israel allows the first shipments of soap and shampoo into Gaza since 10/08. The UN reports that in the previous wk., 2 Palestinians were killed and 2 injured in 3 smuggling tunnel collapses on the Rafah border. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Nablus; conducts late-night patrols in Nablus. (BBC 3/24; NYT, OCHA, WP, WT 3/25; NYT, PCHR, WJW 3/26; OCHA 3/31)

Obama is sworn in as the 44th president of the U.S. (NYT, WP, WT 1/20; MA, MM, NYT, WP, WT, YA 1/21; HA, JP, MA, MM, QA, al-Ra’i, al-Watan, YA 1/22)

The IDF completes its withdrawal from Gaza’s built-up areas, moving troops to elevations overlooking the Strip, but slows its withdrawal fr. n. Gaza and secures positions inside the northern border after Palestinians fire 8 mortars toward Israel today (all of which land inside Gaza, causing no damage or injuries). The IDF responds with air strikes on several launching sites, causing no reported injuries. IDF troops on the s. Gaza border fire on residential areas of al-Qarara, wounding 1 Palestinian. In Khuza, 1 Palestinian is wounded when he accidentally triggers unexploded IDF ordnance. Israeli naval vessels fire warning shots at Palestinian fishing vessels going out to sea for the first time since OCL began, forcing them to stay close to shore. As Gazans continue to return to their homes, residents of the farming village of Juhur al-Dik (who evacuated the village several days after the ground invasion began on 1/3) report that about a third of the 600 homes have been bulldozed or heavily damaged and much crop land has been razed. Meanwhile, 1,000s of Palestinians turn out for 4 rallies across Gaza organized by Hamas to celebrate the end of OCL. Israel allows 217 truckloads of goods (mostly humanitarian aid) into Gaza. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts synchronized, late-night house searches in Bethlehem and neighboring Aida and Dahaysha refugee camps, making no arrests; conducts similar, synchronized house searches in villages nr. Jenin and villages nr. Hebron, making no arrests; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Nablus. (HA, JP, REU, UNOSAT 1/20; NYT, WP, WT 1/21; DUS, MM, PCHR, WJW 1/22; DUS, MM, al-Ra’i 1/23; PCHR 1/29)

Sarkozy and Mubarak, with U.S. support, jointly call for an immediate ceasefire followed by talks on Israel’s siege and Palestinian smuggling.

Combat notes: IDF ground forces expand operations in s. Gaza overnight, surrounding Khan Yunis (taking up positions in Abasan and al-Qarara, where heavy artillery fire is reported). Fighting intensifies in and around Gaza City, with the IDF tightening its cordon around the city and making forays into built-up areas for the first time. Heavy exchanges are also reported on the edges of the Dayr al-Balah and al-Bureij r.c.s in c. Gaza. IDF air and naval bombardments continue, with the IDF reporting strikes on 40 targets, including 8 smuggling tunnels, more than 10 groups of gunmen, 16 suspected weapons storage and production facilities, 5 rocketlaunching sites. Target areas include Abasan, Bayt Lahiya, al-Bureij r.c., Dayr al-Balah, Gaza City (al-Rimal, al-Tuffah, al-Zaytun), Jabaliya r.c., Juhur al-Dik, Khan Yunis, al-Maghazi, Nussayrat, al-Qarara, Rafah, Shati’ r.c., Yibna r.c. One IDF air strike targets the home of Hamas’s chief rocket engineer Imad Siyam; Israel claims he is assassinated, but there is no independent confirmation.

In the single deadliest attack since OCL began, a mortar attack by IDF ground forces in Jabaliya hits outside at an UNRWA school being used as a shelter, killing 42 Palestinians and wounding around 55 civilians (15 critically; 1 of whom dies on 1/12, bringing the comprehensive toll in this attack to 43). The dead include 2 wanted Hamas mbrs. passing through the area and 40 civilians in and around the school, including 16 children (most of whom were lined up outside the building as UN workers registered their entry). Another IDF airstrike on a residential area of al-Bureij r.c. injures 7 UN workers at a medical clinic.

Palestinians fire 30 rockets and 5 mortars into Israel, including 1 Grad rocket that lands in Gadera, 28 mi. n. of Gaza, lightly injuring a 3-mo.-old Israeli child and marking the farthest rocket strike to date.

At least 85 Palestinians are killed during the day, bringing the toll to around 640 Palestinians killed, 2,900 injured; 1 IDF soldier is killed, 9 are wounded in clashes with Palestinians, bringing the Israeli toll to 10–11 dead.

Humanitarian notes: Israel says it will open “humanitarian corridors” into Gaza beginning 1/7 to prevent a humanitarian crisis, halting attacks for 3 hrs. every other day (in practice, they occur daily) in predetermined areas where Palestinians could receive needed food and supplies. Save the Children warns that Gazan children are at particular risk for hypothermia because there is no electricity or fuel to provide heat in the freezing cold, and many families are keeping windows open to prevent injuries if they shatter during Israeli bombing raids. (AP, AYM, BBC, Dept. of State press release, HA, IFM, ITV, JAZ, REU, WP 1/6; AYM, Hurriyet, JAZ, MM, NYT, QA, RFM, RIA, WP, WT 1/7; IFM, MM, NYT, PCHR, QA, WJW, WP 1/8; MM, YA 1/9; NYT 1/11, 1/12; JP 1/14; NYT 1/17; HA 1/21; WP 2/7)

As OCL enters day 10, IDF ground forces tighten the circle around Gaza City and continue to operate against Palestinian rocketlaunching units across n. Gaza, still avoiding entering densely populated areas. Troops deploy to segment the Strip into 3 main operational zones: a northern zone running fr. the n. Gaza border south to Netzarim Junction (the Qarni Crossing–Netzarim settlement line drawn on 1/4); a central zone fr. Netzarim Junction to Khan Yunis; and a southern zone fr. Khan Yunis to the Rafah border. While IDF troops are still entering Gaza, IDF reservists have not yet been sent in.

Meanwhile, French pres. Nicholas Sarkozy begins a regional tour to press for a 48-hr. humanitarian cease-fire, meeting with Mubarak in Cairo and Olmert in Israel).

Combat notes: In Gaza City, residents and medical workers report that IDF troops are concentrated in the al-Shuja‘iyya, al-Tuffah, and al-Zaytun neighborhoods (al-Zaytun is a strategic high point, providing a view over the breadth of the Strip) and that fighting is so intense (involving heavy Israeli tank and helicopter fire) that bodies of the dead have been left lying in the street and ambulances are unable to reach the area. IDF troops occupy at least 3 high-rise buildings in eastern areas of Gaza City as observation posts, expelling the residents and exchanging heavy gunfire with Palestinian gunmen. Israeli aircraft drop leaflets over Gaza City warning residents to evacuate their neighborhood; 1,000s of Gazans report receiving automated phone messages form the IDF saying “We are getting rid of Hamas.”

In addition to carrying out air strikes in support of advancing ground troops, the IDF reports making 40 air strikes targeting tunnels on the Rafah border, weapons caches, homes of senior Hamas and PFLP mbrs. (most of whom are in hiding), the Gaza airport site. Target areas include Abasan, Bayt Hanun, Bani Suhayla, Bayt Lahiya, al-Bureij r.c., Dayr al-Balah, Gaza City (the center city, al-Tuffah, al-Shuja‘iyya, Tal al-Hawa, alZaytun), Jabaliya, Khan Yunis, Khuza, the al-Mawasi area (w. of Khan Yunis), Nussayrat, Rafah, al-Shabura r.c. (nr. Rafah), Shati’ r.c., al-Shuka, Yibna r.c. (nr. Rafah).

Of particular note: A home in Gaza City’s al-Zaytun neighborhood, where the IDF placed 110 Palestinians it had rounded up on 1/4, is hit by an air strike and repeatedly shelled, killing at least 30 mbrs. of an extended family (including 5 children age 4 and younger) and wounding scores; the IDF bars relief workers fr. reaching the scene until 1/7. A shell fired from an Israeli naval vessel hits a Palestinian home in Shati’ r.c., killing a family of 7 asleep in their beds. A late-night air strike hits an UNRWA school in Shati’ r.c. being used as a shelter, killing 3 members of a single family. The IDF also makes air strikes hitting the offices of the Hamas-affiliated al-Risala for a 2d time (see 1/3). Photographs and live footage of the ongoing operations clearly show IDF artillery firing white phosphorus shells on densely populated areas, though Israel denies using the munitions. The IDF fires flechette shells on residential areas nr. Bayt Hanun, killing at least 1 Palestinian, wounding at least 3.

Palestinians fire 28 rockets, 5 mortars into Israel, hitting Ashdod, Ashqelon, Beersheba, Sederot, and Shaar Hanegev, damaging an empty kindergarten in Ashdod, injuring 2 Israelis in Shaar Hanegev.

More than 40 Palestinians are killed today (almost half of them children), bringing the estimated Palestinian toll to 550 dead, 2,500 injured. The Israeli toll reaches 9–10 dead, more than 70 wounded: 3 IDF soldiers are killed, 24 wounded (4 seriously) by friendly fire when their unit is hit by an Israeli tank shell outside Gaza City; an IDF officer is killed during an exchange of fire in n. Gaza, possibly by an IDF tank shell; 6 IDF soldiers are wounded in clashes with Palestinians nr. the e. Gaza border.

Humanitarian notes: Israel allows 80 truckloads of food, medicine, and medical equipment into Gaza, but the UN says much more is needed. Relief agencies (including the ICRC, UNRWA, and UNSCO) warn that two-thirds of the Strip is still without power, suffering freezing winter temperatures; 250,000 Gazans are without any running water; and water supplies for another 500,000 Gazans are expected to run out within days because of lack of fuel for pumps and backup generators. Shifa hospital, which has been running fully on generators for 3 days, warns that it has only a 2-day supply of generator fuel. (BBC, CNN, IDF, IDF Radio, MM, NYT, REU, RFM, UNIS, UNOSAT, WT 1/5; AFP, BBC, Guardian, HA, IDF, IFM, Israel Radio News, MA, MM, NYT, WP, WT, YA 1/6; IFM, PCHR, WJW, WT 1/8; Committee to Protect Journalists, MM, YA 1/9; NYT, WP 1/10; NYT 1/17; WP 1/27; BBC 2/23)

The IDF arrests 2 12-yr.-old Palestinians at an OCL protest nr. Hebron; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem and in al-Bireh, Ramallah. Clubwielding PASF officers violently disperse a protest against OCL by students attempting to march fr. Ramallah’s Birzeit University to a main IDF checkpoint at Atarot. (PCHR 1/8)

International diplomacy to end OCL clicks into gear with France proposing that Israel and Hamas impose a 48-hr. humanitarian truce to try to defuse the violence and restore the Gaza cease-fire, with humanitarian groups, Egypt, the EU, the Quartet, and the U.S. opening mediation channels (see Quarterly Update). Israel’s security cabinet meets to discuss the French proposal but does not formally respond.

Israeli actions: The IDF conducts 70 air strikes on Gaza, while the Israeli navy continues shelling from the sea, killing at least 10 Palestinians and wounding 40, bringing the death toll to about 370. The IDF reports hitting 110 individual sites, with primary targets being tunnels on the Rafah border, suspected weapons factories and rocket-launching sites, civil and naval police stations, and groups of resistance mbrs. In Gaza City, at least 20 air strikes hit Haniyeh’s offices, PA Interior Min., and main PA government complex in Gaza City, all of which had been targeted previously; 1 air strike hits an ambulance, killing 1 paramedic, seriously wounding a doctor and the driver. Part of Gaza’s main power grid is also hit, cutting all power to Gaza City. A fuel depot in Rafah is destroyed. In al-Bureij r.c., a mosque and health clinic are hit. In Khan Yunis, a money exchange is destroyed. At least 7 homes across the Strip are targeted. Target locations include Abasan, Bayt Hanun, Bayt Lahiya, al-Bureij r.c., Dayr al-Balah, Gaza City, Jabaliya town and r.c., Khan Yunis, al-Maghazi (c. Gaza), al-Mughraqa, al-Qarara, Rafah. The IDF launches a YouTube channel to broadcast declassified videos of its operations in Gaza, “other footage of interest to the international community” (JPI 1/8) and begins regular briefings for Internet bloggers worldwide.

Palestinian actions: Palestinians fire 41 rockets, 10 mortars into Israel, damaging 1 home in Sederot and causing several light injuries (excluding shock); 1 rocket lands in Beersheba, 25 mi. fr. the Gaza border, marking the farthest strike to date; 2 other long-range rockets land in Ashdod. Humanitarian notes: Israel allows 93 trucks into Gaza (50 carrying medical supplies and food donated by aid groups; 43 carrying commercial goods), but Gaza City’s Shifa Hospital says it is out of 150 kinds of medicine and 230 other medical supplies, including gloves, scissors, sterilization equipment, nitrogen for anesthesia. Fuel shipments are still cut off; Gaza’s power plant shuts down for lack of fuel. (BBC, HA, Independent 12/30; IDF, IFM, NYT, REU, UNOSAT, WP, WT 12/31; JP, PCHR 1/1; ITV 1/2; IDF 1/3; WP 1/4; IFM 1/8; NYT 1/13)

In the West Bank, a Palestinian worker in Mod’in Ilit settlement, angry over Israel’s war on Gaza, stabs, wounds 4 Jewish settlers before being shot and wounded by a paramedic who arrives on the scene. The IDF fires live ammunition, rubber-coated steel bullets, percussion grenades, tear gas at Palestinians demonstrating against OCL in al-Fawar r.c. nr. Hebron, wounding 3 (including teenagers ages 13, 14); makes simultaneous afternoon incursions into Beita and Hawara villages nr. Nablus, imposing curfews through 12/31; conducts simultaneous late-night raids, house searches on 4 villages nr. Jenin, firing on residential areas in all cases, causing no injuries and arresting only 1 teenager; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Abu Dis and Jalazun r.c. nr. Ramallah, and nr. Bethlehem, Hebron, Jenin, Nablus, Tulkarm. (PCHR, WJW 1/1)

After early morning consultations with senior cabinet mbrs., the IDF launches its major offensive on Gaza, Operation Cast Lead (OCL), at 11:25 A.M. local time (4:25 A.M. EST). Israeli DM Barak acknowledges (WP 12/28) that OCL has been planned for several months, stating that the aim is “to strike Hamas severely so as to change the situation from its base,” cautioning that “it won’t be short.”

Israeli actions: After an initial “shock and awe campaign” lasting 3 min. and 40 sec., with 64 warplanes hitting more than 50 targets across the Strip, the IDF conducts periodic air strikes throughout the day, recording a total of 170 sorties against 150 targets, killing at least 228 Palestinians, wounding more than 700 (140 seriously), marking the highest single-day death toll and Israel’s largest offensive in the territories since 1967. The midday timing of the initial onslaught, just as schools let out for lunch, increases the number of civilian casualties, including an estimated 25 women and children. Israeli Military Intelligence sends automated calls to 20,000 Palestinians across the Strip warning of further air strikes targeting anyone with weapons or guns.

Targets struck are primarily civil police stations, military training bases, Hamas-related command-and-control centers, suspected weapons depots, and sites believed to manufacture rockets. Target areas include Bayt Hanun, Bayt Lahiya, al-Bureij r.c., Dayr al-Balah, Gaza City (the city center and al-Daraj, al-Shuja‘iyya, Tal al-Hawa, alTuffah, al-Zaytun neighborhoods), Jabaliya r.c., Khan Yunis, al-Mughraqa (s. of Gaza City), Rafah, Shati’ r.c., and al-Zahra’ (c. Gaza nr. Jabaliya).

Palestinian actions: Palestinians fire 59 rockets (including some that reach the farthest north to date), 19 mortars into Israel during the day, killing 1 Israeli civilian in Netivot, wounding 4. (The fatality may have occurred before the official launch of OCL.)

Humanitarian notes: Gaza’s hospitals report (BBC 12/27) overflowing wards and not enough surgeons or supplies to cope. Egypt temporarily opens the Rafah crossing to allow transportation of some wounded to Egyptian hospitals.

Of note: During the initial “shock and awe,” the IDF hits a police academy graduation ceremony in Gaza City, killing at least 60 new civil police recruits and the chief of Palestinian police Maj. Gen. Tawfiq Jabber. Other targets include Gaza City’s main jail (the Saraya, holding Hamas opponents, hitting only the gates), the PA Preventive Security headquarters in Gaza City, the PA security compound in Rafah (southern headquarters of the PASF, PA Internal Security Service, and PA civil police), PA naval police facilities in n. Gaza and Khan Yunis, Palestinian Telecommunication Company offices in n. Gaza, a Gaza City mosque identified by the IDF as “a base for terrorist activities,” Hamas’s al-Aqsa TV station, the agriculture control dept. in Khan Yunis, numerous police stations and training sites, at least 9 homes, several workshops (considered rocket-manufacturing sites), and Hamas’s Asda’ media center outside Khan Yunis. One IDF airstrike on a PA ministry building kills 8 Palestinian students at an adjacent UNRWA training center, wounding 19 others (8 seriously). Hamas and Palestinian human rights groups in Gaza estimate that the dead include around 165 civil police officers (including those at the graduation ceremony) and Hamas’s central district governor, Abu Ahmad Ashur. Some targets are hit with U.S.-supplied GBU-39 bunkerbusting munitions received as recently as 9/08 (see Quarterly Update in JPS 150 and the “Israeli Arsenal” document in this issue’s Special Focus section). (al-Arabiyya TV, BBC, HA, IDF, JAZ, Middle East News Agency [Cairo], Palestine News Agency, YA 12/27; AFP, AP, BBC, HA, IFM, JAZ, NYT, Radikal, REU, WP, WT, XIN 12/28; JP, NYT, Zaman [Ankara] 12/29; PCHR 1/1; BBC 12/30; UNOSAT 12/31; JP, WJW 1/1; WP 1/4; Eurasia Daily Monitor [online], NYT, UNOSAT 1/5; IFM, JPI 1/8; NYT 1/11)

In other Israeli-Palestinian violence, the IDF fires tear gas, percussion grenades, rubber-coated steel bullets to disperse Palestinians demonstrating against OCL in the East Jerusalem suburbs of Anata, Issawiyya, Shu‘fat r.c. An E. Jerusalem Palestinian, reportedly angry over events in Gaza, injures an Israeli border police officer in a deliberate hit and run in the city. The IDF also conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem, Jenin. (HA 12/28; PCHR, WJW 1/1)

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

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

Israeli DM Shaul Mofaz says that Israel will not respond to the barrage of rocket and missile fire following the 4/9 shooting death of 3 Palestinian teenagers, effectively accepting the Palestinian factions’ statement that the fire was a 1-time response. The IDF conducts arrest raids in Nablus targeting Palestinians it believes have ties to Hizballah, are planning a bombing; fires on stone-throwing youths who confront the troops, wounding 8 stone-throwers, 2 bystanders; conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Jenin, Nablus. (AP, HA, YA 4/11; OCHA, PR 4/13; PCHR 4/14)

Sharon holds his 11th mtg. with Bush in 4 yrs. at Bush’s Crawford, TX ranch; the Crawford venue is considered a gesture to “reward Sharon for taking the politically difficult step” of evacuating Gaza settlements and to highlight the close relationship btwn. the 2 leaders. (HA, MM, REU 4/11; BBC, HA, MM, NYT, REU, WP, WT 4/12; MM, NYT, PR, WP 4/13; AYM, HA, HJ, JP, Jordan Times 4/13 in WNC 4/14; MM, WJW 4/14; Forward, HA, JPI, MEI, MM 4/15; see also JP 4/6 in WNC 4/7; WP 4/9, NYT 4/10)

A PFLP suicide bomber fr. Askar r.c. nr. Nablus detonates a device in a Tel Aviv open-air market, killing 3 Israelis, wounding 32. The PFLP says that the bombing was carried out to warn Palestinian leaders against being “seduced into talking about ending the resistance and haggling over the national legitimate rights and principles of our people” now that Arafat is out of the West Bank. In the evening, IDF undercover units raid Nablus, assassinate Nablus AMB leader Majdi Mari (whom it attempted to assassinate on 9/15/04), AMB mbrs. Jihad Abu Salah and Fadi al-Sarwan, injure a 4th AMB mbr., 4 bystanders. During the day, the IDF closes the Qalandia checkpoint, declaring the area a closed military zone (see 10/16); fatally shoots 2 Palestinians allegedly attempting to infiltrate Kefar Darom; fires on a group of stone-throwing Palestinian children in Askar r.c., killing a 12-yr.-old Palestinian boy; stops, argues with, shoots and wounds 2 Palestinian teenagers walking nr. the separation wall nr. Jayyus; fires on stone-throwing youths in Jenin r.c.; bulldozes 39 d. of olive groves and greenhouses, 1 Palestinian home nr. Dayr al-Balah; conducts arrest raids, house searches in ‘Anza nr. Bethlehem, al-Bireh, Birzeit, Jayyus, al-Khadir, al-Mughayyir, Nur al-Shams r.c., Rafat nr. Nablus, Tulkarm. Jewish settlers fr. Otniel throw stones at, harass Palestinians and international peace activists harvesting olives on nearby Palestinian land, forcing them to leave. Jewish settlers in Hebron assault Palestinians, attack Palestinian homes nr. the Ibrahimi Mosque/Tomb of the Patriarchs. In both cases, the IDF troops observe but do not intervene. (BBC, HA, MM, PM 11/1; HA, JAZ, JP, VOI, VOP 11/1 in WNC 11/3; CSM, MM, NYT, PRCS, WP, WT 11/2; VOP 11/2 in WNC 11/4; PR 11/3; PCHR, WJW 11/4; MEI 11/5; JPI 11/12)

The IDF fires a missile at 2 Palestinian boys (ages 12 and 15) playing with pipes and sticks in a street Jabaliya r.c., killing them; says video footage fr. drones in the area appeared to show militants preparing to launch a rocket. Also in n. Gaza, the IDF fires on residential areas of Bayt Hanun, seriously wounding a 12-yr.-old child in her home; demolishes 1 Palestinian home north of Bayt Hanun. A 13-yr.-old Palestinian dies of injuries received in an IDF attack on Jabaliya on 9/30; a 16-yr.-old Palestinian dies of injuries received in Jabaliya on 10/1; a 22-yr.-old Palestinian dies of injuries received in Bayt Hanun on 10/3. The IDF also fires on 2 Palestinians who approach the Israeli border fence nr. the Sufa crossing into Israel in s. Gaza, killing 1 Palestinian while the other escapes; fires on residential areas, demolishes 1 Palestinian home in Rafah; shells residential areas, bulldozes 86 d. nr. Khan Yunis. Palestinians fire 2 Qassam rockets at Sederot, 2 antitank missiles at IDF troops in Rafah, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF moves troops into Balata r.c. and Tulkarm, fires on residential areas, then fires on stonethrowing youths who confront the troops; halts a Palestinian school bus at a Hebron checkpoint, detains 3 students; conducts arrest raids, house searches in ‘Arub r.c., Jenin r.c., and in villages around Nablus, Tulkarm; bulldozes 60 d. southwest of Hebron for construction of the separation wall. The UNRWA delivers food, water to half of the 600 Palestinian families (ca. 3,300 individuals) who have been trapped in their homes east of Jabaliya r.c., unable to leave and without electricity or water since Days of Penitence began on 9/29. (United Nations Information Service 10/7; PSCT, VOI, VOP 10/7 in WNC 10/11; MEZ, WP 10/8; PR 10/13; PCHR 10/14)

In Egypt, a huge truck bomb explodes at the Hilton hotel in Taba, 2 smaller bombs explode at hotels further south along the Red Sea in Nuwayba and Ras al-Shaytan in what appear to be al-Qa‘ida attacks targeting Israelis vacationing for the Sukkoth holidays; 34 people are killed (including at least 13 Israelis, 9 Egyptians, 2 Italians, 1 Russian), some 150 are wounded. (BBC, HA, NYT, WP, WT 10/8; ITAR-TASS, MA, MENA, MM, VOI, VOP 10/8, MENA, al-Quds 10/9, VOI 10/10 in WNC 10/12; NYT, WP, WT 10/9; NYT 10/10; al-Ra’i 10/10, AYM 10/11 in WNC 10/14; LBC 10/10, MM 10/11; VOP 10/11 in WNC 10/13; MM 10/12; MM, NYT, PR 10/13; JP, WJW 10/14; MM 10/15, 10/18, 10/19; WT 10/20; MEI 10/22; WP 10/26)