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  • March 6, 2012

    IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire warning shots and tear gas at Palestinians and international activists staging a nonviolent march towards the Erez crossing to protest Israel’s imposition of...

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  • January 9, 2012

    Palestinian and Israeli peace teams hold a 2d very low-profile meeting in Amman. The sides downplay the meeting, calling them “exploratory sessions,” so as not to raise expectations of a...

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  • December 7, 2011

    Overnight, Jewish settlers set fire to the entrance of a mosque, a car, and a construction vehicle in Burqin village nr. Salfit, moderately damaging the mosque and destroying the 2 vehicles. IDF...

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IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire warning shots and tear gas at Palestinians and international activists staging a nonviolent march towards the Erez crossing to protest Israel’s imposition of a no-go zone, causing no serious injuries. The IDF raids several auto repair shops in Barta’a village nr. Jenin, confiscating 17 cars with Israeli license plates. Nr. Hebron, 2 Palestinian teenagers are killed and 3 are wounded when then accidentally trigger an unexploded IDF mortar shell while scavenging at a refuse dump. OCHA reports that 1 Palestinian was killed in the previous week in a smuggling tunnel accident on the Rafah border. (PCHR 3/8; OCHA 3/9)

On the morning of Super Tuesday primary voting, the 3 leading Republican presidential candidates (Gingrich, Romney, and Santorum) address the AIPAC conference via satellite, accusing Obama of being weak on Iran and insufficiently supportive of Israel. Sometime today, Netanyahu gives Romney a personal briefing by phone on the situation in Iran. (NYT 3/7; WJW 3/15; NYT 4/8)

Obama holds a press conference to criticize Republicans and other mbrs. of Congress for “beating the drums of war” against Iran, stating: “When I see the casualness with which some of these folks talk about war, I’m reminded of the costs involved in war . . . [T]his is not a game.” (NYT 3/7)

Palestinian and Israeli peace teams hold a 2d very low-profile meeting in Amman. The sides downplay the meeting, calling them “exploratory sessions,” so as not to raise expectations of a negotiating breakthrough. An anonymous Palestinian official says that the Israelis did not offer anything today that would move the peace process forward. Judeh does not issue a formal statement, and Israel refuses to comment. (NYT, WT 1/10)

The IDF conducts morning patrols in Qalqilya, 2 villages nr. Jenin, and 1 nr. Tulkarm; afternoon patrols in 2 villages nr Jenin (firing tear gas at stonethrowing youths in 1 incident), and 1 nr. Qalqilya; late-night patrols in Tulkarm and nearby Bayt Lid and in 1 village nr. Qalqilya. The IDF also enters ‘Azzoun village nr. Qalqilya in the afternoon to summon for interrogation 3 Palestinians released in the 10/2011 Shalit prisoner swap; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Hebron and nr. Nablus. (PCHR 1/12; OCHA 1/13)

On the day before the New Hampshire primaries, Republican presidential candidates Ron Paul and Rick Santorum both stress that the U.S. must maintain close ties with Israel. Paul, who opposes all foreign aid, says he is against continuing massive assistance to Israel, stating “I don’t believe that I should take money from anybody here and send money to them,” saying it sends the message “we own you.” Santorum stresses the threat from Iran, whereas Paul calls the danger of Iran achieving nuclear weapons “way overblown.” (WT 1/10)

The White House announces that Pres. Obama has tapped his dir. of the Office of Budget and Management, Jack Lew, as his new chief of staff, replacing outgoing chief of staff William Daley. American Jewish organizations praise the selection of Lew, an Orthodox Jew who is very involved in Jewish events in Washington, stating that since Dennis Ross’s departure as Obama’s chief adviser on the Middle East they had worried that there was no one “left to call in a White House that has hemorrhaged top Jews over the last year or so” that could directly weigh in with the pres. on issues of concern to Israel. (JTA 1/10; WJW 1/12, 1/19)

Overnight, Jewish settlers set fire to the entrance of a mosque, a car, and a construction vehicle in Burqin village nr. Salfit, moderately damaging the mosque and destroying the 2 vehicles. IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire warning shots at Palestinians scavenging for construction material in the demolished Erez industrial zone, forcing them to flee. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids and house searches nr. Hebron, Tulkarm. (PCHR 12/8, 12/15; OCHA 12/16)

Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney and New Gingrich address the conservative Republican Jewish Coalition, criticizing U.S. Pres. Barack Obama for his weak and confused foreign policy and mistreatment of Israel. Neither endorses a 2-state solution, even though the Republican Party platform officially supports this. Romney pledges that his 1st trip as pres. would be to Israel. Gingrich promises that he would move the U.S. emb. fr. Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Republican candidates Michele Bachmann, John Huntsman, Rick Perry, and Rick Santorum also address the forum and promise new approaches to the Middle East but do not go into detail. (NYT, WP 12/8)