59 / 14429 Results
  • January 1, 2012

    Jordan announces that Israel and the Palestinians have agreed to send their chief negotiators to Jordan on 1/3 to meet with Quartet officials. Though the parties stress that the meeting will not...

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  • November 16, 2011

    Israel allows the 1st shipment of construction material for private rebuilding projects in Gaza, to be used to reconstruct 10 factories destroyed by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) during...

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  • April 8, 2011

    The IDF continues heavy air strikes (including 1 missile dropped fr. a war plane and 13 missiles fired fr. helicopters and drones) and artillery attacks (more than a dozen) hitting at least 19...

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  • April 1, 2011

    Israel makes an air strike on a car in Gaza City, assassinating 3 senior Hamas mbrs. (Muhammad Mahdi al-Dayah, Abdullah Lobbad, and Isma‘il Lobbad) and injuring 1 bystander. Israel claims the...

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  • March 19, 2011

    Palestinians fire 2 rockets (including 1 Grad) and 54 mortars fr. Gaza into Israel within 15 mins., lightly injuring 2 Israelis, damaging an empty kindergarten, and marking the largest barrage...

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  • February 24, 2011

    In response to the cross-border exchange on 2/23, Palestinians fire 3 manufactured Grad rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, striking Beersheba for the 1st time since Operation Cast Lead (OCL; 12/27/08–1...

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  • December 30, 2010

    With tensions on the Gaza border rising, Hamas secures the pledge of the major Palestinian factions, including Islamic Jihad, to observe the cease-fire Hamas declared in 1/2009 in the wake of OCL...

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  • December 20, 2010

    IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire warning shots at Palestinians scavenging for construction materials in the fmr. Jewish settlement sites, wounding 1. During the day, the PRCs fire 10 mortars...

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  • July 31, 2010

    In continued retaliation for the 7/30 Grad strike, the IDF carries out a predawn air strike on c. Gaza assassinating senior Hamas military cmdr. and rocket maker Issa Batran, marking the 1st...

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  • March 26, 2010

    IDF troops on the s. Gaza border fire on armed Palestinians laying a roadside bomb nr. the border fence e. of Khan Yunis. When Palestinians return fire, the troops enter the Strip in pursuit,...

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  • March 18, 2010

    After 3 days of talks with his 7-mbr. security cabinet, Netanyahu phones Clinton (a day later than the State Dept. had expected) to offer Israel’s own package of “mutual confidence building”...

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  • March 10, 2010

    Biden spends the day in the West Bank, meeting with Abbas and Fayyad. After receiving assurances that the U.S. will press Israel to reverse the 3/9 Ramat Shlomo decision, the PA indicates that it...

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  • March 3, 2010

    After the Arab League endorses the idea of indirect Israeli-Palestinian peace talks for a 4-mo. preliminary period, U.S. special envoy George Mitchell announces that he will head back to the...

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  • February 4, 2010

    In Gaza, an International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) jeep is damaged by a roadside explosion along a route nr. the Erez crossing; no injuries are reported. Hamas rejects speculation that...

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  • January 8, 2010

    Overnight, in retaliation for the 1/7 Grad strike nr. Ashqelon, the IDF makes air strikes on a smuggling tunnel on the Rafah border (killing 3 Palestinians, including a 15-yr.-old boy, and...

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  • September 15, 2009

    In the West Bank, IDF undercover units raid a village in the Hebron hills, arrest wanted IQB Tulkarm head Muhammad Harwish and his aide Adnan Samara. The IDF conducts late-night raids, house...

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  • August 13, 2009

    In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Nablus, Ramallah. (OCHA, PCHR 8/20)

    Human Rights Watch issues a report concluding that during OCL, the IDF...

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  • August 4, 2009

    Israel allows 2,631 Palestinians to transit through the Rafah crossing (880 going into Egypt, 1,751 returning to Gaza). The UN reports that in the preceding wk., 2 Gazan boys (ages 8, 10) in al-...

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  • July 29, 2009

    Israel approves the import to Gaza of cement and steel for 3 construction projects, including a flour mill. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Ramallah and al-Bireh at midday; conducts late-...

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  • July 14, 2009

    The IDF sends troops, bulldozers into n. Gaza to level land along the border nr. Bayt Hanun; troops fire toward nearby residential areas to keep Palestinians indoors, causing no injuries. The UN...

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  • June 14, 2009

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

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  • June 5, 2009

    Israeli naval vessels halt a Palestinian fishing boat off the Gaza coast w. of Shati’ r.c., arresting 6 fishermen. In the West Bank, the IDF fires live ammunition, rubber-coated steel bullets, and...

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  • May 16, 2009

    As the quarter opens, Israeli-Palestinian cross-border violence in Gaza is moderate and rising, while, in the West Bank, violence remains low. Israel’s siege of Gaza, intended to pressure the...

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  • April 27, 2009

    In the West Bank, the IDF raids a house in al-Mukabir belonging to the family of construction worker Hussam Dweikat (shot dead on 7/2/08 when he deliberately rammed his bulldozer into a crowd in...

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  • April 16, 2009

    The IDF makes an air strike destroying a vacant house in Dayr al-Balah that allegedly was booby trapped; no injuries are reported; the 9-mbr. family vacated the house during OCL. In the West Bank...

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  • March 29, 2009

    n the West Bank, the IDF begins leveling 78 d. of Palestinian land w. of Nablus for the creation of a new settler-only bypass road to Shavei Shomron settlement. At least 8 Jewish settlers severely...

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  • March 26, 2009

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

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  • February 27, 2009

    In the West Bank, the IDF makes an afternoon raid on a home in Bayt Umar nr. Hebron, occupying the upper floor and roof as an observation post for 4 hrs., firing tear gas at Palestinian children...

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  • February 24, 2009

    In the West Bank, Israel reopens a main road to Bani Na‘im nr. Hebron (closed since 2001); authorizes the Palestinian Authority (PA) to build an additional 12 police stations across the West Bank...

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  • February 18, 2009

    In Gaza, UN and Hamas officials report the theft of a cache of IDF UXO fr. OCL that was being held at a storage site guarded by Hamas police; police say unknown individuals stole the explosives...

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Jordan announces that Israel and the Palestinians have agreed to send their chief negotiators to Jordan on 1/3 to meet with Quartet officials. Though the parties stress that the meeting will not be a formal negotiating session, it will mark the 1st time the negotiators have met since 9/2010. The Quartet hopes that Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erakat and Netanyahu’s personal emissary Yitzhak Molcho will present their positions on security and borders and agree on the agenda for future direct talks, technically relaunching negotiations by the Quartet’s selfimposed 1/26/12 deadline (see QU in JPS 162 for background). Erakat says the Palestinian demand for a settlement freeze still stands and that the Palestinians have agreed to attend out of respect for Jordan. (HA 1/1; NYT, WP, WT 1/2)

Unidentified Palestinians fire 2 mortars fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries; Israel claims the mortars carried white phosphorous that Palestinians would have scavenged fr. Israeli munitions fired into Gaza during OCL. The IDF conducts morning patrols in 3 villages northwest of Jenin (firing rubber-coated steel bullets at stonethrowing youths in 1 instance, causing no serious injuries); conducts synchronized afternoon patrols in 2 villages nr. Ramallah; conducts evening patrols in 2 villages nr. Ramallah (firing rubbercoated steel bullets at stone-throwing youths in 1 instance, causing no serious injuries), and 1 each nr. Jericho and Salfit; conducts late-night patrols in Jericho, Birzeit, 2 villages nr. Ramallah, and 1 village nr. Tulkarm; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron, Jenin, Nablus. (JP 1/1, 1/2; OCHA, PCHR 1/5)

Israel allows the 1st shipment of construction material for private rebuilding projects in Gaza, to be used to reconstruct 10 factories destroyed by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) during Operation Cast Lead (OCL) in 2008– 9. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in al-Azariyya outside Jerusalem, and nr. Bethlehem and Qalqilya (arresting 4 children ages 13–17); conducts latenight patrols in 3 villages nr. Jenin. (NYT, PCHR, WP 11/17; PCHR 11/24; OCHA 11/25)

In s. Lebanon, a bomb explodes at a hotel in Tyre that is frequented by UN employees, causing damage but no injuries. Minutes later another bomb damages a liquor store in the city, causing no injuries. The UN says it does not believe its employees were targets. (NYT 11/17)

The IDF continues heavy air strikes (including 1 missile dropped fr. a war plane and 13 missiles fired fr. helicopters and drones) and artillery attacks (more than a dozen) hitting at least 19 targets across Gaza, killing another 11 Palestinians (5 civilians and 6 militants), wounding 20 (19 civilians and 1 militant), and damaging a commercial building and several homes. Israeli DM Barak stresses that the assaults are in response to the bus attack on 4/7 and not the start of a major offensive. Palestinians fire another 24 mortars and 6 rockets, causing damage in 2 incidents but no injuries. Various factions claim responsibility for firing, including the AMB, DFLP, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), and the PRCs. Israel’s new Iron Dome system intercepts 3 of the rockets. In addition, IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fired warning shots at Palestinian farmers nr. the border fence, forcing them to flee. Israeli naval vessels fired toward the Gaza City beach and at Palestinian fishermen off the coast w. of Nussayrat r.c., causing no injuries. With the past 24 hrs. marking the worst flare-up in crossborder violence since OCL, UN Secy.-Gen. Ban calls on both sides to observe a ceasefire immediately. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Jericho and 2 villages nr. Ramallah (firing rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at stone-throwing youths who confront them, causing no serious injuries); conducts morning arrest raids, house searches nr. Jericho. 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. IDF soldiers fire rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at the protesters, causing no serious injuries; 5 Palestinians are arrested. (IsRN, JP, MNA 4/8; JP, MNA, NYT, WP 4/9; IFM 4/10; PCHR 4/14; OCHA 4/15)

Israel makes an air strike on a car in Gaza City, assassinating 3 senior Hamas mbrs. (Muhammad Mahdi al-Dayah, Abdullah Lobbad, and Isma‘il Lobbad) and injuring 1 bystander. Israel claims the Hamas mbrs. were plotting to kidnap Israelis in Israel and Egypt during Passover later in 4/2011; Hamas denies that it operates outside the borders of historic Palestine but says the 3 were senior weapons developers. The DFLP says it will no longer observe a cease-fire toward Israel. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night searches in Qalqilya, summoning 1 Palestinian for questioning. 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. IDF soldiers fire rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at the protesters, causing no serious injuries; 3 Palestinians (including 2 children) are arrested. Jewish settlers fr. Beit Hadassah settlement in Hebron set fire to the awnings of several Palestinian stores. (NYT 4/2, 4/3; JTA 4/4; PCHR 4/7; OCHA 4/15)

In a Washington Post op-ed online (in print on 4/3), South African judge Richard Goldstone, head of the UN committee that investigated possible war crimes and crimes against humanity committed during OCL, says that “if I had known then what I know now,” he would have concluded that Gazan “civilians were not intentionally targeted as a matter of [Israeli] policy” and would have given more weight to crimes perpetrated by Hamas. (WP 4/1; IFM, NYT, WP 4/3; NYT 4/6; JTA, NYT, YA 4/7; NYT, 4/20)

Palestinians fire 2 rockets (including 1 Grad) and 54 mortars fr. Gaza into Israel within 15 mins., lightly injuring 2 Israelis, damaging an empty kindergarten, and marking the largest barrage since OCL in 1/2009. Hamas acknowledges it fired 33 of the mortars, targeting IDF bases along the border in retaliation for a 3/16 Israeli air strike that killed 2 Hamas mbrs. Israel retaliates with heavy air strikes and tank fire on Hamas facility e. of Gaza City, killing a Hamas official and wounding at least 5 Palestinians (including at least 2 civilians); artillery fire throughout the morning directed at villages on the s. Gaza border with Israel, damaging a mosque in Abassan but causing no injuries; 4 air strikes on rocket-launching sites in s. Gaza, causing no reported injuries; and, late at night, artillery fire directed at suspicious movement nr. the s. Gaza border, killing 2 16-yr.-old Palestinians, allegedly armed. Meanwhile, a group of 10 armed, plain-clothed Palestinians claiming to be Hamas-affiliated security forces raid the Gaza City bureaus of CNN, NHK news channel, and Reuters, attacking journalists, destroying cameras, and confiscating tapes to punish them for filming Hamas police dispersing a 3/17 Palestinian rally. Hamas’s interior M Fathi Hamad denies the men were connected to Hamas, and Reuters confirms that the men did not show identification. In the West Bank, Jewish settlers fr. Dolev settlement nr. Ramallah set up a tent and hold Purim services on a nearby plot of Palestinian land; the IDF observes but does not intervene, and the settlers leave on their own the next morning (3/20). Jewish settlers attack Palestinians and international activists working an olive grove nr. Hebron; the IDF intervenes to remove the settlers. Jewish settlers fr. Suissa settlement nr. Hebron raid a nearby Palestinian farm, releasing 100s of sheep into crop fields; the IDF observes but does not intervene. Jewish settlers stone Palestinian cars driving nr. Hebron and Qalqilya. (AP, JP 3/19; JP, NYT, WP 3/20; PCHR 3/24; OCHA 4/1)

U.S., British, and French forces begin strikes (fr. planes and warships) on Libya. The forces target radar and antimissile batteries to enforce a no-fly zone against Qaddafi’s forces. (NYT, WP 3/20)

When protests in Dara’a resume today, Syrian security forces seal off the city and clash with the demonstrators. Violence in Dara’a continues through 3/22. (NYT, WP 3/20; NYT, WP 3/21)

In response to the cross-border exchange on 2/23, Palestinians fire 3 manufactured Grad rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, striking Beersheba for the 1st time since Operation Cast Lead (OCL; 12/27/08–1/18/09), damaging a house but causing no injuries. The IDF retaliates with multiple air strikes on Hamas and Islamic Jihad targets, killing 2 Hamas mbrs. in Rafah and wounding 3 Islamic Jihad mbrs. elsewhere. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Qalqilya and 4 nearby villages, in Jericho and 1 nearby village, as well as in 2 villages nr. Salfit and Tulkarm. In Ramallah, up to 1,500 Palestinians rally in support of national unity and an end to the Hamas-Fatah divide, which they say “opens the door for the occupiers to do whatever they want”; though representing Fatah, Hamas, and leftist factions, they show only the Palestinian flag—a rare gesture in recent years. Hamas authorities in Gaza ban a similar planned rally. (HA, JP, MNA 2/24; WP 2/25; PCHR 3/3; OCHA 3/4)

With tensions on the Gaza border rising, Hamas secures the pledge of the major Palestinian factions, including Islamic Jihad, to observe the cease-fire Hamas declared in 1/2009 in the wake of OCL. Late in the evening, however, unidentified Palestinians fire a Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Zabbuba village nr. Jenin in the afternoon; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Hebron. An Israeli court hands down a 9-yr. jail sentence to Israeli Palestinian Ameer Makhoul, who pled guilty in 10/2010 to spying on behalf of Hizballah as part of a plea deal. (JP, WP 12/31; PCHR 1/6; OCHA 1/7)

IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire warning shots at Palestinians scavenging for construction materials in the fmr. Jewish settlement sites, wounding 1. During the day, the PRCs fire 10 mortars fr. Gaza toward Israel, with at least 9 landing inside Israel, causing no damage or injuries. Late at night, in response to the recent increase in Palestinian rocket fire, the IDF makes an air strike on a manned Hamas facility in Khan Yunis, injuring 2 IQB mbrs., marking Israel’s 1st targeting of an occupied Hamas facility since OCL ended in 1/2009. Hrs. later, the IDF carries out 6 more air strikes targeting 2 suspected tunnels nr. the border. Targets include Bayt Lahiya and Jabaliya in n. Gaza (hitting a poultry farm, killing 1,800 chickens), 3 smuggling tunnels on the Rafah border, and 2 alleged Hamas military sites in s. Gaza (an empty house in Shuka, also destroying a grocery store next door and damaging 2 nearby homes; and an abandoned dairy factory); no injuries are reported. In the West Bank, the IDF demolishes 4 Palestinian agricultural storehouses nr. Kiryat Arba settlement in Hebron; conducts morning patrols in 2 villages nr. Jenin and 2 nr. Tulkarm; conducts synchronized late-night patrols in 2 villages nr. Jenin. (AFP, JP, MNA 12/20; AFP, UPI 12/21; NYT 12/22; OCHA, PCHR 12/23)

In continued retaliation for the 7/30 Grad strike, the IDF carries out a predawn air strike on c. Gaza assassinating senior Hamas military cmdr. and rocket maker Issa Batran, marking the 1st Israeli assassination in Gaza since Operation Cast Lead (OCL) ended in 1/09. (Israel attempted to assassinate Batran during OCL, making an air strike on his home, killing his wife and 5 of his children.) Later in the day, unidentified Palestinians fire a Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, damaging a vacant daycare facility. The IDF responds with 2 additional air strikes on a smuggling tunnel and an open area in s. Gaza. IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire warning shots at Palestinians scavenging for construction materials in the fmr. Jewish settlement sites and in the Erez industrial zone, wounding 3 Palestinians. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night house searches in and around Hebron, summoning several Palestinians for interrogation; fires tear gas and stun grenades at Palestinian, Israeli, and international activists taking part in weekly nonviolent demonstrations against land confiscation and settlement expansion nr. Karme Tzur settlement nr. Hebron. (HA, IDF, YA 7/31; MEZ, NYT, WP 8/1; PCHR 8/5; OCHA 8/13)

IDF troops on the s. Gaza border fire on armed Palestinians laying a roadside bomb nr. the border fence e. of Khan Yunis. When Palestinians return fire, the troops enter the Strip in pursuit, triggering at least 1 buried device and drawing Palestinian mortar fire, which prompts the IDF to move several tanks and armed bulldozers into Gaza, shelling areas outside Khan Yunis. The exchange leaves 2 armed Palestinians, 1 Palestinian bystander, and 2 IDF soldiers dead and 3 IDF soldiers and 6 Palestinians (including at least 2 civilians, one a 13-yr.-old boy) wounded, marking the 1st deadly exchange of fire in Gaza since OCL ended on 1/18/09. The al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, Islamic Jihad, and a group calling itself Palestinian Taliban (believed to be a radical Salafist splinter group opposed to Hamas) claim their fighters were involved in the initial border incident; the Izzedin al-Qassam Brigades claims responsibility for ambushing and firing mortars at IDF troops once they entered Gaza, causing the IDF casualties. In the West Bank, the IDF fires rubber-coated steel bullets, stun grenades, tear gas at Palestinian, Israeli, and international activists taking part in weekly demonstrations against the separation wall and settlement expansion in Bil‘in (10s suffer tear gas inhalation; 1 Israeli is arrested), Dayr Nizam/al-Nabi Salih (2 Palestinians injured), and Ni‘lin (10s suffer tear gas inhalation). (JP 3/27; WP 3/28; OCHA, PCHR 4/1; PCHR 4/8)

After 3 days of talks with his 7-mbr. security cabinet, Netanyahu phones Clinton (a day later than the State Dept. had expected) to offer Israel’s own package of “mutual confidence building” gestures to be made by Israel and the Palestinians. Neither side details the offer, but the U.S. says that the offer is sufficient enough to warrant sending special envoy Mitchell back to the region on 3/21 hopefully to launch proximity talks. At the same time, however, Israel’s Jerusalem municipality approves construction of 20 new settlement housing units in East Jerusalem’s Shaykh Jarrah neighborhood. (NYT, WP, WT 3/19; WP 3/20; OCHA, PCHR 3/25)

Ansar al-Sunna fires a rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, killing a Thai laborer working at a kibbutz near the Gaza border, marking the 1st fatal rocket strike since OCL. Another rocket fired by unidentified Palestinians earlier in the day caused no damage or injuries. Israel vows strong retaliation. Meanwhile, IDF troops on the s. Gaza border e. of Khan Yunis fire on Palestinians staging a nonviolent march to the border fence to protest Israel’s imposition of a 300-m no-go zone, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF carries out late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron (searching a number of homes of Palestinians involved in organizing protests against the separation wall, without making arrests). Jewish settlers fr. Eli nr. Nablus uproot 25 nearby Palestinian olive trees. (JP, NYT, WP, WT 3/19; HA, YA 3/20; OCHA, PCHR 3/25)

Biden spends the day in the West Bank, meeting with Abbas and Fayyad. After receiving assurances that the U.S. will press Israel to reverse the 3/9 Ramat Shlomo decision, the PA indicates that it will move forward with plans for indirect talks with Israel. Meanwhile, Israeli officials stress that Israel will never cede Jerusalem and will build unimpeded within Jerusalem’s municipal borders. The Arab League reconvenes to discuss the situation and withdraws support for proximity talks, phoning Abbas to urge against negotiations. Abbas consequently informs the U.S. that the Palestinians cannot restart talks with Israel until the approval of the 1,600 housing units is rescinded. (IFM, JTA 3/10; NYT, WP, WT 3/11; NYT 3/29)

In the West Bank, the IDF sets up a checkpoint at the entrance to Rumana in the morning, checking Palestinian vehicles and arresting 1 Palestinian. Israel also authorizes the UN to send bomb disposal units into Gaza to identify and disarm unexploded IDF ordnance fr. OCL; the UN says the operation may take several months. (JTA 3/10; NYT, PCHR 3/11; OCHA, PCHR 3/18)

After the Arab League endorses the idea of indirect Israeli-Palestinian peace talks for a 4-mo. preliminary period, U.S. special envoy George Mitchell announces that he will head back to the region in several days to secure the formal agreement of Israel and the Palestinians to relaunch peace talks, suspended since Israel launched Operation Cast Lead (OCL) against Gaza in 12/08. (NYT, WP, WT 3/4)

IDF troops make a brief incursion 500 m into n. Gaza nr. Bayt Lahiya to level land to clear lines of sight. In the West Bank, the IDF makes a late-night incursion into Beitunia w. of Ramallah, patrolling streets and firing rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas at stone-throwing youths who confront them, causing no reported injuries; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Jenin town and r.c., nr. Bethlehem and Ramallah. The IDF reports that it called off a raid on a West Bank village after a soldier posted the time and place of the planned operation on Facebook; the soldier was court-martialed and sentenced to 10 days in prison. (PCHR, WT 3/4; OCHA, PCHR 3/11)

In Gaza, an International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) jeep is damaged by a roadside explosion along a route nr. the Erez crossing; no injuries are reported. Hamas rejects speculation that the explosion was caused by a roadside bomb, alleging the jeep accidentally triggered IDF UXO fr. OCL; no group claims responsibility. The IDF makes a brief incursion into s. Gaza to level land in the no-go zone e. of Khan Yunis to clear lines of sight. In the West Bank, the IDF makes a rare daytime incursion into Bayt Ula village nr. Hebron, raiding a furniture company and arresting 2 Palestinians; stages 1 late-night arrest raid nr. Hebron, followed several hrs. later by synchronized arrest raids, house searches in 3 other villages nr. Hebron. Jewish settlers fr. Revava nr. Salfit bulldoze 50 d. of nearby Palestinian olive groves and agricultural land, fence off 24 d., block off 3 roads leading to the area, and install mobile homes to expand the settlement. Jewish settlers fr. Adi Ad nr. Nablus place 4 mobile homes on a nearby plot of Palestinian land to create a new settlement outpost. (WT 2/5; OCHA, PCHR 2/11)

Overnight, in retaliation for the 1/7 Grad strike nr. Ashqelon, the IDF makes air strikes on a smuggling tunnel on the Rafah border (killing 3 Palestinians, including a 15-yr.-old boy, and wounding 2), suspected weapons factories in the Shaykh Ajlin and al-Zaytun neighborhoods of Gaza City (causing no injuries but marking the 1st Israeli air strikes on Gaza City since OCL), and sites in al-Qarara in s. Gaza (initially hitting an open area, damaging a house; then targeting and destroying 2 other Palestinian homes, whose residents had fled after the initial strike close by; no injuries reported). During the day, unidentified Palestinians fire 2 more rockets toward Sederot, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF fires rubber-coated steel bullets, stun grenades, tear gas at stonethrowing Palestinians and nonviolent international (and, in the case of Bil‘in, Israeli) activists taking part in protests against the separation wall in Bil‘in (injuring 2 Palestinians) and Ni‘lin (10s suffer tear gas inhalation); conducts latenight house searches in al-Fara‘a r.c. and nr. Jenin, making no arrests. (JP 1/8; NYT 1/9; OCHA 1/13; PCHR 1/14)

In the West Bank, IDF undercover units raid a village in the Hebron hills, arrest wanted IQB Tulkarm head Muhammad Harwish and his aide Adnan Samara. The IDF conducts late-night raids, house searches nr. Ramallah, arresting 3 Palestinians. In Bil‘in, the IDF raids the home of ‘Abdallah Abu Rahma, the Bil‘in Coordinator of the Public Committee against the Wall and Settlement, violently beating him and attacking a number of international activists. Jewish settlers fr. Yitzhar beat a Palestinian shepherd and shoot another Palestinian who attempts to phone Israeli authorities for help. (PCHR 9/17; JPI 9/24)

In East Jerusalem, the IDF conducts raids, house searches in Silwan, arresting 4 Palestinians (including 1 teenager). (PCHR 9/17)

U.S. special envoy Mitchell begins a 2-day trip to Israel and Ramallah to discuss settlement construction with Netanyahu and PA pres. Mahmud Abbas. (WP 9/16; WJW 9/17)

The UN’s Goldstone mission, which investigated Israeli and Palestinian actions during Operation Cast Lead (OCL), issues its advance report accusing both Israel and Hamas of extensive war crimes and possible crimes against humanity, giving them until 2/5/10 to respond. (NYT, WP 9/16) 

In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Nablus, Ramallah. (OCHA, PCHR 8/20)

Human Rights Watch issues a report concluding that during OCL, the IDF fired on at least 7 groups of civilians carrying white flags, killing 11. (WP 8/14)

Israel allows 2,631 Palestinians to transit through the Rafah crossing (880 going into Egypt, 1,751 returning to Gaza). The UN reports that in the preceding wk., 2 Gazan boys (ages 8, 10) in al-Bureij r.c. were injured by UXO fr. OCL; 4 Palestinians were killed, 5 injured in tunnel collapses along the Rafah border. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night house searches in villages s. of Jenin, making no arrests; stages late-night arrest raids, house searches in Fasayil village n. of Jericho. A Hamas-affiliated PA prisoner dies in a Jordanian hospital, where he was transferred by the PASF on 6/30 with severe injuries apparently resulting fr. torture. (OCHA, PCHR 8/6, 8/13)

In Bethlehem, 2,325 delegates fr. the West Bank and 80 countries around the world open Fatah’s 6th General Conference in Bethlehem to vote on a new party platform and hold elections for party institutions for the 1st time in 20 yrs. (MM, alSharq al-Awsat 8/4; al-Ayyam, MM, MNA, NYT, WP 8/5; MNA 8/8; JPI 8/14)

Israel approves the import to Gaza of cement and steel for 3 construction projects, including a flour mill. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Ramallah and al-Bireh at midday; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron and in Balata r.c., Nablus. In Jerusalem, the IDF escorts some 200 Jewish settlers into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound to hold prayers marking the anniversary of the destruction of the Jewish temple. The IDF Central Command issues an order establishing a separate military court for the prosecution of Palestinian children under the age of 16 living in the West Bank (excluding East Jerusalem), appointing separate juvenile court judges and requiring youths’ trials be held in separate rooms fr. (or at different times than) trials of adults. (NYT, PCHR 7/30; OCHA, PCHR 8/6)

The Israeli government releases its comprehensive investigative report into its conduct during OCL, concluding that “incessant” Hamas rocket fire into Israel forced Israel to act and denying any war crimes, though admitting that around a dozen criminal investigations of soldiers’ conduct are underway. (IFM 7/30; NYT 7/31)

The IDF sends troops, bulldozers into n. Gaza to level land along the border nr. Bayt Hanun; troops fire toward nearby residential areas to keep Palestinians indoors, causing no injuries. The UN reports that in the previous wk., 4 Palestinians were injured in tunnel collapses on the Rafah border. The UN Development Program reports that it has begun a $12-m. project to remove the nearly 420,000 tons of rubble created by OCL. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron, Nablus. Palestinians report that in the previous wk., Israeli authorities removed remains fr. 300 graves at a Muslim cemetery nr. the Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem to make way for construction of Israel’s national Tolerance Museum; the remains were reburied in a mass grave elsewhere. Jewish settlers level 18 d. of Palestinian land nr. Yitzhar settlement, in what local residents fear is an attempt to expand the settlement. (OCHA, PCHR 7/16)

A mysterious explosion levels a building in Lebanon’s Khirbat Slim, 12 mi. fr. the Israeli border, causing no casualties; Lebanese and Hizballah authorities secure the site, barring access to UNIFIL soldiers. Israel claims the site housed a Hizballah arms cache, indicating that Hizballah is rearming in violation of UN Res. 1701 that ended the 2006 Lebanon war. Hizballah claims that the explosion was caused by unexploded IDF cluster munitions left over fr. the war. (NYT 7/16)

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

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

Israeli naval vessels halt a Palestinian fishing boat off the Gaza coast w. of Shati’ r.c., arresting 6 fishermen. In the West Bank, the IDF fires live ammunition, rubber-coated steel bullets, and tear gas at Palestinians taking part in a weekly nonviolent demonstration against the separation wall in Ni‘lin, killing 1 Palestinian with live ammunition, wounding 7 Palestinians (4 by live ammunition, 2 by tear gas canisters, 1 by rubber-coated steel bullets); fires rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas at stone-throwing Palestinians taking part in protests against the separation wall in Bil‘in, injuring 3; conducts late-night house searches in Tulkarm and Nur Shams r.c., making no arrests. In Qalqilya, the PASF restricts access to the funerals of 2 Hamas mbrs. killed on 6/4 to prevent them fr. being celebrated as martyrs, but puts up PA-sponsored posters around town commemorating the PASF officers killed in the 5/31 and 6/4 clashes. A Palestinian boy dies of injuries sustained in a 1/6/09 IDF attack on Jabaliya r.c., during OCL. (Jerusalem Report, NYT 6/6; OCHA, PCHR 6/11)

As the quarter opens, Israeli-Palestinian cross-border violence in Gaza is moderate and rising, while, in the West Bank, violence remains low. Israel’s siege of Gaza, intended to pressure the Hamas government there, enters its 24th month, hampering efforts to maintain basic services and repair infrastructure and other damages fr. Israel’s Operation Cast Lead (OCL, 12/27/08– 1/18/09; see JPS 151). Israel allows an average of 106 truckloads/day of humanitarian goods and commodities into Gaza through Kerem Shalom crossing 6 days/ week (far less than the 500 truckloads/day the UN estimates are necessary to meet Gazans’ basic needs); limited fodder and seed through the Qarni crossing; and enough fuel through the Nahal Oz crossing to maintain emergency services and run Gaza’s electricity plant at 69% capacity, as well as some cooking gas. Only very limited numbers of medical cases, employees of international organizations, and VIPs are allowed to transit through the Rafah and Erez crossings. Restrictions on Palestinian movement and access in the West Bank remain tight, with some 630 Israel Defense Forces (IDF) checkpoints and roadblocks dividing the territory into 3 cantons, and strictly limiting Palestinian access to Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley. Today, the IDF demolishes a Palestinian home in East Jerusalem; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Hebron. (OCHA 5/20; PCHR 5/21)

In the West Bank, the IDF raids a house in al-Mukabir belonging to the family of construction worker Hussam Dweikat (shot dead on 7/2/08 when he deliberately rammed his bulldozer into a crowd in West Jerusalem), harasses family mbrs., and threatens to arrest Dweikat’s father because the family had rebuilt part of the house demolished by the IDF in reprisal for the 7/08 attack; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Nablus. After mediation by UN agencies, the PA in Ramallah and Hamas authorities in Gaza reach an understanding regarding control of the Referrals Abroad Dept. (see 3/22) allowing normal operations to resume; the World Health Organization estimates that at least 3 patients (and as many as 8) died while waiting for referral documents authorizing their treatment abroad. A military court in Gaza sentences 4 Palestinians to death and 3 Palestinians to life with hard labor in the 7/06 death of an Islamic University prof. during interfactional fighting; only 1 of those convicted is currently held by Hamas police; the others escaped when the IDF bombed Gaza’s central prison on 12/28/08, at the opening of OCL. (OCHA, PCHR 4/29) 

The IDF makes an air strike destroying a vacant house in Dayr al-Balah that allegedly was booby trapped; no injuries are reported; the 9-mbr. family vacated the house during OCL. In the West Bank, the IDF makes a rare afternoon incursion into Tura alGharbiyya nr. Jenin, occupying a home as an observation post (troops are still in the home at the end of the day); patrols in Araba village nr. Jenin, firing on residential areas, raiding and searching several homes, arresting 1 Palestinian. In Jerusalem, Israelis attempt to gain access to the al-Aqsa Mosque compound but are blocked by Palestinians; no injuries or serious violence is reported. In Gaza, a 4-mo.-old Palestinian dies of injuries sustained during OCL. (WP 4/17; OCHA 4/22; PCHR 4/23)

U.S. envoy Mitchell begins a brief 2-day visit to Israel and Ramallah for talks with the new Israeli government and PA officials. This is his 3d tour to the region as envoy. (NYT, WP, WT 4/17; NYT, WP, WT 4/18; WT 4/19; NYT 5/15)

n the West Bank, the IDF begins leveling 78 d. of Palestinian land w. of Nablus for the creation of a new settler-only bypass road to Shavei Shomron settlement. At least 8 Jewish settlers severely beat a Palestinian man outside his Silwan home in East Jerusalem. A Gazan woman fr. Bayt Lahiya dies in an Egyptian hospital fr. white phosphorus injuries sustained during OCL. (OCHA 3/31, 4/1; PCHR 4/2)

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

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

In the West Bank, the IDF makes an afternoon raid on a home in Bayt Umar nr. Hebron, occupying the upper floor and roof as an observation post for 4 hrs., firing tear gas at Palestinian children who throw stones at them. The IDF also pursues stone-throwing children into al-‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron at midday, raiding and occupying a home for several hrs.; fires live ammunition, rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and percussion grenades at Palestinian, Israeli, and international activists taking part in a nonviolent demonstration against the separation wall in Bil‘in (10s suffer tear gas inhalation). A Palestinian, shot and wounded by the IDF in Gaza City on 1/13 during OCL, dies. (OCHA 3/3, 3/4; PCHR 3/5)

In the West Bank, Israel reopens a main road to Bani Na‘im nr. Hebron (closed since 2001); authorizes the Palestinian Authority (PA) to build an additional 12 police stations across the West Bank (Israel previously approved 20 and the PA has built 19); issues VIP travel permits to 120 high-ranking PA security officers and Palestinian personalities (bringing to about 390 the number of VIP permits issued to date); increases the number of Palestinian workers allowed into Israel (no figures given); allows Israeli Palestinians to visit Nablus and Jenin on weekends (intended to boost those local economies). The IDF also levels Palestinian land to expand an IDF checkpoint nr. Einav settlement nr. Tulkarm; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Bethlehem, in Hebron, nr. Jenin and Ramallah. In Gaza,IDF troops on the s. Gaza border fire on unarmed Palestinians inspecting damaged homes e. of Khuza nr. the border fence, wounding a Palestinian teenager. The UN reports that Palestinians have fired 21 rockets and mortars into Israel since 2/18, causing no damage or injuries. A Palestinian teenager dies of injuries sustained during the 1/15 IDF air strikes that assassinated Gaza’s acting interior minister Sa‘id Siyam during OCL. (IFM 2/24; OCHA 2/25; PCHR 2/26)

Israel’s new parliament, elected on 2/10/09, is sworn in. (WP 2/25)

In Gaza, UN and Hamas officials report the theft of a cache of IDF UXO fr. OCL that was being held at a storage site guarded by Hamas police; police say unknown individuals stole the explosives when police fled the site fearing an attack by IDF drones operating in the area; the UXO had been collected by Hamas police and turned over to the UN for safe disposal. IDF troops on the s. Gaza border fire on Palestinians and international activists working their land nr. the border fence, wounding 1 Palestinian farmer. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Nablus, and nr. Hebron, Jenin, Salfit. Jewish settlers accompanied by IDF troops level land nr. Yatta village s. of Hebron for construction of a settler-only bypass road. (NYT, PCHR 2/19; OCHA 2/24; PCHR 2/26)