The IDF begins imposing new regulations (announced 3/25) on Palestinians entering Jerusalem through Qalandia crossing nr. Ramallah: only Palestinians holding a permit to enter Israel may cross,...
In Washington for talks with Pres. Obama, King Abdallah of Jordan tells reporters that he is convinced that Israel and the Palestinians are each making sincere efforts to find a way to jumpstart serious peace talks, but cautions there are serious obstacles to overcome and time is running out. Separately, State Dept. spokeswoman Victoria Nuland says that the U.S. knows that the 1/26/12 target date for restarting final status negotiations is “out there, [but] we do not want to see it be a rigid sort of straitjacket that chills the atmosphere.” In Israel, PM Netanyahu tells lawmakers in a closed mtg. that “the Palestinians have no interest in entering peace talks.” (WP 1/17)
IDF troops on the n. Gaza border nr. Bayt Hanun fire warning shots at Palestinians and international activists staging a nonviolent march to the border fence to protest Israel’s imposition of a no-go zone; no injuries are reported. The IDF makes a late-night incursion into al-Shuka village in s. Gaza to arrest a mbr. of the Islamic Jihad’s al-Quds Brigade. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Tulkarm in the morning and afternoon; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron, Nablus. (WT 1/15; PCHR 1/19; OCHA 1/20).
Hamas officials announce that the movement’s leadership has decided to evacuate their families and most personnel fr. Syria in response to the deteriorating security situation; 3 senior officials (Musa Abu Marzuq, Muhammad Naser, and Izzat Rishiq) will remain in Damascus. Meanwhile, Hamas’s former rep. in London, Mustafa Lidawi, says that Hamas leader Mishal plans to retire as politburo head (a position he has held since 1996) when the organization holds elections in the coming months to allow “a fresh leader to steer Hamas towards a new strategy,” but other Hamas officials deny he has made a final decision. (Guardian, WT, al-Watan 1/18; NYT 1/30)
The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) formally apologizes to Israel for allowing a Hamas mbr. to take part in a dialogue in Geneva (ca. 1/14) on Israel’s treatment of Palestinian prisoners as part of a Palestinian delegation and vows that Hamas mbrs. will be barred fr. future IPU events. Israel had threatened (1/16) to withdraw fr. the IPU in protest. The IPU is a nongovernmental organization with permanent observer status at the UN. It was formed in 1889 to arbitrate conflicts but has evolved into an organization that promotes democracy and interparliamentary dialogue. (JPI 1/27; see also AFP 1/16)
Israeli hackers bring down the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency and the Abu Dhabi Securities and Exchange websites, release the email addresses and passwords of 89 Saudi university students, and steal and threaten to release the Facebook login information for 30,000 account holders in Muslim countries in retaliation for the 1/16 denial of service attacks on the TASE and El Al and the 1/6 leak of Israeli credit card information. One of the Israeli hackers, Anonymous 972, issues a statement saying “Usually we do not like to hurt innocent sites, but there is now a cyber war, and every war has victims. . . . Every time an Israeli site get[s] hacked, the same thing will happen to Saudi sites.” The Israeli hacker who claims to have the Facebook information, Hannibal Hacker, also claims that he could publish bank account details of 10 million Arabs and the credit card details of 4 million Arabs if cyberattacks on Israel continue. (ZDNet 1/19; HackRead 1/25; JPI 1/27)
Israeli naval vessels fire on Palestinian fishermen off the Bayt Lahiya coast, forcing them to return to shore. In the West Bank, the IDF blockades, imposes a round-theclock curfew on Ni‘lin nr. Ramallah in what the army calls an “open-ended effort to curb protests” against the separation wall (see 5/27); conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Tulkarm and in Jenin town and r.c. and Qabatya. Jewish settlers fr. Hebron attack, beat 4 Palestinian farmers; the IDF halts the attack only after international peace activists arrive. Jewish settlers fr. the unauthorized outpost of Asael nr. Hebron burn 15 d. of Palestinian crop land and kidnap, severely beat a Palestinian, tying him to a telephone pole inside the outpost; the IDF bars an ambulance fr. reaching him for over 2 hrs. In Nussayrat r.c., rival wings of Islamic Jihad’s al-Quds Brigade exchange fire, causing no injuries; Hamas-affiliated police bring the situation under control, arresting several Islamic Jihad mbrs. In Rafah, 2 unidentified gunmen shoot, wound a fmr. PA police officer. A Palestinian teenager injured by IDF UXO nr. Shuka on 7/2 dies. (WP 7/6; OCHA 7/9; PCHR 7/10; Nation 7/19)
The IDF makes an air strike on a workshop in Rafah, assassinating Islamic Jihad’s al-Quds Brigade leader ‘Awad al-Qiq (whom the IDF attempted to assassinate on 10/5/07), injuring 2 Islamic Jihad mbrs., 2 children; sends tanks, bulldozers into Juhur al-Dik to level land. The Israeli navy fires on Palestinian fishing boats off the Rafah coast, forcing them to return to shore, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in, fires on residential areas in Fahama and Yabad nr. Jenin; imposes a curfew on Kafr Haris nr. Salfit to allow Jewish settlers to conduct ceremonies at a religious site in the village; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in al-Aza r.c. nr. Bethlehem, Jenin town and r.c. In East Jerusalem, scores of Israeli Jewish teenagers gather at the Pisgat Ze’ev mall, summoned by an instant message to their cell phones urging those “with Jewish blood” to meet up to form a mob to attack local Israeli Arabs who allegedly “hang in our area” and “whistle at the girls, curse, threaten little kids”; the mob beats and stabs 2 Palestinian teenagers, seriously injuring them; around 20 teenagers take part in the beating, while 80–100 others watch; police arrest and charge 11. (AP 4/30; OCHA 5/7; PCHR 5/8; HA 5/29)
The IDF makes an air strike on a car in Rafah carrying Islamic Jihad’s al-Quds Brigade leader ‘Awad ‘Abd al-Fattah alQiq, missing the car, hitting a store, wounding 3 bystanders in an apparent assassination attempt. Armed Palestinians fire 5 mortars, machine guns at an IDF undercover unit attempting to infiltrate the Gaza border e. of al-Maghazi r.c., forcing the unit to retreat into Israel. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in Balata r.c. (where armed Palestinians detonate an explosive device nr. an IDF jeep, wounding a soldier), Nablus; fires rubber-coated steel bullets, percussion grenades, tear gas at Palestinian, Israeli, international activists taking part in the weekly nonviolent demonstrations against the separation wall in Bil‘in, injuring 3. In Jabaliya r.c., 7,000 Islamic Jihad supporters hold a peaceful rally to mark Jerusalem Day. In Dayr al-Balah, 300 PRC supporters hold a peaceful rally to mark the 2d anniversary of the IDF assassination of PRC leader Jamal Abu Samhadana. Suspected Fatah mbrs. detonate a bomb outside the home of a local Hamas leader in Khan Yunis, causing no injuries. In Gaza City, unidentified assailants detonate an explosive device outside the home of a local AMB leader, causing damage but no injuries. An unidentified Palestinian throws a bomb at the house of a Hamas activist in Abasan, causing no serious damage or injuries; flees to a nearby IDF border post, where he surrenders to the IDF. (OCHA 10/10; PCHR 10/11)
The IDF begins imposing new regulations (announced 3/25) on Palestinians entering Jerusalem through Qalandia crossing nr. Ramallah: only Palestinians holding a permit to enter Israel may cross, even to enter the West Bank village of al-Ram (between Qalandia and the Green Line), effectively making the crossing an international checkpoint into Israel and annexing al-Ram. IDF drones fire on the car of AMB cmdr. Muhammad Hijazi as he drives in Gaza City in an apparent assassination attempt; Hijazi survives unharmed but his aide in the car, 2 Palestinian Security Forces officers nearby are wounded. The IDF also fires artillery shells at a group of Islamic Jihad mbrs. attempting to fire a rocket in the n. Gaza no-go zone, killing 1 Islamic Jihad mbr., wounding 3; fatally shoots an Islamic Jihad al-Quds Brigade mbr. Samir Furayhat in disputed circumstances during an arrest raid on Yamun (Islamic Jihad does not claim it was an assassination); conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Bethlehem and Tulkarm, in Nablus, nr. Qalqilya. (IMEMC, Jewish Telegraphic Agency, XIN 3/27; PCHR 3/30, 4/6)