856 / 14643 Results
  • May 28, 2011

    Egypt reopens the Rafah crossing as planned, permitting most Palestinians to cross freely for the first time in 4 yrs. (men ages 18–40 are the only group required to secure visas to enter Egypt)....

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  • May 25, 2011

    Egypt announces that as of 5/28 the Rafah crossing (closed since 1/29/11) will be open permanently, allowing Palestinians with passports to cross into Egypt from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily,...

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  • December 26, 2009

    In the West Bank, IDF undercover units raid the Nablus homes of 3 AMB mbrs. (Nadir al-Sarkaji, Ghassan Abu Sharikh, and ‘Anan Sobeh) allegedly behind the fatal shooting of a settler on 12/24,...

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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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  • June 18, 2007

    The U.S. and EU end their boycott on aid to and diplomatic contacts with Abbas’s PA, pledging to work with and support the emergency government. In Gaza, Hamas mbrs. on the Gaza side of the Erez...

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  • May 22, 2007

    The IDF expands military operations in Gaza, making at least 7 air strikes on Hamas, ESF, and PA General Intelligence targets in Gaza, targeting 4 suspected arms caches and 3 other sites (...

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  • June 26, 2006

    Palestinian gunmen holding Shalit issue a statement demanding the release of all 113 Palestinian women and 318 children fr. Israeli jails in return for information on Shalit’s condition; Israel...

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  • June 25, 2006

    Before dawn, 8 Palestinian gunmen dressed in IDF uniforms sneak across the s. Gaza border into Israel using a tunnel, attack an IDF border post nr. Kerem Shalom with grenades, rifles, antitank...

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  • June 21, 2006

    In Gaza, the IDF makes 2 air strikes on Islamic Jihad mbrs. driving in Khan Yunis, missing the car, hitting the street and a house, killing 2 Palestinian bystanders, including a pregnant woman,...

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  • June 2, 2006

    The IDF fatally shoots 2 Egyptian border guards who cross the Israeli border into the Negev, while a 3d Egyptian escapes; Israel claims that the men intentionally crossed the border and fired on...

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  • March 14, 2006

    Early in the morning, the British and U.S. monitors guarding 6 political prisoners in the PA’s Jericho jail pull out of the city, citing security concerns. Within 20 minutes, the IDF encircles and...

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  • February 11, 2006

    The IDF fires 3 missiles at a car in Dayr al-Balah, but the targets of the apparent assassination escape unharmed; fires live ammunition at stone-throwing Palestinians nr. Qalqilya, wounding 4;...

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  • July 19, 2005

    The IDF raids Yamun nr. Jenin, surrounds the house of wanted Islamic Jihad mbrs. Zahir and Warad Abahra (uncle and nephew), begins to bulldoze the house when they do not surrender, sparking an...

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  • July 15, 2005

    Citing retaliation for the death of an Israeli woman on 7/14, the IDF launches overnight missile strikes on 4 sites in Gaza: a Hamas cultural center in n. Gaza, 2 sites Palestinians have used to...

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  • March 21, 2005

    After further talks btwn. Israeli, PA officials, the IDF turns over security control of Tulkarm, pledges not to target wanted Palestinians fr. Tulkarm. The IDF closes checkpoints into East...

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  • March 8, 2005

    The IDF fires on residential areas of Rafah; conducts arrest raids, house searches in al-Simba nr. Hebron; arrests 6 Islamic Jihad mbrs. in Jenin in connection with the 2/25 Tel Aviv bombing;...

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  • March 1, 2005

    Israeli security officials say they now believe that a renegade Islamic Jihad cell fr. Jenin, commanded fr. outside the territories, was responsible for the 2/25 bombing. IDF severely beats a...

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  • January 19, 2005

    The IDF fatally shoots 2 Palestinians allegedly planting a roadside bomb in n. Gaza; demolishes a 3-story Palestinian building, severely damages 7 Palestinian homes and 10 shops in Nablus; fires...

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  • January 9, 2005

    The IDF confiscates 352 d. in northwest Jerusalem for construction of the separation wall; fires nr.aPalestinian polling station in Khan Yunis; obstructs Palestinian movement in al-Mawasi; fires...

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  • December 18, 2004

    The IDF continues operations in Khan Yunis until midday, killing another 2 Palestinian resistance mbrs., wounding around 23; sends troops into Bethlehem, arrests a 9-yr.-old Palestinian boy, takes...

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  • December 17, 2004

    Overnight, the IDF launches Operation Orange Iron, sending tanks, bulldozers into Khan Yunis in further response to 12/16 mortar fire, shelling and firing missiles fr. helicopters at residential...

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  • November 18, 2004

    IDF fatally shoots 3 Egyptian border policemen on the Egyptian side of the Rafah border whom they assumed were armed Palestinians attempting to plant a bomb or infiltrate the border; Israeli PM...
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  • November 10, 2004

    At 9:30 P.M. EST (3:30 A.M. on 11/11 local time), Arafat dies in a Paris hospital. The PA declares a 40-day mourning period; immediately begins preparations to hold a state funeral in Cairo on 11/...

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  • November 4, 2004

    The Israeli security cabinet, IDF senior cmdrs., Fatah Central Comm., PLO Exec. Comm. hold emergency mtgs. to discuss Arafat’s failing health, after he reportedly slips into a “reversible coma.”...

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  • November 2, 2004

    U.S. Pres. George W. Bush narrowly wins reelection. (MM 11/2; HA, MM, NYT, WP, WT 11/3; VOP 11/3 in WNC 11/5; MM 11/4; Globes, HA, JAZ, JP, JT, MA, MENA, YA 11/4 in WNC 11/6; al-Safir 11/4, al-...

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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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  • September 11, 2004

    The IDF pulls troops out of n. Gaza, ending a 4-day operation that left 8 Palestinians dead, 100 wounded, 10,000s without electricity or water, 50 Palestinian homes demolished or severely damaged...

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  • September 1, 2004

    The IDF conducts a major 1-day incursion into Khan Yunis called Operation LongDistance Vision to “destroy the terrorist infrastructure” nr. Neve Dekalim, ordering 100s of Palestinians to flee...

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  • July 17, 2004

    The IDF raids Saida village nr. Tulkarm, killing local Hamas cmdr. Basil Abu Sha‘b, local AMB cmdr. Sahir Ajaj in what may be assassinations; fatally shoots a stonethrowing Palestinian in Balata r...

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  • July 9, 2004

    The IDF raids a section of Gaza City nr. Netzarim settlement, occupies an abandoned house, shells a house (causing extensive damage but no injuries), bulldozes 20 dunams of land. The IDF also...

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Egypt reopens the Rafah crossing as planned, permitting most Palestinians to cross freely for the first time in 4 yrs. (men ages 18–40 are the only group required to secure visas to enter Egypt). Unidentified Palestinians fire a homemade Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel for the 1st time since 4/18, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF bars Palestinian farmers fr. working their land nr. Bet Ayn settlement nr. Hebron; conducts late-night patrols in Bil‘in, sounding sirens and firing stun and flash grenades to intimidate residents; conducts late-night patrols without incident in Qalqilya; makes late-night arrest raids, house searches in ‘Aqabat Jabir r.c. nr. Jericho and Nur Shams r.c. nr. Tulkarm. The IDF also fires tear gas, stun grenades at Palestinian, Israeli, and international activists staging a nonviolent march through Iraq Burin village nr. Nablus to nearby Brakha settlement to protest the settlers’ seizure of village lands to expand the settlement; 3 internationals are arrested. (AFP 5/28; MNA, NYT, WP 5/29; PCHR 6/2; OCHA 6/3)

In Qatar, Abbas briefs Arab League FMs on the recent speeches by Obama and Netanyahu. The FMs agree to support the Palestinians’ UN statehood bid in absence of a viable alterative. Abbas then goes to Cairo to brief Egypt’s acting government. (REU, WAFA 5/28; MENA 5/30)

Egypt announces that as of 5/28 the Rafah crossing (closed since 1/29/11) will be open permanently, allowing Palestinians with passports to cross into Egypt from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. daily, except for Fridays and holidays. Several high-ranking Israeli officials (including the speaker of the Knesset) attend the dedication ceremony for an apartment complex in East Jerusalem’s Ras al-Amud neighborhood as Israel’s newest Jewish settlement, Ma’ale HaZeitim. Meanwhile, IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire warning shots at farmers who stray nr. the fence, forcing them to flee. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem, Hebron. (HA, IsRN, JTA, MENA 5/25; NYT, PCHR, WP, WT 5/26; PCHR 6/2; OCHA 6/3)

In the West Bank, IDF undercover units raid the Nablus homes of 3 AMB mbrs. (Nadir al-Sarkaji, Ghassan Abu Sharikh, and ‘Anan Sobeh) allegedly behind the fatal shooting of a settler on 12/24, killing all 3 and wounding 1 bystander. The deaths constitute assassinations, as the men could have been detained: 2 of them are called to surrender and are fatally shot as they leave their homes unarmed; in the 3d case, soldiers enter the home, and when the wanted man refuses to exit a closet and surrender, soldiers rig the closet door with explosives and detonate the charge, killing him. IDF soldiers surrounding the buildings fire tear gas to disperse stone-throwing Palestinian youths who confront them, hitting 2 (ages 12 and 19) with tear gas canisters, injuring them. PA PM Fayyad denounces the IDF’s failure to coordinate the raids with the Dayton-trained PASF units responsible for security in Nablus, which were in the process of conducting a police investigation of the 12/24 killing. IDF troops in the West Bank also conduct late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron, Nablus. (NYT, WP, WT 12/27; JPI 12/28; PCHR 12/30; OCHA 1/6)

Hamas officials in Lebanon confirm that 2 senior Hamas bodyguards and a 3d person (possibly a Hamas mbr.) were killed and 5 people wounded late on 12/26 in a large explosion at a Hamas office in the Dahiya neighborhood of s. Beirut (Hizballah’s stronghold). (HA 12/26; Associated Press, Wall Street Journal, WT, XIN 12/27; AFP, Kuwait News Agency, Middle East News Agency, MNA, YA 12/28; MNA, al-Nahar, al-Sharq al-Awsat 1/6)

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)

The U.S. and EU end their boycott on aid to and diplomatic contacts with Abbas’s PA, pledging to work with and support the emergency government. In Gaza, Hamas mbrs. on the Gaza side of the Erez crossing exchange fire with IDF soldiers on the Israeli side, trapping in the crossfire some 400 Palestinians hoping to leave Gaza, killing 1 Palestinian, wounding 11. Israel has allowed around 200 Fatah mbrs. to flee Gaza for the West Bank via Erez. Egypt reports that 344 Fatah security mbrs. have fled Gaza for Egypt; all will be repatriated to the West Bank. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Nablus, and nr. Hebron, Jenin; demolishes a Palestinian home in East Jerusalem. (AFP, MENA 6/18 in WNC 6/19; NYT, WP, WT 6/19; PCHR 6/21)

Clashes at Nahr al-Barid r.c. btwn. the Lebanese army, FI continue, with the army resuming shelling of the camp; at least 3 soldiers are reported killed. In ‘Ayn al-Hilwa r.c., 2 Jund al-Sham mbrs. are killed, 3 are injured when explosives they are handling detonate prematurely. (DS 6/19 in WNC 6/20; NYT, WP, WT 6/19)

The IDF expands military operations in Gaza, making at least 7 air strikes on Hamas, ESF, and PA General Intelligence targets in Gaza, targeting 4 suspected arms caches and 3 other sites (including PA Interior Min. offices in Rafah), injuring 16 Palestinians, damaging at least 25 Palestinian homes; sending tanks and bulldozers into the Strip to level agricultural land e. of Bayt Hanun; directing heavy machine gun fire at a rocket launching site in n. Gaza; conducting arrest raids in Khuza’a nr. Khan Yunis. Late in the evening, the IDF sends troops into Khan Yunis to conduct arrest raids and house searches. Palestinians fire 9 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, lightly wounding 2 Israelis. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Nablus, nr. Bethlehem, and in Hebron, Jericho, Jenin, Qalqilya. Jewish settlers vandalize Palestinian vehicles in East Jerusalem. A Hamas mbr. is fatally shot by suspected Fatah mbrs. in Khan Yunis. (OCHA, WP 5/23; PCHR 5/24; OCHA 5/30)

Heavy clashes btwn. the Lebanese army, FI at Nahr al-Barid r.c. continue for a 3d day. In Tripoli, a lone FI suicide bomber, still hiding from the police crackdown on 5/20, detonates a device when police close in on his location, killing only himself. Later in the afternoon, the Lebanese army halts its shelling of Nahr al-Barid r.c. in response to a shaky, undeclared cease-fire by FI, prompting some 10,000 Palestinians to flee. Palestinians in ‘Ayn al-Hilwa r.c. and Rashidiyya r.c. demonstrate against the army’s heavy shelling of Nahr al-Barid. (Independent, REU 5/22; DS, LBC, MENA, al-Sharq al-Awsat, al-Safir 5/22 in WNC 5/23; NYT, WP, WT 5/23)

Palestinian gunmen holding Shalit issue a statement demanding the release of all 113 Palestinian women and 318 children fr. Israeli jails in return for information on Shalit’s condition; Israel refuses, proceeds with plans to free Shalit itself, sending 3 additional armored battalions (more than 3,000 troops) to the Gaza border in warning. Egypt deploys 2,500 border guards along the Rafah border to prevent the kidnappers fr. trying to sneak Shalit into Egypt. Abbas, Haniyeh coordinate deployment of Abbas’s presidential guard, other PA security forces to conduct house-to-house searches to find Shalit. Haniyeh urges the gunmen to “respect [Shalit] as a prisoner” but does not call for his release; calls on all militant groups to maintain a cease-fire so as to avoid a massive Israeli retaliation. Egyptian envoys begin attempts to mediate Shalit’s release. Palestinians fire 2 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. During the day, the IDF also conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Bethlehem and Ramallah, and nr. Hebron, Jenin, Jerusalem, Qalqilya, Tulkarm; begins work on a new segment of the separation wall nr. Tene settlement s. of Hebron that will annex at least 100 d. of Palestinian land to the settlement. Jewish settlers fr. Suissa burn 10 tons of hay stored by local Palestinian farmers. Meanwhile, the Israeli High Court rules that the government and IDF cannot bar Palestinians farmers in the West Bank fr. reaching their lands on the grounds that it is protecting them fr. Jewish settlers; must prevent settlers from harming Palestinian land, property, persons. (HA, IMEMC, MM, XIN 6/26; MENA, OSC, VOI 6/26 in WNC 6/27; HA, NYT, WP, WT 6/27; VOP 6/27 in WNC 6/28; PCHR 6/29)

Before dawn, 8 Palestinian gunmen dressed in IDF uniforms sneak across the s. Gaza border into Israel using a tunnel, attack an IDF border post nr. Kerem Shalom with grenades, rifles, antitank rockets, killing 2 IDF soldiers, wounding 4, capturing 1 (IDF soldier Cpl. Gilad Shalit, apparently wounded in the exchange) in what they call Operation Dispel Illusion; 2 Palestinian gunmen are killed by retaliatory fire; the IDF sends tanks, bulldozers a half-mile inside Gaza to search for the captured soldier, the tunnel; several groups including Hamas’s Izzeddin al-Qassam Brigades, the PRCs, and a previously unknown group, the Army of Islam, jointly claim the attack as retaliation for the IDF’s 6/8 Abu Samhadana assassination; Abbas, some Hamas political leaders call for the captured IDF soldier’s immediate release. In response, Israel shuts all crossings into Gaza (including forcing the closing of the Rafah crossing by barring EU monitors fr. entering Gaza through Kerem Shalom, leaving as many as 3,000 Palestinians stranded on the border inside Egypt, and some 400 medical patients awaiting treatment abroad stranded on the Gaza side); shuts off fuel supplies to Gaza; bars Palestinian fishermen fr. going out to sea; tightens restrictions on Palestinian movement at checkpoints and roadblocks across the West Bank. During the day, the IDF also conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Nablus (firing on a clearly marked al-Jazeera TV vehicle, causing damage but no injuries), and nr. Hebron, Jenin (firing on stone-throwing youths who confront the troops, wounding 2), Qalqilya. (AFP, HA, IFM, YA 6/25; MENA, OSC, VOI 6/25 in WNC 6/26; AFP, AP, CSM, JP, MM, NYT, WP, WT, YA 6/26; WT 6/27; NYT, OCHA 6/28; PCHR 6/29; NYT 7/8)

In Gaza, the IDF makes 2 air strikes on Islamic Jihad mbrs. driving in Khan Yunis, missing the car, hitting the street and a house, killing 2 Palestinian bystanders, including a pregnant woman, and wounding 15 bystanders; prevents EU monitors fr. reaching the Rafah crossing, forcing it to close for the day; closes the Sufa and Kerem Shalom crossings for the day, citing security threats; detains 2 unarmed Palestinians attempting to sneak across the Gaza border into Israel to find work; fires on 2 Palestinians swimming off the Gaza coast nr. the Egyptian border, suspected of smuggling, wounding 1. Palestinians fire 2 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Dura (firing on residential areas, then firing live ammunition at stone-throwing youths who confront them, causing no injuries), Nablus (firing rubber bullets at stone-throwing youths, wounding 12); conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Nablus, nr. Hebron, and in Bethlehem and Jalazun r.c. nr. Ramallah. In Gaza City, a bomb goes off in a car driven by a mbr. of the Fatah-dominated PSF, injuring the 3 people in the car; no group claims responsibility. Unidentified gunmen shoot, wound 2 Fatah mbrs. in Khan Yunis. (OCHA 6/21; ITV, MENA, VOI, YA 6/21 in WNC 6/22; HA, MM, PCHR, WP, WT 6/22; VOI, YA 6/22 in WNC 6 /23; HA 6/24; OCHA 6/28; PCHR 6/29)

The IDF fatally shoots 2 Egyptian border guards who cross the Israeli border into the Negev, while a 3d Egyptian escapes; Israel claims that the men intentionally crossed the border and fired on IDF troops in a predawn raid; Egypt claims the men accidentally strayed across the border and the IDF fired first. The IDF also patrols in the Old City of Nablus, surrounding r.c.s; conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Hebron and nr. Jenin, Ramallah. (HA, MM 6/2; NYT, WP 6/3; MENA 6/3 in WNC 6/4; PCHR 6/8)

Early in the morning, the British and U.S. monitors guarding 6 political prisoners in the PA’s Jericho jail pull out of the city, citing security concerns. Within 20 minutes, the IDF encircles and imposes a curfew on Jericho, sends 80 tanks and armored vehicles, backed by helicopters, into the city, launching Operation Bring the Goods Home to take custody of the 6 prisoners (including PFLP head Ahmad Saadat). IDF troops surround the jail, order the 280 prisoners and PA guards to surrender, begin demolishing the jail and attached PA barracks, clashing with some prisoners, guards, and local Palestinians. (Although the U.S., Britain deny coordinating with Israel, Israeli DM Shaul Mofaz says Israel knew of the monitors pending departure and had been plotting the attack for 1 wk.). After 12 hrs., the remaining prisoners, including the 6 targeted men, surrender. At least 1 PA prison guard and 1 Palestinian prisoner are killed, more than 50 guards and prisoners are wounded, 10s of local Palestinians are injured. In response to the raid, Palestinian gunmen across Gaza and the West Bank (reportedly PFLP and AMB mbrs.) raid hotels, news outlets, and foreign offices, kidnapping at least 9 foreigners, vandalizing foreign-owned offices. Most foreigners kidnapped are quickly released. PA police fire on PFLP mbrs. breaking into the French Cultural Center in Gaza, killing 1 PFLP mbr., wounding 9. Some 15,000 Palestinians demonstrate in Gaza City. As a result of the violence, the UN suspends operations in Gaza; the EU withdraws observers from the Rafah crossing, forcing it to close. Meanwhile, the IDF also closes the Qarni crossing; bars a pregnant Palestinian woman fr. crossing a checkpoint to reach a Ramallah hospital, forcing her to give birth at the checkpoint; conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Bethlehem, nr. Hebron and Qalqilya, and in ‘Aida r.c., Jenin town and r.c., Qabatya; begins work on a new segment of the separation wall nr. Dahiyat al-Barid n. of Jerusalem. Israel releases jailed Change and Reform PC mbr. Omar ‘Abd al-Raziq on bail; he was detained 3 mos. ago on charges of belonging to and handling money for Hamas. Jewish settlers fr. Kiryat Arba hold Purim parades through Palestinian areas of Hebron under IDF escort, vandalizing Palestinian property and beating 2 Palestinian children (ages 11, 13). (AP, BBC, HA, IMEMC, JAZ, MM, PCHR, REU, XIN 3/14; HA, IMEMC, JAZ, MM, NYT, WP, WT, YA 3/15; DS, MM, NYT, PCHR 3/16; MA, Middle East News Agency, MM, VOP 3/18 in WNC 3/19; AP 3/20; MM 3/21, 3/23; HA 4/26; NYT 4/27)

The IDF fires 3 missiles at a car in Dayr al-Balah, but the targets of the apparent assassination escape unharmed; fires live ammunition at stone-throwing Palestinians nr. Qalqilya, wounding 4; fires on residential areas nr. Hebron, wounding 2 Palestinian boys (ages 14 and 15); conducts arrest raids, house searches in Dura (occupying 1 Palestinian home as an observation post) and Nablus, in and around Jenin (seriously wounding a local Islamic Jihad cmdr.). Jewish settlers fr. Ramat Yishai vandalize Palestinian homes, attack Palestinians in Hebron. A Palestinian is killed, 1 is wounded in a tunnel under the Rafah border apparently when Egypt takes measures to collapse it. Egyptian military attache Hussam al-Musali (kidnapped on 2/9) is released in Gaza City; a previously unknown group named Brigades of the Free (thought to be connected to the AMB) claims responsibility. (HA, IMEMC, WP, WT XN 2/11; NYT 2/12; Middle East News Agency 2/12 in WNC 12/13; PCHR 2/16)

The IDF raids Yamun nr. Jenin, surrounds the house of wanted Islamic Jihad mbrs. Zahir and Warad Abahra (uncle and nephew), begins to bulldoze the house when they do not surrender, sparking an exchange of gunfire that leaves both men dead; also conducts arrest raids, bulldozes part of a 2d Palestinian home, uproots 10s of olive trees elsewhere in Yamun; razes the remains of a Byzantine church nr. Dayr al-Balah, known for its mosaic floors dating to 586 A.D.; fires on residential areas of Dura nr. Hebron; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Tulkarm, around Hebron; sends undercover units to arrest a wanted Palestinian in Bethlehem; bulldozes Palestinian agricultural land in Shufa nr. Tulkarm to widen the buffer zone around Avni Hefetz and Einav settlements; issues military orders confiscating 15 d. of land nr. Qalqilya for the construction of new settler bypass roads. 1,000s of Israeli disengagement protesters demonstrate in s. Israel for a 2d day. A Palestinian teenager stabs, lightly injures an Israeli in Jerusalem. Hamas fires 7 Qassam rockets, 19 mortars at Gush Katif and Neve Dekalim, injuring a foreign worker, damaging a house. Jewish settlers fr. Karnei Shomron throw stones at Palestinian cars on the Nablus–Qalqilya road, damaging 1 bus. PA security forces make a predawn raid on a Hamas educational center in Jabaliya r.c., seize computers and documents, while armed AMB mbrs. working with them torch 2 of the offices and 2 cars. (Senior Fatah, AMB officials say that in recent days, Abbas asked the AMB to help fight Hamas and ensure calm in Gaza in advance of disengagement, but that this is not official PA policy.) Hamas mbrs. attack the security forces and AMB mbrs., resulting in heavy clashes that leave 13 people wounded. In reaction, 100s of Palestinians demonstrate outside the PC offices in Ramallah to call for national unity and an end to the security chaos. Late in the evening, the Egyptian delegation secures agmt. of Fatah, Hamas to withdraw all armed forces fr. the streets of n. Gaza. 5 PA intelligence officers raid the al-Quds University forensics lab, the only forensics lab in the West Bank, rummage through and tamper with evidence in several murder, malpractice investigations; 100s of students mass to protect the lab, scuffle with plainclothes intelligence officers; the PA Justice Min. opens an investigation. (AFP, AP, IMEMC, XIN 7/19; MENA, VOI, VOP, YA 7/19 in WNC 7/20; HA, NYT, OCHA, PR, PRCS, REU, WAFA, WP, WT, XIN 7/20; VOP 7/20 in WNC 7/21; PCHR 7/21)

Citing retaliation for the death of an Israeli woman on 7/14, the IDF launches overnight missile strikes on 4 sites in Gaza: a Hamas cultural center in n. Gaza, 2 sites Palestinians have used to launch rockets in s. Gaza, and a metal workshop (alleged weapons factory) in central Gaza; at least 2 Palestinians are injured. Later in the day, an IDF drone fires a missile at a car driving in Gaza City, assassinating 4 Hamas mbrs. (Sabir Abu Assi, ‘Assim Abu Ras, Amjad Arafat, ‘Adil Haniyeh), wounding more than 12 bystanders; an IDF helicopter and ground troops fire 3 missiles at a car driving in Salfit, assassinating 3 wanted Hamas mbrs. (Muhammad Ayyash, Samir Dawahqa, Muhammad Mar’ai); an IDF helicopter fires at 3 Palestinians firing mortars at Gush Katif, injuring them. In clashes in Salfit after the assassinations, the IDF fatally shoots a stone-throwing Palestinian teenager. The Israeli strikes mark the definitive end of the 2/8 cease-fire; Hamas announces that it is considering massive retaliation. Israel blames Abbas for failing to crack down on militant groups. The IDF also continues operations in and around Tulkarm; conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem, Hebron, Jenin, Nablus. Overnight, PA police searching for Hamas gunmen clash again with Hamas mbrs., this time in Gaza City, leaving 2 Palestinian children dead; during the clash, Hamas mbrs. destroy a PA armored personnel carrier with rocket-propelled grenades, burn a police station and a PA office building; Hamas, Fatah quickly convene an emergency mtg. to defuse tensions. Palestinians fire a barrage of at least 19 rockets and 10s of mortars at Neve Dekalim, lightly injuring 2 settlers, damaging 5 houses; 1 shell hits an industrial zone in the Negev, sparking a fire. A Jewish settler seriously injures a Palestinian teenager in a hit-and-run incident in Hebron. Jewish settlers fr. Ramat Yishai throw stones, bottles at Palestinian homes in Hebron and at a Palestinian teenager, lightly injuring him. An Israeli court sentences an East Jerusalem Palestinian to 5 mos. in jail for joining Force 17 in 2000, calling it a “severe crime”; says at least 80 “Jerusalem Arabs” have been indicted on similar charges since 9/00. (IMEMC, JTA, NYT, UNIS, WP, YA 7/15; VOI 7/15 in WNC 7/15; Interfax, ITARTASS, JP, MENA, VOI, VOP, XIN 7/15 in WNC 7/16; HA, IMEMC, NYT, PRCS, REU, WP, WT, YA 7/16; VOP 7/16 in WNC 7/17; HA 7/17; OCHA, PR 7/20; PCHR 7/21)

After further talks btwn. Israeli, PA officials, the IDF turns over security control of Tulkarm, pledges not to target wanted Palestinians fr. Tulkarm. The IDF closes checkpoints into East Jerusalem for several hrs; lifts the curfew on Allar, imposed on 3/18; demolishes a Palestinian home in Bayt Hanina; fires on residential areas of Burqa nr. Nablus, occupies a Palestinian home as an observation post; raids, searches the Youth Development Society in Husan nr. Bethlehem, temporarily detains 4 board mbrs.; bulldozes 2 d. of Waqf land nr. Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem to build a parking lot for busses transporting Jewish worshipers to the site; bulldozes 4 d. of agricultural land e. of Hebron to establish a new military post; uproots 16 olive trees w. of Ramallah for construction of the separation wall, turns the trees over to local Palestinians for replanting. (JP 3/21; NYT, WP, WT 3/22; OCHA, PR, WP 3/23; PCHR 3/24)

Israeli PM Ariel Sharon approves the construction of 3,500 new housing units in Ma’ale Adumim to link the Jewish settlement to East Jerusalem; claims the building would not violate the road map because the construction was approved in principle in 1999 and the project is of “strategic importance” to Israel. The PA protests. The U.S. State Dept. refuses to comment. (AP, BBC, REU 3/21; VOP 3/21 in WNC 3/28; JP, MENA, NYT, WP, WT 3/22; CSM, PR 3/23; MM 3/29; MEI 4/1)

The IDF fires on residential areas of Rafah; conducts arrest raids, house searches in al-Simba nr. Hebron; arrests 6 Islamic Jihad mbrs. in Jenin in connection with the 2/25 Tel Aviv bombing; raids, ransacks the home of a PA police officer in Qalqilya, arrests him and 3 other Palestinians without explanation. Separately, Shin Bet announces it has captured a PA policeman wanted in connection with the lynching of 2 IDF reservists in Ramallah in 10/00. Armed Jewish settlers fr. Keddumim nr. Qalqilya bar Palestinian farmers fr. working their fields near the settlement. Jewish settlers fr. Ramat Yishai in Hebron attack Palestinian property in Tal Rumayda, causing damage but no injuries. Jewish settlers fr. Kiryat Arba threaten Palestinians in Wadi al-Nasara neighborhood, block Palestinians from moving on the road that leads to the Ibrahimi Mosque/Tomb of the Patriarchs. (VOI 3/8; VOP 3/8 in WNC 3/9; HA 3/9; PCHR 3/10; OCHA 3/16; PCHR 3/17)

Syria begins redeploying its troops in Lebanon to the Biqa‘ Valley in preparation for the withdrawal of all 14,000 soldiers and 1,000 intelligence officers. The move comes under international pressure on Syria to comply with UN Res. 1559 in the wake of the 2/14 assassination of fmr. Lebanese PM Rafiq Hariri. (JAZ, MM, NYT, WP, WT 3/8; AFP, DUS, JAZ, MENA 3/8, JAZ 3/9 in WNC 3/9; MM 3/9; JAZ, MM 3/10; MEI 3/18, 4/1)

Israeli security officials say they now believe that a renegade Islamic Jihad cell fr. Jenin, commanded fr. outside the territories, was responsible for the 2/25 bombing. IDF severely beats a Palestinian at a checkpoint nr. Hebron; demolishes 10 shops built without permits in Bardala, ‘Ayn al-Bayda; blows up a workshop in al-Yamun nr. Jenin that it claimed was a Hamas weapons factory; issues military orders for the demolition of 1 Palestinian home, 3 wells in Wadi Fukin nr. Bethlehem; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Nablus, nr. Tulkarm. Jewish settlers fr. Ma’ale Shomron nr. Qalqilya beat a Palestinian. PA Interior M Nasr Yusuf takes part in a ceremony in Jenin r.c., marking the opening of a new security headquarters there; al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade (AMB) mbrs. fire in the air to protest that the PA security services did not coordinate Yusuf’s visit with them; Yusuf, local AMB head Zakariyya Zubaydi meet at the Jenin headquarters to discuss the issue, with Yusuf saying such incidents would not be tolerated. The PA says it has arrested a total of 6 Palestinians in connection with the 2/25 Tel Aviv bombing. (MM, VOI, VOP 3/1; PR 3/2; JAZ, VOP 3/2 in WNC 3/3; PCHR 3/3; NYT 3/6)

British PM Tony Blair hosts a 1-day conference aimed at encouraging and supporting PA reform, strengthening PA governance in advance of Israel’s disengagement fr. Gaza in mid-7/05. The U.S., EU, and World Bank agree to lead an international effort to coordinate “institutional renewal” in the Palestinian territories. (AFP, AP, BBC, MM 3/1, ITAR-TASS, JAZ, MENA, VOP 3/1; Independent, MM, NYT, PR, WP, WT 3/2; DUS, ITAR-TASS, JP, MENA, al-Quds al-Arabi, VOI, VOP 3/2 in WNC 3/3; HA, MM, WJW 3/3; HJ, VOP 3/6 in WNC 3/7; MM 3/9; JPI 3/11; see also WP 2/26)

According to the U.S. State Dept.’s annual report on human rights, the Palestinian population of Israel and the occupied territories has reached 5.3 m., for the first time exceeding the Israeli Jewish population of 5.2 m. (Electronic Intifada 3/1)

The IDF fatally shoots 2 Palestinians allegedly planting a roadside bomb in n. Gaza; demolishes a 3-story Palestinian building, severely damages 7 Palestinian homes and 10 shops in Nablus; fires live ammunition, tear gas on a group of Palestinians who approach the closed Abu Huli checkpoint holding white flags and seeking special permission to pass, leaving 3 Palestinians seriously wounded; fires on residential areas of Dayr al-Balah, Rafah; finds a smugglers’ tunnel in Rafah; conducts arrest raids nr. Tulkarm. Hamas mbrs. fire on an IDF patrol near the n. Gaza border, wounding 3 soldiers. Palestinians fire a mortar at a Jewish settlement in s. Gaza, causing no damage or injuries; detonate a roadside bomb underneath an IDF bulldozer, causing damage but no injuries. An ailing Palestinian stranded on the Egyptian side of the Rafah crossing dies, reportedly bringing to 6 the number of Palestinians who have died at the crossing since it was sealed by Israel on 12/12. (AP, UPI, XIN 1/19; VOI, VOP 1/19 in WNC 1/20; NYT, PR 1/20; VOP 1/20 in WNC 1/21; PCHR 1/27)

Abbas meets with his Gaza security cmdrs. and advisers, orders PA security forces to deploy along the Gaza borders within 2 days to prevent rocket fire into Israel. (A PA security official speaking on condition of anonymity expresses concern that the security force may not have enough manpower to take adequate action.) Abbas also meets with Islamic Jihad leaders, who agree to continue discussions on a cease-fire. (AP, JTA, UPI 1/19; JAZ, Jordan Times, MENA, al-Quds, VOP 1/19 in WNC 1/20; FT, NYT, PR, WP, WT 1/20; VOI 1/20 in WNC 1/21; see also JTA 1/14)

Sharon convenes his security cabinet to discuss possible military action in Gaza, approves plans for a “large-scale invasion” of northern Gaza if Abbas does not bring Palestinian violence under control quickly. In light of Abbas’s efforts, the security cabinet unanimously agrees to allow Israel to resume security contacts with the PA. Israeli, PA security officials immediately meet to discuss Abbas’s plan to deploy security forces along the Gaza-Israel border. (AP 1/19; VOI 1/19 in WNC 1/20; HA 1/20; NYT, WP, WT 1/20)

The IDF confiscates 352 d. in northwest Jerusalem for construction of the separation wall; fires nr.aPalestinian polling station in Khan Yunis; obstructs Palestinian movement in al-Mawasi; fires on 3 Palestinians attempting to infiltrate Gaza fr. Egypt, wounding and detaining all 3. Palestinians fire 3 Qassam rockets at the western Negev, causing no damage or injuries. (JAZ 1/9; VOI 1/10 in WNC 1/12; OCHA 1/19)

After a robust campaign period, PA presidential elections are held. Abbas wins with 62% of the vote. Hamas, Islamic Jihad do not participate. (HA, NYT, WP 1/9; HA, Interfax, ITAR-TASS, JAZ, MENA, Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation TV, PSCT, al-Quds, al-Ra’i, VOI, VOP, XIN, YA 1/9 in WNC 1/11; JAZ 1/9, AFP, AP, ATL, HA, Interfax, ITAR-TASS, JAZ, MENA, PSCT, VOI, VOP, XIN, YA 1/10 in WNC 1/12; HA, MM, National Democratic Institute press release, NYT, WP, WT 1/10; VOP 1/10, AYM, HJ, JP 1/12 in WNC 1/15; CSM, MM, NYT, WP, WT 1/11; VOP 1/11 in WNC 1/13; PR 1/12; HJ 1/12 in WNC 1/14; MEI 1/21)

The IDF continues operations in Khan Yunis until midday, killing another 2 Palestinian resistance mbrs., wounding around 23; sends troops into Bethlehem, arrests a 9-yr.-old Palestinian boy, takes him to Gilo checkpoint at the entrance to town, where troops question him for 4 hrs. before releasing him, leaving him to walk home; tightens Palestinian movement around Nablus; fires on residential areas of Rafah, injuring a 4-yr.-old and a 16-yr.-old Palestinian inside their homes; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Qalqilya. Palestinians fire 3 Qassam rockets toward Sederot, 2 land inside Israel and 1 in n. Gaza, causing no damage or injuries. A Palestinian dies of injuries received in Jabaliya r.c. on 10/1/04. (MENA, VOP 12/18 in WNC 12/21; WP, WT 12/19; CSM, PM 12/20; PCHR 12/23)

Overnight, the IDF launches Operation Orange Iron, sending tanks, bulldozers into Khan Yunis in further response to 12/16 mortar fire, shelling and firing missiles fr. helicopters at residential areas, clashing with local Palestinians, leaving a total of 9 Palestinians dead (5 armed Palestinians, 4 civilians), at least 30 Palestinians (mostly civilians, including 1 ambulance driver trying to evacuate the wounded) and 1 IDF soldier wounded, also leveling 39 Palestinian homes allegedly used as cover for mortar fire; 100s of Palestinians flee the fighting, many taking refuge in a nearby hospital, stadium; the IDF says it will stay in Khan Yunis “indefinitely.” In response, Palestinians fire 2 Qassam rockets into the Negev, causing no damage or injures. A smugglers’ tunnel collapses in Rafah after days of rain, trapping and killing at least 5 Palestinians;6are rescued. The IDF also demolishes 1 Palestinian home, 15 shops in Rafah that allegedly provided cover for mortar fire; shells, destroys 2 workshops (alleged weapons factories) in Gaza City; conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron, in Qalqilya; issues military orders confiscating “large areas” of Palestinian land in Far‘un s. of Tulkarm and Jayyus northeast of Qalqilya, as well as 50 d. in Nuba southwest of Tulkarm for construction of the separation wall. (BBC, HA, WT 12/17; MENA, VOI, VOP 12/17 in WNC 12/21; JAZ, NYT, WT 12/18; PM 12/20; PCHR 12/23)

IDF fatally shoots 3 Egyptian border policemen on the Egyptian side of the Rafah border whom they assumed were armed Palestinians attempting to plant a bomb or infiltrate the border; Israeli PM Ariel Sharon immediately phones Egyptian pres. Husni Mubarak, issues a public
statement apologizing for the “tragic” accident, vows an investigation. Nonetheless, Egypt postpones to early 12/04 a visit to Israel by Egyptian envoy Omar Sulayman, FM Ahmad Abu al-Ghayt that was set to begin on 11/24. The IDF raids a Birzeit University dorm, detains 4 students, orders them to collect their belongings, handcuffs and blindfolds them, places them in military detention. The IDF also releases Hamas political leader Hassan Yusuf, who has been held in administrative detention for 2 yrs.; Yusuf—a Ramallah resident and one of the 400 Hamas mbrs. deported by Israel to Lebanon in 1990, became Hamas’s senior West Bank political leader in 8/01 andwas arrested during Operation Defensive Shield in 4/02—advocates Hamas participation in all levels of Palestinian elections and is seen as a leading moderate in the movement. An IDF sniper shoots, seriously wounds wanted Hamas mbr. Ghanim al-Hashash as he leaves a Rafah mosque in an apparent attempted assassination. The IDF rescues, arrests 5 Palestinians trapped in a collapsed smuggler’s tunnel on the Rafah-Egypt border; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Bayt Iqsa e. of Jerusalem, Duha nr. Bethlehem, Yatta; fires on residential areas in and nr. Nablus, Rafah. Armed Jewish settlers fr. Dotem settlement ambush, stone Palestinian cars in nearby Tubas. (AP, BBC, MM 11/18; HA, MENA, VOI, VOP 11/18 in WNC 11/20; MM, NYT, WP, WT 11/19; VOI 11/19 in WNC 12/4; HA 11/21; CSM 11/22; PR 11/24; PCHR 11/25; PR 12/22)

At 9:30 P.M. EST (3:30 A.M. on 11/11 local time), Arafat dies in a Paris hospital. The PA declares a 40-day mourning period; immediately begins preparations to hold a state funeral in Cairo on 11/12, followed by his “temporary” burial in his Ramallah compound (the Muqata) later in the day. Earlier this afternoon, in anticipation of Arafat’s passing, the PLO Exec. Comm., the PA national security council, Fatah Central Comm., senior PC mbrs. meet in Ramallah to discuss leadership transitions, intentions to hold elections within 60 days of Arafat’s death, in keeping with the unratified Basic Law. (MM 11/10; AFP, JAZ, MENA, VOP 11/10 in WNC 11/12; BBC, CSM, HA, JAZ, MM, NYT, WP, WT 11/11; AFP, ATL, DS, Interfax, IRNA, ITAR-TASS, JAZ, JT, MENA, VOI, VOP, XIN 11/11 in WNC 11/13; NYT, WP 11/12; PCHR 11/18; JPI 11/19)

The IDF reinforces troops around, further restricts Palestinian access to East Jerusalem; raids, kills 2 Palestinian gunmen in an exchange of fire nr. Bayt Hanun; fatally shoots a Palestinian swimming in a prohibited zone off the coast of Gaza; bulldozes 50 d. nr. Khan Yunis. Palestinians fire 3 mortars at Neve Dekalim, causing no damage or injuries. (HA, VOI, VOP 11/10 in WNC 11/12; PRCS, WP 11/11)

The Israeli security cabinet, IDF senior cmdrs., Fatah Central Comm., PLO Exec. Comm. hold emergency mtgs. to discuss Arafat’s failing health, after he reportedly slips into a “reversible coma.” The PLO Exec. Comm. grants PA PM Ahmad Qurai‘ temporary responsibility for urgent matters involving the PA security services and finances. Hamas calls for formation of a collective leadership, in which it would participate, to rule until elections are held. The IDF places troops in the West Bank and Gaza on alert, fearing an upswing in violence if Arafat dies; the PA does the same with its security forces. The IDF also demolishes 4 Palestinian homes in Rafah; fires on residential areas of al-Brazil r.c.; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Nablus, nr Hebron. (AFP, BBC, HA, REU, WP, XIN 11/4; AFP, JAZ, MENA, VOI, VOP, XIN 11/4 in WNC 11/6; BBC, CSM, HA, MM, NYT, WP, WT 11/5; VOP, XIN 11/5 in WNC 11/9; PRCS 11/11)

U.S. Pres. George W. Bush narrowly wins reelection. (MM 11/2; HA, MM, NYT, WP, WT 11/3; VOP 11/3 in WNC 11/5; MM 11/4; Globes, HA, JAZ, JP, JT, MA, MENA, YA 11/4 in WNC 11/6; al-Safir 11/4, al-Dustur, MNR, al-Ra’i 11/5, al-Dustur 11/6 in WNC 11/9; SA 11/6 in WNC 11/10; MM 11/5; HA 11/9; JPI 11/12)

The IDF blows up 3 Palestinian homes in and nr. Askar r.c. belonging to the family of the 11/1 suicide bomber, 2 senior PFLP mbrs.; raids a clinic in Nablus, searches ambulances, interrogates paramedics; conducts arrest raids and house searches, bulldozes 50 d., demolishes 2 poultry farms and several wells nr. Kefar Darom. AMB mbr. Fadi Qaffisha dies of injuries received in the IDF assassination of Mari on 11/1. Palestinians fire several mortars at Neve Dekalim, causing no damage or injuries. A Jewish settler injures a 7-yr.-old Palestinian girl in a hit-andrun incident nr. Hawara south of Nablus. (PRCS 11/2; VOI 11/2 in WNC 11/4; NYT, WP 11/3; VOI 11/3 in WNC 11/5; PCHR, WJW 11/4)

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)

The IDF pulls troops out of n. Gaza, ending a 4-day operation that left 8 Palestinians dead, 100 wounded, 10,000s without electricity or water, 50 Palestinian homes demolished or severely damaged. The IDF further restricts Palestinian movement in the n. Jordan Valley; imposes curfews on Asira and Qussin nr. Nablus; fires on residential areas of Tulkarm r.c. and town; conducts arrest raids, house searches in al-Duha nr. Bethlehem, Hebron, Iktaba nr. Tulkarm, Silwad; detains a Palestinian paramedic at a checkpoint outside Tulkarm for several hrs. Palestinians fire 2 mortars at Netzarim settlement in s. Gaza, damaging 1 house, lightly injuring 2 soldiers. A Palestinian dies of injuries received earlier. (HA, JP, MENA 9/11 in WNC 9/14; WP 9/12; PRCS 9/13; PR 9/15; PCHR 9/16)

The IDF conducts a major 1-day incursion into Khan Yunis called Operation LongDistance Vision to “destroy the terrorist infrastructure” nr. Neve Dekalim, ordering 100s of Palestinians to flee their homes and evacuate the area, firing missiles fr. helicopters (wounding at least 6 Palestinians and damaging a hospital), blowing up 2 vacant 5-story apartment buildings and 1 Palestinian home (wounding at least 10 Palestinians, rendering homeless at least 141). Citing security reasons, the IDF bars UNRWA head Peter Hansen fr. leaving Gaza through the Erez crossing; UNRWA condemns the incident as “unprecedented.” The IDF also imposes a curfew on Hebron; searches houses nr. Bethlehem, Ramallah. (MENA 9/1 in WNC 9/3; PCHR, WP 9/2; VOI 9/2 in WNC 9/4; VOP 9/5 in WNC 9/7; PR 9/8)

The IDF raids Saida village nr. Tulkarm, killing local Hamas cmdr. Basil Abu Sha‘b, local AMB cmdr. Sahir Ajaj in what may be assassinations; fatally shoots a stonethrowing Palestinian in Balata r.c.; fires on residential areas of Dayr al-Balah, Rafah. Suspected Fatah gunmen fr. Nablus fire on a jeep outside ‘Ayn Bayt al-Ma’ r.c. thought mistakenly to be driven by rival Fatah mbrs., injuring 2 Palestinians. Armed PFLP mbrs. exchange fire with armed PA intelligence and Force 17 officers guarding a Palestinian collaborator (responsible for the deaths of 2 PFLP cmdrs. in and IDF raid on 7/6) being held in the Nablus governate office; no injuries are reported. (PR 7/21; PCHR, PM 7/22; HA 7/23)

In light of the 7/16 kidnappings, Arafat declares a state of emergency in Gaza; issues a decree for a “temporary restructuring” of the security forces into 3 branches: public security, with his distant cousin Musa Arafat as its new head; police, with Arafat loyalist Saeb Ajiz as its new head; general intelligence, with Amin al-Hindi, a loyalist increasingly critical of Arafat, maintaining leadership of the dept. Soon after, 1,000s of armed, masked Palestinians gather outside the PC headquarters in Gaza to protest the appointment of Musa Arafat, whom they say is corrupt, as cronyism. Qurai‘ resigns, citing the lack of true reform; Arafat rejects his resignation. (NYT, WP, XIN 7/17; MENA, PSCT, VOI, VOP 7/17, AYM, HA, MA, XIN, YA 7/18, JP 7/19 in WNC 7/21; AYM 7/18, JP 7/20 in WNC 7/22; al-Quds 7/18; DUS 7/19 in WNC 7/23; NYT, WP, WT 7/18; MM 7/19; HA, MM 7/20; PR 7/21; WP 7/22; MEI 7/23; AYM 8/6 in WNC 8/10)

The IDF raids a section of Gaza City nr. Netzarim settlement, occupies an abandoned house, shells a house (causing extensive damage but no injuries), bulldozes 20 dunams of land. The IDF also bulldozes 4 Palestinian homes, 2 “animal farms,” 45 dunams of land, an irrigation network in Khan Yunis; razes 10s of dunams of citrus trees nr. Bayt Lahia; conducts house searches, arrest raids in Jenin r.c., Qalqilya. A Palestinian fires on, tosses a grenade at an IDF post nr. Bayt Hanun (causing damage but no injuries), escapes. (VOI 7/9 in WNC 7/13; PCHR 7/15).

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) issues its nonbinding opinion on the separation wall, ruling (14-1, with only American judge Thomas Buerghenthal dissenting) that segments built on occupied Palestinian territory violate international law and should be removed or not built. (HA, JT, WP, WT 7/9; AYM, Interfax, ITAR-TASS, VOP 7/9, AN, DUS, HJ, MENA, al-Quds, al-Ra’i, VOP, XIN 7/10 in WNC 7/13; NYT, WP, WT 7/10; AYM 7/11, 7/13 in WNC 7/16; HJ 7/11, AN, JT, SA, VOP 7/12 in WNC 7/14; JTA, MM 7/12; Asia Times, MA, MM 7/13; al-Quds 7/13 in WNC 7/15; al-Ra’i 7/13 in WNC 7/21; PR 7/14; MEI 7/23)