A Palestinian teenager shot in Silwan on 5/13 dies of his wounds. Clashes erupt after the boy’s funeral later in the day, with Israeli police firing rubber-coated steel bullets at angry mourners,...
In retaliation for a 4/1 air strike that killed 3 senior Hamas mbrs., Hamas militants fire an advanced Russian-made laser-guided Kornet antitank missile fr. Gaza into Israel, hitting a school bus...Read more
Palestinians in Gaza fire an antitank missile at an IDF patrol inside Israel, causing no damage or injuries. During the day, Palestinians also fire 10 mortars toward Israel in 2 barrages, causing...Read more
In the West Bank, the IDF raids and searches Palestinian villages around Itamar settlement, particularly in Awarta village, in search for the killers of 5 settlers found murdered on 3/11,...Read more
An anonymous Israeli official says that Israel has been discussing with the U.S. a unilateral “phased approach to reaching a final status accord” in absence of negotiations with the Palestinians....Read more
Ireland upgrades the status of the Palestinian representation in Dublin from a “delegation” to a “mission” and grants the mission head ambassador status. It does not recognize Palestine as a state...Read more
IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire warning shots at Palestinians scavenging for construction materials, wounding 1. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in...Read more
After midnight meeting with F.M. Aziz in Moscow, Soviet leaders announce Baghdad has given "positive" response to Soviet peace plan; U.S. delays formal response until consultation with allies [NYT...Read more
Bush admin. decides to expand the number of U.S. forces in Gulf and may send as many as 100,000 more troops in addition to the planned deployment of 240,000 [NYT, LAT, WP, WT 10/26].
A Palestinian teenager shot in Silwan on 5/13 dies of his wounds. Clashes erupt after the boy’s funeral later in the day, with Israeli police firing rubber-coated steel bullets at angry mourners, injuring 2. For a 2d day, numerous clashes are reported, particularly around East Jerusalem, as Palestinians demonstrate in commemoration of the Nakba, but no serious injuries are reported. Jewish settlers fr. Gilad settlement nr. Qalqilya beat and stone 3 Palestinian farmers working their land nearby. (WP 5/15; PCHR 5/19; OCHA 5/20)
In Syria, troops raid Tal Kalakh village nr. the border with Lebanon before dawn, sending 100s of Syrians fleeing into Lebanon for safety. Clashes continue through 5/15. Lebanese officials estimate that some 5,000 Syrian families have sought refuge in Lebanon since the clashes began. As the quarter comes to a close, Syrian forces continue to violently suppress protests scattered nationwide. Human rights groups say as many as 900 protesters have been killed since the beginning of the uprising, while the govt. says that 98 soldiers and 22 police officers have been killed; around 9,000 Syrians are still in custody or unaccounted for. (NYT, WP 5/15; WP 5/16, 5/19)
A GCC envoy arrives in Yemen to try to resurrect a deal with Saleh to step down, but no agreement is immediately reached. Rights groups estimate that more than 154 Yemenis have been killed since protests began. (NYT, WP 5/15)
In retaliation for a 4/1 air strike that killed 3 senior Hamas mbrs., Hamas militants fire an advanced Russian-made laser-guided Kornet antitank missile fr. Gaza into Israel, hitting a school bus and wounding the bus driver and 1 student and marking a serious escalation of crossborder violence. During the rest of the day, Palestinians fire around 45 rockets and mortars into Israel, damaging 1 house but causing no injuries; the barrage includes 2 Grad rockets that were intercepted by Israel’s new Iron Dome missile defense system. The IDF retaliates with heavy artillery fire (10s of rounds fired) and more than 20 air strikes (including missiles dropped fr. war planes and fired fr. helicopters and drones) against at least 16 targets across the Gaza Strip, killing 5 Palestinians (1 Hamas mbr. and 4 civilians) and wounding 20 (at least 19 civilians), and collaterally damaging 10s of homes. In the West Bank, the IDF bulldozes 3 roads, 10 electricity poles, 2 walls surrounding a home, and part of a room of a house nr. Tubas; patrols in and around Tulkarm town and r.c., in al-Bireh, and in 3 villages nr. Qalqilya and Ramallah (firing rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at stone-throwing youths who confront them, causing no serious injuries); conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Qalqilya in the afternoon. (IsRN, JP 4/7; NYT, WP 4/8; IFM 4/9, 4/10; HA 4/11; PCHR 4/14; OCHA 4/15)
After 4 days of violent protests in Yemen (at least 12 dead, more than 270 injured), the GCC begins efforts to broker a deal for Saleh’s rapid transition fr. power. (NYT 4/8; see also NYT, WP 4/4; NYT, WP, WT 4/5–6)
Palestinians in Gaza fire an antitank missile at an IDF patrol inside Israel, causing no damage or injuries. During the day, Palestinians also fire 10 mortars toward Israel in 2 barrages, causing no damage or injuries; some of the mortars land inside Gaza. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts synchronized morning patrols in Tulkarm and several nearby villages; patrols in alBireh and neighboring al-Am‘ari r.c., and in 3 villages nr. Jericho and Ramallah. 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, injuring 4 Palestinians, including 2 children. A Jewish settler deliberately attempts to run down a Palestinian nr. the Hawara checkpoint nr. Nablus, moderately injuring him; the IDF does not intervene. Jewish settlers fr. Taffuh settlement attempt to seize a plot of nearby Palestinian agricultural land but are sent away by the IDF. Jewish settlers close Jit intersection nr. Qalqilya with burning tires, blocking the main Qalqilya-Nablus road. In separate incidents, Jewish settlers fr. Keddumim and Karnei Shomron settlements stone Palestinian vehicles nr. Qalqilya. In East Jerusalem, Palestinians clash with Israeli border police in Silwan, leaving at least 1 Israeli officer injured. (IsRN, JP 3/18; WP 3/19; PCHR 3/24; OCHA 4/1)
After 2 days of clashes with protesters, arrest raids targeting opposition figures, and imposition of a nighttime curfew in Manama, Bahrain’s troops demolish the giant pearl monument in Pearl Square in a symbolic crushing of antigovernment protesters. No further demonstrations are reported this quarter. By 3/20 observers describe daily life returning to normal (schools and stores reopen, traffic moving) but note “a sense of political paralysis.” Saudi, UAE, and Kuwaiti forces remain in the country through the end of the quarter. (WP 3/19; NYT 3/21)
In Syria, govt. forces violently disperse protests (ranging in size fr. the 100s to the 1,000s) held after Friday prayers in Baniyas, Dara‘a, Damascus, and Homs, fatally shooting 6 protesters and wounding 10s. Though protests are small, the govt. response is harsh and tensions are high. (NYT, WP 3/19)
In Yemen, govt. troops and supporters open fire for more than 20 minutes on protesters demonstrating after Friday prayers in Sana’a, leaving at least 47 dead and 100s injured but failing to disperse the crowd. Afterward, the govt. declares a state of emergency, allowing authorities to curtail civil rights and monitor communications. Over the next 5 days, Yemen’s ambassador to the UN, several other ambassadors, the country’s most influential military commander Maj. Gen. Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar (a relative and very close ally of Pres. Saleh), and 4 other generals resigned in protest, and Saleh’s own tribe and another key tribal leader called on him to step down. Saleh also fires his cabinet in an apparent attempt to preempt a mass resignation to protest recent deadly clashes. Popular protests also continued. (NYT, WP 3/19; NYT, WP 3/20–21; NYT, WP, WT 3/22–23; NYT, WP 3/24)
In the West Bank, the IDF raids and searches Palestinian villages around Itamar settlement, particularly in Awarta village, in search for the killers of 5 settlers found murdered on 3/11, detaining at least 20 young men for questioning. At least 27 attacks on Palestinians and their property by armed Jewish settlers retaliating for the Itamar murders are reported in Nablus (10), Hebron (9), Qalqilya (6), and Ramallah (2). Incidents involved: rampaging through Palestinian areas (6 cases, including an attempt to kidnap 2 children); vandalizing homes, businesses, and community buildings (11, including an attempt to set fire to a mosque); stoning and vandalizing cars (10); and cutting down olive trees (1). Meanwhile, a statement released to the press claims responsibility in the name of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade of Imad Mughniyah; AMB officials deny any connection to the purported offshoot group. Netanyahu makes a televised address calling on settlers not to take matters into their own hands and to allow the IDF to search for the assailants, also calling on the PA to halt the incitement that encourages such attacks. Abbas issues a statement denouncing the killings. The IDF also conducts late-night patrols in Qalqilya and 3 nearby villages. (HA, JP 3/12; al-Hayat, JP, JTA, NYT, WP 3/13; PCHR 3/17; OCHA 3/18)
The Arab League calls on the UN to impose a no-fly zone over Libya and recognizes the rebels’ provisional govt., steps that NATO had requested as a precondition for Western intervention in Libya, where extremely heavy fighting continues. (NYT, WP, WT 3/13)
After Yemen’s opposition rejected (3/10) as insufficient a proposal by Pres. Saleh to discuss constitutional reform and again demanded he immediately step down, Saleh deploys troops to crush growing antigovernment protests, authorizing them to use water cannons, tear gas, live ammunition, and sniper fire. Over the next few days, injuries quickly rise into the 100s but demonstrations only grow, now involving 10,000s of protesters. (NYT, WP 3/13; WT 3/14; NYT 3/15, 3/16; NYT, WP, WT 3/17; WP 3/18; see also NYT, WP, WT 3/11)
An anonymous Israeli official says that Israel has been discussing with the U.S. a unilateral “phased approach to reaching a final status accord” in absence of negotiations with the Palestinians. PLOEC mbr. Saleh Rafaat warns that the PLO will refuse any interim or partial solution and any call for creating a Palestinian state with temporary or undefined borders. (REU 3/2; NYT 3/3)
Israel’s Jerusalem municipal authority approves construction of 14 Jewish settlement housing units in Ras al-Amud in East Jerusalem. In Gaza, Israel permanently closes the Qarni crossing, shifting all import and export of goods to Kerem Shalom. It also allows Gazans to export tomatoes for the 1st time since 6/2007. Meanwhile, IDF troops on the n. Gaza border twice fire on Palestinian farmers who stray nr. the border fence, forcing them to leave. In the West Bank, the IDF demolishes 20 structures in Khirbat Tana, marking the 6th major demolition of the village; patrols and sets up checkpoints in Tulkarm town and r.c. in the morning; bulldozes a well nr. a settleronly bypass road outside Hebron; conducts late-night patrols in al-Til village nr. Tulkarm and late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Hebron. (AFP, AP, MNA 3/2; NYT, PCHR, WP 3/3; JP 3/9; PCHR 3/10; OCHA 3/18)
In Yemen, antigovernment protests have steadily picked up since 2/16, particularly in Sana’a and Taiz. Some scuffles between protesters and govt. supporters (thought to be plain-clothed security forces) have been reported, but protests are still largely nonviolent. (Amnesty International reports at least 27 protesters killed to date.) By this time, 10 MPs fr. Pres. Ali Abdullah Saleh’s ruling party have resigned in solidarity with protesters, and medical unions, entire tribes and villages, and lawyers’ and labor groups have joined demonstrations. Today, opposition figures, tribal leaders, and influential clerics present Saleh with a plan for his peaceful transition fr. power and meet with him late into the night to discuss it, but there is no immediate deal. Meanwhile, protests grow in size to 10,000s of participants. (NYT, WP 3/3; see also NYT, WP, WT 2/23–24 NYT 2/28; WP 3/1; NYT, WP, WT, 3/2)
Ireland upgrades the status of the Palestinian representation in Dublin from a “delegation” to a “mission” and grants the mission head ambassador status. It does not recognize Palestine as a state or give the mission greater diplomatic privileges or immunities. Israel expresses its “regret.” (HA, YA 1/25; WJW 1/27)
OCHA reports that Israel has barred the import of industrial fuel for Gaza’s electricity plant for 2 weeks and is now internally discussing disconnecting Gaza fr. Israel’s electricity and water grid. (Gaza authorities have been able to keep electricity generation at 30% of demand by increasing the amount of fuel smuggling through tunnels fr. Egypt.) UNRWA reports that it has suspended 23 approved building projects in Gaza because of Israeli restrictions on gravel imports. Meanwhile, IDF troops make 2 brief incursion into Gaza e. of Gaza Valley village and e. of al-Maghazi r.c. to level land and clear lines of sight. Unidentified Palestinians fire 2 Qassam rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. OCHA reports that since 1/19, 3 Palestinians have been injured in tunnelrelated accidents (2 crushed transporting construction materials, 1 electrocuted). (JP 1/25; PCHR 1/27; OCHA 1/28)
Some 150,000 Egyptians of all socioeconomic backgrounds inspired by events in Tunisia answer a week of calls to attend a “day of revolution” antigovernment rally in Cairo’s Tahrir Square today (a national holiday to honor police), bringing blankets, food, and water and vowing to continue protests until Mubarak steps down, his government is dissolved, and parliament is disbanded. (The Muslim Brotherhood does not participate to allow the voice of the people to stay at the fore.) The government cuts cell phone and Internet service to limit international coverage and mobilization efforts via social networking sites. Late at night, government security forces raided the square firing tear gas and water cannons, beating some demonstrators, and arresting others in an unsuccessful effort to drive them out. After a paroxysm of retaliatory violence that kills 1 police officer and some looting in the National Museum on the square, protesters disengage and mobilize to call for nonviolence, notably creating a cordon around the museum to protect it. Parallel protests are held in Alexandria, Suez (where violent clashes kill 2 demonstrators), and several smaller towns, with larger protests called for Friday 1/28. By this date, there have also been several days of protests in Yemen calling for Pres. Saleh’s removal, citing economic ills, corruption, and rumors Saleh plans to install his son as his successor. (NYT, WP, WT 1/25; AFP, al-Masri al-Yawm 1/26; see also NYT 1/23; AFP 1/26; NYT 1/27)
IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire warning shots at Palestinians scavenging for construction materials, wounding 1. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Nablus and nr Jenin; conducts late-night patrols in 2 villages nr. Ramallah. (PCHR 1/20, 1/27; OCHA 1/28)
Lebanon introduces a draft of a major United Nations Security Council res. for debate that urges the international community to denounce Israeli settlement activity, using wording that artfully pieces together official U.S. statements on settlements to make it harder for the U.S. to object or veto. The U.S. ultimately urges Abbas to suspend discussion of the draft until a Quartet meeting on 2/5, suggesting the Quartet might issue a statement confirming 1967 borders as the basis of final status negotiations and condemning Israeli settlement construction. (NYT 1/20)
At an Arab economic summit in Sharm al-Shaykh, Arab leaders pledge $2 b. to shore up regional economies and generate jobs in hopes of preventing the spread of antigovernment riots like those in Tunisia. Saudi Arabia and Kuwait each pledges $500 m., with 11 other states pledging the other $1 b. Observers say however (see NYT 1/20) that leaders are acting more out of a desire to secure their leaderships than to reform and develop their economies, noting that none of the similar initiatives agreed at the last economic summit in 2009 have been implemented. By this date, numerous self-immolations (some fatal) and antigovernment protests have taken place in Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen since the fall of Ben-Ali on 1/14, citing Tunisia as inspiration. In response to the Yemeni riots, the most severe to date, Pres. Ali Abdullah Saleh has cut income taxes in half, imposed price controls on basic goods, raised salaries for the army, and vowed his son will not succeed him, while the EU has announced an additional $19.5 m. in support to Sana’a for poverty programs. Today, an Egyptian Facebook group begins calling for massive street protests in Cairo on 1/25 to mark a “day of revolution against torture, poverty, corruption, and unemployment.” (WT 1/19; NYT 1/20; NYT, WT 1/25; see also al-Bawaba 1/17; NYT, WP 1/18)
After midnight meeting with F.M. Aziz in Moscow, Soviet leaders announce Baghdad has given "positive" response to Soviet peace plan; U.S. delays formal response until consultation with allies [NYT, LAT, WP, WT 2/22].
Saddam Hussein delivers speech over Baghdad radio reaffirming Iraq's 2/15 proposal; says Iraq is ready for all-out war unless proposal is accepted [BADS 2/21 in FBIS 2/21; NYT, LAT, WP, MEM 2/22; MET 3/5].
U.S. Def. Sec. Dick Cheney says allied forces are braced for "one of the largest land assaults of modem times" as U.S.-Iraq clashes grow larger and more intense; U.S. command says allies have reached level of destruction specified by senior generals as minimum needed before ground offensive can begin [NYT 2/22].
SCUD missiles are fired at Saudi Arabia in 2 rare daylight attacks; Patriot missile intercept all; 9 American soldiers are killed in 2 helicopter crashes in Saudi Arabia [LAT, MEM 2/22; MET 3/5].
Kuwaiti gov't-in-exile contracts U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to help restore Kuwait's damaged water, power, and transportation systems after war. Contract runs for 90 days, valued at $45 million [LAT 2/22].
Saudi ambassador to U.S., Prince Bandar bin Sultan, warns that Yasir Arafat, King Hussein, and Pres. Saleh of Yemen will be made to pay dearly for supporting Iraq, signalling sharp break from Saudi prewar policy of trying to forge Arab consensus (cf. 2/26) [LAT 2/22].
Hours after long-disputed $400 million loan guarantees to Israel is approved, Israeli officials claim the amount is grossly insufficient; Immigration Min. Yitzhak Peretz says "In fact, it's a very small sum that only accounts for 3 or 4 percent of the overall figure" needed [NYT 2/22].
Amnesty International accuses members of allies of using war as pretext for human rights violations, citing Britain, Egypt, and U.S. for war-related abuses [MEM 2/21; LAT 2/22].
At Labor party bureau meeting MK Moshe Shahal expresses, for 1st time in public, support for creation of Palestinian state [IDF 2/21 in FBIS 2/22; MEM 2/22; JPI 3/2].
Bush admin. decides to expand the number of U.S. forces in Gulf and may send as many as 100,000 more troops in addition to the planned deployment of 240,000 [NYT, LAT, WP, WT 10/26].
Pres. of Yemen, Ali Abdullah Saleh, criticizes Saudi Arabia for inviting U.S. forces into the kingdom and for rescinding residency status for Yemenis working in Saudi Arabia [NYT 10/26].
Israel rejects UN Sec. Council's 10/24 resolution and levels harsh criticism at U.S. for supporting resolution [MEM 10/25; NYT, WT 10/26].
Washington Post reports Jordan has halted all exports to Iraq, including humanitarian aid [WP 10/25].
Soviet envoy Primakov meets in Damascus with Pres. Asad to discuss Gulf crisis [DDS 10/25 in FBIS 10/25].
Senior Saudi official says roughly 120,000 Kuwaitis have fled across the border into Saudi Arabia since 9/15 when Iraqi troops began to allow them to leave [AFP 10/25 in FBIS 10/26].
Jerusalem police report that 18, not 21, Palestinians were killed in Haram al-Sharif incident [JDS 10/25 in FBIS 10/26].