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  • May 13, 2011

    The White House announces that U.S. special envoy George Mitchell has submitted his resignation, effective 5/20 (the day Obama is to meet with Netanyahu at the White House). Secy. of State Clinton...

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  • April 6, 2011

    U.S. special envoy George Mitchell sends a letter to Pres. Obama stating his intention to resign. The letter is not reported publicly until 5/13. (WP 5/14)

    Israel closes the Kerem Shalom...

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  • December 10, 2010

    In a major speech to the Saban Center in Washington, U.S. Secretary of State Clinton says the admin. has concluded that talks on extending the Israeli settlement freeze would come to nothing and ...

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  • September 2, 2010

    Direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations are formally relaunched at a ceremony at the State Dept. in Washington, with Abbas and Netanyahu pledging to meet again on 9/13–14 in Egypt and then every 2...

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  • May 19, 2010

    Ansar al-Sunna, a Salafist militant group opposed to Hamas, fires a Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. The IDF responds with air strikes on 2 open areas along the s...

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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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  • January 21, 2010

    In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Jenin, Ramallah. (OCHA 1/27; PCHR 1/28)

    U.S. special envoy George Mitchell begins a 3-day visit to Israel and...

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  • August 26, 2009

    The IDF shoots, seriously wounds a Palestinian at a checkpoint in Hebron after he allegedly attempts to attack a soldier with a knife; conducts late-night raids, house searches in Qalqilya and nr...

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  • May 27, 2009

    Israeli naval vessels fire on Palestinian fishermen off the Bayt Lahiya coast, detaining 2 boats and arresting 4 fishermen. Overnight, in the West Bank, the IDF removes 2 settler tent outposts nr...

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  • February 26, 2009

    Palestinians fire 2 rockets into Israel, causing no injuries. The IDF responds with air strikes on 5 smuggling tunnels on the Rafah border, wounding 3 Palestinians (2 of them young children). In...

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  • January 26, 2009

    No violence is reported in Gaza. Israel allows in 293 truckloads of humanitarian aid and commercial goods. In the West Bank, the IDF raids Battir village nr. Bethlehem early in the morning and...

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  • June 25, 2001

    In Hebron, a Fatah sniper, retaliating for the Jawabiri assassination on 6/24, shoots and wounds a 7-yr.-old Jewish settler, sparking a firefight in which 12 Palestinians, 4 IDF soldiers are...

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  • May 16, 2001

    Israeli-Palestinian clashes, now in their 8th mo., continue, with Israel Defense Force (IDF) increasingly striking Palestinian targets and entering areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority (...

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  • November 7, 2000

    Presidential elections are held in the U.S., but the race btwn. VP Al Gore (D) and Texas Gov. George W. Bush (R) is too close to call. The election rests on some 1,500 votes in Florida, where...

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  • March 16, 1990

    Two small religious parties, Shas and Agudat Israel, suggesthey would not join Lidud-led coalition as long as Shamir is party leader [NYT 3/ 17]; Los Angeles Times reports growing...

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The White House announces that U.S. special envoy George Mitchell has submitted his resignation, effective 5/20 (the day Obama is to meet with Netanyahu at the White House). Secy. of State Clinton appoints Mitchell aide David Hale as interim special envoy. (NYT, WP 5/14)

In Jerusalem, Israeli police and settlement security guards outside Beit Yonatan in Silwan fire on stone-throwing Palestinian youths, seriously wounding a Palestinian teenager walking some distance away. Numerous clashes are also reported, particularly around East Jerusalem, as Palestinians demonstrate in commemoration of the Nakba. In the Jordan Valley, a Palestinian boy is injured when he accidentally triggers IDF UXO. 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, injuring 2 Palestinians (including 1 child) and 1 international activist; 2 Palestinians and 2 Israeli activists are arrested. (WP 5/15; PCHR 5/19; OCHA 5/20)

Heeding calls fr. Palestinian organizers on Facebook, 100s of Jordanians in Amman and 1,000s of Egyptians in Cairo rally after Friday prayers in support of Palestinian rights. (AP, DPA, Huffington Post 5/13)

U.S. special envoy George Mitchell sends a letter to Pres. Obama stating his intention to resign. The letter is not reported publicly until 5/13. (WP 5/14)

Israel closes the Kerem Shalom crossing, citing specific security threats; carries out 4 air strikes on 1 “infiltration tunnel” on the n. Gaza border and 3 smuggling tunnels on the Rafah border, causing no reported injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF makes a late-night incursion into Awarta, raiding and searching homes, and detaining at least 70 men and women who are taken to Hawara military post to have DNA samples taken in connection with the 3/11 Itamar murders. The IDF also conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Dahaysha r.c., nr. Bethlehem and Hebron. (IsRN, PCHR 4/7; NYT 4/13; PCHR 4/14; OCHA 4/15)

In a major speech to the Saban Center in Washington, U.S. Secretary of State Clinton says the admin. has concluded that talks on extending the Israeli settlement freeze would come to nothing and opted to revive shuttle missions between the Israeli and Palestinian sides, trying to get them to discuss all core issues simultaneously and offering U.S. bridging proposals when appropriate. She says U.S. special envoy George Mitchell will return to the region within days to begin work. (NYT 12/11; HA 12/14)

IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire warning shots at Palestinians scavenging for construction materials, wounding 3 in 3 separate instances (1 in the demolished Erez industrial zone and 2 in the fmr. Jewish settlement sites). IDF troops on the s. Gaza border fire on agricultural areas nr. Khuza‘a village, wounding a Palestinian teenager 800 m fr. the border. In Gaza City’s Shuja‘iya neighborhood, 2 Palestinian teenagers are killed when they accidentally trigger unexploded IDF UXO. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts early morning arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron; conducts patrols in al-Naqura village twice during the day (mid-morning and late at night) and in 5 villages nr. Qalqilya (late at night). Palestinians (accompanied by Israeli and international activists in some areas) hold weekly nonviolent demonstrations against the separation wall, land confiscations, and settlement expansion in Bil‘in, Ni‘lin, Bayt Umar, and Dayr Nizam/Nabi Salih. IDF soldiers fire rubbercoated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at the protesters; 2 Palestinians are injured and 1 Israeli, 1 American, and 1 German are arrested. (PCHR 12/16; OCHA 12/17)

Direct Israeli-Palestinian negotiations are formally relaunched at a ceremony at the State Dept. in Washington, with Abbas and Netanyahu pledging to meet again on 9/13–14 in Egypt and then every 2 weeks thereafter to “keep momentum going.” Clinton, Abbas, Netanyahu, and U.S. special envoy George Mitchell meet, after which Abbas and Netanyahu meet privately for 90 mins. Mitchell then announces that the leaders have decided to work toward a “framework agreement” within a year that would outline “the compromises each side must be ready to make” to achieve peace as a 1st step before attempting to iron out a comprehensive peace treaty. (NYT, WP, WT 9/3)

For a 3d day in a row, IQB gunmen fire on a Jewish settler vehicle driving in West Bank area C, causing no injuries. Asked if Hamas’s political leadership approved the recent string of shootings, West Bank IQB spokesman Abu Ubaidah says the operations are “in harmony with the attitude of the political wing.” The PASF says that since the 1st shooting on 8/31, they have detained 300 Hamas mbrs. Late in the evening, the IDF patrol in villages nr. Jericho, Nablus, Qalqilya, and Salfit, making no arrests; conducts arrest raids in Hebron (shooting and wounding 1 Palestinian, releasing him to the Palestinian Red Crescent Society) and neighboring al-‘Arub r.c. Jewish settlers fr. Halamish settlement nr. Ramallah stone Palestinian vehicles driving by the settlement. Jewish settlers fr. Shilo settlement nr. Ramallah stone Palestinian cars on the Ramallah–Nablus road. Unidentified Jewish settlers stone Palestinian vehicles driving nr. Nablus. PCHR reports that Israel’s Gihon Water Company recently sent letters to churches and nunneries in the Old City of Jerusalem warning that their water service will be cut off if they do not immediately pay water consumption fees accumulated since 1967; historically, religious establishments in Jerusalem have been exempt from such fees. (PCHR 9/2; WP 9/4; PCHR 9/8; OCHA 9/17)

Ansar al-Sunna, a Salafist militant group opposed to Hamas, fires a Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. The IDF responds with air strikes on 2 open areas along the s. Gaza border and on a Hamas training site in central Bayt Hanun in n. Gaza; no casualties are reported, but significant damage to surrounding civilian buildings is noted in Bayt Hanun. The IDF also conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around East Jerusalem and nr. Bethlehem, Ramallah. (JP 5/19; PCHR 5/20; AFP, JP 5/21; OCHA, PCHR 5/27)

U.S. special envoy George Mitchell arrives in the region for 2 days of indirect Israeli-Palestinian talks, marking the first full round of “proximity talks” since their launch on 5/9. The sides continue to differ on the agenda for talks and which issues should be negotiated first. (CSM, IFM, WP 5/20; WSJ 5/21) 

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 the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Jenin, Ramallah. (OCHA 1/27; PCHR 1/28)

U.S. special envoy George Mitchell begins a 3-day visit to Israel and Ramallah in his latest effort to jumpstart the peace process. (WT 1/22) 

The IDF shoots, seriously wounds a Palestinian at a checkpoint in Hebron after he allegedly attempts to attack a soldier with a knife; conducts late-night raids, house searches in Qalqilya and nr. Jenin, Bethlehem, Jericho, Hebron, Salfit, and Ramallah, arresting 15 Palestinians. Following a latenight explosion nr. the Bayt Ijza gate into Jerusalem, Israeli border police close all 3 gates in the separation wall controlling access to Palestinian agricultural land in the Jerusalem governorate, preventing Palestinian farmers fr. reaching their grape crops. (PCHR 8/27; OCHA Humanitarian Monitor 8/09; OCHA, PCHR 9/3)

On the sidelines of meetings with British PM Gordon Brown in London, Netanyahu meets with U.S. special envoy George Mitchell to discuss peace issues; the two report having “made good progress” (no elaboration) and say they will meet again in the coming weeks. (Christian Science Monitor, NYT, WJW, WP 8/27)

Israeli naval vessels fire on Palestinian fishermen off the Bayt Lahiya coast, detaining 2 boats and arresting 4 fishermen. Overnight, in the West Bank, the IDF removes 2 settler tent outposts nr. Hebron; settlers vow to reoccupy and expand the sites. The IDF also conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Aqabat Jabir r.c. nr. Jericho, Balata r.c., and Nablus, and nr. Hebron, Jenin, and Tubas. (NYT, PCHR, WP 5/28; OCHA, PCHR 6/4)

U.S. special envoy George Mitchell meets with Netanyahu’s senior advisers in Britain to follow up on the issues discussed in the 5/18 Obama-Netanyahu mtg. The Israelis offer a partial settlement freeze that would allow continued construction to accommodate natural growth, but the U.S. continues to demand a stop to all settlement activity. (NYT 5/28; WP 6/2)

Palestinians fire 2 rockets into Israel, causing no injuries. The IDF responds with air strikes on 5 smuggling tunnels on the Rafah border, wounding 3 Palestinians (2 of them young children). In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night house searches nr. Jenin, but makes no arrests. A Palestinian teenager is killed and 2 are wounded when they accidentally trigger IDF UXO at a site nr. Tubas used by the IDF for live fire exercises. Israel begins construction of 65 new housing units on 3.5 d. of Palestinian land in the Arab al-Sawahara neighborhood of East Jerusalem, expanding Talpiot settlement. (HA 2/26; NYT, WP 2/27; OCHA 3/3, 3/4; PCHR 3/5, 4/29)

U.S. envoy George Mitchell begins his 2d regional tour with planned stops in Turkey, Israel, Ramallah, and Cairo. He stresses U.S. support for a 2-state solution and a halt to Israel’s settlement construction. (IFM 2/26; NYT, WP 2/27)

No violence is reported in Gaza. Israel allows in 293 truckloads of humanitarian aid and commercial goods. In the West Bank, the IDF raids Battir village nr. Bethlehem early in the morning and occupies a Palestinian home, stating the home is needed for several days “for security purposes”; makes a latenight raid on a market in al-Fara‘ r.c. nr. Tubas, firing on stone-throwing youths who confront them, wounding 2 but making no arrests; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Bethlehem, nr. Jenin, Nablus, Ramallah. (PCHR 1/29)

Obama’s newly appointed Middle East envoy George Mitchell begins an 8-day “listening tour,” with planned stops in Israel, Ramallah, Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, France, and Britain. He will not meet with Hamas officials. (Globes, MM, al-Ra’i, YA 1/26; MM, NHR, NYT, QA, al-Thawra [Damascus], WP 1/27; WJW 1/29)

In Hebron, a Fatah sniper, retaliating for the Jawabiri assassination on 6/24, shoots and wounds a 7-yr.-old Jewish settler, sparking a firefight in which 12 Palestinians, 4 IDF soldiers are wounded. In response, the IDF seals, places a curfew on the Palestinian section of Hebron, bulldozes Palestinian land s. of Hebron; Jewish settlers place more caravans at a new illegal outpost site nearby. Jewish settlers also place caravans on Palestinian land nr. Qalqilya, attack Palestinian cars in Wadi al-Juz, cut off water to Palestinian villages nr. Halmish settlement. Palestinians fire on a settler bus nr. Jerusalem. A gunfight erupts nr. Neve Dekalim settlement, wounding an 11-yr.-old Palestinian. The IDF tightens closures on Qalandia, Tulkarm; confiscates 20 dunams of Palestinian land nr. Qalqilya; bulldozes Palestinian land in Tulkarm; continues to impose curfews on Bayt Lahia, Bayt Lid, Safarin. Shin Bet announces that 11 days ago, it captured Aziz Salha, who has confessed under interrogation to being involved in the murder of 2 IDF reservists in Ramallah on 10/12/00. (PMC 6/25; AP, HP, MM, WP, WT 6/26; MA 6/26 in WNC 6/27; MM 6/27; JP 7/6; WP 7/7)

Fmr. U.S. senator George Mitchell, head of the Mitchell Comm., recommends that in order to move the cease-fire forward, Israel should immediately implement a full settlement freeze, the U.S. should invite Arafat to the White House. Meanwhile, in Israel, DM Ben-Eliezer says Israel plans to remove 15 illegal settler outposts that have been set up since the al-Aqsa intifada began, noting that they are a danger to security and cannot be defended adequately. (HA, HP, MM, WT 6/26; MA 6/26 in WNC 6/27; MM, WT 6/27; WJW 6/28)

Israeli-Palestinian clashes, now in their 8th mo., continue, with Israel Defense Force (IDF) increasingly striking Palestinian targets and entering areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority (PA) without provocation so as to "keep them guessing and [have] them spend more time defending themselves" and with Palestinians stepping up their sniping at soldiers and settlers and firing of mortars (especially in Gaza). To date, around 511 Palestinians, 82 Israelis have been killed. Today, 1 Palestinian is shot dead by IDF troops. The IDF also shells the PA Preventive Security Force (PSF) offices in Jabaliyya, Jinin; directs shells, heavy machine gun fire at residential areas of Khan Yunis; sends tanks, bulldozers into 2 PA-controlled areas in Gaza, occupying a multistory building in al-Qarara nr. Gush Katif settlement and a factory in Dayr al-Balah. IDF soldiers at a checkpoint on the Nablus-Ramallah road halt a Red Crescent ambulance en route to pick up a critically ill patient, severely beat 3 medics, empty the ambulance and damage supplies; the harassment ends when the International Comm. of the Red Cross (ICRC) intervenes. (AFP [Internet], HP 5/16; MM, NYT, PCHR, WP, WT 5/17; LAW, WT 5/18)

The IDF concedes that the 5/14 attack on a PSF post in Beitunia that left 5 PSF officers dead was a "blunder" and that the area was quiet when soldiers attacked. (WP 5/17; AN, HJ 5/17 in WNC 5/18, 5/21; HA, NYT 5/18)

PA Information M Yasir `Abid Rabbuh appeals to Congress to support the recommendations of the Mitchell Comm., the U.S.-led international inquiry into the causes of the al-Aqsa intifada headed by fmr. U.S. sen. George Mitchell. The comm.'s preliminary report (submitted to Israel and the PA on 5/1) suggests a two-pronged approach to restoring calm based on Israel halting all settlement construction, the PA making a 100% effort to halt violence. The comm.'s final report is expected in 1 wk. The State Dept. says Secy. of State Colin Powell is considering meeting with Sharon, Arafat on the sidelines of his trip to Africa, Europe 5/22+n30. (WT 5/18)

In Washington, U.S. Pres. George W. Bush holds a strategy session on the Middle East with his top foreign policy advisers, including Secy. of State Powell, Secy. of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, National Security Adviser (NSA) Condoleeza Rice. Powell advocates using the recommendations of the Mitchell Comm. and the Jordanian-Egyptian initiative as the base for a cease-fire plan. Both plans call for a full freeze on settlement construction, which admin. officials claim they cannot directly demand from Israeli PM Ariel Sharon. (MM 5/16; MM, NYT 5/17)

Presidential elections are held in the U.S., but the race btwn. VP Al Gore (D) and Texas Gov. George W. Bush (R) is too close to call. The election rests on some 1,500 votes in Florida, where ballot errors could swing results. At the least, Florida absentee ballots must be tabulated and regular votes recounted, meaning it could be weeks before the new president is declared. (MM 11/7; NYT, WP, WT 11/8; al-Quds 11/8 in WNC 11/9; MM, NYT, WP, WT 11/9; AYM, al-Quds 11/9, HJ 11/10 in WNC 11/13; MM 11/10)

Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue, leaving 1 Palestinian dead, 150 injured. A 2d Palestinian dies of wounds received earlier. Jewish settlers block roads, attack Palestinians, damage property in Hebron and nr. Nablus, Rafah, Tulkarm. Off Gaza, a fishing boat laden with explosives detonates nr. an Israeli patrol ship, killing the suicide bomber. The IDF shells areas of Bayt Jala in response to Palestinian sniping at Gilo settlement. IDF chief of staff Mofaz says the IDF is preparing contingencies for the evacuation of all 7,000 Jewish settlers in Gaza. Barak allows the Gaza airport, closed since 10/22, to reopen. (ADM, LAW 11/7; al-Quds 11/7 in WNC 11/9; NYT, WP 11/8)

In keeping with the 10/17 Sharm agmts., the White House names fmr. senator George Mitchell (D-ME) to lead an inquiry into the causes of the Israeli-Palestinian clashes. Also named to the panel are fmr. Turkish pres. Suleyman Demirel, Norwegian FM Thorbjoern Jagland, fmr. senator Warren B. Rudman (R-NH), EU foreign policy dir. Solana. (MM, NYT, WP, WT 11/8; AYM 11/9 in WNC 11/13; MEI 11/24)

Two small religious parties, Shas and Agudat Israel, suggesthey would not join Lidud-led coalition as long as Shamir is party leader [NYT 3/ 17]; Los Angeles Times reports growing pressure on Shamir to resign [LAT 3/17].

Senate Democratic Leader George J. Mitchell (D-ME) sharply attacks Pres. Bush for "heavy-handed blunder," that "contributed to the recent political crisis in Israel." Mitchell is referring to Bush's 3/3 statement [LAT 3/17].

In letter dated 3/16 from Sec. Baker to Rep. Mel Levine (D-CA), Baker softens U.S. stand on Israeli settlements in E. Jerusalem, writing "Clearly, Jews and others can live where they want, East or West, and the city must remain undivided" [NYT 3/13].

Arafat meets in Tunis with Israeli peace activist Abie Nathan, who spent 4 months in prison for previous meeting with Arafat [BVP 3/17 in FBIS 3/20].

Jimmy Carter arrives in Jordan from Syria for talks about Middle East [MET 3/27-4/2].

In London, King Hussein meets with PLO advisor Bassam Abu Sharif [WAKH 3/16 in FBIS 3/19].

Israeli military reports killing 3 Palestinians, allegedly DFLP members, inside Israel's "security zone" in S. Lebanon [MET 3/27-4/2].