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  • January 6, 2024

    In the West Bank, armed Israeli settlers harass and intimidate Palestinians in Hebron. Israeli settlers also bring livestock to graze on Palestinian crops in the Masafer Yatta area. Elsewhere,...

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  • January 5, 2024

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers shot and injured a Palestinian during a raid in Surif. Israeli forces shoot and kill a Palestinian child and injure 7 others during a raid in Bayt Rima. Israeli...

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  • December 6, 2023

    In the West Bank, a Palestinian man succumbed to injuries sustained from Israeli forces during a raid in Tulkarm on 11/7. Israeli settlers opened fire at Palestinian vehicles near Bethlehem; no...

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  • July 23, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers uprooted 25 olive tree seedlings near Qusra. Israeli forces shot and killed 1 Palestinian child while dispersing crowds during a raid in Nabi Salih. Israeli...

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  • September 25, 2009

    The IDF makes an air strike on Gaza City’s al-Tuffah neighborhood, killing 3 Islamic Jihad mbrs., possibly injuring 1 Islamic Jihad mbr. and 3 bystanders. (NYT, WP 9/26; OCHA Humanitarian Monitor...

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  • March 7, 2009

    Overnight, the IDF makes an air strike on a car traveling in Bayt Lahiya, assassinating Islamic Jihad military cmdr. Mahmud Fattuh, wounding 2 other Islamic Jihad mbrs. Also in Gaza, the IDF makes...

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  • January 16, 2009

    In Washington, Livni and Rice sign the MOU on curbing arms smuggling, aimed at facilitating Israel’s acceptance of the EgyptHamas cease-fire offer (see 1/15). Anonymous Israeli military officials...

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  • January 15, 2009

    The 20th day of OCL is marked by serious diplomatic steps toward a cease-fire but also by Israel’s heaviest attacks on Gaza since operations began. Israel’s envoy receives the Egyptian-Hamas cease...

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  • January 14, 2009

    Egypt announces that Gaza- and Damascus-based Hamas officials have agreed on a cease-fire offer to be present to Israel (see Quarterly Update). Israel agrees to send an envoy to Cairo on 1/15 to...

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  • January 9, 2009

    The Israeli security cabinet reportedly begins internal debate on opening phase 3 of OCL, which would involve deep incursions into Gaza’s built-up areas to deal a crushing blow to Hamas. Israeli...

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  • January 6, 2009

    Sarkozy and Mubarak, with U.S. support, jointly call for an immediate ceasefire followed by talks on Israel’s siege and Palestinian smuggling.

    Combat notes: IDF ground forces expand...

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  • January 5, 2009

    As OCL enters day 10, IDF ground forces tighten the circle around Gaza City and continue to operate against Palestinian rocketlaunching units across n. Gaza, still avoiding entering densely...

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  • January 4, 2009

    IDF ground forces backed by naval and air support continue to enter Gaza overnight, with troops taking up positions across n. Gaza (from which most Palestinian rockets have been fired),...

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  • January 3, 2009

    Israel begins phase 2 of OCL, a massive ground advance into Gaza, in the evening. The IDF states that “the objective . . . is to destroy the terrorist infrastructure of the Hamas in the precise...

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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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  • July 27, 2006

    In Gaza, the IDF closes the Nahal Oz pipeline; shells areas nr. Gaza City, killing at least 1 Palestinian militant, 1 Palestinian farmer working in her field; shells areas nr. Bayt Hanun (killing...

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  • June 30, 2005

    The IDF declares Gaza settlements closed military zones so that they may bar and remove from them any nonresident Israelis protesting disengagement, then evicts 150 right-wing Israeli...

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  • December 5, 2004

    The IDF lifts the curfew on Hawara, imposed on 12/2; for no apparent reason fires on Palestinians waiting to cross the Tuffah checkpoint in s. Gaza, wounding 1; conducts arrest raids and house...

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  • February 12, 2001

    Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue, leaving 2 Palestinians dead. Palestinians step up attacks on Jewish settlements, with Fatah's Bethlehem branch issuing a leaflet calling on...

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  • November 14, 2000

    As Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue, Israel tightens its blockade of Palestinian towns in the West Bank. During the day, 3 Palestinians are shot dead by the IDF. A 4th Palestinian is killed by...

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  • May 3, 2000

    U.S. special envoy Ross convinces Israel, PA to resume FAPS talks in Elat. Negotiators complain that reporters are getting in their way. (MM 5/3; NYT 5/4; al-Quds 5/4 in WNC 5/...

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  • September 27, 1999

    In New York, Israeli FM Levy briefs Secy. of State Albright on the difficulties Israel envisions in meeting Barak's ambitious timetable for the peace process. Apparently in response to Egyptian FM...

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  • June 9, 1996

    British PM John Major sends letter on peace process to Israeli PM-elect Netanyahu. (MA 6/10 in FBIS 6/10)

    In Damascus, Pres. Asad, Iranian FM Ali Akhbar Velayati open 2-day mtg. (SARR 6/9,...

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  • September 7, 1994

    Syrian FM al-Shara` calls Israeli proposal of 8/23 recipe for resumption of Lebanese civil war; rebukes Rabin for saying Israel would agree to continued Syrian presence in Lebanon, saying that is...

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  • August 22, 1994

    PM Rabin postpones "safe passage" btwn. Gaza, Jericho citing lack of PNA action toward recent Hamas attacks. (MEI 8/26)

    Jordanian-Palestinian talks end in Amman. Joint comm. is formed to...

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  • July 20, 1994

    Secy of State Christopher meets Jordan's King Hussein in Amman, Hussein telling press conference he will not sign a peace treaty at 7/25 summit with Israeli PM Rabin.  Hussein expresses "fervent...

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  • June 8, 1994

    Palestinian police in Jericho, Gaza Strip receive salary, paid with $5 m. in U.S. aid.  Payment comes after PECDAR officials had complained of financial crisis.  (WT 6/9)

    Deadline for...

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  • March 30, 1994

    Land Day, commemorating deaths of 6 Israeli Arabs in 1976 demonstrations against land confiscation, observed throughout Palestinian areas of Israel and in o.t. Israel's 800,000 Palestinian...

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  • July 18, 1993

    Israeli cabinet issues statement warning guerrillas in southern Lebanon that Israel will retaliate for recent attacks in "security zone." Lebanese Pres. al-Hirawi replies that "lf peace is not...

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  • July 14, 1993

    Palestinian negotiator Haydar 'Abd alShafi denies knowledge of Israeli-PLO contacts (Jerusalem al-Nahar 7/14 in FBIS 7/15)

    Test flight of Israeli-made Arrow missile fails, jeopardizing U.S...

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In the West Bank, armed Israeli settlers harass and intimidate Palestinians in Hebron. Israeli settlers also bring livestock to graze on Palestinian crops in the Masafer Yatta area. Elsewhere, Israeli settlers set up mobile homes near Tuqu’. Israeli forces shoot and injure 11 Palestinians during raids in Qatanna, Sabastia, Anabta, Zeita, and Tulkarm. Israeli forces also seize printing equipment and a vehicle from a printing shop in Nablus. In Gaza, Israeli forces bomb Khan Yunis, Maghazi, Beit Lahiya, Gaza City, Nuseirat refugee camp, Jabalia refugee camp, and Dayr al-Balah, killing more than 150 people, including 70 in a residential building in Jabalia refugee camp, 43 in 2 homes in Khan Yunis, 27 in 2 homes in Dayr al-Balah, and 4 in an UNRWA school sheltering internally displaced people. Israeli snipers also shoot a Palestinian outside of al-Amal Hospital in Khan Yunis. Doctors Without Borders says it will evacuate staff and patients from al-Aqsa Hospital in Dayr al-Balah after Israel orders the evacuation of the area in which the hospital is located, noting that Israel has attacked the area around the hospital for several days. Israel claims it forces have assassinated the commander of the al-Qassam Brigades Nuseirat battalion Ismail Sirah and his deputy Ahmed Wahba. In Lebanon, Israeli forces bomb a home in Kawthariyat al-Siyad 25 miles north of the Blue Line and several places south of Tyre. Hezbollah attacks a group of Israeli soldiers in Avivim and fires 62 missiles at the Meron air base. In the Red Sea, the U.S. says it shot down a drone launched from Yemen. (AJ, AJ, AP, HA, HA, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 1/6; AP, HA, HA, UNOCHA 1/7)

More than 22,750 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in Gaza, including at least 8,800 children and 6,300 women, and around 57,910 have been injured since 10/7. At least 7,000 people are missing in rubble, including 1,700 children. 319 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since 10/7, including 81 children. More than 3,949 people have been injured. Israel reports that 1,139 Israelis and foreign nationals have been killed and 5,400 have been injured since 10/7, including Israeli soldiers. In addition, 173 Israeli soldiers have been killed and 1,020 injured in Gaza since the ground invasion began on 10/27. Over 1.93 million Palestinians, nearly 85% of the population of Gaza, have been displaced since 10/7. There has been a complete electricity blackout in Gaza since 10/12 due to the Israeli blockade. As of 12/23, at least 65,000 housing units had been destroyed and 290,000 had been damaged in Israeli airstrikes since 10/7, constituting over 60% of all housing units. 116 trucks carrying aid enter Gaza via the Rafah and Karim Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) crossings. (AJ, WAFA 1/6; UNOCHA 1/7)

The Gaza media office says Israel has exhumed 1,100 graves in the Tuffah cemetery, stealing 150 bodies. (AJ 1/6)

Israeli military spokesperson Daniel Hagari says Israel has dismantled the Hamas “military framework” in northern Gaza and killed 8,000 militants in the area. Military chief of staff Herzl Halevi and Shin Bet director Ronen Bar tour Khan Yunis. (AJ, HA 1/6; AJ 1/7)

The PA says Israeli settlements in the Jordan Valley are quickly increasing while the world focuses on Gaza. The PA calls on the U.S. to urge Israel to end the settlement expansion. (AJ, WAFA 1/6)

UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres submits a report to the UN Security Council warning that “widespread famine looms” in Gaza. Guterres says in the report that Israel must restore water and electricity services in Gaza. (AJ, HA 1/7)

U.S. secretary of state Antony Blinken visits Greece and Turkey, meeting with Greek prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in Crete and Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan in Istanbul. Blinken later arrives in Jordan ahead of a meeting with King Abdullah II. Blinken also speaks with the Algerian foreign minister Ahmed Attaf telling him that the U.S. rejects the displacement of Palestinians from Gaza. (AJ, AJ, AP, HA, REU 1/6)

U.S. senators Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) and Jeff Merkey (D-OR) visit the Rafah crossing. Van Hollen tells reporters that the Israeli authorities are stymying the flow of aid by arbitrarily rejecting supplies from entering Gaza, calling the aid screening process “unnecessarily cumbersome.” A congressional delegation visits Qatar, meeting with prime minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani and discussing the situation in Gaza. (AJ, AP 1/6; AJ 1/7)

EU high commissioner for foreign affairs Josep Borell meets with Lebanese caretaker prime minister Najib Mikati in Beirut, discussing Israel’s attacks on Lebanon and Gaza. (AJ 1/6)

100 lawyers from Chile file a complaint with the ICC accusing Israel of genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity, blaming Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu. (AJ 1/6)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers shot and injured a Palestinian during a raid in Surif. Israeli forces shoot and kill a Palestinian child and injure 7 others during a raid in Bayt Rima. Israeli forces also shoot and injure 2 Palestinians with live ammunition during a raid in Balata refugee camp. Elsewhere, Israeli forces shoot and injure a 12-year-old boy during a raid in Ya’bad. Israeli forces also shoot and injure a Palestinian at a checkpoint near Nablus. In Gaza, Israeli forces bomb Khan Yunis, Jabalia refugee camp, Dayr al-Balah, Nuseirat refugee camp, and al-Bureij refugee camp, killing at least 162 people and attacking the Palestinian Red Crescent Society’s headquarters in Khan Yunis for the fourth day in a row. Israeli forces also withdraw from the Gaza City neighborhoods of Daraj and Tuffah after spending 10 days demolishing homes and cemeteries. Israel says it attacked more than 100 targets in Gaza overnight. Rockets fired from Gaza cause damage in Sderot. In Lebanon, 8 rockets are fired at Kiryat Shimona, no damage was reported. Rockets fired from Lebanon also target 2 Israeli military bases. Israeli forces attack Aita al-Shaab and Majdal Zoun. (AJ, AP, HA, UNOCHA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 1/5)

More than 22,600 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in Gaza, including at least 8,800 children and 6,300 women, and around 57,910 have been injured since 10/7. At least 7,000 people are missing in rubble, including 1,700 children. 319 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since 10/7, including 81 children. More than 3,949 people have been injured. Israel reports that 1,139 Israelis and foreign nationals have been killed and 5,400 have been injured since 10/7, including Israeli soldiers. In addition, 173 Israeli soldiers have been killed and 1,020 injured in Gaza since the ground invasion began on 10/27. Over 1.93 million Palestinians, nearly 85% of the population of Gaza, have been displaced since 10/7. There has been a complete electricity blackout in Gaza since 10/12 due to the Israeli blockade. As of 12/23, at least 65,000 housing units had been destroyed and 290,000 had been damaged in Israeli airstrikes since 10/7, constituting over 60% of all housing units. 80 trucks carrying aid enter Gaza via the Rafah and Karim Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) crossings. France and Jordan jointly airdrop aid to Gaza from 2 C-130 transport planes. UNRWA appeals for more basic supplies, saying it does not have diapers for babies being sheltered in its facilities. (AJ, AP, REU, UNOCHA, UNOCHA 1/5)

UN under-secretary-general for humanitarian affairs and emergency relief coordinator Martin Griffiths says in a statement that people in Gaza “are facing the highest level of food insecurity ever recorded” and that Gaza has “become a place of death and despair.” (AJ, AP, UNOCHA 1/5; HA, WAFA 1/6)

Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyeh issues a video message to U.S. secretary of state Antony Blinken, saying he hopes the U.S. has learned lessons from its mistakes in the past 3 months and will working toward ending the occupation. Blinken arrives in Turkey, the first stop on his Middle East visit where according to the State Department he will work toward the protection of civilians in Israel, Gaza, and the West Bank, freeing more captives, getting more aid into Gaza, ensuring Palestinians in Gaza are not forcibly displaced, deter Houthi attacks in the Red Sea, reduce tensions at the Blue Line, and takes steps toward creating a Palestinian state. (AJ, HA 1/5)

PA foreign minister Riyad al-Maliki speaks with UK foreign secretary David Cameron. According to a PA statement, Cameron condemns comments made by Israeli ministers Bezalel Smotrich and Itamar Ben-Gvir in favor of the displacement of Palestinians in Gaza. Scottish first minister Humza Yousaf calls Smotrich and Ben-Gvir’s statements “the textbook definition of ethnic cleansing.” (AJ, HA, WAFA 1/5; AJ, HA 1/6)

Hezbollah secretary-general Hassan Nasrallah gives a speech warning that if Hezbollah does not respond to the assassination of Hamas deputy political leader Saleh al-Arouri in Beirut then all of Lebanon will be exposed to Israeli attacks. Nasrallah says Hezbollah has attacked Israel 670 times since 10/8. (AJ, AJ, HA, NYT 1/5)

The Israeli Broadcasting Corporation reports that the PA is working with South Africa on the genocide case against Israel at the ICJ in which hearings will begin next week. (AJ 1/5)

Rwanda, Chad, and the Democratic Republic of Congo deny reports by the Israeli publication Zman Yisrael that they have discussed receiving Palestinians from Gaza. (AJ 1/5; AJ 1/6)

Family members of 6 Israelis held captive in Gaza meet with Qatari prime minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani in Doha, discussing the lack of progress in negotiating their release. According to Axios, Al Thani tells the families that Israel’s assassination of Saleh al-Arouri has made the negotiations harder. Al Thani also speaks with Lebanese caretaker prime minister Najib Mikati, discussing Israel’s effort to drag Lebanon into war with Israel. (AJ 1/5; AX 1/6)

In the West Bank, a Palestinian man succumbed to injuries sustained from Israeli forces during a raid in Tulkarm on 11/7. Israeli settlers opened fire at Palestinian vehicles near Bethlehem; no injuries were reported. Israeli settlers also began constructing a settlement road on Palestinian-owned land in Birin. Israeli forces shot and killed 4 Palestinians, including 2 children, and injured 17 others during raids in al-Fara’a refugee camp, Ya’bad, and Balata refugee camp. Israeli forces also opened fire at a Palestinian vehicle and detained the driver in Husan. Elsewhere, Israeli forces also demolished a home in Umm Rukba near al-Khader and 2 homes and 2 agricultural structures in Umm Qissa in the Masafer Yatta area. 42 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in and around Hebron, Jenin, Ramallah, Nablus, Bethlehem, Qalqilya, and Tubas. In East Jerusalem, Israeli settlers toured the Haram al-Sharif compound. Israeli forces demolished parts of a home in Silwan. In Gaza, Israeli forces bombed Maghazi, Khan Yunis, Jabalia refugee camp, Rafah, Nuseirat refugee camp, and Gaza City, killing hundreds of people, including more than 100 in Jabalia. Prominent Palestinian poet and academic Refaat Alareer was also killed along with several family members in Gaza City. 3 Israeli soldiers were killed in combat. Rockets were fired at Israel, injuring 1 in Nir Yitzhak. In Lebanon, rockets were fired at Israeli military sites and soldiers in Tal Shaar and Karm al-Tuffah and Israel attacked several places. In Yemen, the Houthi-led government said it had fired ballistic missiles at Israeli military posts near Eilat which were shot down by Israel’s Arrow missile defense system. The U.S. said it had shot down a drone launched by Yemen. (AJ, AJ, AP, HA, HA, HA, HA, NYT, NYT, REU, REU, REU, REU, UNOCHA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 12/6; AJ, AJ 12/7; AJ 12/8)

The casualty numbers for Gaza were not updated, leaving the number at more than 16,248 Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in Gaza, including at least 6,387 children and 4,257 women, and around 43,616 injured since 10/7. At least 7,000 people were missing in rubble, including 1,700 children. 257 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since 10/7, including 67 children. More than 3,325 people have been injured. Israel reported that 1,200 Israelis and foreign nationals have been killed and 5,431 have been injured since 10/7. 90 Israeli soldiers have been killed in Gaza since the ground invasion began on 10/27. Over 1.9 million Palestinians, nearly 85% of the population of Gaza, have been displaced since 10/7. There has been a complete electricity blackout in Gaza since 10/12 due to the Israeli blockade. As of 11/18, at least 45,000 housing units had been destroyed and 233,000 had been damaged in Israeli airstrikes since 10/7, constituting 60% of all housing units. The Red Crescent said its ambulance center in the northern province of Gaza has stopped working due to a lack of fuel. Patients and staff were evacuated from the Kamal Adwan Hospital in Jabalia as the hospital had stopped working. 20 patients that could not be evacuated stayed at the hospital. 80 trucks carrying aid, including 15 gallons of fuel, entered Gaza. Only Rafah received aid for the fourth day in a row. 23 wounded Palestinians and 680 foreign nationals were evacuated to Egypt. (AJ, HA, NYT, UNOCHA, WAFA 12/6)

UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres invoked Article 99 of the UN Charter, forcing the UN Security Council to convene on 12/8 on the basis of threats to “international peace and security,” saying a ceasefire is needed in Gaza to avoid “irreversible implications for Palestinians as a whole and for peace and security in the region.” Israeli ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan said Guterres had reached “a new moral low.” Israeli foreign minister Eli Cohen called Guterres a “danger to world peace.” After the invocation of Article 99, the UAE circulated a draft resolution calling for “an immediate humanitarian ceasefire,” and for all parties to comply with international law. (AJ, AP, AX, HA, NYT, REU, UNOCHA, WAFA 12/6; AJ, AJ, AJ, HA, REU, WAFA 12/7; AP, WAFA 12/8)

The Israeli security cabinet approved an increase in the amount of fuel entering Gaza from around 13,000 gallons to 26,000 gallons a day. Axios reported that the decision was made after pressure from the Biden administration, which had called on Israel to allow 39,000 gallons to enter Gaza daily. The decision was opposed by National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich. (AJ 12/6; AX 12/7)

Birzeit University published pictures of the central archive of the Gaza municipality, saying Israel had deliberately destroyed thousands of valuable documents to erase the history of Gaza. (AJ 12/6)

The PA Wall and Settlements Commission said it had recorded 610 Israeli settler attacks, which killed 10 Palestinians, since 10/7. (AJ 12/6)

Israeli defense minister Yoav Gallant signed an administration detention order for an Israeli settler who was arrested on 10/3 for attacking Palestinians. (HA 12/7)

PA UN envoy Riyad Mansour addressed the assembly of parties to the Rome Statute, saying “Israel has effectively destroyed every single requirement for live in the Gaza Strip” and complaining that the ICC has not delivered justice for Palestine. (AJ, WAFA, WAFA 12/6)

PA president Mahmoud Abbas met with U.S. vice president Kamala Harris’ National Security Advisor Phil Gordon in Ramallah, discussing the future of the political situation in Gaza after Israel’s war. (HA, WAFA 12/6; HA 12/7)

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the PA will not govern Gaza as long as he is prime minister. (AJ 12/6)

Israel revoked the residency visa for UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process Lynn Hastings, saying she did not condemn Hamas’ Operation Al-Aqsa Flood. The UN said on 12/1 that Hastings would be replaced in anticipation of the visa revocation. The PA condemned the revocation of Hastings’ visa. (AJ, WAFA, WAFA 12/6)

Israel’s military discussed closing the “Desert Frontier” unit made up of Israeli settlers in the West Bank after a series of incidents where soldiers from the unit attacked and abused Palestinians and Israeli activists. (HA 12/6)

The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI) said Israel has established 100 “Community Security Squads” equipped with M16 rifles, adding the members of the militias have only received 7 hours of training and lacked proper oversight. ACRI also said there have been reports of Palestinian citizens of Israel being rounded up by the militias to show their identity cards. (AJ, HA 12/6; HA 12/7)

UN high commissioner for human rights Volker Turk said he had asked Israel for weeks to have his team investigate Israeli allegations of sexual violence committed by Hamas militants in Israel on 10/7 but said Israel had not responded. (AJ, WAFA 12/6)

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said “I consider even the debating of this plan as disrespectful to my Palestinian siblings. For us, this is not a plan that can be debated, considered, or discussed,” referring to Israeli suggestions that a buffer zone should be made within Gaza. U.S. State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller also said the Israeli plan was in violation of U.S. policy, suggesting Israel could make a buffer zone in its own territory. (AJ, HA, REU, REU 12/6)

Russian president Vladimir Putin met with UAE president Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Abu Dhabi and Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman in Riyadh, discussing energy cooperation, the situation in Gaza, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Saudi state media reported that Putin and bin Salman shared “deep concern” for the situation in Gaza. (AJ, AJ, AP, HA 12/6; AJ, REU 12/7)

The U.S. Senate failed to pass a $111 billion bill to provide $50 billion to Ukraine and $14 billion to Israel in a 49-51 vote. All Republicans and Democratic senators Bernie Sanders (D-VT) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY) voted against the bill. Republicans sought to separate the aid for Israel from the aid for Ukraine as many Republican senators are opposed to significant spending on Ukraine, while Sanders opposed spending on Israel given the Palestinian death toll in Gaza. Schumer changed his vote from in favor to against to allow him to bring the bill up again at a later date. (HA, NYT 12/6; AJ, HA 12/7)

Belgian prime minister Alexander De Croo said his government will work with the U.S. to sanction “individuals involved in actions that undermine peace, security, and stability” in the West Bank. (AJ 12/6; HA, HA, REU, WAFA 12/7)

Reuters reported that an “orientation note” circulated among EU foreign ministers ahead of a meeting showed the EU was considering tougher sanctions on Hamas and imposing sanctions against violent Israeli settlers. EU commissioner for crisis management Janez Lenarcic condemned an Israeli settler attack in Khirbet Zanuta which destroyed an EU-funded school. Nils Schmid, foreign policy spokesperson of Germany’s ruling Social Democratic Party, said imposing sanctions on settlers was a good idea. (HA, REU, REU, REU 12/6)

Haaretz reported that Foreign Minister Cohen had bypassed objections from foreign ministry staff to issue diplomatic passports for Prime Minister Netanyahu’s son Yair, Likud politician and settlement leader Israel Gantz, and senior Likud member Benny Biton. (HA 12/7)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers uprooted 25 olive tree seedlings near Qusra. Israeli forces shot and killed 1 Palestinian child while dispersing crowds during a raid in Nabi Salih. Israeli forces also shot and injured 9 Palestinians with live ammunition during a protest in Beita near the Evyater settlement outpost. Elsewhere, Israeli forces shot and injured 7 Palestinians during a protest in Bayt Dajan; others suffered tear-gas related injuries. Israel handed over the body of 1 Palestinian woman shot and killed on 6/12 at the Qalandia checkpoint to her family. 8 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Tubas, Tammun, Qabatiya, and Beita; during the raid in Beita, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinians, injuring 1. In Gaza, Hamas forces shot and killed 1 Palestinian at a checkpoint in the Tuffah neighborhood east of Gaza City; the man was said to have sped through the checkpoint before the Hamas forces opened fire, killing him. (AP, HA, MEMO, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 7/23; AJ, MEE, PCHR, WAFA, WAFA 7/24; PCHR 7/25; PCHR 7/29)

The IDF makes an air strike on Gaza City’s al-Tuffah neighborhood, killing 3 Islamic Jihad mbrs., possibly injuring 1 Islamic Jihad mbr. and 3 bystanders. (NYT, WP 9/26; OCHA Humanitarian Monitor 9/09; PCHR 10/1; OCHA 10/2)

In the West Bank, the IDF fires rubbercoated steel bullets, sound bombs, tear gas at Palestinian and international activists taking part in a nonviolent demonstration against the separation wall in Ni‘lin (injuring 6 Palestinians, including 1 teenager) and at Palestinian activists, some of whom throw stones at IDF troops, taking part in a demonstration against the separation wall in Bil‘in (injuring 1 Palestinian, arresting 1 Palestinian and 2 Israelis); fires sound bombs and violently beats Palestinian and international activists taking part in a nonviolent demonstration against the separation wall in al-Ma‘sara (2 are badly injured); fires rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, sound bombs at Palestinians and international activists protesting in Burin nr. Nablus against the confiscation of land to be razed and annexed by Yitzhar settlement. The IDF also arrests 2 Palestinians teenagers nr. Qalqilya for stone-throwing. (PCHR 10/1)

Overnight, the IDF makes an air strike on a car traveling in Bayt Lahiya, assassinating Islamic Jihad military cmdr. Mahmud Fattuh, wounding 2 other Islamic Jihad mbrs. Also in Gaza, the IDF makes 4 air strikes on the Rafah border in the afternoon and late evening, causing no injuries; makes 2 late-night air strikes on a commercial building in al-Tuffah in Gaza City, destroying it but causing no injuries. Israeli naval vessels fire on Palestinian fishing boats off the Rafah coast, injuring a Palestinian woman and toddler on shore. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Bethlehem, nr. Jenin. (OCHA 3/10, 3/11; PCHR 3/12)

In Washington, Livni and Rice sign the MOU on curbing arms smuggling, aimed at facilitating Israel’s acceptance of the EgyptHamas cease-fire offer (see 1/15). Anonymous Israeli military officials state that OCL is “in its final act.”

Combat notes: Early in the day, the IDF pulls back to the outskirts of Gaza City (with reports indicating that Tal al-Hawa has been devastated), but fighting intensifies again in the evening. Intensified IDF ground operations under cover of air strikes and heavy shelling are reported on the outskirts of Khan Yunis. The IDF reports hitting more than 50 targets during the day, including 15 rocket-launching sites, 13 groups of armed men, 4 suspected weapons depots, 2 smuggling tunnels, at least 1 mosque, Hamas’s Asda’ media center outside Khan Yunis (previously hit on 12/27). Air strike target areas include Bani Suhayla, Bayt Lahiya, alBureij r.c., the al-Fukhari area, Gaza City (al-Shuja‘iyya, Tal al-Hawa; al-Tuffah), Izbat ‘Abid Rabbuh, Jabaliya town and r.c., Khan Yunis (white phosphorous suspected), alNasser (n. of Rafah), Rafah, the al-Satar al-Gharbi area (nr. Khan Yunis), and the alTannour area (e. of Rafah). Artillery and tank fire are reported in Bayt Hanun, Bayt Lahiya, al-Bureij r.c., Dayr al-Balah (white phosphorous suspected), Gaza City (city center and al-Sudaniyya, al-Zaytun), Jabaliya town, Khan Yunis, al-Qarara, al-Shuka, Twam, Wadi alSilqa (white phosphorous suspected). Naval bombardments center on open areas w. of Khan Yunis and in the al-Mawasi area, and in s. Rafah. Ground engagements are reported in Bayt Hanun, Bayt Lahiya, the al-Fukhari area and nearby Ma’an, Gaza City, al-Mughraqa, al-Zahra’. At least 3 ambulances are hit trying to evacuate the dead and wounded in clashes in central Gaza nr. Shuhada junction and in al-Mughraqa.

In a highly publicized incident, IDF tank shells hit a Gaza City home, killing 4 young girls (3 sisters, 1 cousin). Father of the 3 sisters, Izzeddin Abu al-Aish, a prominent Gazan doctor who appears regularly as a commentator on Israeli TV, phones ITV channel 10’s live broadcast to beg for medical assistance for his injured family, reports that his daughters are dead. In addition, an IDF air strike targets a home receiving condolence visits in Gaza City’s al-Shuja‘iyya neighborhood, killing 10 Palestinians, wounding 7. Another air strike on a home in al-Bureij r.c. kills a mother and her 5 children, ages 7–15. Gazan medical officials put the Palestinian toll at 1,140 dead, more than 5,100 wounded (470 in serious condition).

Palestinians fire 22 rockets and 5 mortars into Israel. Areas hit include Ashdod and Kiryat Gat (where at least 3 Israelis are injured, 1 seriously).

Humanitarian notes: The IDF allows up to 109 trucks of humanitarian aid entry to Gaza during the 4-hr. lull. (AFP, AP, IDF, IFM, ITV, MA, MM, REU, XIN, Zaman 1/16; IFM, NYT, WP, WT, XIN 1/17; NYT 1/18; AY, DUS, ITIC, MM 1/19; PCHR, WT 1/22; PCHR 1/29; ITV, MM 2/4; NYT 2/5)

The IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Jenin, Nablus; fires rubber-coated steel bullets at Palestinians who attend nonviolent demonstrations against OCL following Friday prayers in Hebron (injuring 4) and neighboring Bayt Umar (injuring 3), Issawiyya (injuring 4); fires live ammunition, rubber-coated steel bullets, percussion grenades, tear gas at Palestinian, Israeli, and international activists taking part in weekly nonviolent protests against the separation wall in Bil‘in (injuring 5 Palestinians, 4 with live ammunition); fires rubber-coated steel bullets, percussion grenades, tear gas at Palestinian, Israeli, and international activists taking part in weekly nonviolent protests against the separation wall in Ni‘lin (injuring 12 Palestinians, including 7 children). In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces beat and fire rubber-coated steel bullets at Palestinians protesting against OCL nr. al-Aqsa Mosque (injuring 1) and in Ras al-Amud neighborhood (injuring 1). (PCHR 1/22)

The 20th day of OCL is marked by serious diplomatic steps toward a cease-fire but also by Israel’s heaviest attacks on Gaza since operations began. Israel’s envoy receives the Egyptian-Hamas cease-fire offer in Cairo, returns to Israel to brief the security cabinet. Olmert dispatches Livni to Washington to finalize a bilateral “memorandum of understanding” (MOU) regarding U.S.-led international efforts to halt arms smuggling into Gaza.

Combat notes: The IDF sharply escalates air, naval, and ground attacks across Gaza. IDF ground forces push deep into Gaza City under cover of air strikes and heavy tank and artillery fire. Residents report almost constant air, naval, artillery bombardment from 1:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M. local time, and particularly heavy ground engagements in al-Atatra n. of the city and Tal al-Hawa neighborhood on the southern outskirts, as well as in Jabaliya r.c. Thousands of Gaza City residents attempt to flee the fighting, but many cannot leave their homes because of the intensity of Israeli fire. During the operations, Israeli troops surround the home of Hamas’s Mahmud Zahhar (in hiding), killing his security guards. Gaza City fighting eases slightly in the afternoon, but IDF troops remain in the city overnight. The IDF also takes up new positions in Bayt Hanun’s alFarta and al-Nazzaza quarters under cover of heavy shelling and gunfire, ordering residents of the 2 areas (some 20 families) to evacuate.

The IDF reports carrying out more than 80 air strikes today, hitting at least 23 rocket and mortar launching sites, 19 groups of armed Palestinians, 6 suspected weapons depots (including 2 mosques in Gaza City, 1 in Rafah), 4 tunnels, 1 radio station in Gaza City. Air strike target areas include al-Atatra, Bayt Hanun, Bayt Lahiya, Dayr al-Balah, Gaza City (al-Rimal, al-Sabra, Tal al-Hawa, al-Yarmuk), Jabaliya, Khan Yunis, al-Maghazi r.c., Nussayrat r.c., Rafah, Yibna r.c. Heavy tank and artillery fire are reported in Abasan, Bayt Hanun, Bayt Lahiya, al-Bureij r.c., Dayr al-Balah, Gaza City (al-Sabra, Tal al-Hawa, al-Tuffah), Jabaliya, Khuza, al-Mughraqa, al-Nasser (n. of Rafah), Nussayrat r.c., al-Qarara, Rafah. UNRWA reports 100s of Palestinians fleeing areas of northeastern Rafah to escape heavy bombardments. Reports of Israel using white phosphorous munitions spike sharply, with confirmed use in 3 areas (Abasan, Khuza, al-Qarara) and suspected use in 5 areas (Bayt Hanun, Bayt Lahiya, al-Bureij r.c., Khan Yunis, Nussayrat r.c.). Israeli naval bombardment concentrates on Khan Yunis and the neighboring al-Mahatin area. Closecombat fighting is reported around Jabaliya r.c.

In a major air strike on Jabaliya, the IDF assassinates Gaza’s acting Interior M Said Siyam in his brother’s home, along with his brother and nephew, Hamas internal security head for Gaza Salah Abu Sharah, 4 Palestinians in an adjacent home. In addition, IDF air strikes hit buildings in Gaza City housing UNRWA’s main food depot (3 white phosphorous missiles incinerate tons of food and medicine brought in during the humanitarian lulls); Palestinian Red Crescent Society offices and the adjacent al-Quds Hospital (both hit repeatedly over a 5-hr. period; the patient wing of the hospital is not targeted); and the shared media offices of Abu Dhabi TV, al-Arabiyya TV, Reuters, and the Russian TV channel Rusiya al-Yaum, causing serious damage and injuring 2 journalists. A number of other hospitals in Gaza City are damaged by Israeli mortar fire. Palestinian medical workers say the Palestinian toll is at least 1,090 dead (including 375 children, 150 women, 14 medical workers), more than 5,000 wounded.

Palestinians fire 15 rockets and 8 mortars into Israel, seriously injuring a 7-yr.-old Israeli boy in Beersheba and causing significant damage in 2 instances (both by Qassams in Sederot); at least 3 of the rockets are Grads (2 in and nr. Beersheba, 1 in Gadera).

The Palestinian toll is estimated to be at least 1,090 dead, more than 5,000 wounded.

Humanitarian notes: With diplomacy toward a cease-fire showing progress, Israel extends the daily humanitarian lull to 4 hrs./day, allowing in up to 170 truckloads of humanitarian aid; permits the Qarni crossing conveyor belt to resume operation for the 1st time since 12/27 for the import of grain. Israel also allows the ICRC and Palestinian Energy Authority to begin repairs to part of Gaza’s electricity network. (AFP, AP, HA, IDF, IFM, IHY, MM, RFM, UNOSAT, YA 1/15; HA, IDF Radio, JP, MA, MM, NYT, REU, Scotsman, WP, WT, XIN, YA 1/16; IFM, NYT, XIN 1/17; ITIC 1/19; PCHR 1/22, 1/29)

Citing unspecified security concerns, the IDF imposes a total closure on the West Bank through 1/17. The IDF also conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem, Hebron, Nablus. Jewish settlers fr. Yitzhar attempt to close a road nr. Nablus to Palestinian traffic, stone Palestinian cars; the IDF forces them to leave. (IDF 1/15; PCHR 1/22)

Egypt announces that Gaza- and Damascus-based Hamas officials have agreed on a cease-fire offer to be present to Israel (see Quarterly Update). Israel agrees to send an envoy to Cairo on 1/15 to be briefed on the plan. Meanwhile, Israel’s intense air, naval, and ground assaults on Gaza continue.

Combat notes: Under cover of air strikes and heavy shelling, IDF troops take up new positions in s. Gaza’s al-Fukhari area nr. the Sufa crossing (occupying several homes and expelling the residents) and al-Shuka village; Israeli fire is so intense that rescuers cannot reach the wounded or retrieve the dead. The IDF reports carrying out approximately 120 air strikes today (70 of them after nightfall) that kill 10s of Palestinians. Targets include at least 24 groups of armed Palestinians, 16 smuggling tunnels, at least 10 suspected weapons depots (including a Rafah mosque), and 24 rocket launching sites (killing senior IQB cmdrs. Walid Za‘abud and Muhammad Dash nr. al-Zaytun). Air strike target areas include Bani Suhayla, Bayt Lahiya, Gaza City (areas northwest of the city and al-Nasser, al-Sabra, al-Sha‘af, Shaykh Ridwan, al-Shuja‘iyya, Tal al-Hawa, al-Yarmuk, al-Zaytun), Khan Yunis, Khuza, al-Mughraqa, Nussayrat r.c., al-Qarara, Rafah, al-Shabura r.c., Twam, Yibna r.c. Heavy artillery and tank fire are reported in and around Bayt Lahiya (white phosphorous suspected), al-Bureij r.c., Gaza City (al-Sabra, al-Tuffah), Jabaliya town and r.c. Naval bombardment centers on Rafah’s Tal al-Sultan neighborhood.

Palestinians fire 14 rockets and 2 mortars, including 4 Grads (2 each in Ashdod and Beersheba), into Israel, causing no injuries. Gaza medical workers put the estimated Palestinian toll at 1,018 dead (including an estimated 300 children), 4,700 injured. The IDF reports 27 soldiers wounded (1 severely, 2 moderately, 24 lightly), mostly in ground fighting with Palestinians n. Gaza, including 7 soldiers wounded (1 severely, 1 moderately, 5 lightly) by a Palestinian antitank missile. The Israeli toll stands at 13–14 dead, more than 150 wounded.

Humanitarian notes: The IDF allows at least 108 truckloads of humanitarian aid into Gaza during the lull. A group of Israeli human rights groups (including Amnesty International–Israel, B’Tselem Gisha, Physicians for Human Rights–Israel) characterize Israel’s restrictions on aid and access to Gaza by relief groups and medial workers as a “blatant violation of the laws of warfare and raises the suspicion, which we ask be investigated, of the commission of war crimes.” (AP, BBC, CBS News, HA, IDF, IFM, JAZ, MM, QA, REU, RFM, XIN 1/14; AYM, HA, IDF, IFM, IHY, JAZ, MA, MM, NYT, PCHR, WP, WT, YA 1/15; ITIC 1/19; PCHR 1/22, 1/29)

The IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Hebron and Jenin, in Bayt Sahur, and nr. Nablus. (PCHR 1/22)

Unidentified assailants fire 3 rockets fr. s. Lebanon into n. Israel. (Up to a dozen rockets total may have been fired, with others landing inside Lebanon). The IDF returns fire. No damage or injuries are reported. (MM, MNR 1/14; WP 1/15)

The Israeli security cabinet reportedly begins internal debate on opening phase 3 of OCL, which would involve deep incursions into Gaza’s built-up areas to deal a crushing blow to Hamas. Israeli military and intelligence sources warn that the new goal would require deep, sustained incursions into Gaza’s densely populated areas, likely resulting in months of combat and heavy casualties.

Combat notes: Heavy IDF aerial, naval, and ground assaults across Gaza continue. The IDF reports carrying out more than 110 air strikes, in many cases to support troops battling on the ground. Targets include 20 “terror operatives” (possibly assassinations), more than a dozen rocket-launching sites and squads, more than 20 suspected weapons depots (including homes of 3 Hamas mbrs.) and other outposts, at least 10 homes and 1 apartment building, 2 tunnels on the Rafah border, a market in Bayt Lahiya, 1 ESF post in Gaza City, a mosque in Dayr al-Balah. Target areas include Abasan, Bayt Hanun, Bayt Lahiya, al-Bureij r.c., Dayr alBalah, Gaza City (city center and al-Nasser, Shaykh Ridwan), Jabaliya town and r.c., Khan Yunis, Khuza, Nussayrat, al-Qarara, Rafah, Shati’ r.c., open areas in central Gaza.

At least 1 air strike on a residential area e. of Jabaliya involves white phosphorous munitions that cause extensive fire damage to 4 homes. Another air strike hits the rooftop of a Gaza City building housing the offices of some 20 international press agencies, destroying broadcasting equipment and wounding 1 journalist.

IDF ground forces take up new positions in Juhur al-Dik and al-Mughraqa in c. Gaza, and al-Shuka in s. Gaza (bulldozing 13 homes). Heavy tank and artillery fire are reported in Bayt Lahiya, Dayr al-Balah, Gaza City (al-Shuja‘iyya, alTuffah, al-Zaytun), Jabaliya. Heavy closequarter combat is reported in Gaza City and nr. Bayt Lahiya, with Palestinians firing antitank weapons and mortars and sniping at ground troops, moderately wounding 1 IDF soldier and lightly wounding 7.

Palestinians also fire 30 rockets and 1 mortar into Israel (including several Grads that hit Ashqelon), causing no reported damage or injuries.

At least 35 Palestinians are killed during the day, bringing the estimated Palestinian toll to around 795 dead and 3,300 wounded.

Humanitarian notes: The UN and other relief groups resume humanitarian aid transfers after receiving assurances fr. the Israeli government that they will not be targeted. During today’s 3-hr. humanitarian lull, Israel allows 41 trucks carrying food and medicine into the Strip. (Committee to Protect Journalists, Daily News, IDF, MA, MM, YA 1/9; IDF, NYT, WT, WP 1/10; NYT 1/11; PCHR 1/15)

Israel seals the West Bank through 1/10 citing unspecified security concerns. The IDF fires rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, percussion grenades at Palestinians demonstrating against OCL after Friday prayers in Bayt Umar nr. Hebron (injuring 2), Hawara s. of Nablus, Hebron (injuring 4), Issawiyya, Ras al-Amud in East Jerusalem; also fires rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, percussion grenades at Palestinian, Israeli, and international activists attending weekly nonviolent demonstrations against the separation wall in Bil‘in (injuring 3 Palestinians, arresting 5), Jayyus (injuring 9, including 2 wounded by live ammunition, which is not used at the other rallies), Ni‘lin (injuring 5 Palestinians); conducts late-night house searches in Azmut nr. Nablus. Jewish settlers fr. Shilo nr. Ramallah beat and fire on 2 Palestinians collecting water at a well nr. the settlement, wounding 1. (IDF 1/9; PCHR 1/15)

Sarkozy and Mubarak, with U.S. support, jointly call for an immediate ceasefire followed by talks on Israel’s siege and Palestinian smuggling.

Combat notes: IDF ground forces expand operations in s. Gaza overnight, surrounding Khan Yunis (taking up positions in Abasan and al-Qarara, where heavy artillery fire is reported). Fighting intensifies in and around Gaza City, with the IDF tightening its cordon around the city and making forays into built-up areas for the first time. Heavy exchanges are also reported on the edges of the Dayr al-Balah and al-Bureij r.c.s in c. Gaza. IDF air and naval bombardments continue, with the IDF reporting strikes on 40 targets, including 8 smuggling tunnels, more than 10 groups of gunmen, 16 suspected weapons storage and production facilities, 5 rocketlaunching sites. Target areas include Abasan, Bayt Lahiya, al-Bureij r.c., Dayr al-Balah, Gaza City (al-Rimal, al-Tuffah, al-Zaytun), Jabaliya r.c., Juhur al-Dik, Khan Yunis, al-Maghazi, Nussayrat, al-Qarara, Rafah, Shati’ r.c., Yibna r.c. One IDF air strike targets the home of Hamas’s chief rocket engineer Imad Siyam; Israel claims he is assassinated, but there is no independent confirmation.

In the single deadliest attack since OCL began, a mortar attack by IDF ground forces in Jabaliya hits outside at an UNRWA school being used as a shelter, killing 42 Palestinians and wounding around 55 civilians (15 critically; 1 of whom dies on 1/12, bringing the comprehensive toll in this attack to 43). The dead include 2 wanted Hamas mbrs. passing through the area and 40 civilians in and around the school, including 16 children (most of whom were lined up outside the building as UN workers registered their entry). Another IDF airstrike on a residential area of al-Bureij r.c. injures 7 UN workers at a medical clinic.

Palestinians fire 30 rockets and 5 mortars into Israel, including 1 Grad rocket that lands in Gadera, 28 mi. n. of Gaza, lightly injuring a 3-mo.-old Israeli child and marking the farthest rocket strike to date.

At least 85 Palestinians are killed during the day, bringing the toll to around 640 Palestinians killed, 2,900 injured; 1 IDF soldier is killed, 9 are wounded in clashes with Palestinians, bringing the Israeli toll to 10–11 dead.

Humanitarian notes: Israel says it will open “humanitarian corridors” into Gaza beginning 1/7 to prevent a humanitarian crisis, halting attacks for 3 hrs. every other day (in practice, they occur daily) in predetermined areas where Palestinians could receive needed food and supplies. Save the Children warns that Gazan children are at particular risk for hypothermia because there is no electricity or fuel to provide heat in the freezing cold, and many families are keeping windows open to prevent injuries if they shatter during Israeli bombing raids. (AP, AYM, BBC, Dept. of State press release, HA, IFM, ITV, JAZ, REU, WP 1/6; AYM, Hurriyet, JAZ, MM, NYT, QA, RFM, RIA, WP, WT 1/7; IFM, MM, NYT, PCHR, QA, WJW, WP 1/8; MM, YA 1/9; NYT 1/11, 1/12; JP 1/14; NYT 1/17; HA 1/21; WP 2/7)

As OCL enters day 10, IDF ground forces tighten the circle around Gaza City and continue to operate against Palestinian rocketlaunching units across n. Gaza, still avoiding entering densely populated areas. Troops deploy to segment the Strip into 3 main operational zones: a northern zone running fr. the n. Gaza border south to Netzarim Junction (the Qarni Crossing–Netzarim settlement line drawn on 1/4); a central zone fr. Netzarim Junction to Khan Yunis; and a southern zone fr. Khan Yunis to the Rafah border. While IDF troops are still entering Gaza, IDF reservists have not yet been sent in.

Meanwhile, French pres. Nicholas Sarkozy begins a regional tour to press for a 48-hr. humanitarian cease-fire, meeting with Mubarak in Cairo and Olmert in Israel).

Combat notes: In Gaza City, residents and medical workers report that IDF troops are concentrated in the al-Shuja‘iyya, al-Tuffah, and al-Zaytun neighborhoods (al-Zaytun is a strategic high point, providing a view over the breadth of the Strip) and that fighting is so intense (involving heavy Israeli tank and helicopter fire) that bodies of the dead have been left lying in the street and ambulances are unable to reach the area. IDF troops occupy at least 3 high-rise buildings in eastern areas of Gaza City as observation posts, expelling the residents and exchanging heavy gunfire with Palestinian gunmen. Israeli aircraft drop leaflets over Gaza City warning residents to evacuate their neighborhood; 1,000s of Gazans report receiving automated phone messages form the IDF saying “We are getting rid of Hamas.”

In addition to carrying out air strikes in support of advancing ground troops, the IDF reports making 40 air strikes targeting tunnels on the Rafah border, weapons caches, homes of senior Hamas and PFLP mbrs. (most of whom are in hiding), the Gaza airport site. Target areas include Abasan, Bayt Hanun, Bani Suhayla, Bayt Lahiya, al-Bureij r.c., Dayr al-Balah, Gaza City (the center city, al-Tuffah, al-Shuja‘iyya, Tal al-Hawa, alZaytun), Jabaliya, Khan Yunis, Khuza, the al-Mawasi area (w. of Khan Yunis), Nussayrat, Rafah, al-Shabura r.c. (nr. Rafah), Shati’ r.c., al-Shuka, Yibna r.c. (nr. Rafah).

Of particular note: A home in Gaza City’s al-Zaytun neighborhood, where the IDF placed 110 Palestinians it had rounded up on 1/4, is hit by an air strike and repeatedly shelled, killing at least 30 mbrs. of an extended family (including 5 children age 4 and younger) and wounding scores; the IDF bars relief workers fr. reaching the scene until 1/7. A shell fired from an Israeli naval vessel hits a Palestinian home in Shati’ r.c., killing a family of 7 asleep in their beds. A late-night air strike hits an UNRWA school in Shati’ r.c. being used as a shelter, killing 3 members of a single family. The IDF also makes air strikes hitting the offices of the Hamas-affiliated al-Risala for a 2d time (see 1/3). Photographs and live footage of the ongoing operations clearly show IDF artillery firing white phosphorus shells on densely populated areas, though Israel denies using the munitions. The IDF fires flechette shells on residential areas nr. Bayt Hanun, killing at least 1 Palestinian, wounding at least 3.

Palestinians fire 28 rockets, 5 mortars into Israel, hitting Ashdod, Ashqelon, Beersheba, Sederot, and Shaar Hanegev, damaging an empty kindergarten in Ashdod, injuring 2 Israelis in Shaar Hanegev.

More than 40 Palestinians are killed today (almost half of them children), bringing the estimated Palestinian toll to 550 dead, 2,500 injured. The Israeli toll reaches 9–10 dead, more than 70 wounded: 3 IDF soldiers are killed, 24 wounded (4 seriously) by friendly fire when their unit is hit by an Israeli tank shell outside Gaza City; an IDF officer is killed during an exchange of fire in n. Gaza, possibly by an IDF tank shell; 6 IDF soldiers are wounded in clashes with Palestinians nr. the e. Gaza border.

Humanitarian notes: Israel allows 80 truckloads of food, medicine, and medical equipment into Gaza, but the UN says much more is needed. Relief agencies (including the ICRC, UNRWA, and UNSCO) warn that two-thirds of the Strip is still without power, suffering freezing winter temperatures; 250,000 Gazans are without any running water; and water supplies for another 500,000 Gazans are expected to run out within days because of lack of fuel for pumps and backup generators. Shifa hospital, which has been running fully on generators for 3 days, warns that it has only a 2-day supply of generator fuel. (BBC, CNN, IDF, IDF Radio, MM, NYT, REU, RFM, UNIS, UNOSAT, WT 1/5; AFP, BBC, Guardian, HA, IDF, IFM, Israel Radio News, MA, MM, NYT, WP, WT, YA 1/6; IFM, PCHR, WJW, WT 1/8; Committee to Protect Journalists, MM, YA 1/9; NYT, WP 1/10; NYT 1/17; WP 1/27; BBC 2/23)

The IDF arrests 2 12-yr.-old Palestinians at an OCL protest nr. Hebron; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem and in al-Bireh, Ramallah. Clubwielding PASF officers violently disperse a protest against OCL by students attempting to march fr. Ramallah’s Birzeit University to a main IDF checkpoint at Atarot. (PCHR 1/8)

IDF ground forces backed by naval and air support continue to enter Gaza overnight, with troops taking up positions across n. Gaza (from which most Palestinian rockets have been fired), surrounding Gaza City, retaking the former Netzarim settlement site nr. the Gaza coast south of Gaza City, and bifurcating the Strip into e. and w. (cutting a swath roughly from the Qarni and Nahal Oz crossings to Netzarim on the coast, driving 1,000s of residents from Juhur al-Dik, al-Mughraqa, and al-Zahra’ with heavy artillery and tank fire), but not entering dense urban areas.

Combat notes: IDF-Palestinian ground fighting is described as “fierce,” characterized by heavy IDF artillery fire and heavy Palestinian sniping and mortar fire. Because the IDF stays out of built-up areas, there are few reports of close-quarter combat or heavy exchanges of gunfire. While ground troops concentrate in the north, Israeli air strikes and naval bombardment focus equally on the north and south, hitting more tunnels on the Rafah border and targeting Hamas leaders for assassination. (The IDF claims to assassinate Hamas rocket cmdr. Hussam Hamdan and IQB and long-range rocket cmdr. Muhammad Hilu in Khan Yunis, senior IQB mbr. Muhammad Shalbush in Jabaliya, but there is no independent confirmation.)

The IDF reports hitting 45 sites and carrying out 40 air strikes during the day, striking a produce market in Gaza City, several mosques, a medical building and 3 mobile clinics in Shati’ r.c. run by a Danish charity, homes of at least 4 Hamas mbrs. (most of whom have gone into hiding), and suspected weapons depots across Gaza. Target areas include Abasan, Bayt Hanun, Bayt Lahiya, al-Bureij r.c., Dayr al-Balah, Gaza City (al-Daraj, Tal al-Hawa, al-Tuffah, al-Yarmuk, al-Zaytun), Jabaliya, Juhur al-Dik, Khan Yunis, al-Mughraqa, al-Nasser (n. of Rafah), Rafah, Shati’ r.c., al-Shuka, al-Zahra’. After dark, IDF troops conduct door-to-door searches on the outskirts of Gaza City.

Palestinians fire 29 rockets (including at least 12 Grads) and 5 mortars into Israel, hitting Ashdod, Ashqelon, Netivot, Ofakim, and Sederot; 1 house in Sederot is damaged and 1 Israeli woman lightly injured. 

At least 47 Palestinians (including 4 paramedics) are killed and 400 wounded (including 3 paramedics) during the day; 1 IDF soldier is killed, 1 is seriously wounded in a heavy exchange of gunfire nr. Jabaliya; 15 IDF soldiers are wounded (3 seriously) by Palestinian mortar fire inside Gaza. The UN and Palestinian medical workers estimate the Palestinian toll to have reached at least 507 dead, 2,400 injured. The Israeli toll stands at 5–6 killed, more than 40 injured.

Humanitarian notes: The Israeli FMin. announced a new joint office of the FMin. and Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, called the Humanitarian Affairs Coordination Center (HACC), to coordinate humanitarian organizations operating on aid transfers to the Strip. The UN reports that shortages of fuel, electricity, and water are worsening. Gazan hospitals report drastic shortages of anesthesia, surgical equipment, heaters, spare parts. (AP, BBC, IDF, JAZ, National Public Radio, OCHA, REU, WT 1/4; IDF, IFM, NYT, RFM, UNOSAT, WP, WT 1/5; BBC 1/6; IFM, PCHR 1/8; WP 1/27)

In the West Bank, the IDF fatally shoots 1 Palestinian demonstrator who attempts to climb the separation wall nr. Qalqilya; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in al-Arub r.c. nr. Hebron, nr. Jenin. Israel’s High Court rules that the IDF may seal 2 floors of the home of the East Jerusalem Palestinian who killed 8 students at the Mercaz HaRava yeshiva in Jerusalem in 3/6/08, even though the gunman was killed during the attack and sealing the home would serve only to punish his extended family; another floor of the home will not be sealed because it is being rented to an unrelated family. (PCHR 1/8)

Israel begins phase 2 of OCL, a massive ground advance into Gaza, in the evening. The IDF states that “the objective . . . is to destroy the terrorist infrastructure of the Hamas in the precise area of operation, while taking control of some of [sic] rocket launching areas used by Hamas in order to greatly reduce the quantity of rockets fired at Israel and Israeli civilians.” Israeli FM Livni acknowledges that Israel has broader aims, stating that toppling Hamas is “a strategic Israeli objective,” but that it might take more than one large-scale military operation such as OCL to do the job.

Israeli actions: Before phase 2 begins in the evening, the IDF launches artillery strikes on some 40 targets concentrated in open areas around Bayt Hanun, east of Rafah, and along Gaza’s main north–south artery in an apparent effort to clear the areas of mines and tunnels, to move Palestinians away from those areas in preparation for the insertion of ground forces.

The IDF also continues air strikes and naval bombardments across Gaza. Target areas include Bayt Lahiya, Gaza City (al-Nasser, al-Rimal, al-Shuja‘iyya, al-Tuffah, al-Zaytun), Jabaliya, Juhur al-Dik, Khan Yunis, Khuza, al-Mughraqa, Nussayrat, Rafah, al-Shuka (e. of Rafah). Targets include 2 mosques in Bayt Lahiya and Jabaliya, killing at least 13 worshipers and injuring 30 during evening prayers; a car in Khan Yunis, assassinating senior Hamas military cmdr. Muhammad Ma‘aruf; 2 PA security compounds in Gaza City; the al-Aqsa Radio and the al-Risala newspaper offices in Gaza City; tunnels on the Rafah border; suspected rocket-launching sites and weapons depots. By evening, the Palestinian toll reaches at least 460 dead and more than 2,000 wounded.

At dusk, the IDF drops leaflets on n. Gaza warning residents that troops will soon operate in this area and that they should evacuate for their safety. Around 8:00 P.M. local time, the IDF cuts power to the Strip and begins sending ground forces into n. Gaza, taking up positions on the outskirts of Bayt Hanun and Bayt Lahiya (occupying homes as operational bases); securing areas e. of Gaza City nr. the Qarni crossing, but notably keeping a distance from Jabaliya (considered a Hamas stronghold), and just inside the s. Gaza border e. of Rafah (with tanks firing flechette shells at houses and agricultural areas, killing 1 Palestinian and wounding 7 inside their homes). Heavy gun battles are reported, with Hamas issuing a statement that it is firing mortars at IDF ground forces. After ground operations begin, the IDF announces a naval blockade of Gaza out to 20 nautical miles.

Palestinian actions: During the day, Palestinians fire 28 rockets and 7 mortars into Israel, hitting as far as Ashdod and Ashqelon to the n., and Netivot to the e., lightly damaging 3 homes and an apartment building, lightly injuring 2 Israelis.

Of note: Embedded with some IDF ground units are the first Israeli journalists and 2 foreign reporters (BBC and Reuters) allowed into Gaza since late 10/08. These journalists have been given “trusted” status by the government for their “long history of relations with the IDF” and are under the strict rules of the IDF censor; the general ban on foreign journalists is still in place, despite a 12/31 High Court ruling ordering the government to allow journalists access. (AFP, AP, BBC, IDF, IFM, ITV, Organization of the Islamic Conference [OIC] press release, REU, YA 1/3; HA, IFM, JAZ, JP, NYT, OCHA, WP, WT 1/4; NYT, UNOSAT, WP, WT 1/5; IFM, PCHR 1/8; HA 1/11; JP 1/22; JPI 2/6; Harpers 3/09)

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)

In Gaza, the IDF closes the Nahal Oz pipeline; shells areas nr. Gaza City, killing at least 1 Palestinian militant, 1 Palestinian farmer working in her field; shells areas nr. Bayt Hanun (killing 1 Palestinian child outside his home, wounding 5 Palestinians), in al-Shuka; makes air strikes destroying 3 houses nr. Bayt Lahiya (killing 1 Palestinian bystander), in Bayt Hanun, Khan Yunis (also destroying 2 adjacent homes). In Jerusalem, a Palestinian gunman fires on Israeli police, wounding 2 before being shot dead. In the West Bank, the IDF sends undercover units into Jenin r.c. in cars with Palestinian license plates, surrounds a home, opens fire (wounding a Palestinian bystander in an apartment building nearby), occupying several surrounding houses as sniper positions, evacuates and checks IDs of residents, arrests 1 Palestinian, fires on stone-throwing Palestinians who confront the troops, wounding 8 Palestinians (including 2 journalists covering the incident for al-Jazeera, Reuters); patrols in al-Bireh; begins construction of a new segment of the separation wall in Bayt Jala that will cut Palestinians off fr. 5,000 d. of agricultural land and cut off the access of Battir and Husan Nahalin villages to Bethlehem. The body of a Jewish settler fr. Yakir missing since early in the morning is found in a burnt-out vehicle nr. a West Bank Palestinian village; the AMB takes responsibility for kidnapping, killing him. In Israel, Israeli police free dual Israeli-Canadian citizen Falah after a Haifa District Court orders the police and/or Shin Bet to file formal charges against him or let him go (see 7/26). A Palestinian wounded during the 7/26 IDF raid on Kafr Qadim dies. A 2d Palestinian dies of injuries received during IDF operations in Nablus on 7/19. (OCHA 7/27; NYT 7/28; NYT 7/29; PCHR 8/3)

Israel’s security cabinet approves call-ups for up to 3 divisions of reservists (15,000–30,000 reserves) for the war on Lebanon. The IDF makes some 180 air and artillery strikes on targets across Lebanon, including hitting radio and TV relays in Amshit n. of Beirut, 3 trucks in the Biqa‘ Valley carrying emergency food supplies to Beirut. Ground clashes continue in Bint Jubayl, 2 residential apartment buildings nr. an Amal headquarters in Tyre; a Lebanese army base in n. Lebanon; roads, buildings in s. Lebanon and the Biqa‘ Valley, including al-Khiyam, Kafr, Nabatiyya, Sidon, Tuffah, Riyaq, Zahleh. The IDF broadcasts radio warnings to s. Lebanon residents that their villages would be “totally destroyed” if rockets are fired fr. them. Hizballah fires some 110 rockets into n. Israel, wounding 7 Israelis and hitting an empty factory in Haifa, also hitting sites in Carmiel, Nahariya Safad, Tiberias. (IFM 7/27; NYT, WP, WT 7/28)

The IDF declares Gaza settlements closed military zones so that they may bar and remove from them any nonresident Israelis protesting disengagement, then evicts 150 right-wing Israeli disengagement protesters (mostly West Bank settlers, many aligned with the outlawed Kach movement) fr. an abandoned hotel in s. Gaza that they have been occupying for 1 mo.; detains, handcuffs for several hrs. 2 Israeli journalists covering the evictions. The IDF sends troops into Balata r.c., Nablus after Palestinians stating they are mbrs. of the AMB–Ayman Juda Brigade falsely claim to have captured 2 IDF undercover soldiers who entered the city; troops clash with stone-throwing Palestinians who confront them (leaving 7 Palestinians, 1 IDF soldier injured), detain and beat 2 Palestinian journalists covering the incursion; the AMB, Islamic Jihad deny involvement. The IDF fires on residential areas of Dura; demolishes 3 Palestinian homes in Hebron, 3 in Yatta, all bordering Jewish settlements; occupies 2 Palestinian homes nr. Tulkarm, 1 in Jenin as observation posts; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Aida r.c., Bayt Fajjar, Hebron. An Israeli naval vessel fires on a Palestinian fishing boat off Gaza, wounding 1 fisherman. Jewish settlers fr. Gush Katif attack Palestinian traders, farmers waiting nr. the Tuffah checkpoint n. of Gaza City; the IDF intervenes, disperses the settlers. Nr. Nablus, 5 Jewish settlers fr. Yitzhar throw stones at a Palestinian taxi. Hamas fires a Qassam rocket at Neve Dekalim, causing no damage or injuries. (BBC, WAFA, XIN 6/30; VOI, VOP 6 /30 in WNC 7/2; IMEMC, NYT, WP, WT 7/1; HA 7/3; OCHA, PR 7/6; PCHR 7/7)

The IDF lifts the curfew on Hawara, imposed on 12/2; for no apparent reason fires on Palestinians waiting to cross the Tuffah checkpoint in s. Gaza, wounding 1; conducts arrest raids and house searches, bulldozes 30 d. of land in al-Qarara; fires on residential areas of Rafah; beats several Israeli, Palestinian, international peace activists demonstrating against the separation wall nr. Hebron as well as a Palestinian journalist covering the incident. Palestinians fire 2 mortars, 1 Qassam rocket at Jewish settlements in s. Gaza, causing no damage or injuries. Jewish settlers vandalize Palestinian agricultural land in the al-Mawasi area of s. Gaza. (VOI 12/5 in WNC 12/7; PCHR 12/9)

Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue, leaving 2 Palestinians dead. Palestinians step up attacks on Jewish settlements, with Fatah's Bethlehem branch issuing a leaflet calling on Palestinians to target Gilo specifically, but cause no injuries; Palestinians reportedly fire an antitank missile that causes no damage. The IDF directs heavy machine gun, rocket-propelled grenade fire at residential areas of Khan Yunis, forcing many families to flee their homes, severely damaging 20 homes, a mosque; directs shells, heavy machine gun fire at residential areas of Aida camp, al-Azza camp, Beitunia, al-Bireh, and al-Khadir, Ramallah, al-Tuffah destroying 11 Palestinian homes, 1 Red Crescent ambulance; bulldozes Palestinian land nr. Kefar Darom settlement, demolishing 2 Palestinian homes. Israeli officials tell the press there were never plans to demolish Palestinian homes in Mawasi (see 2/11), the IDF informs the 22 families. Israel reopens Gaza airport for 1 wk. to allow Palestinians to fly to Saudi Arabia for the hajj. (Gush Shalom press release, HA, HP, LAW, REU 2/12; NYT, WT 2/13; NYT 2/15)

A Likud spokesman say Sharon, Barak have agreed on most guidelines for a national unity government, including a joint peace platform aiming only at reaching an interim agmt. with the PA and an agmt. that no new settlements would be built, though existing ones would be expanded. (HA, NYT, WP, WT 2/13, 2/16)

As Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue, Israel tightens its blockade of Palestinian towns in the West Bank. During the day, 3 Palestinians are shot dead by the IDF. A 4th Palestinian is killed by a Jewish settler. A 5th dies of complications fr. inhaling tear gas when the IDF bars an ambulance fr. taking him to a hospital. A 6th dies of injuries received earlier. Nr. Ramallah, several Palestinians are wounded by Jewish settlers in a drive-by shooting. Beginning this evening and continuing overnight, IDF troops search, ransack at least 20 homes in area B nr. Nablus, Qalqilya, and Ramallah, arresting 15 Fatah mbrs. "suspected of carrying out terrorist attacks." Nr. Qalqilya, the IDF bulldozes several greenhouses. In a closed mtg., Arafat tells his security officials to prevent individuals fr. firing fr. areas A and Palestinian populated areas so as to reduce civilian casualties resulting fr. Israeli reprisals. (EU press release, LAW, MEZ 11/14; MENA 11/14 in WNC 11/16; LAW, MEZ, NYT, WP, WT 11/15; MA [Internet], MM, NYT 11/16; AYM 11/16 in WNC 11/17)

In Doha, the OIC issues a special nonbinding resolution on the clashes, urging mbrs. to cut ties with Israel; the U.S. to revise its "biased stance" in favor of Israel; the UN to send a peacekeeping force in the West Bank, Gaza. (MA [Internet], MM, OIC press release 11/14; AYM, IRNA 11/14 in WNC 11/15; MENA 11/14 in WNC 11/16; MM 11/15, 11/16; IRNA 11/16 in WNC 11/17; MM 11/17; JP, MEI 11/24)

Lebanon reports that IDF overflew Baalbek, Bint Jubayl, Iqlim al-Tuffah, Marja'uyun, Nabatiyya and reinforced troops in the Shaba` Farms area. UNIFIL adviser Timur Goksel says UNIFIL recorded 123 Israeli violations of Lebanese airspace btwn. 10/8 and 11/8, has protested to Israel to no avail. (AFP [Internet] 11/14; RL 11/14 in WNC 11/16)

The Clinton administration submits to Congress a request for a $750 m. supplemental aid package for Israel, Egypt, Jordan. (WP 11/15; HA [Internet], WJW 11/16)

U.S. special envoy Ross convinces Israel, PA to resume FAPS talks in Elat. Negotiators complain that reporters are getting in their way. (MM 5/3; NYT 5/4; al-Quds 5/4 in WNC 5/8; MEI 5/5) (see 5/2)

The FMs of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Syria open a 2-day mtg. in Palmayra, Syria, to coordinate their stands on the peace process, explore the possibility of holding an Arab summit. (MM, NYT 5/3; MENA 5/3 in WNC 5/4; MM 5/4; MENA 5/4 in WNC 5/5; MENA 5/6 in WNC 5/8; MM 5/8)

The Israeli DMin. says that around 10/00, Israel will deploy a $250-m. laser-based air defense system, developed jointly with the U.S., to protect against missiles fired into Israel following a withdrawal fr. s. Lebanon. (MM 5/3; WP 5/4)

PA Dep. Education M Naim Abu al-Humus resigns in protest of the failure of the PA to respond to teachers' demands for pay increases. Teachers fr. Hebron hold a large sit-in strike outside the PA Education Min. offices to protest the PA's inaction regarding their salary increases. (MENL, PCHR 5/3; MENL 5/4; PR 5/10) (see 5/2)

The PA High Court suspends the 2/28 decree requiring all demonstrations, public mtgs. to receive prior authorization fr. the PA police. (PCHR 5/3)

In Iqlim al-Tuffah, outside Israel's self-declared security zone, an Israeli plane drops a 660-lb. bomb on the home of Amal regional cmdr. Abbas Hallal, injuring his mother, 14 civilians (including 6 children). Israel claims the shelling was a mistake. In 2 other IDF and SLA attacks in s. Lebanon, 3 Hizballah mbrs. and 2 civilians are killed. (NYT 5/4; MM, NYT, WP 5/5)

In the Netherlands, the trial of 2 Libyans charged in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am 103 opens. The Libyans plead not guilty, blame the crime on the PFLP-GC and the Palestinian Poplar Struggle Front. Both groups deny the charge. (MM, NYT, WP 5/4; MEI 5/5; CSM 5/9)

In New York, Israeli FM Levy briefs Secy. of State Albright on the difficulties Israel envisions in meeting Barak's ambitious timetable for the peace process. Apparently in response to Egyptian FM Musa's statement (9/26) on resumption of multilateral talks, Levy says that Israel rejects efforts to link "wider Middle East peace" to resumption of talks with Syria. (MM 9/28, 9/29; WJW 9/30)

Israeli Housing Min. reports that in the 1st 3 mos. of Barak's government, it has authorized construction of 2,600 new housing units in West Bank Jewish settlements, mostly in settlements nr. Jerusalem. Under fmr. PM Netanyahu's tenure, the ministry approved an average of 3,000 new units a yr. (MM 9/27; NYT 9/28; AYM 9/30, MENA 10/3 in WNC 10/4; MEI 10/1)

In s. Lebanon, Hizballah detonates a roadside bomb, killing a top SLA official, wounding another SLA mbr. In a separate Hizballah attack on an SLA post, 5 SLA mbrs., 1 IDF soldier, 1 Hizballah mbr., 1 civilian are injured. The IDF stages 15 air raids against Nabatiyya, Iqlim al-Tuffah during the day. (RL 9/27 in WNC 9/28; WP 9/28; VOL 9/28 in WNC 9/30)

British PM John Major sends letter on peace process to Israeli PM-elect Netanyahu. (MA 6/10 in FBIS 6/10)

In Damascus, Pres. Asad, Iranian FM Ali Akhbar Velayati open 2-day mtg. (SARR 6/9, 6/10 in FBIS 6/10; RMC, SARR 6/10 in FBIS 6/11; AFP 6/16 in FBIS 6/17)

Qatari, Syrian FMs meet in Damascus. (SARR 6/9 in FBIS 6/10; MM 6/10)

Israeli couple is killed in an apparent drive-by shooting in Zekharia, a rural area of central Israel. In belief the assailants are Palestinian, IDF closes shops in Hebron, searches Palestinian cars. PA condemns the killing. (AFP 6/9, QY 6/10 in FBIS 6/10; MM, NYT, WP, WT 6/10; CSM, NYT, WP 6/11; WJW 6/13)

In s. Lebanon, 1 SLA soldier is seriously wounded by roadside bomb. IDF responds with heavy artillery bombardment of Hizballah targets in Nabatiyya, Iqlim al-Tuffah, killing 1 Lebanese army soldier; describes situation as very tense. (QY 6/9, MENA, QY, RL 6/10 in FBIS 6/10)

Syrian FM al-Shara` calls Israeli proposal of 8/23 recipe for resumption of Lebanese civil war; rebukes Rabin for saying Israel would agree to continued Syrian presence in Lebanon, saying that is a matter for Syria, Lebanon to discuss. (MM 9/7) (see 8/23, 9/5)

Arafat meets with World Bank officials in preparation for Paris mtg. of donor countries 9/9. World Bank says it will release $30 m. of $180 m. slotted for development of autonomous areas. (VOP 9/7 in FBIS 9/7; JP 9/17)

MK's Shimon Shetrit, Avigdor Kahalani meet with 6 MK's fr. Labor, Yi'ud, Shas, draft bill that would require any withdrawal fr. Golan to have broad national backing, be supported by special majority of 70 MK's. (ITV 9/9 in FBIS 9/13)

Hamas says it is forming a political party so its mbrs. can take political posts in PNA, take part in elections. (CSM 9/13)

Arafat permits senior Hamas figure, Imad Faluji, to start daily newspaper Al-Watan. (MM 9/8)

DFLP SG Nayif Hawatmeh says crackdown on Islamic Jihad, DFLP paired with Hamas rapprochement is Arafat's divide-and-rule tactic. Hamas, Islamic Jihad, DFLP each issue leaflet demanding release of mbrs. recently arrested by Palestinian police. DFLP claims 14 mbrs. arrested in past wk. (MM 9/7, 9/8)

Libyan leader Muammar Qadhafi says he is considering deporting 30,000 Palestinians to Gaza now that it is autonomous. Palestinians in Libya report many have been fired from jobs recently, lending weight to the threat. (Al-Quds 9/7 in MM 9/7; MM 9/15)

IDF shells Iqlim al-Tuffah in southern Lebanon, arrests 4 civilians accused of aiding Hizballah. (RL 9/7 in FBIS 9/8)

PM Rabin postpones "safe passage" btwn. Gaza, Jericho citing lack of PNA action toward recent Hamas attacks. (MEI 8/26)

Jordanian-Palestinian talks end in Amman. Joint comm. is formed to meet monthly, discuss economic, political, administrative issues. Plans for Palestinian currency suspended, Jordanian dinar to be primary currency of PNA areas for 3-yr. period. (JTV 8/22, MM 8/23; VOP 8/23 in FBIS 8/23; RJ 8/23 in FBIS 8/24; Al-Dustur 9/3 in FBIS 9/7)

171 Palestinian figures, inc. 82 mbrs of PNC, PLO Central Council, PLO Executive Comm. issue statement criticizing Arafat; reject calls for PNC mtg. in Gaza, amendment of charter; denounce DOP. (MM 8/23; Al-Dustur 8/23 in FBIS 8/24; CSM 8/25; MEI 8/26)

Curfew on Rafah is lifted. (QY in FBIS 8/22)

IDF detains 15 Hamas, Islamic Jihad mbrs. in Janin. (QY 8/22 in FBIS 8/23)

Palestinian prisoners released 8/19 hold press conference to protest Israel's demand they remain in Gaza, Jericho for remainder of their sentences, criticize Arafat. (ITV 8/22 in FBIS 8/23)

Israeli PM Rabin promises NIS 16 m. to build new road in West Bank so settlers can bypass Jericho. (QY 8/22 in FBIS 8/23)

Israel shells villages in Iqlim al-Tuffah, Jabal Abu Rashid southern Lebanon in response to 8/18 Hizballah attack. (WT 8/24)

New Palestinian group calling itself Palestinian National Liberation Movement-Fateh Soldiers of Right (jund al-haq) issues leaflet in o.t. saying it will "remove injustice, fight corrution, and restore Fateh's past status." (Al-Ra'y 8/22 in FBIS 8/23)

Secy of State Christopher meets Jordan's King Hussein in Amman, Hussein telling press conference he will not sign a peace treaty at 7/25 summit with Israeli PM Rabin.  Hussein expresses "fervent hope" for "comprehensive peace," but says Jordan will "move ahead" with negotiations irrespective of Syrian track.  Monarch asserts that "the holy sites in Jerusalem belong to the Muslim world as a whole."  (MM 7/20; NYT, WP, WT 7/21)

Israeli FM Peres, Jordanian PM and FM Majali, and U.S. Secy of State Christopher meet in Shunah, Jordan, pledge to seek peace.  Peres and Majali indicate state of war may be ended at 7/25 summit in Washington.  (JTV 7/20 in FBIS 7/21; MM 7/20; CSM, NYT, WP, WSJ, WT 7/21)

Palestinian-Israeli talks in Cairo on "early empowerment" of Palestinians conclude, Palestinian negotiator Shaath saying some progress made but Israel not willing to transfer real power in education, health, social, administrative, and financial affairs.  (MENA 7/20 in FBIS 7/21)

PNA Economy M Ahmad Qurai` denied entry to Jerusalem by Israeli authorities.  Qurai` was scheduled to address economic conference, which he speaks to by telephone.  Israel objects to any PNA activities in Jerusalem.  (TJT 7/22; JP 7/30)

IAF rockets Hizballah positions in Iqlim al-Tuffah and eastern Biqa` Valley, Lebanon.  Israel blames Hizballah for 7/18 bombing of building housing Jewish organizations in Buenos Aires, Argentina; Hizballah denies involvement.  (RL 7/20 in FBIS 7/21; NYT, WT 7/21)

Palestinian police in Jericho, Gaza Strip receive salary, paid with $5 m. in U.S. aid.  Payment comes after PECDAR officials had complained of financial crisis.  (WT 6/9)

Deadline for release of 5,000 Palestinian prisoners under 5/4 agreement passes with only 1/2 that number freed.  (NYT 6/10)

Hizballah fires katyushas on northern Israel.  IAF sends 4 planes on sortie against Hizballah positions in Iqlim al-Tuffah, southern Lebanon in 18th IAF raid on Lebanon of 1994.  No casualties reported.  (WP 6/9)

Russian Chief of Staff Col. Gen. Mikhail Kolesnikov ends visit to Syria, having signed 12 military-cooperation agreements.  Russia reportedly agrees to sell Syria $500 m. in anti-tank weapons and radar, as well as $1.6 b. in other arms.  (WT 6/21)

Land Day, commemorating deaths of 6 Israeli Arabs in 1976 demonstrations against land confiscation, observed throughout Palestinian areas of Israel and in o.t. Israel's 800,000 Palestinian citizens observe general strike; observances dedicated to victims of Hebron massacre, 6 Fateh Hawks killed 3/28. Curfew imposed on Nablus, Tulkarm, Ramallah, Hebron, and 9 r.c.s. including Jabaliya. Largest demonstration held in Rahat in the Negev, where 22-yr.-old Bedouin killed by police 2/27. (MM 3/30, 3/31; NYT 3/31)

Jordan's King Hussein receives PLO envoy Hakam Bal'awi, bearing message fr. PLO Chmn. Arafat on coordinating policy on Jerusalem. (MM 3/31)

Jordanian delegate to multilateral talks on water sharing Munther Haddadin rejects Israeli proposals for "new Jordan River," saying "It is purely a unilateral project proposed by a group of academics financed by a German company. Jordan has nothing to do with it." (MM 3/31)(see 3/28)

IAF planes and IDF helicopters attack Hizballah targets in Iqlim al-Tuffah, Lebanon. (MM 3/30)

Israeli cabinet issues statement warning guerrillas in southern Lebanon that Israel will retaliate for recent attacks in "security zone." Lebanese Pres. al-Hirawi replies that "lf peace is not achieved in the south, the entire Lebanese people will join the resistance in fighting Israel." (Qol Yisra'el 7/18 in FBIS 7/19; CSM, WT 7/19)

Israeli warplanes overfly lqlim al-Tuffah and Beirut as tensions on Lebanon-Israel border mount. (MM 7/19)

IDF wounds 6 Palestinians, including a 10-year-old shot in the head, in clash at Jabalya refugee camp in Gaza. (WT 7/19)

Fateh Central Committee and Revolutionary Council meet in Tunis. (Sawt al-Sha'b 7/20 in FBIS 7/21)

Palestinian negotiator Haydar 'Abd alShafi denies knowledge of Israeli-PLO contacts (Jerusalem al-Nahar 7/14 in FBIS 7/15)

Test flight of Israeli-made Arrow missile fails, jeopardizing U.S. support for ABM weapon. (WT 7/16; IDF Radio 7/14 in FBIS 7/15)

Guerrillas attack SLA position near al- 'Ayshiyah in southern Lebanon with machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades. IDF and SLA return fire. IDF troop and artillery movements reported near Hula and al-Majidiyah, including reinforcement of 10 armored cars and 100 troops, with mechanized company at Hula. Hizballah claims katyusha attack on SLA positions at 'Ali al-Tahir, Sujud. IDF shells Kafr Tibnit and other villages in lqlim al-Tuffah. (Qol Yisra'el, Voice of the Mountain 7/15 in FBIS 7/15)

Lebanese govt. orders PFLP-GC head Ahmadjibril to leave Lebanon. Jibril's presence had become an embarrassment after 7/8 ambush of IDF in southern Lebanon and Jibril press conference afterward. (MM 7/15)

Israeli police stop attempt to establish new settlement in Golan Heights. (Qol Yisra'el 7/14 in FBIS 7/15; JP 7/15 in MM 7/15)

Opposition Knesset factions (Likud, NRP, Tsomet, and Molodet) enter no-confidence motions, citing civil-service strike, kosher laws, and alleged Israeli-PLO dialogue. (Qol Yisra'el 7/14 in FBIS 7/15)

CSM reports that 10 U.S. state govts. hold Israeli bonds, 8% of $650m annual U.S. market. Poll commissioned by Arab American Institute shows 71.9% oppose buying Israeli bonds with tax money. (CSM 7/14)