12 / 15230 Results
  • February 11, 2024

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers throw stones and tear-gas canisters at cars traveling near Bizarya, causing injuries and damage. Israeli settlers also demolish a Palestinian-owned home, a water...

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  • December 21, 2023

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers razed 15 dunams of land, uprooting grape vines and almond trees near al-Khader. Israeli forces shot and injured 2 Palestinians during raids in Qiffin and Tell....

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  • December 20, 2023

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces shot and killed 2 Palestinians, including a child, in Beit Einun and Husan. Israeli forces shot and injured 2 Palestinians during a raid in al-Yamun. Elsewhere,...

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  • October 10, 2023

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers attacked a Palestinian family in their home in the Masafer Yatta area, causing bruises. Israeli settlers also opened fire at Palestinians harvesting olives in...

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  • May 9, 2023

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  • June 24, 2021

    In the West Bank, the prominent critic of the PA, Nizar Banat, died at a hospital after being arrested by PA forces in his home in Dura; the family of Banat said he was brutally beaten by 20 PA...

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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 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 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 29, 2008

    As Israel continues widespread air and naval bombardment of Gaza for a 3d day, Israeli DM Barak declares “all-out war” on Hamas. The IDF declares a 2-mi. buffer zone around the Strip a closed...

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  • December 28, 2008

    As massive Israeli strikes on Gaza enter a 2d day, IDF Southern Command head Maj. Gen. Yo’av Galant says (HA 12/28) that the IDF aims to “send Gaza decades into the past” in terms of Hamas’s...

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  • January 8, 1990

    Military Action

    Occupied Palestine/Israel: IDF detains about 100 Palestinians in Ramallah area, seals 4 houses. In Gaza's Rimal neighborhood, army demolishes 1 house and seals another [FBIS...

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In the West Bank, Israeli settlers throw stones and tear-gas canisters at cars traveling near Bizarya, causing injuries and damage. Israeli settlers also demolish a Palestinian-owned home, a water well, and agricultural structures and raze farmland in Shaghab Farsa in the Masafer Yatta area. Israeli forces shoot and kill a Palestinian man in Battir. Israeli forces also seize a vehicle in Jenin. Elsewhere, Israeli forces arrest 3 Palestinians in Jericho. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces shoot and injure a Palestinian child in the Old City, claiming he tried to stab soldiers. The child succumbs to his injuries on 2/12. In Gaza, Israeli forces bomb Rafah, Khan Yunis, and Dayr al-Balah, killing at least 112 people, including at least 25 people in an airstrike on a home in Rafah. Israeli forces block the delivery of oxygen cylinders to al-Amal Hospital, resulting in the deaths of 3 patients. Al Jazeera reports that around 100 bodies are retrieved from Tel al-Hawa and Rimal in Gaza City after Israeli forces withdraw, most are killed with live ammunition. 2 Israeli soldiers are killed in combat. In Lebanon, Israeli forces bomb Marwahin, Ramyeh, Yaroun, Houla and Kfarkela, killing a member of the Lebanese Internal Security Forces in Houla. (AJ, HA, HA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 2/11; AJ, UNOCHA 2/12; UNOCHA 2/13)

More than 28,176 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in Gaza, including at least 11,500 children and 7,200 women, and around 67,784 have been injured since 10/7/2023. At least 8,000 people are missing in rubble, including 1,700 children. 387 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since 10/7/2023, including 99 children. More than 4,426 people have been injured. Israel reports that 1,139 Israelis and foreign nationals have been killed and 5,400 have been injured in Israel since 10/7/2023, including Israeli soldiers. In addition, 227 Israeli soldiers have been killed and 1,314 injured in Gaza since the ground invasion began on 10/27/2023. Over 1.93 million Palestinians, nearly 85% of the population of Gaza, have been displaced since 10/7/2023. There has been a complete electricity blackout in Gaza since 10/12/2023 due to the Israeli blockade. At least 70,000 housing units have been destroyed and 290,000 have been damaged in Israeli airstrikes since 10/7/2023, constituting over 60% of all housing units. 45 trucks carrying aid enter Gaza. (WAFA 2/11; UNOCHA, UNOCHA 2/12)

Hamas says 2 Israeli captives are killed and 8 others wounded in an Israeli airstrike. (AJ, REU 2/11)

Ir Amim reports that Israel has advanced 17 plans for 8,400 new settlement units in East Jerusalem since 10/7/2023. Statistics released by the Israeli government show that the settler population in the West Bank grew by 3% in 2023 and by 15% over the past 5 years. (AJ, AP, HA 2/11; HA 2/12)

The Knesset Constitution and Judicial Committee approves a draft bill that would suspend UNRWA’s work in East Jerusalem. (WAFA 2/11)

PA president Mahmoud Abbas appoints General Abed Suleiman Abu Mahmid as the new commander of the PA security forces and Lieutenant Colonel Iyad al-Aqra as his deputy commander. Abbas also flies to Qatar. (AJ, AJ, HA, REU, WAFA 2/11)

U.S. president Joe Biden speaks to Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, discussing Israel’s planned invasion of Rafah. According to the U.S. readout of the conversation, Biden said Israel should not proceed without “a credible and executable plan to ensure the safety of and support for more than one million people sheltering there.” Biden also stress the need to capitalize on the ceasefire negotiations. Netanyahu tells the Israeli cabinet that Israel will remain in control of security in all the lands between the Jordan river and the Mediterranean. Axios reports that Biden pressed Netanyahu to agree to release more Palestinian prisoners than in the previous exchange to meet some of Hamas’s demands. (AJ, AX, AX, HA, HA, NYT, REU 2/11; AX 2/12; AX 2/13)

AP reports that Egypt has threatened Israel with the suspension of their peace treaty if Israel invades Rafah. (HA, HA 2/11; AP 2/12)

The U.S. Senate advances a bill providing aid to Israel, Ukraine, and Taiwan in preparation for a final vote next week. The bill passes 67-27. (AJ, NYT 2/11; NYT 2/12)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers razed 15 dunams of land, uprooting grape vines and almond trees near al-Khader. Israeli forces shot and injured 2 Palestinians during raids in Qiffin and Tell. Israeli forces also shot and injured 2 people with live ammunition and 3 with baton rounds during a raid in Ramallah. Elsewhere, Israeli forces demolished 14 residential and agricultural sheds and tents in Aqraba. 25 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in and around Hebron, Ramallah, Tulkarm, Nablus, and Tubas. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces raided Shu’fat refugee camp, firing tear gas at Palestinians, causing tear-gas related injuries. In Gaza, telecommunications were partially restored in central and southern Gaza at the end of the day. Israeli forces bombed Rafah, Nuseirat refugee camp, Khan Yunis, Jabalia refugee camp, and Gaza City, killing dozens of people. Israel’s bombardment targeted Gaza Ministry of Health director-general Munis al-Bursh, killing several members of his family in an airstrike on a residential building in Jabalia refugee camp. Israeli forces also raided a Palestinian Red Crescent Society ambulance center in Jabalia refugee camp, arresting and humiliating Palestinians. Elsewhere, Israeli forces shot and killed a medical worker in al-Awda Hospital and killed Karem Abu Salem crossing director Bassam Ghaben in an airstrike. Israel also bombed and completely destroyed a large part of the Rimal neighborhood in Gaza City. 2 Israeli soldiers were killed in combat. Several rockets were launched at Tel Aviv. In Lebanon, Hezbollah said it had attacked several buildings in Metula and Ramot Naftali. 3 people were injured in attacks on Avivim and 2 in Dovev. Israel said it shelled several Hezbollah-linked sites. A Lebanese civilian was killed and her husband injured in an airstrike on Maroun al-Ras. (AJ, AJ, AP, HA, HA, REU, UNOCHA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 12/21; AJ, HA, HA, NYT 12/22)

More than 20,000 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in Gaza, including at least 8,000 children and 6,200 women, and around 54,000 have been injured since 10/7. At least 8,000 people were missing in rubble, including 1,700 children. 296 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since 10/7, including 75 children. More than 3,387 people have been injured. Israel reported that 1,200 Israelis and foreign nationals have been killed and 5,400 have been injured since 10/7. 138 Israeli soldiers have been killed and 771 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 12/3, at least 52,000 housing units had been destroyed and 253,000 had been damaged in Israeli airstrikes since 10/7, constituting 60% of all housing units. 78 trucks and 5 ambulances entered Gaza through the Rafah crossing, while 22 trucks entered via the Karem Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) crossing. 23 UN and nongovernmental agencies released a joint report saying the entire population of Gaza was suffering a food crisis and 576,600 were experiencing catastrophic and starvation levels of food insecurity. (AJ, AJ, AP, AP, AX, HA, REU, UNOCHA, WAFA 12/21; AP, HA 12/22)

Haaretz reported that 19 Israeli prison guards were under investigation in relation to the killing of a Palestinian prisoner, Tair Abu Asab, who died on 11/17 in the Ketziot Prison. Abu Asab’s body showed signs of beatings, but the official autopsy did not determine a cause of death. (AP, HA, WAFA 12/21)

The Israeli military claimed it has killed 2,000 members of Hamas since the beginning of the ground invasion of Gaza and 8,000 since 10/7. War cabinet member Benny Gantz said he expected reduced military activity in Gaza, but that Israel had no intention of stopping its assault. Hamas said 3 Israeli captives had been killed in Israeli bombings in Gaza, releasing a picture of the men holding papers showing their names and ID numbers. (AJ, HA 12/21)

PLO secretary-general Hussein al-Sheikh met with UAE foreign minister Abdullah bin Zayed in Abu Dhabi, discussing the situation in Gaza. (HA, REU, WAFA 12/21)

The UN Security Council discussed a resolution on Gaza for the fourth day in a row without calling a vote. (AJ, AJ, AJ, AP, HA, NYT 12/21)

Canada announced that it will provide temporary visas to Palestinians with relatives in Canada starting from 1/9. If granted, the visas will be valid for 3 years. Separately, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told Canadian TV that he and other Israeli allies are worried that “the short-term actions being taken by Israel are actually putting at risk the long-term safety [of] and even support for a Jewish state into the future.” (AJ, HA 12/21)

Iraq sent 2.6 million gallons of fuel to Egypt intended for dispersal as aid in Gaza. (AJ 12/21)

The New York Times reported that Israel had used 2,000-pound bombs in Gaza 208 times and that the bombs had been dropped on areas Israel had declared safe zones. (NYT, NYT 12/21; AJ, HA, HA 12/22)

A Washington Post analysis of Israeli claims that al-Shifa Hospital was a Hamas base before Israel attacked and besieged it said the Israeli claims were unsubstantiated. The Post said it had found that the rooms connected to the tunnel network Israel had shown in video material did not show “immediate evidence of military use by Hamas,” that the 5 buildings Israel said were involved with Hamas did not appear to be connected to the tunnel network, and that there was no evidence that the tunnels could be accessed directly from the hospital. (AJ 12/21; HA 12/22)

In the West Bank, Israeli forces shot and killed 2 Palestinians, including a child, in Beit Einun and Husan. Israeli forces shot and injured 2 Palestinians during a raid in al-Yamun. Elsewhere, Israeli forces demolished 2 homes under construction and a warehouse near Ni’lin and 1 residential structure in al-Jiftlik. Israeli forces also seized 10 vehicles in al-Lubban ash-Sharqiya. Meanwhile, Israeli forces delivered notices that they will seize 5 dunams (1.1 acres) of land near Bethlehem to build a settler road. In Gaza, Paltel reported a complete communications blackout in all of Gaza. Israeli forces bombed Jabalia refugee camp, Khan Yunis, Rafah, Dayr al-Balah, and Gaza City; it was unclear how many casualties there were due to the communications blackout. Israeli bombings destroyed 56 buildings in the Shuja’iya neighborhood of Gaza City. 3 Israeli soldiers were killed in combat. In Lebanon, Israeli forces shelled several sites, killing 2 members of Hezbollah. Israeli snipers also shot and killed a Lebanese civilian driving near Kfar Kila. (AJ, AP, HA, UNOCHA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 12/20; AJ, AP, HA 12/21; NYT 12/26)

More than 20,000 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in Gaza, including at least 7,729 children and 5,153 women, and around 54,000 have been injured since 10/7. At least 8,000 people were missing in rubble, including 1,700 children. 296 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since 10/7, including 75 children. More than 3,387 people have been injured. Israel reported that 1,200 Israelis and foreign nationals have been killed and 5,400 have been injured since 10/7. 134 Israeli soldiers have been killed and 719 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 12/3, at least 52,000 housing units had been destroyed and 253,000 had been damaged in Israeli airstrikes since 10/7, constituting 60% of all housing units. 71 trucks entered Gaza through the Rafah crossing and 120 trucks entered via the Karem Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) crossing. (AJ, AJ, UNOCHA, WAFA, WAFA 12/20; NYT 12/21)

The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights released a statement saying it had received reports that Israeli forces had executed 11 unarmed Palestinians in front of their families in the Rimal neighborhood of Gaza City between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. on 12/19. The Israeli forces also reportedly forced women and children into a room and threw a grenade at them, causing injuries. The Human Rights Office called for an immediate and independent investigation. (UN, UNOCHA 12/20; AJ, AJ 12/21)

Malaysian prime minister Anwar Ibrahim said Malaysia has banned all Israeli-flagged cargo ships from docking in its ports, citing the “Israeli massacre and brutality against Palestinians.” (AJ 12/20)

Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyeh arrived in Cairo for talks with Egyptian officials. Hamas official Ghazi Hamad told Al Jazeera that the party had tried to contact Fatah to begin talks about the situation in Gaza now and the future of a unified Palestinian political system, but that PA president Mahmoud Abbas had rejected talks. The Wall Street Journal reported that Hamas’ political bureau was in talks with other Palestinian factions about the situation in Gaza after the Israeli attack. Political bureau member Husam Badran told the Journal that the talks also included former Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad and former Fatah member Mohammed Dahlan. The Journal also reported that Hamas turned down a proposal to exchange a weeklong ceasefire for 40 captives held in Gaza. Hamas has said on several occasions that it will not negotiate while being attacked. (AJ, AJ, AP, AX, HA, NYT, REU, REU, REU, WSJ 12/20; HA 12/21)

Israel, Cyprus, and the UK agreed to open an aid corridor between Gaza and Cyprus “under Israeli security supervision and control.” It was unclear how and when the corridor would be operational. (AJ, HA, REU 12/20)

The UN Security Council discussed a resolution on Gaza for the third day in a row without calling a vote. (AJ, NYT, WAFA 12/20)

Israeli Channel 12 reported that an Israeli tank shelled a house in Kibbutz Be’eri where Palestinian militants were holding Israeli captives, injuring an Israeli. (AJ 12/20)

In a report, Human Rights Watch charged Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, with silencing support for Palestine on the 2 social media platforms. (HRW 12/20; AJ 12/21)

Democracy for the Arab World Now said it submitted a list of 40 Israeli commanding officers to the ICC who have been involved in Israel’s attack on Gaza and should be investigated for war crimes. (AJ 12/20)

The Huffington Post reported that the U.S. was planning to pressure Switzerland not to hold a Geneva Convention conference on violations of international law during Israel’s assault in Gaza. (AJ 12/20)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers attacked a Palestinian family in their home in the Masafer Yatta area, causing bruises. Israeli settlers also opened fire at Palestinians harvesting olives in Kafr Ni’ma; no injuries were reported. Elsewhere, Israeli settlers opened fire at Palestinian homes in Hebron; no injuries were reported. Israeli settlers, reportedly disguised as soldiers, also attacked Palestinians west of Jericho with stones and clubs, causing injuries and damage. Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian during a funeral procession in Beit Umar, injured 1 other with live ammunition; others suffered tear-gas related injuries. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinian protesters at al-Jalamah checkpoint, killing 2 and injuring 2 others. Elsewhere, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Aqabat Jaber refugee camp, injuring 3 with live ammunition. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Bethlehem, injuring a minor with a baton round. Meanwhile, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters near Far’un, injuring 1 with live ammunition. Israeli forces also shot and injured 3 Palestinians near the separation wall west of Attil. Separately, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in al-Bireh, injuring 2 with live ammunition. Israeli forces also demolished 2 agricultural structures in Mughayyir al-Abeed in the Masafer Yatta area. Additionally, Israeli forces fired tear gas near a hospital in Dura, causing tear-gas related injuries. A rocket, either launched from Gaza or an Iron Dome interceptor, hit Baqa ash-Sharqiya, killing 1 Palestinian and injuring 6 others. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces shot and killed 2 Palestinians in Silwan after they allegedly fired fireworks at Israeli forces. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinians in Isawiya and Ras al-Amud. Elsewhere, Israeli forces arrested 13 Palestinians on suspicion of incitement and supporting Hamas. In Gaza, Israeli naval forces fired shells at a port west of Gaza City and Khan Yunis, damaging the port and fishing boats. Israeli airstrikes also killed hundreds of Palestinians and caused damage, especially to the Rimal, al-Karama, and al-Furqan neighbourhoods and Jabaliya. Gaza economy minister Juad Abu Smallah was reportedly assassinated by Israel. It was reported that white phosphorus bombs were dropped on al-Karama. UNRWA said its headquarters in Gaza was hit by Israeli bombs. Hundreds of rockets were fired at Israel from Gaza. Near Gaza, Israel said it had killed 4 militants at a beach north of Gaza and 2 in Kibbutz Re’im. Militants were also reported to have attacked Mefalsim, causing casualties. In Lebanon, militants fired anti-tank missiles at an Israeli vehicle and Israeli forces attacked militants with a helicopter and artillery. Rockets were also fired toward Israel. In Syria, rockets were launched at the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights and Israel fired artillery and mortar shells at Syria. (AP 10/7; AJ, AJ, AJ, AJ, AJ, AJ, AP, AP, HA, HA, REU, REU, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 10/10; AJ, AP, AP, AP, HA, REU 10/11)

Israel claimed to have regained full control of the area around Gaza, saying the bodies of approximately 1,500 Palestinian militants were found in the area. The Gaza Ministry of Health said 830 Palestinians had been killed in Israeli airstrikes and 4,250 wounded since 10/7 as of 5.30 p.m. 22 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since 10/7, including 4 children; 332 have been injured. Israeli media reported that as of 9 p.m. more than 1,000 Israelis and foreign nationals had been killed and 2,806 injured since 10/7. The UN said 263,934 Palestinians have been displaced, with 175,486 people sheltering at UN facilities. All but 1 mobile communications tower was destroyed in Israeli strikes. More than 610,000 people in Gaza were disconnected from the water supply due to Israeli actions. The Gaza Power Plant was reported to run out of fuel by noon on 10/11, with electricity currently limited to 3-4 hours per day. (AJ 10/9; AJ, AJ, ALM, AP, AP, AP, AP, HA, HA, HA, REU, REU, REU, UNOCHA, UNOCHA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 10/10; AJ, AP, AP, REU 10/11)

The Gaza Ministry of Health called for the opening of a “safe corridor” to allow medical aid as hospitals are overwhelmed. 4 ambulances and 1 hospital in Beit Hanun were targeted by Israeli airstrikes, closing the hospital. PLO secretary-general Hussein al-Sheikh said Israel was refusing to allow aid from the West Bank to enter Gaza. (AJ, AJ 10/10; WAFA 10/11)

Israeli military spokesperson Richard Hecht said Israel may not use the same “level of fidelity” in warning civilians before striking homes and apartment buildings. It had been reported that Israel no longer used smaller munitions to “knock” on the roofs of apartment buildings or call building managers before demolishing them with larger bombs. Hecht also called the parliament and ministries in Gaza legitimate targets. Hecht further said Palestinians in Gaza should flee to Egypt via the Rafah crossing, first saying that it is open and later tweeting that he did not know if it was open. Israel bombed the crossing on 10/9 after which it was closed. Israel also hit the crossing today. Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said the Israeli military would release “all constraints” on its attacks on Gaza and is “transitioning to a full-scale offensive.” The Israeli military said it had dropped hundreds of tons of bombs on Gaza and is emphasizing “damage, not precision.” (AJ 10/9; AJ, AJ, HA, HA, REU, REU 10/10)

The Israeli military began sending planes to Europe to collect reservists that have been called up. More than 300,000 Israeli military reservists were called in to participate in the Israeli assault on Gaza. (REU 10/9; AJ, HA, REU 10/10)

Israeli national security minister Itamar Ben-Gvir said Israel would hand out 10,000 rifles to volunteers in Israeli border communities and in Israeli settlements. (AJ, REU 10/10)

A plane carrying U.S. ammunition arrived in Israel. The USS Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier reached the eastern Mediterranean. Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan criticized the U.S. for moving the carrier near Israel, warning of a massacre in Gaza. (AJ, HA, REU 10/10; AP 10/12)

Thousands of Jordanians protested in Amman against the Israeli attacks on Gaza, demanding the Israeli embassy be closed and that Jordan end its peace treaty with Israel. (REU 10/11)

PA president Mahmoud Abbas spoke with Norwegian prime minister Jonas Gahr Støre about the Israeli attack on Gaza. PA envoy to the UN Riyad Mansour wrote a letter to the UN Security Council calling Israeli actions, including intentional starvation of Gaza, “genocidal.” (REU, WAFA 10/10)

The Likud Party said the leaders of the parties in the Israeli government coalition have agreed that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu can form an emergency unity government. Yisrael Beiteinu leader Avigdor Lieberman said on 10/8 that he will only join the unity government if the Israeli leadership commits to ending the policy of constraining Hamas and eliminates the organization. (HA, REU 10/10)

U.S. president Joe Biden gave a televised speech calling the Hamas operation on 10/7 “pure, unadulterated evil,” recounting unconfirmed Israeli narratives of militants committing rapes. Biden also compared Hamas to ISIS, attributed the operation to anti-Semitism, rather than resistance, and reiterated his stance in support of Israel, saying Israel has a “duty to respond,” despite the mass civilian casualties in Gaza. Biden further stated that the U.S. is sending ammunition and interceptors for the Iron dome to Israel. Lastly, Biden warned other countries and organizations against getting involved against Israel. Hamas called Biden’s speech deplorable and inflammatory, saying Hamas launched its operation to defend the Palestinian people and put an end to the occupation. Biden also spoke with Prime Minister Netanyahu about U.S. assistance. 392 members of the U.S. House of Representatives co-sponsored a resolution in support of Israel, calling the Hamas operation “barbaric.” It is unknown if the resolution will pass, as it is unclear if the acting speaker of the House Patrick McHenry (R-NC) has the authority to bring the resolution to the floor. (AJ, AJ, AJ, HA, HA, HA 10/10; FWD, HA, REU, REU 10/11)

U.S. national security advisor Jake Sullivan said the U.S. was in talks with Egypt and Israel to create a humanitarian corridor for residents of Gaza. (HA, REU 10/10)

The U.S. State Department said Secretary of State Antony Blinken will arrive in Israel on 10/12 for meetings with Israeli leaders. Blinken will also travel to Jordan. UK foreign secretary James Cleverly is also scheduled to arrive in Israel on 10/11. (AJ, HA, REU 10/10; REU 10/11)

U.S. homeland security advisor Liz Sherwood-Randall said the U.S. is working on different options to ensure that all U.S. citizens can leave Israel by air, sea, and land. There are currently no direct flights from Israel to the U.S. Many other countries, including France, Germany, and Canada, said they are planning on offering their citizens flights out of Israel. (AJ, HA 10/10)

President Erdoğan spoke with Russian president Vladimir Putin about measures to halt the Hamas-Israel conflict and deliver humanitarian aid. Erdoğan also said he is having talks with regional leaders to negotiate a halt to the war. Egyptian president Abdel Fatah al-Sisi and Qatari emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani spoke about protecting civilians in Gaza. (AJ, HA, HA, REU, REU, REU 10/10; AJ, AJ 10/11)

Houthi leader Abdel Malek al-Houthi said that if the U.S. intervened in the attack on Gaza it would respond with drones and missiles. (AJ, HA 10/10)

Berlin police banned pro-Palestinian demonstrations planned for 10/11, saying expressions of solidarity with Palestine pose a threat to public order. Australian police said a planned pro-Palestinian protest scheduled for 10/15 will be an unauthorized activity. (HA 10/10; REU 10/11)

UK home secretary Suella Braverman sent a letter to English and Welsh police, saying that waiving Palestinian flags may in some instances be illegal in cases where it is “intended to glorify acts of terrorism.” (AJ 10/10)

EU high commissioner for foreign affairs Josep Borell said he had invited PA and Israeli foreign ministers Riyad al-Maliki and Eli Cohen to an EU foreign ministers meeting to discuss the situation in Palestine and Israel. Borell also said that Israel must adhere to international law, saying Israel violates the law by imposing a total blockade on Gaza. Borell further said that the “overwhelming majority” of EU states are against cutting aid to Palestinians, as suggested by some EU officials. (AJ, HA, REU 10/10)

The UN high commissioner for human rights Volker Turk said the total siege of Gaza imposed by Israel was illegal under international law as it deprives civilians of goods essential to their survival. Turk also said Israeli airstrikes had struck residential and UN buildings as well as UN schools. (AJ, REU 10/10)

The UN Commission of Inquiry on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, including East Jerusalem and Israel said that there was clear evidence that war crimes had been committed in Israel and Gaza. (AJ, UN, WAFA 10/10)

The office of the ICC prosecutor said the court mandate to investigate “the situation in the State of Palestine” extends to the current attacks. (REU 10/10) 

Sweden and Denmark suspended aid to Palestinians. (AJ, HA, REU 10/10)

The UAE donated $20 million in aid to Palestinians via UNRWA. (AJ 10/10)

In Gaza, Israeli forces assassinated 3 Islamic Jihad commanders, Khalil Bahtini, commander of the northern region, Tareq Izzeldeen in Gaza City, and Jihad Ghanam, secretary of the military council, in Rafah in simultaneous airstrikes. The strikes also killed 10 others, including 4 women, 4 children, and 1 Russian-Palestinian, and injured 20. In the assassination of Izzeldeen, Israeli forces fired 2 missiles at the fifth and sixth floor of an apartment building in the al-Rimal neighborhood of Gaza City, killing Izzeldeen and his 2 children on the fifth floor and a family of 3 on the sixth floor; 6 were injured. In the assassination of Bahtini, Israeli forces fired 2 missiles at his home in al-Sha’af neighborhood of Gaza City, killing him, his wife and child, and 2 others in a neighboring building, including 1 child; 6 others were injured, including 3 children and 2 women. In the assassination of Ghanam, Israeli forces dropped 3 GBU-19 bombs on his home in Rafah, killing him and his wife and injuring 6 others, including 1 child. Later, and without receiving a response from Islamic Jihad, Israeli forces assassinated 2 members of Islamic Jihad, Wael al-Agha and Saed Farwana, in an airstrike on their car in Khan Yunis; 2 others were injured. Israel called the attacks “Operation Shield and Arrow.” In the West Bank, after the attack on Gaza, Israeli forces raided Nablus, injuring 12 Palestinians with live ammunition, including 1 minor, and injured 90 others with tear gas. Israeli settlers set up tents on Palestinian-owned land in Jaba’. Israeli forces assaulted members of the Hebron Municipality Council who were attempting to reopen an office at risk of being taken over by settlers. Israeli forces also issued a demolition notice for a house and a stop-work order for a school in Maeen. 14 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Yatta, Hebron, al-Mughayyir, Nablus, and Ramallah. (NYT 5/8; AJ, AJ, AJ, AJ, ALM, AP, AX, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, MEE, QDS, PCHR, REU, REU, TOI, TOI, TOI, TOI, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 5/9; AJ, ALM, AX, BBC, HA, MDW, MEE, MEE, MEE, NYT, REU, UNOCHA 5/10; HA, MEE, PCHR 5/11; HA 5/12; HA 5/13; QDS 5/15; UNOCHA 5/19; HA 5/30)

In response to Israel’s attack on Gaza (see above), Hamas spokesperson Hazem Qassem said, “[w]e do not accept that this is an attack specifically directed at the Islamic Jihad. From Hamas' point of view, this is an attack against the Palestinian people, and therefore there will be a proportionate response whose details will be determined by the joint operations room of all factions.” The PA called the Israeli attacks “organized state terrorism.” Egypt, Turkey, and Jordan’s foreign ministries issued statements condemning Israel’s attack on Gaza and Nablus. The UN envoy for the Middle East peace process Tor Wennesland condemned “the death of civilians.” (ALM, ALM, HA, HA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 5/9; WAFA 5/10; MEE 5/11; MDW 5/12)

Following Israel’s attack on Gaza (see above), National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir announced that his Jewish Power party would return to the Knesset. Ben-Gvir and his party started boycotting the Knesset on 5/3 after what he called a “lenient” response by the Israeli government to the protest that occurred after the Adnan Khader died in an Israeli prison on 5/2. Ben-Gvir called the attack “a nice start” and said it was time for “policy change in Gaza.” The assassinations and larger operation were approved by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara on 5/5 but were not presented to the security cabinet. (HA, HA, HA, HA 5/9; HA, HA 5/10; HA 5/13)

PA president Mahmoud Abbas met with the Russian envoy for the Middle East peace process Vladimir Safrenkov, discussing recent developments related to the occupation. (WAFA 5/9)

The Committee to Project Journalists issued a report saying that Israel has not held anybody accountable for the killing of 20 Palestinian and foreign journalists since 2001, creating a “chilling effect” on press freedoms. The report said that 15 of the journalists killed since 2001 were killed by Israeli forces while 2 were killed by gunmen in Palestinian presidential guard uniforms. (AJ, AP, HA, MDW, MEE 5/9)

Axios reported that U.S. ambassador to Israel Tom Nides will resign this summer to spend time with his family. (AX, HA, HA, MEE 5/9)

In the West Bank, the prominent critic of the PA, Nizar Banat, died at a hospital after being arrested by PA forces in his home in Dura; the family of Banat said he was brutally beaten by 20 PA officers. Banat was a candidate for the Liberation and Dignity party before the PA canceled the elections scheduled for 5/22. The PA said it would open an investigation into how Banat died. Protests against the PA broke out in several places in the West Bank and PA forces violently dispersed the protesters using tear gas and batons. Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinians protesting against the Evyatar settlement outpost near Beita, injuring 1 with live ammunition. Israeli forces arrested 11 Palestinians during late-night raids in and around Nablus, Hebron, Salfit, and Bethlehem. In East Jerusalem, 7 Palestinians were arrested in Shaykh Jarrah and the Old City. (AJ, AP, HA, MEE, MEE, MEMO, PCHR, REU, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 6/24; AJ, ALM, PCHR, WAFA 6/25; PCHR 7/1)

The New York Times released a visual investigation of the killing of 44 Palestinians in Gaza by the Israeli military on 5/16. The investigation showed how the Israeli military used U.S.-manufactured munitions to strike civilian targets in the Rimal area of Gaza City. The investigation also said that Israel’s claim that it had sought to bomb an underground military facility in the heavily populated area was unsubstantiated and that Israel made no effort to warn the Palestinians living in the area that it would attack the alleged underground military facility. (NYT 6/24)

73 House Democrats led by Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Peter Welch (D-VT), and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) urged the Biden administration to formally withdraw from the Trump administration’s peace plan, reopen the U.S. consulate in Jerusalem, restate that settlements are inconsistent with international law, and oppose expulsions of Palestinians from their homes. (HA, MEE 6/24; MEMO, WAFA 6/25)

Honduras opened an embassy to Israel in Jerusalem, being the 3d country to do so after the U.S. and Guatemala. The opening ceremony was attended by Honduras president Juan Orlando Hernández and Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett. (MEMO, WAFA 6/25)

UN secretary-general António Guterres and UN special coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland criticized Israel for its settlement enterprise at the UN security council. (AP 6/24; AJ, HA, TOI 6/25)

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)

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)

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)

As Israel continues widespread air and naval bombardment of Gaza for a 3d day, Israeli DM Barak declares “all-out war” on Hamas. The IDF declares a 2-mi. buffer zone around the Strip a closed military zone and continues amassing tanks and troops there, indicating further preparations for a ground invasion. Israeli military officials speaking anonymously say they have expanded the IDF’s target list to include Hamas’s support network and symbols of Hamas power, stating that “there are many aspects of Hamas, and we are trying to hit the whole spectrum, because everything is connected and everything supports terrorists against Israel” and that “anything affiliated with Hamas is a legitimate target.”

Israeli actions: The IDF reports hitting 100 sites today, including more Islamic University buildings (including the engineering dept., library); homes and offices of Hamas leaders; PA government buildings (including the Interior Min., Finance Min., Foreign Min., Labor Min., Construction and Housing Min., and a PA presidential guest house); Bani Suhayla’s municipal building; the alZawiyya Mosque in Jabaliya r.c. and Omar Bin al-Khattab Mosque in al-Bureij r.c.; more civil and naval police stations; more tunnels along the Rafah border; the headquarters of Hamas’s al-Aqsa TV; Gaza’s port (for a 2d day); and 1 Izzeddin al-Qassam Brigades training site. Target areas include Abasan, Bani Suhayla, Bayt Lahiya, al-Bureij r.c., Dayr al-Balah, Gaza City (city center, al-Rimal, al-Sabra, Shaykh Ajlin, Tal al-Hawa), Jabaliya town and r.c., Khan Yunis, Nussayrat r.c., al-Qarara, Rafah, Shati’ r.c., Tal al-Za‘atar. Just before strikes on Rafah, Israeli Military Intelligence makes 10,000 automated calls to Rafah residents warning of pending air strikes, breaks into Palestinian radio broadcasts to urge residents across Gaza to move to city centers. Palestinian medical officials report at least 364 Palestinians dead, 1,500 wounded since 12/27.

Palestinian actions: Palestinians fire 66 rockets, 14 mortars into Israel (twice as many as in the previous 24 hrs.), killing 3 Israeli civilians (1 each in Nahal Oz, Ashdod, Ashqelon; 1 of them an Israeli Palestinian) and wounding 5 (3 of them Israeli Palestinians), with 2 rockets hitting 23 mi. north in Gan Yavne/Ashdod. A Palestinian mortar hits an IDF base in Netivot, s. and e. of the Nahal Oz crossing, killing 1 IDF soldier (a Druze), seriously wounding 1, lightly injuring 4. The Israeli toll stands at 4–5 dead, about 20 injured. Reports circulate (e.g., NYT 12/30) of Hamas gunmen executing at least 5 accused collaborators with Israel inside hospitals; the 5 had been jailed for collaboration and transferred to hospitals after being wounded in IDF air strikes on jails.

Humanitarian notes: Israel allows 40 truckloads of humanitarian aid into Gaza; Egypt allows 23 truckloads of emergency goods in, some wounded out through Rafah. International aid groups (including Amnesty International, the UN) say aid transfers are insufficient, warn that the death toll is rising in part because of lack of medicines and medical supplies, food, and fuel.

Of note: One Israeli air strike heavily damages the UN Special Coordinator’s Office (UNSCO) headquarters in Gaza City, prompting the UN to issue a formal complaint. Egyptian TV reports that captured IDF Cpl. Gilad Shalit has been wounded in an Israeli air strike in recent days; Hamas does not comment. (BBC, CNN, HA, Houston Chronicle, IFM, REU, White House press briefing, YA 12/29; BBC, IDF, Independent, NYT, WP, WT 12/30; IDF, UNOSAT 12/31; JP, PCHR, WJW 1/1; ITV 1/2; IDF 1/3; NYT, WP 1/4; WT, UNOSAT 1/5; IFM 1/8; Committee to Protect Journalists 1/9)

In the West Bank, the IDF fires rubbercoated steel bullets, percussion grenades, tear gas at Palestinians demonstrating against OCL in Issawiyya, Shu‘fat r.c., al-Tur neighborhood in East Jerusalem, causing no serious injuries; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in East Tura village nr. Jenin, Hebron. (PCHR 1/1)

As massive Israeli strikes on Gaza enter a 2d day, IDF Southern Command head Maj. Gen. Yo’av Galant says (HA 12/28) that the IDF aims to “send Gaza decades into the past” in terms of Hamas’s leadership, weaponry, and smuggling capabilities while achieving “the maximum number of enemy casualties.” Israel’s security cabinet authorizes the IDF to call up 6,500 reservists, and the IDF begins massing tanks and troops on Gaza’s border, indicating planning for a ground incursion. Israel’s Homefront Command orders 80 factories and businesses within 3 mi. of the Gaza border to close indefinitely for their safety (a move expected [WJW 1/1] to cost Israel’s economy $1 m./day), indicating concerns of increased Palestinian rocket fire once ground operations begin. Israeli Military Intelligence breaks into Palestinian radio broadcasts to warn Gazans against cooperating with Hamas. The IDF drops 300,000 leaflets across Gaza warning residents to evacuate areas where Hamas is operating or storing weapons or to remain at their own risk. The Israeli FMin. opens an international media broadcast outlet in Sederot (a main target of Palestinian rockets), begins tours of Sederot and other Gaza border communities for foreign media, diplomats, and VIPs. (Israel continues to prevent the foreign media fr. entering Gaza.)

Israeli actions: The IDF reports air and naval bombardment of 100 sites across Gaza, bringing the number of targets destroyed since operations began to more than 210. The 2-day Palestinian toll rises to an estimated 300 dead (including at least 22 children, 9 women, 60 other civilians) and 1,300 injured (including at least 235 children and 200 women). Target areas include Abasan, Bayt Hanun, Bayt Lahiya, Bani Suhayla (s. Gaza), Bir al-Naja (n. Gaza), Dayr al-Balah, Gaza City (city center, al-Rimal, Shaykh Ridwan, Shati’ r.c., al-Shuja‘iyya, Tal al-Hawa, al-Zaytun), Jabaliya town and r.c., Khan Yunis, Khuza (east of Khan Yunis), Nussayrat r.c., al-Qarara (s. Gaza), Rafah, Shati’ r.c., and Tal al-Za‘atar (nr. Jabaliya).

The IDF’s primary targets are around 40 tunnels along the Rafah border, hit with GBU-39s. Other major targets include several buildings at Islamic University (including a science building Israel claims was connected to rocket manufacturing); Gaza City’s PA ministry compound, the offices of acting PM Ismail Haniyeh, and the main police station (destroying the Saraya; allowing about 50 Fatah prisoners to escape, but killing at least 4); Rafah’s main PASF, governorate, and municipal complexes; more civil and naval police stations, metal workshops believed to make rockets; the Gaza City and Rafah ports; at least 3 mosques (Imad ‘Akel Mosque in Jabaliya r.c., Izzeddin al-Qassam Mosque in Abasan, al-Rimal Mosque in Gaza City) alleged to be weapons depots; a Palestinian Energy Authority building in Khan Yunis; a private medical warehouse; and at least 8 homes and 3 apartment buildings.

Palestinian actions: Palestinians fire 17 rockets, 18 mortars into Israel, injuring at least 6 Israeli civilians (including cases of shock). The rockets include 1 manufactured Grad/Katyusha that lands in Gan Yavne 20 mi. inside Israel, outside Ashdod, the farthest to date. In the evening, 100s of Palestinians attempt to flee Gaza through small breaches in the border wall apparently caused by IDF air strikes; they are sent back by Egyptian security forces, who exchange fire with the crowd, leaving at least 1 Palestinian, 1 Egyptian border policeman dead, 4 Palestinians, 5 Egyptian border policemen, an 8-yr.-old Egyptian child wounded.

Humanitarian notes: Israel allows the entry to Gaza of 100 truckloads of food and medical aid, 10 ambulances, and fuel for hospitals, donated by Jordan, Turkey, and international aid organizations. The shipments include 4 truckloads of pharmaceuticals from the PA central pharmacy in Ramallah (the 2d PA delivery since the PA had blocked the shipments of medicine to Gaza in early 9/08; see 12/16), transferred by the PA at UNRWA request. Humanitarian groups, however, continue to warn of deteriorating medical conditions and lack of food in Gaza and urge Israel to allow unrestricted entry of aid. OCHA reports power outages of up to 16 hrs./day in Gaza City, n. Gaza, and c. Gaza; says all flour mills have shut down for lack of grain imports, threatening widespread bread shortages. (AFP, AP, BBC, HA, IDF, IFM, JAZ, OCHA, REU 12/28; IDF, JP, al-Masryun[Egypt], NYT, SFR, WP, WT 12/29; BBC, Defense Update [online], Global Research [online], WP 12/30; REU, UNOSAT 12/31; JP, PCHR, WJW, WP 1/1; IDF, NYT 1/3; WP 1/4; IFM 1/8; WP 1/10)

Across the West Bank, Palestinians protest against OCL, clashing with the IDF at numerous points (Abu Dis, Issawiyya, and al-Ram nr. Jerusalem; Bani Na‘im nr. Hebron; Ni‘lin and Silwad nr. Ramallah), leaving 3 Palestinians dead, 31 Palestinians, 1 IDF soldier, 1 Israeli child injured. In at least one instance, PASF breaks up one protest by 100s of Palestinians in Ramallah when demonstrators unfurl Hamas banners; the PASF reportedly (NYT 1/3) has been ordered to prevent any popular displays of support for Hamas. The IDF conducts daytime house searches nr. Jenin, making no arrests; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Bil‘in and nr. Hebron, Nablus. Palestinians stone a Jewish settler vehicle nr. Hebron, lightly injuring an 8-yr.-old girl. (PCHR, WJW 1/1)

Military Action

Occupied Palestine/Israel: IDF detains about 100 Palestinians in Ramallah area, seals 4 houses. In Gaza's Rimal neighborhood, army demolishes 1 house and seals another [FBIS 1/8].

4 houses in Qusrah and 4 more in Tuqu', both near Bethlehem, are demolished [FBIS 1/9].

2 Palestinians, including an 11-year-old, are shot dead by IDF troops in Bayt Rima, 2 others are wounded [FBIS 1/9].