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  • January 26, 2024

    In the West Bank, Israeli forces assault 4 Palestinians, including a medic, during a raid in Fahma. Israeli forces deliver demolition notices for 11 residential and agricultural structures in the...

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  • January 23, 2024

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers set fire to a carshop in Beitin, damaging all the vehicles. Israeli settlers also vandalize Palestinian-owned vehicles in al-Twana, puncturing tires and smashing...

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  • January 11, 2024

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers raze Palestinian-owned land in the Masafer Yatta area. Israeli forces fatally shoot a Palestinian man during a raid in Jaba’. Israeli forces seize several...

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  • December 3, 2023

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers shot and injured 2 Palestinian children, aged 12 and 14, in Deir Qadis. Israeli settlers with a military escort also raided Wadi Qelt, storming 5 homes and...

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  • October 25, 2023

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers attacked Palestinians harvesting olives in Burin, assaulting them at gun point and stealing tools, phones, and olive crops. Israeli settlers also raided Qarawat...

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  • October 18, 2023

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers with a military escort shot and killed a Palestinian man during a raid in Dura al-Qara’. Israeli settlers also shot and injured a Palestinian in Shufa. Elsewhere...

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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 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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  • May 29, 2007

    The IDF makes an air strike on a Hamas training facility nr. Jabaliya r.c., killing 2 Hamas mbrs.; fires at least 4 missiles at another empty training facility in al-Mawasi, destroying it; sends...

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  • August 26, 2005

    The IDF arrests a Palestinian on the Gaza beach in al-Mawasi for no apparent reason; imposes a day-long curfew on ‘Azun nr. Qalqilya, searches several homes, arrests 1 Palestinian; conducts arrest...

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  • August 22, 2005

    The IDF completes the evacuation of settlers fr. Gaza, with residents of the last inhabited settlement, Netzarim (est. 1972, pop. 496, size 1,760 d., hrs. to evac. 7), and 300 disengagement...

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  • August 18, 2005

    In the morning, the IDF says that 70% of Gaza settlers have been evacuated, most Gaza residents have not resisted the evacuation, most protests and resistance are by West Bank settler youth (and...

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  • August 17, 2005

    Before dawn the IDF moves troops into Gaza en masse to begin the forcible evacuation of Jewish settlers and disengagement protesters who have not yet left, begins demolishing settler homes in n....

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  • August 16, 2005

    At midnight local time, the grace period runs out for Jewish settlers in Gaza to withdraw voluntarily in compliance with Israeli PM Ariel Sharon’s disengagement plan; at least 50% of the estimated...

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  • August 15, 2005

    The IDF tightens restrictions on Palestinian movement inside Gaza, declares the n. West Bank a closed military zone in preparation for disengagement; begins going door to door in the Gaza...

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  • August 12, 2005

    The IDF fires live ammunition at Palestinian protesters marching to their lands outside Qalqilya that have been cut off by the separation wall, seriously wounding 1; conducts arrest raids, house...

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  • August 4, 2005

    An IDF soldier, who deserted 2 mos. ago to protest disengagement and moved to the right-wing West Bank settlement of Tapuach, boards a Haifa–Shafa‘ Amr bus, still dressed in fatigues and carrying...

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  • June 29, 2005

    An IDF aircraft fires 2 missiles at a well in Bayt Hanun, destroying it. Around 40 Jewish settlers fr. Tal Yam outpost in Gaza (see 6/27) chanting “Death to Arabs” occupy 2 Palestinian homes in al...

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  • June 28, 2005

    The IDF fatally shoots a Palestinian allegedly attempting to plant a roadside bomb outside Morag; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Hebron and nr. Bethlehem, Tulkarm. In al-Mawasi, Jewish...

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  • June 18, 2005

    The IDF clashes with 4 mbrs. of the AMB, Islamic Jihad at an IDF outpost outside Gaza’s Kefar Darom settlement, killing 1 Islamic Jihad mbr., wounding an AMB mbr., while the 2 other gunmen flee....

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  • June 8, 2005

    In disputed circumstances, the IDF fires 2 missiles at Hamas mbrs. reportedly driving a car transporting a rocket launcher in Khan Yunis, but the Hamas mbrs. escape unharmed; around the same time...

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  • May 9, 2005

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  • May 8, 2005

    The IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in Askara nr. Bethlehem, Burkin nr. Jenin. Jewish settlers fr. Neve Dekalim seize 18 d. of Palestinian lands in al-Mawasi in s. Gaza. Jewish settlers...

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  • April 1, 2005

    IDF soldiers based at Neve Dekalim settlement fire heavy machine guns on residential areas of Khan Yunis, wounding 2 Palestinian children; arrest 4 Palestinians attempting to sneak into Israel e....

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  • March 26, 2005

    An IDF patrol enters Sabastia nr. Nablus, chases a taxi, causing it to crash; denies an ambulance permission to take the injured driver to the hospital, arresting him instead. The IDF also...

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  • March 17, 2005

    The IDF fires on stone-throwing Palestinians nr. Ramallah; shoots, wounds a Palestinian who strays too close to Rafiah Yam settlement in s. Gaza; conducts arrest raids, house searches in the Wadi...

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  • February 20, 2005

    The IDF fatally shoots 2 Palestinians in Rafah whom it suspected of smuggling arms; opens the Rafah crossing to Palestinians aged 16–35; fires, shells on residential areas of Khan Yunis; conducts...

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  • February 8, 2005

    Abbas, Sharon hold their 1st talks in Sharm al-Shaykh, then each meets separately with Mubarak, King Abdallah of Jordan. Afterward, Abbas announces that “Palestinian will stop all acts of violence...

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  • February 3, 2005

    The IDF arrests a 16-yr.-old Palestinian at Hawara checkpoint nr. Nablus for carrying a bag with “an apparent explosive belt, an improvised weapon, and 20 bullets”; conducts arrest raids, house...

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  • January 30, 2005

    The IDF fatally shoots a 60-yr.-old Palestinian who strays into a closed military zone nr. the Rafah-Egypt border; issues notices to residents of al-Jib northwest of Jerusalem that 2,362 d. of...

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In the West Bank, Israeli forces assault 4 Palestinians, including a medic, during a raid in Fahma. Israeli forces deliver demolition notices for 11 residential and agricultural structures in the Abu Nawar Bedouin community near ‘Anata. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces prevent Palestinians from reaching the Haram al-Sharif compound. In Gaza, Israeli forces bomb Rafah, Khan Yunis, Jabalia refugee camp, Beit Lahiya, and Nuseirat refugee camp, killing at least 183 people. Israeli forces also open fire at Palestinians fleeing from Khan Yunis to Rafah and fire tank shells at al-Amal Hospital. The Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis suffers a complete electricity blackout as it is besieged by Israeli forces for the fifth day in a row. In Lebanon, Israeli forces strike Bayt Lif and Deir Aames, killing 2 people and injuring 4 in Bayt Lif. Hezbollah says it attacked 2 Israeli bases near the Blue Line. In the Red Sea, the Houthi movement says its forces attacked a UK-owned oil tanker.  (AJ, AP, AP, HA, UNOCHA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 1/26)

More than 26,083 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in Gaza, including at least 10,600 children and 7,200 women, and around 64,110 have been injured since 10/7. At least 7,000 people are missing in rubble, including 1,700 children. 365 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since 10/7, including 92 children. More than 4,354 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, including Israeli soldiers. In addition, 219 Israeli soldiers have been killed and 1,269 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. At least 70,000 housing units have been destroyed and 290,000 have been damaged in Israeli airstrikes since 10/7, constituting over 60% of all housing units. 68 trucks carrying aid enter Gaza via the Rafah crossing. Israelis block the Karem Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) crossing for the third day in a row, forcing aid trucks to reroute to Egypt. The UN says the assessment mission to northern Gaza, announced by U.S. secretary of state Antony Blinken on 1/9, has not been carried out. (AJ, UNOCHA, UNOCHA 1/26; AJ 1/27)

Israel orders Palestinians in several neighborhoods of Khan Yunis to flee to al-Mawasi. (AJ 1/26)

The ICJ rules that there is a basis to further investigate the South African genocide case against Israel and that the ICJ has jurisdiction to hear the case. The court issues 6 provisional measures: 1) Israel must take all possible measures to prevent acts as outlined in Article 2 of the Genocide Convention, including not killing members of a particular group [Palestinians], not causing physical or psychological harm to members of that group, not inflicting living conditions which are calculated to bring about the end of the existence of a people, and not carrying out acts to precent the births within the group. 2) Israel must ensure its military does not carry out any of the actions outlined in measure 1. 3) Israel must prevent and punish incitement to commit genocide. 4) Israel must ensure the delivery of basic services and essential humanitarian aid. 5) Israel must prevent the destruction of evidence of war crimes and allow fact-finding missions access. 6) Israel must submit a report on all steps taken to abide by the measures within 1 month. 4 of the orders are approved by 15 of the 17 judges, while 2 of the measures are approved by 16 of the 17 judges. The only judge to vote against all measures is Judge Julia Sebutinde of Uganda. Aharon Barak, the judge representing Israel, votes for measures 3 and 4. The measures issued by the court fall short of South Africa’s demand for a ceasefire. Hamas welcomes the ICJ orders and calls on the international community to force Israel to implement the decisions. PA ambassador to the UN Riyad Mansour calls the measures against Israel “historic.” South Africa calls the ruling a “decisive victory.” Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu instructs his ministers not to comment on the ICJ decision and calls the ruling “outrageous.” The U.S. State Department says the ICJ did not “make a finding about genocide” despite the court specifically saying that it is continuing its trial of Israel on charges of genocide. Saudi Arabia, Iran, Malaysia, Qatar, Spain, Ireland, Scotland, Belgium, and the AU welcome the ICJ ruling. Turkey and Egypt express disappointment that the court did not call for a ceasefire. (AP, NYT 1/25; AJ, AJ, AJ, AJ, AJ, AJ, AJ, AP, AP, AX, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, NYT, NYT, NYT, REU, REU, REU, REU, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 1/26; AJ, AJ, AJ, AJ, HA, HA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 1/27; AJ, AP, HA, HA, HA, HA 1/28; HA 1/29)

PLO secretary-general Hussein al-Sheikh calls on the international community and the UN Security Council to stop Israeli efforts to create a new buffer zone in Israel, saying Israel is razing homes and agricultural lands in 20% of Gaza. (AJ, WAFA 1/26)

Israel alleges that 12 UNRWA employees took part in or aided the attack on 10/7/2023 based on Shin Bet interrogations of Palestinian detainees and phone tracking. UNRWA announces an investigation and says it has terminated the contracts of the 9 of the staffers, with further investigations into 2 other staffers. 1 staff has been killed. The U.S., Germany, the Netherlands, Canada, Finland, Australia, Italy, and the UK say they have paused additional funding to UNRWA while they are reviewing the allegations and UN’s steps to address them. The PA calls on the countries that suspended funding to reverse their decisions. Scottish first minister Humza Yousaf calls the suspension of funding for UNRWA collective punishment. UNRWA commissioner-general Philippe Lazzarini calls the aid suspensions “shocking,” saying they are based on the “alleged behavior of a few individuals.” Ireland and Norway express support for UNRWA. (AJ, AJ, AP, AX, HA, HA, NYT, NYT 1/26; AJ, AJ, HA, HA, NYT, NYT, REU, REU, REU, REU, WAFA 1/27; HA, HA, NYT, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 1/28; AP, REU, REU, REU 1/29)

Hamas releases a video of 3 captives who call on the Israeli government to stop the war on Gaza and secure their release, saying other captives held with them have been killed in Israeli airstrikes. (AJ, HA, HA 1/26)

U.S. president Joe Biden speaks with Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Qatari emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani about another temporary ceasefire in Gaza. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby says the White House is doing “everything we can to facilitate another hostage deal,” and that National Security Council Coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa Brett McGurk returns to the U.S. after discussions with Qatar and Egypt. Axios reports that on 1/19 Biden said in a call with Prime Minister Netanyahu that he wants Israel to end its war on Gaza soon. A Biden advisor tells Axios that the White House is concerned about losing young voters who are opposed to Biden’s policy on the war. (AJ, AX, HA 1/26)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers set fire to a carshop in Beitin, damaging all the vehicles. Israeli settlers also vandalize Palestinian-owned vehicles in al-Twana, puncturing tires and smashing windshields. Elsewhere, Israeli settlers dig graves outside of a school in al-Ma’rajat. Israeli settlers also kill 2 Palestinian-owned sheep in Kisan. Israeli forces shoot and kill a Palestinian man at the Annab checkpoint near Tulkarm, claiming he had opened fire at the soldiers. Israeli forces shoot and injure 2 Palestinians during raids in Beit Furik and al-Bireh. Elsewhere, Israeli forces assault 2 Palestinians in Ya’bad and seize a vehicle and a forklift. Israeli forces also demolish a home in Lasifar in the Masafer Yatta area and a water well in Ras Atiya. In East Jerusalem, Israeli settlers tour the Haram al-Sharif compound. In Gaza, Israeli forces bomb al-Mawasi, Gaza City, Khan Yunis, Jabalia refugee camp, Nuseirat refugee camp, and Rafah, killing at least 195 people. Israeli forces also shoot and kill several Palestinians with live ammunition in Khan Yunis. A video released by ITV News shows a man being interviewed while holding a white flag shortly before Israeli snipers shoot and kill him. Meanwhile, Israeli forces attack people fleeing from Khan Yunis to Rafah with both live ammunition and tank fire. In Lebanon, Hezbollah forces fire 12 missiles at an Israeli air base on Mount Meron; no damage is reported. In Syria, U.S. forces kill 2 people in an airstrike near the Iraqi border. In Yemen, U.S. and UK forces attack 18 Houthi-linked sites in the Sanaa, Hodeidah, Taiz, and Baida governates. (AJ, AP, HA, HA, NYT, NYT, REU, UNOCHA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 1/23; AP, HA, ITV 1/24)

More than 25,490 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in Gaza, including at least 10,600 children and 7,200 women, and around 63,345 have been injured since 10/7. At least 7,000 people are missing in rubble, including 1,700 children. 364 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since 10/7, including 92 children. More than 4,348 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, including Israeli soldiers. In addition, 219 Israeli soldiers have been killed and 1,203 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. At least 69,000 housing units have been destroyed and 290,000 have been damaged in Israeli airstrikes since 10/7, constituting over 60% of all housing units. 185 trucks carrying aid enter Gaza via the Rafah and Karem Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) crossings. (UNOCHA, UNOCHA, WAFA 1/23)

The Israeli military says its forces have encircled Khan Yunis and issued an evacuation order for parts of the city affecting 500,000 people. A Palestinian woman says Israeli forces set fire to the tent her and her family were sheltering in on 1/22 in al-Mawasi, killing her husband and daughter. The PA warns the international community that Israel is pressuring Palestinians to move to Rafah as part of its goal of displacing Palestinians from Gaza. (AJ, AJ, AP, HA, HA, NYT, NYT, REU, UNOCHA, WAFA, WAFA 1/23; AJ, AJ, NYT 1/24)

Hamas calls on the UN, Red Cross, and the WHO to intervene and stop Israeli attacks on Palestinian hospitals, as both the Nasser and al-Amal hospitals are under attack. Reuters report that Hamas rejects an Israeli proposal that would see 6 leaders of Hamas removed from Gaza, including Yahya Sinwar and Mohammed Deif. (AJ, HA, HA, REU 1/23; AJ, AP, NYT 1/24)

Israel acknowledges that it is demolishing Palestinian homes in Gaza to widen the “buffer zone” between residential areas of Gaza and the Gaza fence. In response, U.S. secretary of state Antony Blinken says “[w]hen it comes to the permanent status of Gaza going forward, we have been clear, we remain clear about not encroaching on its territory.” France also says it opposes Israeli plans to reduce the size of Gaza. (AJ, AP, HA, HA, NYT 1/23; AJ, HA 1/25)

Israeli tourism minister Haim Katz announces a conference for the resettlement of Gaza on 1/28 called “Conference for the Victory of Israel – Settlement Brings Security: Returning to the Gaza Strip and Northern Samaria,” inviting members of the Israeli public. In a video, Katz says the “withdrawal [of the Israeli settlements in Gaza in 2005] created the Nazi monster.” In response to the killing of 21 Israeli soldiers on 1/22, National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir says Israel “must continue to subdue, crush, and mow down the Nazi enemy in Gaza with all our might.” (AJ 1/23; AJ, HA, HA 1/24)

At the UN Security Council, UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres reiterates his calls for an immediate ceasefire and condemns Israeli’s collective punishment of Palestinians. PA foreign minister Riyad al-Maliki tells the council that Israel will continue killing Palestinian civilians if the council does not act. Israeli ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan says if there is a ceasefire now Hamas will remain in power and attempt another “Holocaust.” (AJ, HA, UNOCHA 1/23; AJ, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 1/24)

210 members of the U.S. Congress sign a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, condemning the South African case against Israel at the ICJ and calling it disgusting. (AJ 1/24)

Palestine Legal says it has received several reports of FBI agents visiting pro-Palestinian activists in response to social media posts critical of Israel’s attacks on Gaza. (AJ 1/23)

The Palestine national soccer team advances to the knockout stage of the Asian Cup for the first time after beating Hong Kong. (AJ, HA 1/23)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers raze Palestinian-owned land in the Masafer Yatta area. Israeli forces fatally shoot a Palestinian man during a raid in Jaba’. Israeli forces seize several Palestinian-owned vehicles in Hebron and Dahariya. In East Jerusalem, Israeli settlers tour the Haram al-Sharif compound. In Gaza, Israel forces bomb Rafah, Khan Yunis, Nuseirat refugee camp, Gaza City, Nuseirat refugee camp, al-Bureij refugee camp, and Maghazi, killing at least 112 people. In Lebanon, Israeli forces bomb an ambulance, killing 2 medics in Hanine. Hezbollah attacks Kiryat Shmona and Birket Riche. In Yemen, the U.S. and the UK launch airstrikes in several places, killing 6 Yemenis and damaging 4 airports and a Houthi military base. Off the coast of Oman, hijackers, reportedly from Iran, seize a commercial vessel carrying oil changing its course toward Iran. (AJ, AP, AX, HA, NYT, NYT, NYT, UNOCHA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 1/11; AJ, AJ, AJ, AJ, AJ, AP, HA, NYT, NYT, NYT, REU, WAFA 1/12; HA, HA 1/14)

More than 23,469 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in Gaza, including at least 16,350 women and children, and around 59,604 have been injured since 10/7. At least 7,000 people are missing in rubble, including 1,700 children. 336 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since 10/7, including 84 children. More than 4,148 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, including Israeli soldiers. In addition, 184 Israeli soldiers have been killed and 1,085 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. At least 69,000 housing units have been destroyed and 290,000 have been damaged in Israeli airstrikes since 10/7, constituting over 60% of all housing units. 145 trucks carrying aid enter Gaza via the Rafah and Karem Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) crossings. The World Food Programme says it has delivered food aid to Gaza City for the first time in several weeks. (AJ, UNOCHA, UNOCHA 1/11)

Israel issues evacuation orders for al-Mawasi, telling Palestinians to flee to Dayr al-Balah. (UNOCHA 1/11)

Oxfam releases a report saying Israel’s war on Gaza is the deadliest in recent years with an average of 250 Palestinians killed per day. Oxfam compares the daily casualty numbers to 96 in Syria, 52 in Sudan, 51 in Iraq, and 44 in Ukraine. (AJ, AJ 1/11)

PLO secretary-general Hussein al-Sheikh meets with Qatari prime minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani in Doha, discussing the situation in Palestine. (AJ 1/11)

Hamas and Islamic Jihad condemn the U.S. and UK attacks on Yemen. Russia calls an emergency meeting at the UN Security Council in response to the attack. Saudi Arabia calls for restraint. Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and South Korea sign a joint statement with the U.S. and the UK in support of the attacks. France and Italy reportedly refuse to sign the statement. U.S. president Joe Biden cites the impact of the attacks in the Red Sea on global oil prices when asked about the attacks on Yemen. Biden also calls the Houthis “terrorists.” (AJ, AP, HA, NYT, REU, REU, REU, REU 1/12)

South Africa presents its case for an injunction against Israel’s war in Gaza at the ICJ, saying Israel is committing genocide. U.S. State Department deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel says, “the allegations that Israel is committing genocide are unfounded.” U.S. congresspeople Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Cori Bush (D-MO) issue a statement in support of the case. Iraq also issues a statement in support of South Africa’s case. Amnesty International calls the case “a vital step for the protection of Palestinian lives.” Several Israeli ministers accuse South Africa of hypocrisy for not bringing similar cases against other countries and the Israeli Foreign Ministry calls South Africa the “legal arm” of Hamas. The PA thanks South Africa for trying to hold Israel accountable and calls on other countries to support South Africa’s case. (HA, HA, HA, HA, NYT, WAFA 1/10; AJ, AJ, AJ, AJ, AJ, AP, AP, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, NYT, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 1/11; AJ, HA, NYT, NYT, NYT, REU 1/12)

U.S. secretary of state Antony Blinken tells reporters after a meeting with Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in Egypt that Israel’s integration into the Middle East and a path to Palestinian statehood would isolate Iran. Blinken also says the PA has agreed to “pursue meaningful reform.” Deputy Assistant to the President and Senior Adviser for Energy and Investment Amos Hochstein tells reporters, after meeting Lebanese caretaker prime minister Najib Mikati and other senior officials, that both Israel and Lebanon prefer a diplomatic solution to end the escalation between the 2 countries. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby says the U.S. is not “satisfied with the level [of aid entering Gaza] right now.” (AJ, AJ, AP, HA, NYT, NYT 1/11)

A poll conducted by the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies shows that among 8,000 people in 16 Arab countries 91% of respondents express solidarity with Palestinians and 92% say their plight should be a concern for all Arabs. 94% express a negative view of U.S. policy toward Israel’s war on Gaza. (AJ 1/11)

The Eskenazi Museum of Art at Indiana University reportedly cancels an exhibition of Samia Halaby’s work because of her posts on social media in support of Palestinians in Gaza. (NYT 1/11)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers shot and injured 2 Palestinian children, aged 12 and 14, in Deir Qadis. Israeli settlers with a military escort also raided Wadi Qelt, storming 5 homes and intimidating residents. Elsewhere, Israeli settlers destroyed water pipes leading to 3 villages in the Masafer Yatta area. Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian during a raid in Qalqilya. Israeli forces also assaulted Palestinians in Hizma. Elsewhere, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinians in al-Arroub refugee camp, causing tear-gas related injuries. Israeli forces seized a vehicle in Halawa. At least 60 Palestinians were arrested during raids in and around Hebron, Bethlehem, Jericho, Ramallah, Nablus, and Jenin. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces demolished an apartment on the third floor of an apartment building in Sur Baher. Israeli forces raided the home of al-Aqsa Mosque preacher Sheikh Ikrimah Sabri in Silwan, issuing a demolition notice for the 5-story building he lives in. Israeli authorities forced a Palestinian family to demolish their own home in Sur Baher. In Gaza, Israeli forces killed around 316 Palestinians and wounded more than 664 others during airstrikes on Rafah, al-Bureij, Dayr al-Balah, Gaza City, Jabalia refugee camp, Khan Yunis and Faluja, including Islamic University of Gaza president Sufyan Tayeh and his family in Faluja. Israeli forces also targeted the Kamal Adwan Hospital, killing 4 people. Israel said it had started to move its ground invasion to southern Gaza and told Palestinians in 20% of Khan Yunis to evacuate to al-Mawasi and Rafah. Israel also said its forces assassinated the commander of Hamas’ al-Shati Brigades. 3 Israeli soldiers were killed. Rockets were fired at Israel, hitting 2 buildings in Sderot; no injuries were reported. In Lebanon, militants fired anti-tank missiles at Israeli forces, injuring 11 soldiers and a civilian. Israel said it attacked several targets in Lebanon. In Syria, Israeli forces fired artillery at southern Syria, saying a rocket was fired at Israel. (AJ, AJ, HA, NYT, UNOCHA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 12/3; AJ, AJ, HA 12/4; HA 12/5; AJ, NYT 12/6)

More than 15,523 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in Gaza, including at least 6,387 children and 4,257 women, and around 41,316 have been injured since 10/7. At least 7,000 people were missing in rubble, including 1,700 children. 246 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since 10/7, including 65 children. More than 3,300 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. 80 Israeli soldiers have been killed in Gaza since the ground invasion began on 10/27. Over 1.8 million Palestinians, nearly 80% 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. 100 trucks carrying aid, including around 13,000 gallons of fuel, entered Gaza. The Red Crescent said increased Israeli attacks on southern Gaza have made it much more difficult to deliver aid. As a result, aid was only distributed in Rafah. 13 injured Palestinians, 11 companions, and 566 foreign nationals were evacuated. (AJ, AJ, HA, UNOCHA, UNOCHA 12/3)

The PA foreign ministry said Israel was seeking to “solidify the separation” between the West Bank and Gaza. (AJ 12/3)

Shin Bet director Ronen Bar said the Israeli cabinet had discussed assassinating leaders of Hamas “in Gaza, the Palestinian territories, in Lebanon, in Turkey, and in Qatar,” calling it “our Munich.” A Turkish intelligence official said there would be “serious consequences” if Israel kills Palestinians in Turkey. Military chief of staff Herzl Halevy said Israeli forces would fight in southern Gaza “as we did strongly and thoroughly in the northern part.” Israel also claimed to have found 800 tunnel shafts in Gaza. (AJ, HA 12/3; HA 12/4)

ICC prosecutor Karim Khan said his office will “further intensity its efforts to advance its investigations” in the occupied Palestinian territories. (AJ, AJ, AP, HA, HA, WAFA 12/3)

Qatari prime minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani said Qatar calls for an “immediate, comprehensive, and impartial international investigation” into Israel’s attacks in Gaza and that his country continues to work toward another ceasefire. (AJ 12/3)

The U.S. said that an American warship and several commercial ships were attacked in the Red Sea. Yemen’s Houthi government said it had attacked an Israeli ship with a missile and attacked another with a drone. The U.S. also said that its Rumalyn Landing Zone base in Syria was attacked by 15 rockets. (AJ, HA, HA, NYT 12/3; AJ 12/4)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers attacked Palestinians harvesting olives in Burin, assaulting them at gun point and stealing tools, phones, and olive crops. Israeli settlers also raided Qarawat Bani Hassan, opening fire at Palestinians harvesting olives, forcing them to flee. Elsewhere, Israeli settlers uprooted 55 trees using a bulldozer in al-Twana. Israeli settlers also assaulted Palestinians in Khallet ad-Dabi, causing fractures and bruises on several of them. Meanwhile, Israeli settlers threw stones at Palestinian homes in Arab al-Milehat near Jericho. Israeli forces killed 7 Palestinians, including 2 children, during raids in Jenin refugee camp, Qalqilya, and Qalandia refugee camp; 5 of the Palestinians were killed in a drone strike on Jenin refugee camp. Israeli forces also shot and injured 28 Palestinians during raids in Jenin refugee camp and Qalandia refugee camp. Elsewhere, Israeli forces razed land and uprooted 25 trees near Beit Umar. 52 Palestinians were arrested during raids in and around Ramallah, Hebron, Bethlehem, Qalqilya, Salfit, Jenin, Tubas, Bayt Awa, and Beit Umar. In East Jerusalem, Israeli settlers toured the Haram al-Sharif compound. Israeli settlers with a military escort also attacked Palestinians in al-Sawana, injuring 3, including 2 with baton rounds and 1 by assault. Israeli forces demolished a Palestinian home in Shaykh Jarrah, displacing 9. Israel also forced a Palestinian family to demolish their own home in Bayt Hanina. 20 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids. In Gaza, Israeli airstrikes killed 756 Palestinians, including the wife, son, daughter, and grandchild of Al Jazeera Gaza bureau chief Wael Dahdouh in an airstrike that was said to be targeting him. Israeli airstrikes also destroyed a bakery in Dayr al-Balah shortly after it received a shipment of flour. Rockets were fired at Israel, causing damage and injuries. In Lebanon, Israeli attacks killed 2 members of Hezbollah, increasing the number of Hezbollah members killed to 40 since 10/7. In Syria, Israeli forces attacked Aleppo International Airport, rendering it out of service, and killed at least 8 and wounded 7 others in a different attack in southwestern Syria. (AJ 10/24; AJ, AJ, AJ, AJ, AP, HA, NYT, REU, REU, REU, UNOCHA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 10/25; AJ, AP, AP, AP, WAFA 10/26)

The Gaza Ministry of Health said as of 5 p.m. at least 6,547 Palestinians had been killed, including at least 4,000 women and children, and 17,439 had been injured in Israeli airstrikes on Gaza since 10/7. It is estimated that 1,500 were trapped in rubble. In addition, Israeli media reported that 1,500 Palestinian militants have been killed near Gaza. 102 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since 10/7, including 29 children. More than 1,833 have been injured. Israeli officials recorded no new fatalities, leaving the Israeli death toll at around 1,400 Israelis and foreign nationals; 5,431 have been injured since 10/7. The UN reported that over 1.4 million Palestinians, more than half the population in Gaza, have been displaced since 10/7 and that since 11 p.m. on 10/12 there has been a complete electricity blackout due to the Israeli blockade. At least 27,781 housing units have been destroyed and 150,000 have been damaged in Israeli airstrikes since 10/7. At least 45% of all housing units have been either destroyed or damaged in Israeli airstrikes. The Committee to Protect Journalists said at least 24 journalists have been killed since 10/7, including 20 Palestinians, 3 Israelis, and 1 Lebanese. The UN said the shortage of fuel was undermining its efforts to help Palestinians in Gaza. Israel told 40,000 Palestinians in Dayr al-Balah and Khan Yunis to evacuate to al-Mawasi. (AJ 10/24; HA, NYT, UNOCHA, WAFA 10/25; AP 10/26)

The Palestinian Federation of Trade Unions said between 9,000 and 9,500 Palestinians from Gaza, employed in Israel, were in Israel on 10/7. 5,000 of them made it to the West Bank, with some 2,000 of them subsequently being arrested by Israel while 1,000 are unaccounted for. A Palestinian worker told Haaretz after he was released from an Israeli detention camp that Palestinians were held in the sun for 2 days without food, while they were blindfolded and their hands were tied. He also said he was beaten and threatened with death during an interrogation. (AJ 10/24; HA 10/25; HA, WAFA 10/26; AJ 10/28)

Oxfam said Israel was using starvation as a weapon of war, saying only 2% of the food that circumstances would have entered Gaza under normal circumstances has been delivered since 10/7 and that 104 trucks of food are needed daily to cover the needs of the population. (AJ 10/25)

Hamas deputy political leader Saleh al-Arouri and Islamic Jihad secretary-general Ziad al-Nakhalah met with Hezbollah secretary-general Hassan Nasrallah in Beirut. (AJ 10/24; AJ, HA, REU 10/25; HA 10/26)

U.S. president Joe Biden questioned the accuracy of the death toll reported by the Gaza Ministry of Health. Human Rights Watch said the data provided by the ministry is accurate, saying their own investigations are aligned with the ministry’s data. Biden also criticized Israeli settlers for “attacking Palestinians in places that they are entitled to be.” After a call with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a readout of the conversation stated that they discussed a “pathway for a permanent peace.” Newly elected House of Representatives speaker Mike Johnson’s first act as speaker was to bring a pro-Israel resolution to the floor, which passed 412-10, with 6 voting present. The U.S. said it will send 2 Iron Dome batteries and 300 interceptors to Israel. (AJ, REU 10/24; AJ, HA, HA, NYT, NYT 10/25; AJ, AP, AP, HA, HA, REU 10/26)

At the UN Security Council, the U.S. and UK vetoed a Russian resolution calling for a humanitarian ceasefire. China, Gabon, Russia, and the UAE voted for the resolution while the 9 other members abstained. Russia and China vetoed a U.S. resolution calling for “humanitarian pauses.” The UAE also voted against it, while Albania, France, Ecuador, Gabon, Ghana, Japan, Malta, Switzerland, and the UK voted in favor. Brazil and Mozambique abstained. (AJ 10/24; AJ, REU 10/25; AJ, AJ, AJ, AJ, AP, AP, HA, WAFA 10/26)

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said in a speech that he will not visit Israel as planned and that relations between the 2 states will not improve, calling Israel’s attacks on Gaza “inhumane.” Erdoğan also said Hamas is a liberation group that protects its lands and people.  (AJ 10/24; AJ, HA, HA, NYT, REU 10/25; NYT 10/26)

French president Emmanuel Macron met with his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who said the 2 discussed the “many, many civilian casualties” that could result from an Israeli ground invasion of Gaza. Macron also met with King Abdullah II of Jordan in Amman. Macron said France will deploy a navy ship to bring aid to Gaza hospitals via Egypt. (AJ 10/24; HA, REU, REU 10/25; AP 10/26)

Scottish first minister Humza Yousaf called UK prime minister Rishi Sunak and Labour leader Keir Starmer’s refusal to call for a ceasefire “infuriating.” (AJ 10/24)

The Wall Street Journal reported that the U.S. has asked Israel to hold off on its planned ground invasion of Gaza until the U.S. has bolstered its defenses in Iraq, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kuwait, and the UAE. Haaretz reported that as of 10/22, 80 U.S. military planes have landed in Israel, Jordan, and Cyprus. (HA 10/24; HA, HA, NYT, REU 10/25)

Axios reported that U.S. secretary of state Antony Blinken has asked Qatar to “tone down” Al Jazeera’s rhetoric on the Israeli attacks on Gaza. (AJ 10/24)

Fans of the Scottish soccer club Celtic waived 100s of Palestinian flags during a Champions League match against Atletico Madrid in Glasgow. (AJ 10/24; AJ 10/26)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers with a military escort shot and killed a Palestinian man during a raid in Dura al-Qara’. Israeli settlers also shot and injured a Palestinian in Shufa. Elsewhere, Israeli settlers threw stones at Palestinians traveling near Burqa, injuring a Palestinian woman. Israeli settlers also opened fire at a Palestinian vehicle near Bizarya, causing damage. Meanwhile, Israeli settlers vandalized olive trees near Tell. Israeli forces shot and killed 3 Palestinians, including 2 minors, during raids in Shuqba and Jamma’in. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Huwwara, Tarqumiyah, and Dar Salah, injuring 3 with live ammunition and others with tear gas. Elsewhere, Israeli forces demolished a Palestinian home in Bayt Hanina. 65 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in and around Hebron, Bethlehem, and Nablus. Around 750 Palestinians have been arrested by Israeli forces since 10/7. In East Jerusalem, Israeli settlers toured the Haram al-Sharif compound. In Gaza, Israeli airstrikes killed around 100 Palestinians, including several people sheltering at an UNRWA school in Khan Yunis. Rockets were fired at Israel, causing damage. In Haifa, Israeli police violently dispersed anti-war protesters, arresting 4 and injuring others with batons. In Lebanon, Hezbollah fired an anti-tank missile at Israeli soldiers in Shtula, injuring 5. Israel fired artillery shells and conducted drone strikes in Lebanon. Hezbollah said 2 of its members were killed. Protesters demonstrated outside of the German and U.S. embassies in Beirut. In Syria, Israel conducted airstrikes in the Quneitra province. In Turkey, 60 people, mostly police officers, were injured after protesters in Istanbul attempted to storm the Israeli consulate. There were also demonstrations in Jordan, Yemen, Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Libya, Iran, and the West Bank. (AJ, AJ, AP, AP, AP, HA, HA, NYT, NYT, REU, UNOCHA WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 10/18; AJ, AJ, AJ, AP, HA, NYT, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 10/19)

The Gaza Ministry of Health said as of 5 p.m. at least 3,500 Palestinians had been killed, including at least 853 children, and 12,500 had been injured in Israeli airstrikes on Gaza since 10/7, including 47 entire families consisting of 500 people. In addition, Israeli media reported that 1,500 Palestinian militants have been killed near Gaza. 65 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since 10/7, including 15 children. More than 1,284 have been injured, including at least 300 with live ammunition. Israeli officials recorded no new fatalities, leaving the Israeli death toll at around 1,300 Israelis and foreign nationals; 4,562 have been injured since 10/7. The UN reported that over 1 million Palestinians have been displaced since 10/7 and that since 11 p.m. on 10/12 there has been a complete electricity blackout due to the Israeli blockade. At least 11,887 housing units have been destroyed in Israeli airstrikes since 10/7. The number is likely much higher as the latest data is from 10/14. The Palestinian civil defense team said that more than 1,000 Palestinians were under the rubble of buildings in Gaza. (AJ, AJ, HA, UNOCHA 10/18)

Palestinians in the West Bank observed a general strike in protest against the Israeli airstrike that killed 471 people at al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza City on 10/17. (WAFA, WAFA 10/18)

The Israeli military again called on Palestinians in northern Gaza to evacuate south to the al-Mawasi area. (AJ 10/17; HA, UNOCHA 10/18)

The PA leadership held an emergency meeting chaired by President Mahmoud Abbas, confirming a July 2023 decision to end security coordination with Israel and reaffirming the Palestinian people’s right to self-defense. (WAFA 10/18)

The Knesset approved temporary legislation to allow Israeli prisons to admit new inmates beyond their legal capacity, allowing worsening conditions for Palestinian prisoners, including reducing living spaces and forcing prisoners to sleep on mattresses on the floor. The bill will be in effect for 3 months. Israel prisons have received 500 new Palestinian prisoners since 10/7, including 118 who crossed from Gaza to Israel in relation to Operation Al-Aqsa Flood. The Israeli High Court of Justice ruled in 2017 that prisoners must be given at least 37.7 square feet of space. The Knesset ethics panel also voted to suspend Jewish Hadash MK Ofer Cassif from the Knesset for 45 days and revoked his salary for 14 days over his anti-war stance. (AJ, HA 10/18; HA 10/19)

U.S. president Joe Biden landed in Israel for meetings with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, President Isaac Herzog, and the war cabinet. Biden was supposed to travel to Amman for meetings with President Abbas, Jordanian king Abdullah II, and Egyptian president Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, but the meetings were cancelled by the 3 leaders after Israel bombed al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza, killing 471 people. Biden told Netanyahu during a meeting that “it appears as though it was done by the other team, not you” in reference to the hospital bombing. Biden cautioned Israel not to be consumed by rage, saying the U.S. made mistakes after 9/11. Biden also announced $100 million in humanitarian aid to Palestinians as the Senate was working on passing a bill providing $10 billion in extra military aid to Israel. Biden said aid to Gaza could start arriving on 10/20, as Egypt needs to “patch the road” to the crossing. Senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT) blocked an attempt by Senator Rick Scott (R-FL) to prevent the Biden administration from dispersing the $100 million in aid to Palestinians. 33 Democratic senators urged Secretary of State Antony Blinken to lead efforts to provide humanitarian aid to Gaza. Around 300 Jewish Americans were arrested at the U.S. Capitol while protesting Israel’s war in Gaza. The protest was arranged by Jewish Voice for Peace. (HA 10/17; AJ, AJ, AJ, AJ, AP, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, HA, NYT, NYT, NYT, REU, REU, REU, REU, REU, REU 10/18; AJ, AP, HA, HA, REU, WAFA 10/19; AJ 10/20)

After President Biden’s meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu, Netanyahu’s office released a statement saying that Israel will not allow aid from its territory to enter Gaza until the captives are returned. The statement also said Israel demands that the Red Cross be able to visit the captives and that Israel will not “thwart” humanitarian aid from Egypt as long as it only consists of food, water, and medicine. (AJ 10/17; AJ, HA 10/18)

President el-Sisi said during a press conference with German chancellor Olaf Schulz that Israel could allow Palestinians in Gaza to stay in the Naqab desert until Israel can “do what they wish to do with the militant operatives in the Gaza Strip.” El-Sisi also spoke with President Biden about aid coming through the Rafah crossing. Saudi foreign minister Faisal bin Farhan met with his Iranian counterpart Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in the sidelines of an OIC meeting in Jeddah, discussing the situation in Gaza. Amir-Abdollahian called on the OIC members to sanction Israel and expel Israeli ambassadors. The OIC called for an immediate ceasefire and for Israel to lift the siege of Gaza. (AP 10/16; AJ 10/17; AJ, HA, REU, REU, WAFA, WAFA 10/18; WAFA 10/19)

The U.S. blocked a UN Security Council resolution calling for humanitarian access to Gaza, protection of civilians, and condemning Hamas’ operation in Israel. The resolution, introduced by Brazil, was approved by 12 members of the Security Council, while Russia and the UK abstained. UN secretary-general Antonio Guterres called “for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in the Middle East.” (AJ 10/17; AJ, AJ, AJ, AP, HA, NYT, REU 10/18)

U.S. State Department director of the office of public and congressional affairs Josh Paul resigned in protest over the Biden administration’s policy toward the Israeli assault on Gaza and its “impulsive reaction built on confirmation bias, political convenience, intellectual bankruptcy, and bureaucratic inertia.” (AJ, HA 10/18; AJ, NYT 10/19)

Jewish Currents reported that the Palestinian academics and analysts Noura Erakat, Yousef Munayyer, and Omar Baddar had their interviews cut from segments on CBS and CNN. MSNBC last week temporarily removed 3 Muslim hosts, Mehdi Hasan, Ali Velshi, and Ayman Mohyeldin, who is Palestinian, from their programming. (JC 10/18)

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)

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)

The IDF makes an air strike on a Hamas training facility nr. Jabaliya r.c., killing 2 Hamas mbrs.; fires at least 4 missiles at another empty training facility in al-Mawasi, destroying it; sends ground troops into areas nr. Jabaliya, shooting and wounding 1 Palestinian. In Nussayrat r.c., 3 Islamic Jihad mbrs. are killed when a bomb they are making explodes prematurely. In the West Bank, the IDF sends undercover units into Ramallah to ambush, assassinate AMB mbr. Omar ‘Abd al-Halim, wounding 5 bystanders; sends undercover units into Kafr Dan nr. Jenin to ambush, assassinate Islamic Jihad mbr. ‘Id Hisham Khalil; makes arrest raids in and around Jenin town and r.c. (fatally shooting Muhammad Marai‘, who announced a wk. ago the formation of a new Fatah splinter group, the Martyr Abu Ammar Brigades, in what may be an assassination) and in Nablus (detaining Fatah PC mbr. and PA General Intelligence Nablus head Jamal Tirawi, 3 others), Tulkarm r.c. (al-Haq press release, NYT, OCHA 5/30; NYT, PCHR, WP 5/31)

The IDF arrests a Palestinian on the Gaza beach in al-Mawasi for no apparent reason; imposes a day-long curfew on ‘Azun nr. Qalqilya, searches several homes, arrests 1 Palestinian; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Marda nr. Nablus. A Jewish settler who set herself on fire on 8/17 to protest the disengagement dies of her injuries, marking the only fatality of the disengagement process. (WP 8/27; PCHR 9/1)

The IDF completes the evacuation of settlers fr. Gaza, with residents of the last inhabited settlement, Netzarim (est. 1972, pop. 496, size 1,760 d., hrs. to evac. 7), and 300 disengagement protesters leaving willingly after holding final prayer service, with only minor scuffles with soldiers; Netzarim residents say they have applied to the Israeli government to move to the West Bank settlement of Ariel. The IDF also raids, searches houses in al-Mawasi. Overnight, 10s of armed Jewish settlers protesting disengagement march through at least 8 West Bank Palestinian villages nr. Homesh and Sanur, firing in the air, occupying the rooftops of Palestinian homes, vandalizing property; the IDF intervenes to remove them. During the day, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron, occupying 2 houses as observation posts; conducts house searches, interrogations nr. Jenin, occupying 2 Palestinian homes as observation posts. Jewish settlers fr. Eli stone, lightly injure 2 Palestinians. Jewish settlers fr. Einav attack Palestinians, damage Palestinian crops and homes in Ramin village nr. Nablus. A French sound technician kidnapped in Gaza on 8/14 turns up at a PA police station in Gaza City; no group claims responsibility, though there are rumors that he was kidnapped by a prominent clan and was released only after Abbas freed 6 family mbrs. fr. jail. (HA, IMEMC, XIN 8/22; HA, NYT, WP, WT 8/23; PCHR, PR 8/25; NYT 8/28)

In the morning, the IDF says that 70% of Gaza settlers have been evacuated, most Gaza residents have not resisted the evacuation, most protests and resistance are by West Bank settler youth (and some American Jewish youth) who have come to Gaza in recent wks. to block the withdrawal. During the day, the evacuations of Gan Or (est. 1983, pop. 350, size 1,692 d., hrs. to evac. 5), Kefar Darom (est. 1989, pop. 490, size 276 d., hrs. to evac. 12), Kefar Yam (est. 1983, pop. 15, hrs. to evac. 3), Netzer Hazani (est. 1973, pop. 460, size 250 d., hrs. to evac. 5), Neve Dekalim (est. 1983, pop. 2,700, size 1,443 d., hrs. to evac. 35), Shirat Hayam (est. 2001, pop. 40, hrs. to evac. 5) settlements are completed. An increasing number of settlers set fire to their homes and to greenhouses as they leave to prevent them fr. being turned over to Palestinians. For the 1st time, 1 armed resident in Kefar Yam, 4 armed disengagement protesters in Shirat Hayam threaten to shoot IDF soldiers if they follow orders to remove settlers, but only if soldiers fire first; the incidents defuse without violence. Some Shirat Hayam residents also throw rocks at Palestinians in Mawasi as they evacuate. In Kefar Darom, 65 resident families agree to leave, but as many as 2,000 outside protesters refuse, many of them barricading themselves inside and on the roof of a synagogue; for the 1st time during the disengagement, the IDF uses water cannons against protesters and 2 IDF soldiers refuse to obey their orders, are removed by fellow soldiers; 58 Israelis are injured in clearing the synagogue, including at least 3 IDF soldiers, 27 border police (1 seriously when he falls accidentally); protesters throw paint thinner at IDF Southern Command chief Maj. Gen. Dan Harel, several soldiers. In Neve Dekalim, some 1,500 disengagement protesters hole up in 2 synagogues, refusing to leave even after residents have voluntarily evacuated, but are eventually extracted. Jewish settlers in s. Gaza spread nails along the coastal road in alMawasi to prevent movement of Palestinian vehicles. Meanwhile, Palestinians fire a rocket at Netzarim (still inhabited), lightly injuring an IDF soldier; 2 mortars at Gadid settlement (still inhabited), 3 mortars at Morag (evacuated) causing no damage or injuries. Palestinian gunmen fire on IDF troops nr. Kefar Darom, lightly injuring 1. The IDF conducts arrest raids in al-Mawasi; fires on residential areas of Bayt Lahiya, seriously injuring 1 Palestinian. In the West Bank, Jewish settlers fr. Homesh and Sanur attempt to break into a Palestinian home in nearby Asa’sa village; the IDF intervenes to stop them. Jewish settlers fr. Keddumim throw stones at Palestinian shops, cars nr. Qalqilya. The IDF also conducts arrest raids, house searches in Dura, nr. Tulkarm; confiscates 500 d. of agricultural land nr. Eli settlement nr. Nablus. In Israel, disengagement protesters block roads nationwide. (AP, BBC, HA, Israeli Radio, ITV 8/18; NYT, WP, WT 8/19; PCHR 8/25)

Before dawn the IDF moves troops into Gaza en masse to begin the forcible evacuation of Jewish settlers and disengagement protesters who have not yet left, begins demolishing settler homes in n. Gaza. By the end of the day, evacuations of Bedolah (est. 1986, pop. 220, size 1,456 d., hrs. to evac. 6), Ganei Tal (est. 1979, pop. 350, size 2,050 d., hrs. to evac. 11), Kerem Atzmona (est. 2001, pop. 24, hrs. to evac. 6), Morag (est. 1972, pop. 220, size 1,300 d., hrs. to evac. 7), Tal Katifa (est. 1992, pop. 60, size 183 d., hrs. to evac. 5) are completed; most residents of Gadid leave voluntarily. Settlers in Atzmona agree to evacuate voluntarily by 8/21, those in Netzarim by 8/22. Settlers who have not arranged their evacuation with the government will be housed temporarily in hotels, mobile homes: e.g., more than half of Morag’s settlers take up temporary residence in the West Bank settlement of Ofra; Israel’s Jerusalem municipality temporarily houses 1,000 Neve Dekalim settlers who have left voluntarily in a Jerusalem hotel. Generally there is little strong resistance; the IDF optimistically says it hopes that the evacuations could be completed within days instead of wks., as earlier estimated. During the day, some scuffles btwn. soldiers, settlers are reported; in some areas settlers set fire to tires and in garbage bins to prevent soldiers fr. entering settlements; at least 2 settlers set fire to their homes before leaving. In Morag, a female IDF soldier is stabbed with a syringe, lightly injured by a disengagement protester. (In total, 13 Israeli soldiers and police are lightly injured during the day.) Gaza settlers and protesters also attack Palestinians: some 200 Kefar Darom settlers rampage through nearby Palestinian areas, set fire to a Palestinian house; 20 Neve Dekalim settlers march through al-Mawasi, spread nails on roads to damage Palestinian cars, try to provoke Palestinian residents (the IDF intervenes, removes the settlers); other Jewish settlers fire on Palestinian homes, vandalize Palestinian greenhouses in the same area. The IDF also demolishes a Palestinian home, conducts arrest raids in al-Mawasi. Meanwhile, Palestinians in Khan Yunis begin returning to their homes on the edge of town facing the settlements, which they had fled since the start of the intifada in 9/00 because of IDF gunfire. Islamic Jihad mbrs. in some 50 boats, carrying banners and weapons, hold a seaborne victory parade off Gaza to celebrate disengagement. Some disengagement protests in Israel turn violent: a disengagement protester tosses a grenade at an IDF checkpoint in s. Israel, wounding 5 IDF soldiers; a female settler fr. Keddumim in the West Bank sets fire to herself during a demonstration in Netivot, is seriously injured. In the West Bank, a Jewish settler fr. Shvut Rachel steals a gun fr. an Israeli security guard at the industrial area of Shilo settlement, fires on Palestinian workers, killing 4 Palestinians, wounding 1. Sharon denounces the attack as “Jewish terror”; Palestinian Authority (PA) PM Mahmud Abbas calls on Palestinian factions to maintain calm, refrain fr. retaliation. At Sanur (to be evacuated under disengagement), 600 Jewish settlers hold an antidisengagement rally. The IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Hebron and in Nur al-Shams refugee camp (r.c.), Tulkarm. Also in Hebron, 4 bedouin children herding goats are injured when they accidentally trigger an unexploded IDF phosphorus shell; the IDF says it uses the shells only in training. A 9-yr.-old Palestinian dies of injuries received when she accidentally triggered unexploded IDF ordnance nr. Karmil. (Arutz 7, BBC, HA, IMEMC, NYT, REU, USA Today, WP, WT, YA 8/17; Voice of Israel, VOP 8/17 in WNC 8/18; BBC, HA, NYT, PCHR, WP, WT 8/18; MENA 8/18 in WNC 8/19; NYT 8/20; PCHR, PR 8/25; IMEMC 9/22; HA 11/10) 

At midnight local time, the grace period runs out for Jewish settlers in Gaza to withdraw voluntarily in compliance with Israeli PM Ariel Sharon’s disengagement plan; at least 50% of the estimated 8,500 settlers have already left, including all settlers fr. Dugit (est. 1990, pop. 70, size 245 dunams [d.; 4 d. = 1 acre].), Nisanit (est. 1980, pop. 1,100, size 1,610 d.), Pe’at Sadeh (est. 1989, pop. 110, size 935 d.), Rafiah Yam (est. 1984, pop. 130, size 574 d.), Shalev (est. 2001, pop. 50). Gaza and the n. West Bank remain closed military zones to Israelis for the duration of disengagement (see 6/30, 8/15). Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers prepare to forcibly remove the settlers who remain and the estimated 5,000 disengagement protesters (mostly West Bank settler youth) who snuck into the Strip. Meanwhile in Gaza, the IDF searches Palestinian homes nr. Bayt Lahiya, in Wadi al-Silqa; occupies a Palestinian home in Dayr al-Balah as an observation post. Jewish settlers fr. Gaza’s Gush Katif bloc, burn animal food storage bins in al-Mawasi. In Khan Yunis, 1,000s of Hamas supporters rally to celebrate the pending disengagement. In the West Bank, the IDF detains, beats a 16-yr.-old Palestinian who throws stones at troops outside Tulkarm; conducts arrest raids, house searches in villages around Hebron and in Qabatya nr. Jenin; demolishes an animal farm outside Hebron for construction of the separation wall; occupies 1 Palestinian home nr. Hebron, 1 nr. Tulkarm as observation posts. Jewish settlers fr. the West Bank settlement of Homesh (to be evacuated under disengagement) occupy, vandalize 2 Palestinian homes nearby; the IDF removes them. (BBC, IMEMC, XIN 8/16; PR 8/17; PCHR 8/18)

The IDF tightens restrictions on Palestinian movement inside Gaza, declares the n. West Bank a closed military zone in preparation for disengagement; begins going door to door in the Gaza settlements, asking residents to leave within 48 hrs. In Aley Sinai, 56 of 59 families who had agreed to leave rescind their decision, vowing to resist evacuation until the Israeli government finds permanent living solutions for the community as a whole; the government had promised them space together in an Ashkelon hotel, but only today learned that not enough space was available. During the day, some 1,000 right-wing settlers in various locations in s. Gaza simultaneously begin marching toward Gush Katif to block troops, but are prevented fr. reaching the settlement bloc by IDF troops and border police. Other settler youths slash the tires of several army jeeps, spray liquid soap on windshields to limit visibility, spread nails on roads to delay convoys of movers. Jewish settlers fr. Neve Dekalim vandalize, attempt to set fire to several Palestinian homes in al-Mawasi. In Gan Or, local settlers who want the IDF’s help to evacuate scuffle with settler youths blocking soldiers fr. entering the settlement. In the West Bank, the last residents of Ganim (est. 1983, pop. 172) and Qadim (est. 1983, pop. 169) evacuate voluntarily by evening, while settlers in the other 2 West Bank settlement slated for removal, the hard-line enclaves of Homesh (est. 1980, pop. 228) and Sanur (est. 1982, pop. 105), refuse to accept their notices. The major Palestinian factions, including Hamas, agree to oversee jointly how the PA uses land evacuated by settlers and the IDF; the PA expects 5% of the land to revert to individual Palestinian owners, with the rest being state land that will fall under PA jurisdiction. In a signal to reassure Palestinians about how it will handle land use, the PA security forces demolish a house, cabana, pool built illegally on Gaza public land by 2 senior PA security officials; when a neighbor of one of the officials tells journalists that the demolitions were good because his neighbors “were criminals . . . a gang,” several PA security officers beat him, threaten to shoot him, before he retreats into his house. (BBC, HA, NYT 8/15; HA, NYT, WP, WT 8/16; PR 8/17; PCHR 8/18)

Meanwhile, the IDF continues arrest raids, house searches in villages around Tulkarm; launches arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem and in Birzeit, alMawasi; searches homes in Kafr Qadim; occupies 5 Palestinian houses (2 nr. Gaza’s Dugit settlement, 1 in Mughraqa, 1 nr. Tulkarm, 1 in Wadi al-Silqa) as observation posts; fires on residential areas of Rafah. Jewish settlers vandalize Palestinian homes in Hebron. The ICRC resumes field activities in Gaza, which were suspended on 8/7 after shots were fired at its Khan Yunis offices. (IMEMC 8/15; NYT 8/16)

The IDF fires live ammunition at Palestinian protesters marching to their lands outside Qalqilya that have been cut off by the separation wall, seriously wounding 1; conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Hebron and in al-Mawasi, Nablus, Tamun. In separate incidents in Karmil and Yatta, 5 Palestinians are injured when they accidentally trigger unexploded IDF ordnance. Jewish settlers protesting Israel’s planned evacuation of Homesh settlement in the West Bank march fr. nr. Tulkarm toward Nablus, throwing stones, bottles at Palestinian homes along the way; when Palestinian youths respond by throwing stones at the settlers, the IDF intervenes, fires percussion grenades and rubber bullets, injuring 2 Palestinian teenagers, 1 journalist covering the incident. (IMEMC 8/12; PCHR 8/18; PR 8/25)

An IDF soldier, who deserted 2 mos. ago to protest disengagement and moved to the right-wing West Bank settlement of Tapuach, boards a Haifa–Shafa‘ Amr bus, still dressed in fatigues and carrying his military issue weapon; when the bus enters the Israeli Palestinian town of Shafa ‘Amr, the driver asks him whether he’s on the right bus; the soldier then shoots the Israeli Palestinian driver dead and opens fire on the passengers, killing another 3 Israeli Palestinians, wounding 20 before a mob beats him to death. Sharon denounces the “reprehensible act by a bloodthirsty Jewish terrorist”; YESHA settlers council also condemns the attack; the U.S. terms it a “terrible act of terrorism.” In Gaza City, the PA opens (symbolically on Arafat’s birthday) a 2-wk. “victory festival” to celebrate the pending disengagement and a wk.-long UNDP-funded publicity campaign called “Gaza—Reclaiming our Gem”; 10,000s of Palestinians, predominantly Fatah supporters, rally outside Gaza’s PC headquarters to hear speeches by Abbas, Qurai‘, Dahlan, who emphasize national unity, call on Palestinians not to take any actions that would jeopardize the national image, emphasize that the world is watching how Palestinians react to disengagement and assume responsibility for Gaza. The IDF raids Ramallah, arrests Islamic Jihad spokesman Shaykh Khadir ‘Adnan; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Aida r.c. (arresting a PA security officer), Bayt Fajjar, Hebron (occupying 2 houses as observation posts), al-Til, Yatta; patrols in Bethlehem; arrests a PA security officer at a checkpoint outside Jerusalem. A Jewish settler fr. Neve Dekalim throws a Molotov cocktail at a Palestinian home in al-Mawasi, causing damage but no injuries. Israel announces plans to build 72 new housing units in Beitar Ilit settlement nr. Jerusalem. A Palestinian dies of injures received on 8/2 in Bayt Hanun. (IMEMC, HA, REU, YA 8/4; AFP, BBC, JAZ, MA, NYT, WP, WT, YA 8/5; VOP 8/5 in WNC 8/5; NYT, WP, WT 8/6; OCHA, PR 8/10; PCHR 8/11)

The BBC reports that papers in the British National Archives show that in 1958, Britain secretly sold Israel 20 tons of heavy water vital for production of plutonium and the manufacture of nuclear weapons at its Dimona reactor. No “peaceful use only” condition was placed on the sale. (BBC 8/4) The World Bank releases a report showing Israel to be 2d only to Italy as the most corrupt, least efficient of developed countries. The report states that “Israel is considered one of the riskiest places in the Western world, with an unstable, inefficient regime, low accountability, a relative high rate of state corruption, and poor law enforcement.” (HA 8/4)

An IDF aircraft fires 2 missiles at a well in Bayt Hanun, destroying it. Around 40 Jewish settlers fr. Tal Yam outpost in Gaza (see 6/27) chanting “Death to Arabs” occupy 2 Palestinian homes in al-Mawasi, throw stones at Palestinians and IDF soldiers nearby, severely beat 1 Palestinian in what observers describe as a near lynching (the incident, caught on video by an Israeli cameraman, is described by Sharon on 6/30 as “a barbaric, wild, and heartless act”); an Israeli reporter pulls the critically injured Palestinian to safety; the IDF arrests the settlers, evicts them fr. the area. The IDF fires on residential areas of Khan Yunis, wounding 2 Palestinians; raids, occupies 2 Palestinian homes in al-Til as observation posts; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Aida r.c. and nr. Bethlehem, Hebron, Tulkarm. The AMB, Islamic Jihad, the PRCs take joint responsibility for firing 2 mortars at Netzarim, causing no damage or injuries. During the day, Palestinians fire 10s of rockets, at least 1 mortar at Gaza settlements, lightly injuring 1 foreign worker in Gush Katif. Israeli police arrest around 150 Israeli disengagement protesters who attempt to block roads across Israel during rush hour, causing limited tie-ups. (AFP, XIN 6/29; VOI 6/29 in WNC 6/30; BBC, PCHR, Palestine News Network, WP, XIN 6/30; HA 7/2; JP 7/2 in WNC 7/3; UPI, YA 7/3; NYT 7/5; OCHA, PR 7/6; PCHR 7/7; NYT 7/15)

The IDF fatally shoots a Palestinian allegedly attempting to plant a roadside bomb outside Morag; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Hebron and nr. Bethlehem, Tulkarm. In al-Mawasi, Jewish settlers attack several Palestinian homes, seize 1, clash with Palestinians, leaving 1 Jewish settler injured; the IDF intervenes, removes the settlers; later the settlers return, throw stones at Palestinians, attempt to run them down, causing no injuries. Also in Gaza, Jewish settlers attack a car carrying 3 Palestinian journalists, lightly injuring them. Islamic Jihad fires 2 rockets at Sederot, causing no damage or injuries. PA Atty. Gen. Hussein Abu Assi says that he has instructed police to detain more than 5 fmr. PA officials on charges of misuse of public funds. Some fmr. officials may have to be extradited fr. Arab countries. (IMEMC, JAZ, REU 6/28; HA, IMEMC, XIN 6/29; PHRC 6/30)

The IDF clashes with 4 mbrs. of the AMB, Islamic Jihad at an IDF outpost outside Gaza’s Kefar Darom settlement, killing 1 Islamic Jihad mbr., wounding an AMB mbr., while the 2 other gunmen flee. The IDF also opens the Rafah crossing, with severe restrictions on who may cross, but otherwise continues to seal the Gaza Strip; raids a suspected Islamic Jihad weapons factory in Jenin, arrests 1 Islamic Jihad mbr.; conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Hebron, in Mughraqa, nr. Tulkarm; bulldozes 1 d. of Palestinian agricultural land bordering Kefar Darom. Around 30 armed Jewish settlers (young disengagement protesters who moved to Neve Dekalim in recent days) attack a group of Palestinians in al-Mawasi, beating 3, shooting and wounding 1; Israeli soldiers observe but do not intervene, delay the checkpoint crossing of an ambulance transporting the wounded man to the hospital. Soon after, Palestinians fire 4 mortars at Neve Dekalim, 1 rocket at Sederot, causing no damage or injuries. Jewish settlers fr. Kiryat Arba occupy 3 Palestinian stores in the Palestinian section of Hebron for use as a synagogue, uproot 33 olive trees, destroy a harvest of plums. (HA, XIN 6/18; VOI, VOP 6/18 in WNC 6/19; WP 6/20; OCHA, PR 6/22; PCHR 6/23; IMEMC 6/24)

In disputed circumstances, the IDF fires 2 missiles at Hamas mbrs. reportedly driving a car transporting a rocket launcher in Khan Yunis, but the Hamas mbrs. escape unharmed; around the same time Hamas mbrs. fire 9 mortars, 1 Qassam rocket at nearby IDF targets and settlements, damaging a bus, lightly wounding 2 IDF soldiers; The IDF says it retaliated against the Hamas mbrs., who attacked 1st; Hamas says the IDF targeted its mbrs. 1st, and they responded. The IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in Gaza’s al-Mawasi area and nr. Jenin, Nablus, Tulkarm. A Palestinian teenager stabs, wounds an Israeli policeman in West Jerusalem, is arrested. Jewish settlers set fire to a Palestinian store in Hebron. A Palestinian dies of injuries received on 6/7 in Khan Yunis. (PRCS 6/8; AFP, VOI, VOP, XIN 6/8 in WNC 6/9; NYT, PCHR, WT 6/9; OCHA, PR 6/15; PCHR 6/16)

1,000s of Israeli Palestinians gather at al-Aqsa Mosque in response to threat by Revava to raid the compound, perform prayers there. Some 2,000 Israeli police and border guards close off the streets to the compound to bar Jews fr. entering and to regulate Palestinian access more closely. Revava mbrs. are successfully prevented fr. reaching the compound; a few incidents are reported of Palestinians throwing stones and the Israeli police firing tear gas and stun grenades, leaving 7 Palestinians injured. The IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in Nablus, nr. Ramallah; issues a military order confiscating Palestinian land s. of Hebron for construction of a settler bypass road. 6 Jewish settlers destroy an electricity tower serving Palestinians in al-Mawasi, throw stones at nearby Palestinian homes. In Jenin, the PA police exchange gunfire with local AMB leader Abu Araj, his men for a 2d day over Abu Araj’s refusal to disarm before entering the local courthouse; no injuries are reported; senior-level PA-AMB mtgs. are held to defuse tensions. In Tulkarm, armed Palestinians fire on the PA police headquarters after police announce plans to crack down on a car theft and arms dealing gang. (JAZ 5/9; NYT 5/10; PCHR 5/12)

In an independence day interview, Sharon officially delays disengagement by 3 wks. (to around 8/15), hinting that if Hamas were to win Palestinian legislative elections in 7/05 and take control of the PA, disengagement could be canceled. (XIN 5/9 in WNC 5/10; BBC, MM, NYT, WP, WT 5/10; PR 5/11; MEI 5/13)

The IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in Askara nr. Bethlehem, Burkin nr. Jenin. Jewish settlers fr. Neve Dekalim seize 18 d. of Palestinian lands in al-Mawasi in s. Gaza. Jewish settlers fr. Avraham Avino chase Palestinians, throw stones at Palestinian homes in Hebron. PA police reportedly fire on the car of Jenin AMB head Muhammad Abu Araj, hitting him in the leg; AMB mbrs. return fire, without causing injuries. The IDF jails the 1st IDF reservist, Arkadi Moter (who is also a Jewish settler) for refusing to serve in protest of Gaza disengagement. Separately, the IDF places a Jewish settler, Niria Ofen, in administrative detention until 9/30/05 for suspected militant activity related to disengagement. Armed AMB mbrs. shut down the central Gaza PA Central Election Comm. (CEC) offices apparently in effort to overturn what they call “fraudulent election returns” in Bureij, Rafah that favor Hamas. Later they occupy the CEC offices in Bayt Lahiya, where Hamas already officially had been declared winner, and refuse to leave. (JAZ, MM, NYT, WP 5/9; AP, MM, NYT 5/10; AP, OCHA, PR 5/11; PCHR 5/12)

IDF soldiers based at Neve Dekalim settlement fire heavy machine guns on residential areas of Khan Yunis, wounding 2 Palestinian children; arrest 4 Palestinians attempting to sneak into Israel e. of Dayr al-Balah to find work; conduct arrest raids, house searches in al-Ras nr. Tulkarm; level 4 d. of agricultural land along a settler bypass road in al-Mawasi. Some 25 AMB gunmen invade a youth center in Balata r.c., try to disrupt vote counting for elections for the center’s board that Hamas seemed to be winning (at the time of the break in, 81% of the votes had been tallied, showing a clear victory for Hamas), firing in the air, destroying furniture, declaring the vote invalid. (NYT 4/3; HA 4/4; OCHA 4/6; PCHR, PR 4/7)

An IDF patrol enters Sabastia nr. Nablus, chases a taxi, causing it to crash; denies an ambulance permission to take the injured driver to the hospital, arresting him instead. The IDF also conducts arrest raids, house searches in Hebron, nr. Nablus and Ramallah. Jewish settlers fr. Gush Katif bar Palestinians fr. traveling the coastal road btwn. Rafah and Khan Yunis, beat 4 Palestinian youths (ages 9–15) on their way to school in al-Mawasi. Some 20,000 Hamas supporters attend a rally in Nablus marking the anniversary of Shaykh Ahmad Yasin’s assassination, launching Hamas’s campaign for upcoming legislative council elections. (VOI, VOP 3/27 in WNC 3/28; PR 3/30; JP 3/30 in WNC 3/31; PCHR 3/31)

The IDF fires on stone-throwing Palestinians nr. Ramallah; shoots, wounds a Palestinian who strays too close to Rafiah Yam settlement in s. Gaza; conducts arrest raids, house searches in the Wadi al-Husayn area of s. Hebron, rounding up all men and holding them for 5 hrs. of interrogation; places temporary curfews on Bardala and Kardala e. of Jenin, orders all Palestinian males ages 15– 60 to surrender for ID checks; also conducts arrest raids in al-Mawasi nr. Khan Yunis. Jewish settlers fr. Kiryat Arba beat a Palestinian in Hebron; the IDF observes but does not intervene. (HA 3/18; JP 3/28; OCHA, PR 3/23; PCHR 3/24)

Palestinian factions meeting in Cairo pledge to extend the unofficial truce until the end of 2005, provided that the lull in violence continues and that Israel follows through on its Sharm al-Shaykh pledges to turn over security control of West Bank cities and release a significant number of Palestinian prisoners.Abbas and the factions agree to form a comm. to study rebuilding the PLO on new foundations that would allow Hamas, Islamic Jihad to join. (Daily Star, MM, REU 3/17; BBC, HA, MM, NYT, VOP, WP, WT 3/18; JAZ 3/19; AP, JAZ 3/21; PR 3/23; MEI 4/1)

The IDF fatally shoots 2 Palestinians in Rafah whom it suspected of smuggling arms; opens the Rafah crossing to Palestinians aged 16–35; fires, shells on residential areas of Khan Yunis; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Askar refugee camp (r.c.), Balata r.c., al-Mawasi, Nablus; begins construction of a new separation wallsegment e. of Jerusalem nr. al-Ram. 5 armed Jewish settlers fr. Mitzpe Lakhish nr. Hebron severely beat a 17-yr.-old Palestinian grazing animals on his family property nearby. 10s of Jewish settlers fr. Kiryat Arba rampage through Palestinian areas of Hebron, throwing stones at houses, beating 8 Palestinians. In Rafah, 1 PA security officer is killed, 1 is wounded trying to demolish a smugglers’ tunnel. A Palestinian dies of injuries received in Nablus on 10/27/04. (IMEMC, JP, MENA, VOP 2/20; HA, NYT 2/21; PR 2/23; PCHR 2/24; MM 2/25)

Abbas, Sharon hold their 1st talks in Sharm al-Shaykh, then each meets separately with Mubarak, King Abdallah of Jordan. Afterward, Abbas announces that “Palestinian will stop all acts of violence against all Israelis everywhere,” Sharon vows to “cease all military activity against all Palestinians anywhere,” including assassinations, to the extent that the Palestinians halt violence. Sharon announces a package of gestures to be implemented if quiet is maintained, including Israel’s turnover of security control for 5 West Bank cities, a prisoner release, easing restriction on Palestinian movement. Hamas, Islamic Jihad say that they will not officially sign onto the cease-fire, but will not abrogate it. (BBC, HA, MM, NYT, REU, WP, WT 2/8; AFP, ATL, AYM, HJ, ITAR-TASS, JAZ, MENA, QA, VOI, VOP 2/8, XIN 2/9 in WNC 2/9; CSM, MM, NYT, WP, WT 2/9; al-Quds 2/12 in WNC 2/13; PR 2/16; MEI 2/18)

The IDF reopens Qarni commercial crossing after a 4-wk. closure, allowing only about one-third of normal traffic through, limiting imports to basic goods and exports to flowers, tomatoes; raids, searches a secondary school in al-Khadir; conducts arrest raids in al-Mawasi; confiscates a strip of land 2 d. long and 350 m. wide to create a corridor linking Hebron’s Tal Rumayda settlement with Shuhada Street. Late in the evening, after the Sharm al-Shaykh summit, AMB gunmen fire on a Jewish settler vehicle in the West Bank, throw Molotov cocktails at IDF jeeps that arrive on the scene, causing no injuries. PA security forces find, seal 2 smugglers’ tunnels in Rafah. The NIHC protests the PA security forces’ arrest of 3 DFLP central comm. mbrs. on 2/5; demands the immediate release of Issam Abu Duqqah, who is still in custody. (HJ, VOI, YA 2/8 in WNC 2/9; WT 2/9; PCHR 2/10; PR 2/16)

The IDF arrests a 16-yr.-old Palestinian at Hawara checkpoint nr. Nablus for carrying a bag with “an apparent explosive belt, an improvised weapon, and 20 bullets”; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Ithna, al-Mawasi, Nablus; sends troops into al-Fara’a r.c. to search local Palestinians on the street, fires on Palestinian youths who throw stones at troops; issues military orders confiscating at least 130 d. of agricultural land s. of Nablus to establish a buffer zone around Emmanuel settlement; issues a military order confiscating 25 d. of Azariyya land for separation wall construction. A DFLP mbr. throws grenades at an IDF vehicle in s. Gaza, slightly wounding 2 soldiers; soldiers shoot, kill the assailant. 2 AMB mbrs. fire on an IDF jeep nr. Hebron, wounding 4 IDF soldiers, escaping. A Palestinian dies of injuries received in IDF shelling of Bayt Lahiya on 1/4/05. (IMEMC 2/3; HA, WP 2/4; NYT 2/6; PCHR 2/10; OCHA 2/23)

Inside Israel, some 1,000 Israeli border police backed by 16 bulldozers level 4,000 d. of bedouin land in the al-Araqib area of the Negev, seal off all roads leading to the area to prevent the bedouin owners fr. returning. The Israel Lands Dept. says the goal of the operation is to “salvage the state’s lands from the Arab bedouins who seized and exploited them.” (JAZ 2/4)

The IDF fatally shoots a 60-yr.-old Palestinian who strays into a closed military zone nr. the Rafah-Egypt border; issues notices to residents of al-Jib northwest of Jerusalem that 2,362 d. of their land is slated for confiscation for construction of the separation wall; bulldozes at least 50 d. of agricultural land s. of Hebron (on top of at least 90 d. bulldozed in the previous wk.) apparently to turn the land over for Jewish settlers’ use; conducts arrest raids, house searches in al-Mawasi. Jewish settlers fr. Suissa settlement nr. Hebron uproot 300 Palestinian olive trees in neighboring al-Mu‘in. (VOI 1/30 in WNC 1/31; NYT 1/31; PCHR 2/3)