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  • January 13, 2009

    The IDF significantly increases attacks on Gaza for the 2d straight day, as international mediation efforts led by Egypt to secure a cease-fire also intensify.

    Combat notes: The IDF...

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  • July 18, 2001

    Israel continues to reinforce its West Bank forces, stationing paratrooper units in areas nr. Bethlehem, Jinin. Palestinians fire 4 mortars at Netzarim settlement, Nahal Oz kibbutz inside Israel....

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  • May 6, 2001

    Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue, leaving 2 Palestinians dead. In what the IDF says is an effort to silence shooting at its positions, Israeli paratroopers, border police in armored personnel...

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  • November 9, 1990

    Def. Sec. Cheney says U.S. troops will not be rotated back home; forces already in or heading to Gulf will remain there for duration of crisis [NYT 11/10].

    U.S. official says Pres. Bush...

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  • October 23, 1983

    Military Action:

    US Marine administrative HQ and French paratroop barracks in Beirut destroyed by almost simultaneous truck bomb attacks; responsibility for bombing claimed by Free Islamic...

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  • October 20, 1983

    Military Action:

    Home-made bomb thrown at French MNF vehicle in Beirut; fighting between LAF and militiamen in southern suburbs continues intermittently; car bomb explodes in West Beirut,...

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  • February 13, 1983

    Political Responses:

    Israel/ Occupied Territories: Sharon accepts Begin's offer to remain in Cabinet as Minister without Portfolio; Cabinet unanimously approves reshuffle; Chief of Staff...

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  • January 4, 1983

    Military Action:

    After day of quiet, renewed artillery exchanges in Tripoli, coastal road cut 20 miles south of city; IDF announces 4 Katyusha rockets found in South Lebanon.

    ...

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  • August 8, 1982

    Military Action:

    Cease-fire generally holds, despite intermittent artillery duels between IDF and PLO; IDF pounding guerrilla positions with artillery from land and sea, particularly around...

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  • June 6, 1982

    Military Action:

    The Israeli Army invades Lebanon, with over 250 tanks and thousands of infantrymen rolling past UNIFIL forces at 11 AM; Sidon is bombarded, the coastal road cut, the...

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The IDF significantly increases attacks on Gaza for the 2d straight day, as international mediation efforts led by Egypt to secure a cease-fire also intensify.

Combat notes: The IDF tightens the cordon around Gaza City (focusing attacks on the outlying neighborhoods of Shaykh Ajlin, Tal al-Hawa, and al-Zaytun and open areas n. of the city), with troops reportedly taking fire from Palestinian rocket-propelled grenade antitank missiles and mortars. The IDF also launches a major incursion into Jabaliya under heavy shelling, engaging in heavy exchanges of fire with Palestinian gunmen, killing at least 13. In s. Gaza, the IDF continues heavy attacks on Khuza, including air strikes, intense shelling, and widespread bulldozing of some 50 houses and farms; Israeli fire is so heavy and constant that residents report being unable to reach the injured or flee their homes to seek shelter outside the village; IDF troops pull back fr. Khuza after nightfall.

The IDF reports carrying out more than 160 air strikes across Gaza. Air strike target areas include Bayt Hanun, Bayt Lahiya, Gaza City (al-Sabra, Shaykh Ridwan, al-Zaytun), Jabaliya r.c., Khan Yunis, Khuza, Nussayrat r.c., Rafah, al-Shuka, Tal al-Za‘atar, and the Twam area. Israeli gunboats shell Nussayrat r.c. Heavy tank and artillery fire are reported nr. Bayt Lahiya (white phosphorous suspected) and in Dayr al-Balah, Jabaliya town, Khan Yunis (white phosphorous suspected), Khuza, Nussayrat r.c. (confirmed use of flechette shells). For a 2d day, nearly half of the air strikes take place after nightfall, targeting Gaza City. Palestinians report 12 hrs. of constant Israeli bombardment of the Rafah border, with the IDF claiming to destroy 90 smuggling tunnels. (The IDF also demolishes 1 tunnel on the Gaza–Israel border nr. the Nahal Oz crossing.) Specific targets include a Hamas police headquarters in Gaza City, 31 groups of armed men, 25 rocket-launching sites, and 13 suspected weapons manufacturing and storage facilities.

On the ground, the IDF reports a total of 6 soldiers wounded (2 moderately, 4 lightly) in 2 exchanges of gunfire with Palestinians. In a 3d incident, IDF reservists open fire on an IDF paratrooper unit, seriously wounding 1 and moderately wounding 3. Palestinians report around 70 Gazans killed today, putting the estimated Palestinian toll at 971 dead and 4,400 wounded. The Israeli toll stands at 13–14 dead, more than 125 injured. (Israeli military intelligence confirms that 1 soldier killed on 1/6 or 1/8 was targeted by a suicide bomber, stating that several Palestinian suicide bombers, including some women and some dressed as IDF soldiers, have approached combat units.)

Palestinians fire about 11 rockets and 6 mortars into Israel, causing no reported damage or injuries.

Humanitarian notes: The IDF observes another 3-hr. lull, allowing 102 truckloads of aid into Gaza. (The IDF states that 1,028 truckloads of humanitarian goods have been allowed into Gaza since 12/27.) During the lull the ICRC rescues 100 Palestinians trapped in Jabaliya. Heavy IDF attacks in Rafah force UNRWA to close a medical center just n. of the border to ensure the safety of patients and to open more shelters for displaced residents. Human Rights Watch calls Israel’s 3-hr./day breaks to facilitate humanitarian aid “woefully insufficient.” Other aid groups (including Doctors Without Borders, the ICRC, the UN) complain that they are still able to import and distribute only a fraction of the emergency supplies available for Gaza because of Israeli delays and restrictions. (BBC, HA, IDF, IFM, MA, MM, REU, YA 1/13; AYM, IDF, IFM, MM, NYT, WP, WT, YA 1/14; NYT, PCHR, WP, XIN 1/15; ITIC 1/19)

In the West Bank, IDF troops at the Tarqumiyya crossing nr. Hebron fatally shoot a Palestinian who allegedly attempts to grab the gun of a border patrol officer after being denied permission to cross the checkpoint. Late in the evening, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in Bayt Awa, Dura, and Kafr Khalil (all nr. Hebron). A Jewish settler driving nr. Azun village e. of Qalqilya opens fire on Palestinian youths who stone his car, killing 1 Palestinian teenager, wounding 2. (HA 1/13; PCHR 1/15)

A Jordanian soldier fires on an Israeli border patrol unit operating along the Negev border with Jordan n. of Elat. The border police return fire. No injuries are reported. (MM 1/13; WT 1/14; JPI 1/23)

Israel continues to reinforce its West Bank forces, stationing paratrooper units in areas nr. Bethlehem, Jinin. Palestinians fire 4 mortars at Netzarim settlement, Nahal Oz kibbutz inside Israel. The IDF files low-level F-16 sorties, drops thermal balloons over the Gaza Strip; directs shells, heavy machine gun fire at Palestinian residential areas of Hebron, setting 7 Palestinian homes on fire; tightens the closures on Qalqilya, Tulkarm. Jewish settlers reportedly confiscate several Palestinian homes in the Palestinian section of Hebron nr. Kiryat Arba. In Bethlehem, 1,000s of Palestinians hold anti-Israeli demonstrations following the funeral for Hamas's Saada. 1 Palestinian dies of injuries received on 7/16. (AP, HA, HP 7/18; NYT 7/19)

At a G-8 preparatory mtg. in Rome, the FMs of Britain, France, Germany, Italy insist that dispatching an impartial observer force to the West Bank and Gaza is necessary to restore a lasting cease-fire, renew peace talks. Secy. of State Powell says sending a force is "premature," since Israel does not approve, but he does not reject the idea outright. (WP, WT 7/19)

Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue, leaving 2 Palestinians dead. In what the IDF says is an effort to silence shooting at its positions, Israeli paratroopers, border police in armored personnel carriers and under cover of IDF tank and machine gun fire enter PA-controlled Bayt Jala and al-Khadir, where they fire on Palestinian homes for several hrs., killing 1 Palestinian, injuring 23. The IDF also briefly enters and shells residential areas of Tulkarm, killing 1 Palestinian, wounding 9; bulldozes 17 dunams of Palestinian land in Bayt Hanun. Israeli DM Ben-Eliezer says he has given IDF field cmdrs. greater freedom to launch ground attacks into areas under PA control to suppress Palestinian gunfire. In Petah Tikva, Israel, a bomb explodes in a trash bin nr. a bus station, lightly injuring 1 Israeli. (LAW, NYT 5/7; al-Quds 5/7 in WNC 5/8; WP, WT 5/8; PCHR 5/10; LAW 5/11)

Def. Sec. Cheney says U.S. troops will not be rotated back home; forces already in or heading to Gulf will remain there for duration of crisis [NYT 11/10].

U.S. official says Pres. Bush ordered more troops to Gulf because economic sanctions do not appear to be working, and that Bush feels he cannot wait a year or more for embargo to work [NYT 11/10].

U.S. assumes rotating presidency of UN Sec. Council. Council reviews videotape of Haram al-Sharif incident; tape, provided by PLO, shows gunfire, smoke, screams, and appeals for mercy broadcast over mosque's loudspeaker. Soviet ambassador Yuli Vorontsov says tape undermines Israel's claim that violence was incited by Palestinians; U.S. and Israel refuse to comment [NYT, WP 11/10].

Jerusalem police intensify efforts to separate Palestinians and Israelis by closing city to Palestinians from O.T., arresting several Meir Kahane followers, and continue large-scale deployments to prevent disturbances [MEM 11/9; NYT 11/10].

PLO complains that Gulf Crisis Financial Coordination Group ignored Palestinians when agreeing on aid for nations hurt by Gulf crisis [MEM 11/9].

Public opinion survey published by Yedi'ot Aharonot shows 33% of Israelis surveyed prefer Israel withdraw from O.T.; 30% favor granting autonomy to Palestinians [YA 11/9 in FBIS 11/14; MEM 11/9].

Israeli army sends tanks, paratroopers, and infantry units north of its "security zone" and attacks Hizballah strongholds in 4 S. Lebanon towns [JDS 11/9 in FBIS 11/9; NYT 11/10].

Military Action:

US Marine administrative HQ and French paratroop barracks in Beirut destroyed by almost simultaneous truck bomb attacks; responsibility for bombing claimed by Free Islamic Revolutionary Movement; heavy fighting resumes around Souq al-Gharb; IDF patrol battles Lebanese civilians near Sarafand, south of Zahrani river.

Casualties:

Initial reports from Beirut bombings list military casualties as 146 US, 27 French killed, 69 US, 12 French wounded, 53 French missing; 20+ Lebanese civilians injured by explosion at French barracks; both buildings totally destroyed, along with documents, material; 3 Lebanese. civilians killed, several wounded, 1 IDF soldier wounded near Sarafand.

Political Responses:

US and Other Countries: US officials suspect Iranian involvement in Beirut bombings, and Hisballah group, based in Baalbek, of direct responsibility; Reagan says US forces will remain in Lebanon, threatens retaliation when identity of bombers is known; Joint Chiefs of Staff meet in emergency session; Pentagon says Lebanese Army not ready to take over peacekeeping duties, requires another year of intensive training by US to reach full operational capacity; France, other European MNF states say their forces will remain in Beirut.

Military Action:

Home-made bomb thrown at French MNF vehicle in Beirut; fighting between LAF and militiamen in southern suburbs continues intermittently; car bomb explodes in West Beirut, no casualties.

Casualties:

1 French paratrooper wounded by bomb; 3 militiamen, 1 policeman killed, soldier and civilian injured in southern suburbs.

Political Responses:

Israel/ Occupied Territories: Tel Aviv Stock Exchange opens for limited trading for first time since October 9.

Palestinians/ Lebanese: Geneva reportedly agreed on as new site for reconciliation talks.

US and Other Countries: Reagan says Syria, aided and abetted by 7000 Soviet advisers and technicians, is contributing to the disorder and trouble in Lebanon; US shipping large quantities of ammunition and military equipment, including 68 M-48 tanks, to resupply LAF.

Political Responses:

Israel/ Occupied Territories: Sharon accepts Begin's offer to remain in Cabinet as Minister without Portfolio; Cabinet unanimously approves reshuffle; Chief of Staff Eitan meets with Begin with recommendations for military changes; Moshe Arens says in Washington interview that he disagrees with Reagan's position that settlements are an obstacle to peace; Israeli Attorney General and head of police issue statement giving precedence to the struggle against hooliganism at political meetings; police investigation of grenade attack on Peace Now demonstration continues, no arrests made, Peace Now critical of police permissiveness toward anti-Peace Now demonstrators; reserve paratroop officer sentenced to 35 days in military jail for conscientious objection to service in Lebanon, the 20th soldier to be jailed on such grounds; Zaire's Defense Minister signs agreements in Israel covering military training and arms exports.

Palestinians/ Lebanese: PLO Executive Committee meetings continue in Algiers.

US and Other Countries: US and Israel cooperating on multi-million dollar project to clear land and establish settlers along Costa Rica's border with Nicaragua.

Military Action:

After day of quiet, renewed artillery exchanges in Tripoli, coastal road cut 20 miles south of city; IDF announces 4 Katyusha rockets found in South Lebanon.

Casualties:

UNRWA asks IDF for protection from Palestinian refugees in Sidon protesting delay in distribution of kerosene heating stoves, cement and winter clothing; 16-tent school operating in Ain el-Hilweh; 625 building plots cleared and allocated by UNRWA, 590 plots cleared by refugees, 850 plots allocated in Tyre; 40 killed, more wounded, large sections of Tripoli without electricity, water, telephone and basic food, hospitals short of supplies, many civilians living in shelters. 

Political Responses:

Israel/ Occupied Territories: IDF spokes-man announces Syria is building 2 bases for Soviet SA-5 missiles, warns USSR not to deploy missiles in Syria; President Yitzhak Navon begins 2 week visit to US, will meet Reagan with Shultz, Kissinger, AFL-CIO, Jewish groups; Mapam MK Elazar Granot introduces motion in Knesset that Sharon be removed as Defense Minister and be replaced in Lebanon negotiations because of his leak about a separate agreement with Lebanese leaders and distortion of the facts of the war from its beginning; Foreign Minister Shamir charges that Lebanese Muslim leaders opposed to normalization with Israel are agents of foreign interests, and reiterates commitment to Eretz Israel, calling on international convention delegates to invest all efforts in aliya; Moshavim Herut and Mismeret will close illegal camps for Arab workers who will have to return to Gaza to sleep; Yitzhak Rabin, touring settlements, says Labor Party firmly opposed to any withdrawal to 1948 green line, that Camp David accord includes change in frontier to incorporate Jerusalem and Jordan Valley; Peace Now distributes document of military government which says Science and Technology Minister Yuval Ne'eman and his assistant MK Hanan Porat helped establish supervisory teams of settlers to guard state lands and may be used to deport Palestinians; Peace Now charges that Kiryat Arba council intends to pressure and persuade Arab shop-owners to leave Hebron; at his courtmartial, IDF paratrooper and Deputy Commander of Judea District Major David Mofaz, one of seven defendants, excuses his beating of Palestinian students at Hebron's Islamic University by charging that District Commander Lt. Col. Shalom Lugassi instructed soldiers to beat, pester and break watches of demonstrators, that Sharon said Arab rioters should have their testicles ripped off; West Bank Military Commander Yaakov Hartabi testifies soldiers acted properly and according to written and oral orders.

Palestinians/ Lebanese: Prime Minister Shafik Wazzan calls Syrian Prime Minister Abdel Raouf al-Kassem, appealing for security measures to end fighting in Tripoli; Rashid Karami goes to Damascus; local Tripoli leaders Mohammed Ali Dannawi of Muslim Salvation Front and Farouk Mokaddam of October 24 Movement call for withdrawal of Syrian troops from Tripoli.

US and Other Countries: US Special Envoy Philip Habib summoned from vacation to Washington as President Reagan prepares a new initiative to break Lebanon stalemate.

Military Action:

Cease-fire generally holds, despite intermittent artillery duels between IDF and PLO; IDF pounding guerrilla positions with artillery from land and sea, particularly around the Burj al-Barajneh refugee camp, but clashes remain limited; Palestinian guerrillas shower E. Beirut suburb of Baabda with rocket and shellfire as Israeli Defense Minister Sharon arrives to meet with US envoy Habib; IDF tanks surround small Lebanese military port of Kaslik.

Casualties:

First running water in two weeks draws many out of buildings (resumption of water seems to be a result of US pressure); rescue workers still pulling out bodies from collapsed buildings; estimated 130,000 refugees living hidden in lobbies, basements, underground garages of unfinished buildings and in public gardens.

Political Responses:

Israel/ Occupied Territories: Sharon campaigns against Habib plan for PLO evacuation (Sharon, after meeting with Habib outside Beirut, denies there is an agreement; aides call Habib plan a "fraud" that will allow PLO to stay on in Beirut behind protection of international peacekeeping force); Israeli Cabinet sharply divided (Begin reportedly disassociates self from Sharon); Muslim leaders call strike on West Bank to "reflect" on events in Lebanon; Israelis want a multinational peacekeeping force deployed only after all or most of the Palestinian and Syrian fighters have left; PM Begin believes that PLO guerrillas will leave shortly without IDF having to enter W. Beirut; Israeli Ambassador to US Moshe Arens states that Israel requires rosters accounting for all Palestinian guerrillas in Beirut.

Palestinians/ Lebanese: PLO proposes first group leave by sea; Lebanese government expected to make official request for international forces to come to Beirut within next 24 hours; Camille Chamoun calls on Syrians to evacuate Bekaa; Major Haddad rejects buffer troops before PLO pullout; Muslim leadership fears that IDF and Phalangist ally will occupy W. Beirut if PLO leaves before arrival of international force.

Arab Governments: Arab League head says quorum of member states agree to attend meeting; Sudan indicates willingness to provide refuge for guerrillas; in Kuwait, 100,000 protest Israeli invasion; Jordan announces willingness to accept some fighters; Iraq signals approval; Syria agrees to accept PLO leadership and headquarters and any fighters who served under Syrian command in Lebanon; King Hussein willing to grant general amnesty to Palestinians holding Jordanian passports who fled after 1970 civil war.

US and Other Countries: Shultz sends letter to Begin assuring Israel a final agreement nears completion; Newsweek poll indicates 60 percent of Americans disapprove of Israeli invasion of Lebanon, 43 percent favor cutting off Israeli military aid, nearly half think US should deal directly with the PLO (43 percent opposed); France has two regiments of paratroopers on stand-by orders to go to Beirut to supervise PLO evacuation; Italian government ready to send mechanized battalion to join French regiments.

Military Action:

The Israeli Army invades Lebanon, with over 250 tanks and thousands of infantrymen rolling past UNIFIL forces at 11 AM; Sidon is bombarded, the coastal road cut, the Lebanese oil refinery at Zahrani bombed, setting oil storage tanks afire; a bridge spanning the Litani, north of Tyre, is blown up; balloons are used to neutralize heat-seeking missiles. Israeli troops move, in three columns, to close in on Tyre, to take Nabatiyeh and Beaufort Castle, and to move from the Golan Heights towards Chebaa. Israeli troops land near the Zahrani river, in an attempt to cut off Palestinians retreating northward. Amphibious vehicles land near Rashidiyeh refugee camp while Israeli paratroopers land at another camp north of Tyre. Israeli planes drop Arabic language leaflets warning Tyre's 50,000 residents not to harbor PLO guerrillas. Thousands of Lebanese and Palestinians fleeing up the coastal road are bombarded.

Several PLO outposts reported taken along the 33-mile front, but Palestinian resist-ance reported fierce; PLO antiaircraft batteries shoot down Skyhawk jet near Nabatiyeh (pilot is captured), another near Sarafand, and 2 helicopters; PLO rocket attacks continue on western Galilee and the Haddad-controlled enclave; PLO claims to have destroyed 42 Israeli armored cars; resistance in Tyre is fierce, leading Israelis to bypass it on their northward sweep; fighting intense around Beaufort Castle.

Syrian artillery opens fire on Israeli forces following Israeli shelling of Syrian positions; Syrian army battling near Hasbaya, 10 miles north of the border.

Several UNIFIL units come under fire; UNIFIL troops at Khardali Bridge, below Beaufort Castle, come under fire but prevent Israeli troops from crossing bridge; UNIFIL protests use of incendiary artillery shells by Israelis in attacking Tyre; UN and Lebanese troops come under heavy Israeli fire near Tyre.

Casualties:

More than 300 people are reported killed June 4 and 5, over 500 wounded; Palestinians estimate 200 Israeli casualties; thousands fleeing towns of southern Lebanon are bombed by Israeli jets along the coastal road; casualties from June 4 bombing of Beirut estimated at 60 killed, 30 wounded. Norwegian UNIFIL soldier killed.

Rocket attacks on northern Galilee result in 3 deaths, 15 wounded, but property damage is extensive, Qiryat Shemona is hit badly; captured Israeli pilot shown at Beirut press conference.

Political Responses:

Israel/Occupied Territories: Israeli Ambassador to US, Moshe Arens, claims aim is to push PLO out of artillery range of northern Israel; Begin sends letter to Reagan asserting the same; Israeli Cabinet says Syrian forces will only be attacked if they engage Israeli troops; Yitzhak Rabin (Labor Party) calls on Israelis to support the government; Cabinet calls operation "Peace for Galilee"; Israeli Reserve Generals reported to plan visit to US and Europe to put Israeli case; extensive mo-bilization of Israeli reserves reported as over 1000 public buses mobilized to transport troops (the largest war call-up since 1978); Israel asserts it has no territorial claims on Lebanon.

Palestinians/Lebanese: Lebanese government holds emergency meeting, asks for immediate summit of 22-member Arab League; Lebanese media claim Israelis have used cluster and fragmentation bombs, warning civilians not to touch anything on the ground; President Sarkis summons ambassadors of US, USSR, France and the UK to the palace for a meeting; Arafat flies back to Beirut.

Arab Governments: Egyptian Cabinet and President Mubarak denounce Israeli invasion as aggression (strongest language since 1977); Saudi Arabian King Khalid sends messages to Reagan, other world leaders calling for "quick intervention" to halt Israeli ''massacre. "

US and Other Countries: Reagan joins 6 other leaders at Versailles urgently appealing for a cease-fire in Lebanon; Reagan urges "restraint" in letter to Begin; UK Prime Minister Thatcher says "hit list" of targets found on suspects arrested in Argov shooting include name of PLO London representative; USSR denounces Israel for launching fifth war against the Arabs.

UN: Security Council seeks a resolution acceptable to the US and Arab governments.