129 / 14704 Results
  • September 23, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers leveled Palestinian agricultural land near Deir ‘Ammar before Israeli forces removed them from the area. Israeli forces sealed off Sabastia for the 2d day in a...

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  • February 16, 2021

    In the West Bank, Israeli settlers vandalized 9 vehicles parked outside the Shiloh settlement belonging to Palestinians working in the settlement; a...

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  • August 25, 2008

    U.S. Secy. of State Condoleezza Rice arrives in Israel for a 2-day visit to press Israel and the PA for a joint statement on the peace process before the end of Pres. George W. Bush’s term. Hrs....

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  • May 16, 2008

    Israel’s siege of Gaza, imposed after Hamas’s takeover of the Strip in 6/07, remains tight. In Gaza, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) conduct late-night arrest raids, house searches in Shuka nr....

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  • May 7, 2008

    Israel begins wk.-long celebrations leading up to its 60th anniversary on 5/14, while Palestinians solemnly prepare to mark the Nakba; more than a dozen foreign heads of state, including U.S. Pres...

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  • November 27, 2007

    Following a dinner in Washington on 11/26, U.S. Pres. George W. Bush opens a 1-day international summit in support of the peace process in Annapolis, MD. Israel, the PLO present a “joint...

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  • June 2, 2005

    Israel releases the last 398 Palestinian prisoners of 900 that Sharon promised to free in his 2/8 mtg. with PA Pres. Mahmud Abbas in Sharm al-Shaykh; 2 prisoners refuse release (1 to stay in...

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  • November 2, 2004

    U.S. Pres. George W. Bush narrowly wins reelection. (MM 11/2; HA, MM, NYT, WP, WT 11/3; VOP 11/3 in WNC 11/5; MM 11/4; Globes, HA, JAZ, JP, JT, MA, MENA, YA 11/4 in WNC 11/6; al-Safir 11/4, al-...

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  • November 25, 2003

    The IDF conducts house searches, arrest raids in Hebron, Jenin; bulldozes 14 dunams of land in al-Qarara nr. Khan Yunis; conducts arrest raids in villages around Hebron, Qalqilya. Unidentified...

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  • August 20, 2003

    The IDF seals the West Bank and Gaza; surrounds, tightens closures on all Palestinian cities; sends additional tanks to the outskirts of Ramallah; conducts arrest raids in Hebron, detaining 17...

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  • May 18, 2003

    A Hamas suicide bomber detonates a device on a bus outside French Hill settlement in East Jerusalem, killing 6 Jewish settlers, 1 West Bank Palestinian laborer, wounding 12 settlers; as rescue...

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  • February 25, 2003

    Violence drops as the worst winter storm in yrs. hits region. The IDF fatally shoots a 13-yr.-old Palestinian, wounds 7 others, demolishes 8 Palestinian homes in Rafah; bulldozes 7 dunams of land...

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  • December 20, 2002

    Islamic Jihad gunmen fatally shoot a Jewish settler rabbi driving in Gaza. The IDF sends tanks into Dayr al-Balah in search of a wanted AMB mbr., fatally shoots 1 Palestinian during the raid;...

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  • September 30, 2002

    The IDF clashes with Islamic Jihad gunmen in, shells residential areas of Nablus and Balata r.c., leaving 1 IDF soldier dead, 3 buildings afire; fires on stone-throwing youths,...

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  • August 22, 2002

    Israel's Interior M Eli Yishai says he has initiated steps to revoke the residency status of 4 East Jerusalem Palestinians arrested for participation in a Hamas cell (see 8/21); he...

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  • June 24, 2002

    Before dawn, the IDF reoccupies Amari r.c., al-Bireh, Qadura r.c., and Ramallah, surrounding Arafat's offices (placing Arafat under de facto house arrest), arresting 13 PSF officers,...

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  • June 13, 2002

    The IDF completes its withdrawal to the outskirts of Ramallah; conducts arrest raids in Anabta, Bayt Furik; shells residential areas of Khan Yunis, wounding 7; demolishes a...

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  • May 25, 2002

    The IDF sends troops, APCs into Bethlehem, reoccupying most of the city, directing shells and heavy machine gun fire at residential areas, demolishing the home of senior Islamic Jihad mbr....

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  • May 7, 2002

    A suicide bomber detonates a device in an unlicensed gambling club in the Rishon Letzion suburb of Tel Aviv, killing 15 Israelis, injuring 57. Hamas's military wing claims responsibility, but the...

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  • March 7, 2002

    Israel's air, land, and sea assaults continue, leaving at least 16 Palestinians dead, more than 70 injured. The IDF enters Tulkarm r.c. and Nur al-Shams r.c., meeting fierce resistance. In Tulkarm...

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  • February 7, 2002

    The IDF fires missiles at a PA prison in Nablus for a 2d time; fires tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets at demonstrators outside Arafat's Ramallah headquarters, wounding 3; begins bulldozing...

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  • January 24, 2002

    The IDF assassinates senior Hamas mbr. Adli Hamdan (Bakr Hamdan), firing missiles at his car in Khan Yunis, injuring 2 passengers. Another 5 Palestinians are killed in separate incidents,...

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  • December 10, 2001

    The IDF attempts to assassinate senior Islamic Jihad mbr. Muhammad Sidir by firing missiles at his car in Hebron; Sidir is injured, 2 Palestinian children are killed, 6 others are injured. (1 of...

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  • November 19, 2001

    In Louisville, U.S. Secy. of State Colin Powell gives the 1st major policy speech on the Middle East by the George W. Bush admin., announcing plans to send 2 envoys (retired Gen. Anthony Zinni,...

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  • November 13, 2001

    The State Dept. announces that Powell will deliver a major address on the Middle East on 11/19 to lay out the Bush admin.'s principles on Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Afterward, special envoys...

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  • September 14, 2001

    The U.S. identifies 19 hijackers (fr. Egypt, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, the UAE), including 7 trained pilots, who participated in the 9/11 attacks; 16 held valid U.S. visas, 12 had lived in Florida (...

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  • September 12, 2001

    The U.S. says it has more evidence linking Bin Laden to the 9/11 attacks. Laying the groundwork for a military response, Bush labels the attacks "acts of war," begins to rally "an international...

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  • September 11, 2001

    In the U.S., as many as 20 hijackers commandeer 4 commercial jets bound from east coast airports to California. Minutes apart, 2 planes hit the World Trade Center (WTC) in New York City,...

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  • August 16, 2001

    U.S. Pres. George W. Bush phones Israeli PM Ariel Sharon to offer his condolences for recent Israeli casualties, to stress the importance of avoiding further escalations. Sharon says he is trying...

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  • May 31, 2001

    Israeli-Palestinian clashes leave a total of 2 Palestinian, 1 Jewish settler dead. Israeli DM Ben-Eliezer approves deployment of special forces units to bolster the IDF in the West Bank; some...

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In the West Bank, Israeli settlers leveled Palestinian agricultural land near Deir ‘Ammar before Israeli forces removed them from the area. Israeli forces sealed off Sabastia for the 2d day in a row and closed Palestinian stores. 7 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in Jalazun refugee camp, Bani Na‘im, Bayt Awa, Ya‘bad, and Beit Sira. In East Jerusalem, some 600 Israeli settlers toured the Haram al-Sharif compound. 6 Palestinians were arrested in Silwan, al-Tur, Isawiya, and at the Haram al-Sharif compound. In Gaza, Israeli forces made incursions and leveled land north of Beit Lahiya and east of Dayr al-Balah. Israeli forces also opened fire at Palestinian agricultural lands east of Khan Yunis and Beit Hanun; no injuries were reported. Off the coast of Gaza, Israeli naval forces opened fire at Palestinian fisherman within 3 nautical miles west of al-Sudaniyya; no injuries were reported. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 9/23; PCHR 9/30)

2 Palestinians who had been missing after going fishing on 9/3 off the coast of Gaza were reported detained at a prison in Egypt. (MEE 9/23)

The PA commission of detainees’ affairs said in a statement that 1 39-year-old Palestinian who died of leukemia 7 months after being released from an Israeli prison perished because of medical neglect while he was incarcerated by Israel. (AJ, WAFA, WAFA 9/23)

The PLO rejected an agreement made between the U.S. and UNRWA to keep the U.S. providing funds to the agency, saying that the agreement is an attempt to abolish the Right of Return for Palestinian refugees. (WAFA 9/23)

It was reported that Sudan had seized a number of companies and bank accounts belonging to Palestinians. According to the reporting, the assets belong to Hamas as a means to generate revenue for the organization. Later, on 9/24, Hamas said that it did not have links to the companies and individuals targeted by Sudan. 1 day later, on 9/25, the PA urged Sudan to hand over the assets to the PA. A Hamas official said the seizing of the funds by Sudan was a way for the new government to win the support of the U.S by slandering Hamas. (HA, REU, TOI 9/23; AA, HA, MEMO, REU, TOI, WAFA 9/25; ALM 9/30)

The U.S. house of representatives passed a bill 420-9-2, providing Israel with another $1 billion of military aid to allegedly restock Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system after Israel’s attack on Gaza in May. The $1 billion was removed from a stopgap government-funding bill on 9/21, prompting Democratic majority leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) to present the funding as a stand-alone bill. The 9 representatives to vote against the bill were Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), André Carson (D-IN), Marie Newman (D-IL), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), Jesús “Chuy” García (D-IL), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ), Cori Bush (D-MO), And Thomas Massie (R-KY). Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Hank Johnson (D-GA) voted present. Representative Tlaib gave a speech before the vote calling Israel an apartheid state, drawing ire from several pro-Israel Democrats, including Ted Deutch (D-FL) who said that calling Israel an apartheid state was anti-Semitic. Later, Israel’s envoy to the UN Gilad Erdan said that the 9 representatives who voted against the bill were “either ignorant or antisemitic.” It is estimated that the deployment of the Iron Dome during May cost Israel a maximum of $120 million. (AJ, AP, FOX, FOX, HA, HA, HA, MEE, MEMO, MEMO, NYT, REU, TOI 9/23; CNN 9/24; WAFA 9/25; HA 9/26; HA 9/27; JCUR, MEE 9/28)

Also in the house of representatives, representative Andy Levin (D-MI), supported by more than 24 Democrats, introduced the Two-State Solution Act, aimed at preserving the feasibility of a 2-state solution. Among its provisions, the bill aims at distinguishing between Israel and occupied Palestinian territory, defined as the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and Gaza. The authors of the bill want the U.S. to label products from occupied Palestine as such and not as Israeli products. It also aims at pushing the U.S. administration to reopen the PLO mission in D.C. and U.S. consulate to Palestinians in Jerusalem. Lastly, the authors want the PA to end its payments to Palestinian prisoners and their families convicted of terrorism by Israeli military courts. (POL 9/22; AJ, HA, JP, MEE 9/23; TOI 9/24)

Texas’s state comptroller Glenn Hegar said that Ben & Jerry’s had been added to the state’s list of companies that boycott Israel and that Texas will start to divest from the company. Texas is the 4th state to divest from Ben & Jerry’s over its decision to stop selling ice cream in West Bank settlements and to move its franchise regional office from Israel. (NWK 9/23; JP 9/24)

Denmark and the PA signed an agreement for Denmark to provide $72 million in grants over the next 5 years to help development in, among other areas, local government, agriculture, and civil society. (WAFA 9/23; MEMO 9/24)

In the West Bank, Israeli settlers vandalized 9 vehicles parked outside the Shiloh settlement belonging to Palestinians working in the settlement; a video of the incident shows the settlers throwing stones at the parked vehicles. Israeli forces seized 5 residential tents in Khirbet Humsa. 14 Palestinians were arrested during raids in Sur Bahir, Ramallah, Qaddura refugee camp, Silwad, Nablus, Barta‘a, and Hebron. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces demolished residential sheds in Silwan, displacing 1 Palestinian family. 1 Palestinian was arrested in al-Tur. In Gaza, Israeli forces made incursions and leveled farmland east of Gaza City. (AP, HA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 2/16; WAFA 2/17; PCHR 2/18)

After 2 days of protest, the Hamas-appointed chairman of the Higher Sharia Council Hassan Jojo said the council would redraft a law banning unmarried women in Gaza from traveling outside of the strip without approval from a male guardian. The law was initially passed on 2/14. (HA, REU 2/16)

The U.S. Biden administration said it would return to dealing with King Salman of Saudi Arabia rather than his son and crown prince Mohammed bin Salman. The announcement came during a press conference by White House spokesperson Jen Psaki, who also said that the Biden administration would start pressuring Saudi Arabia on human rights issues unlike the Trump administration approach. (REU 2/16; HA 2/17)

U.S. Secy. of State Condoleezza Rice arrives in Israel for a 2-day visit to press Israel and the PA for a joint statement on the peace process before the end of Pres. George W. Bush’s term. Hrs. before her arrival, Israel releases 198 Palestinian prisoners as a gesture to Abbas, including 2 long-held prisoners given life sentences for murdering Israelis: Said al-Atba (a mbr. of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine [DFLP] convicted in 1977) and Muhammad Abu Ali (convicted in 1980; elected to the PA legislature representing Fatah while jailed); none of those released are fr. Hamas. In Gaza, Palestinians fire 2 rockets into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Jenin town and r.c., in Dahaysha r.c. nr. Bethlehem, nr. Hebron. Jewish settlers fr. Susia in Hebron destroy a Palestinian olive crop nearby. (NYT 8/26; OCHA 8/27; PCHR 8/28)

Israel’s siege of Gaza, imposed after Hamas’s takeover of the Strip in 6/07, remains tight. In Gaza, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) conduct late-night arrest raids, house searches in Shuka nr. Rafah, arresting 3 Palestinians, wounding 1 with live ammunition, bulldozing 8 dunams (d.; 4 d. = 1 acre) of greenhouses and a poultry farm (killing 50,000 chickens). In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Qaryut nr. Nablus, detaining 4 Palestinians (including 3 teenagers) for questioning; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Jenin and Hebron (partially bulldozing a Palestinian home in Bayt Umar); fires rubber-coated steel bullets, percussion grenades, tear gas at Palestinian, Israeli, international activists taking part in the weekly nonviolent demonstration against the separation wall in Bil‘in n. of Jerusalem nr. Ramallah (10s suffer tear gas inhalation); and beats demonstrators at a similar protest al-Ma‘sara nr. Bethlehem (lightly injuring 3). Nr. Nablus, 10s of armed Jewish settlers fr. Yitzhar vandalize Palestinian homes in nearby Asira al-Qibliyya. In Gaza City, unknown assailants detonate a bomb outside a Catholic school in Gaza City, causing damage but no injuries. (OCHA 5/21; PCHR 5/22)

U.S. pres. George W. Bush ends a 4-day visit to Israel to mark Israel’s 60th anniversary (see Quarterly Update in JPS 148). (NYT, WP, WT 5/17; NYT 5/19)

Israel begins wk.-long celebrations leading up to its 60th anniversary on 5/14, while Palestinians solemnly prepare to mark the Nakba; more than a dozen foreign heads of state, including U.S. Pres. George W. Bush, plan to make official visits to Israel in the next wk. Overnight, in Gaza, IDF tanks and troops raid Abasan under cover of air support, cutting electricity to the area, exchanging heavy fire with Palestinian gunmen, making numerous air strikes and firing tank shells in the densely populated residential area, killing 1 armed Palestinian and 1 Palestinian civilian (a woman killed when soldiers detonate explosives outside her door and storm her home, detaining her children, ages 2–12, in a room for 6 hrs. before releasing them), wounding 19 armed men and 4 civilians (including 1 woman, 2 children), arresting 60 Palestinians (55 are released on 5/8), demolishing 2 Palestinian homes, and bulldozing large areas of agricultural land before withdrawing late in the evening. The IDF also makes an air strike on a group of armed Palestinians in Jabaliya r.c., killing 1 Palestinian resistance mbr., seriously wounding a 2d. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron. (PCHR, WP 5/8; PCHR 5/15)

Hizballah mbrs. and their supporters in Amal and the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP) set up roadblocks leading to Beirut International Airport, other major roads in an effort to press the government to reverse its 5/6 decisions. They clash with gunmen affiliated with Saad Hariri’s Future Movement, leaving 5 civilians, 2 soldiers wounded. (NYT, WP 5/8)

Following a dinner in Washington on 11/26, U.S. Pres. George W. Bush opens a 1-day international summit in support of the peace process in Annapolis, MD. Israel, the PLO present a “joint understanding” pledging to resume comprehensive negotiations on 12/12, with the goal of concluding a final status agreement by the end of 2008. (NYT, WP, WT 11/28; WP 11/29)

Overnight, the IDF sends troops into al-Shuka nr. Rafah, firing on Palestinians who attempt to flee, killing 1 Palestinian, wounding 3, arresting 10. During the day, the IDF makes an air strike on a Hamas training camp nr. Khan Yunis, causing damage but no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF sends undercover units in a car with Palestinian license plates into Azun to arrest a wanted Palestinian; troops fire on stone-throwing Palestinians who confront them, wounding 4. In al-Bureij r.c., unidentified assailants detonate a roadside bomb nr. a Hamas-affiliated police patrol, seriously injuring 3 policemen and destroying their vehicle. In Gaza City, an estimated 100,000 Hamas supporters hold a nonviolent protest against the Annapolis summit; around 5,000 Hamas supporters hold a similar nonviolent protest in Dayr al-Balah. In the West Bank, PA police violently disperse (using tear gas, batons, warning shots) 100s of Palestinians attending anti-Annapolis protests sponsored by Hamas and the AMB in Ramallah (causing no serious injuries) and by Hizb al-Tahrir (a small, unarmed pan-Islamic group) in Hebron (killing 1 Hizb al-Tahrir supporter, wounding 3 other Palestinians). The Popular Resistance Committees (PRCs; a Gaza-based umbrella group comprising mbrs. fr. all factions acting independently) send a bulletin to media outlets, vowing to increase rocket attacks on Israel to protest the summit. Inside Israel, some 10,000 right-wing Israelis march to Olmert’s home to protest any possible concessions to the Palestinians. (NYT, WP, OCHA 11/28; PCHR 11/29; CSM 1/22)

Israel releases the last 398 Palestinian prisoners of 900 that Sharon promised to free in his 2/8 mtg. with PA Pres. Mahmud Abbas in Sharm al-Shaykh; 2 prisoners refuse release (1 to stay in prison with his brother, 1 to take the Palestinian high school matriculation exams [tawjihi] slated to be given to prisoners shortly). The IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem, Hebron, Tulkarm and in Azariyya, Balata r.c., Nablus; searches, temporarily occupies a flour mill in Gaza’s al-Qarara for use as an observation tower to protect Jewish settlers traveling btwn. Gush Katif and Israel; begins work on a new segment of the separation wall s. of Nablus. Palestinian residents of Dayr al-Hatab nr. Nablus report that the IDF has for 3 wks. been bulldozing Palestinian land around Elon Moreh to create a buffer around the settlement. Israel issues tenders for the construction of 22 new housing units in Ma’ale Adumim settlement, despite U.S President George W. Bush’s calls to stop all settlement expansion. A Jewish settler injures a Palestinian girl in a hit-andrun incident n. of Ramallah. In Gaza City, 100s of armed Palestinians (mbrs. of PA military intelligence, the AMB, Fatah) protest the PA’s decision to dismantle the military intelligence service, merge it with the PA security forces, and retire a number of officers; some demonstrators fire in the air. (IMEMC, JP, JTA, WAFA 6/2; VOI 6/2 in WNC 6/3; WP, WT 6/3; IMEMC 6/4; OCHA, PR 6/8; PCHR 6/9)

U.S. Pres. George W. Bush narrowly wins reelection. (MM 11/2; HA, MM, NYT, WP, WT 11/3; VOP 11/3 in WNC 11/5; MM 11/4; Globes, HA, JAZ, JP, JT, MA, MENA, YA 11/4 in WNC 11/6; al-Safir 11/4, al-Dustur, MNR, al-Ra’i 11/5, al-Dustur 11/6 in WNC 11/9; SA 11/6 in WNC 11/10; MM 11/5; HA 11/9; JPI 11/12)

The IDF blows up 3 Palestinian homes in and nr. Askar r.c. belonging to the family of the 11/1 suicide bomber, 2 senior PFLP mbrs.; raids a clinic in Nablus, searches ambulances, interrogates paramedics; conducts arrest raids and house searches, bulldozes 50 d., demolishes 2 poultry farms and several wells nr. Kefar Darom. AMB mbr. Fadi Qaffisha dies of injuries received in the IDF assassination of Mari on 11/1. Palestinians fire several mortars at Neve Dekalim, causing no damage or injuries. A Jewish settler injures a 7-yr.-old Palestinian girl in a hit-andrun incident nr. Hawara south of Nablus. (PRCS 11/2; VOI 11/2 in WNC 11/4; NYT, WP 11/3; VOI 11/3 in WNC 11/5; PCHR, WJW 11/4)

The IDF conducts house searches, arrest raids in Hebron, Jenin; bulldozes 14 dunams of land in al-Qarara nr. Khan Yunis; conducts arrest raids in villages around Hebron, Qalqilya. Unidentified gunmen believed to be Palestinian fire on the car of Nablus mayor and PC mbr. Ghassan al-Shak’a (Fatah) in an apparent attempt to assassinate him, leaving him unharmed but killing his brother. (al-Jazeera 11/25; PR 12/3; PCHR 12/4; PR 12/10; MEI 1/9)

In a mtg. in Washington with U.S. National Security Adviser (NSA) Condoleezza Rice, Sharon’s chief of staff Dov Weisglass reportedly lays out a 2- stage plan drafted by Sharon for U.S. Pres. George W. Bush’s approval that ultimately forsees the fall of PA PM Ahmad Qurai‘’s government, the end of the road map, and Israel’s unilateral declaration of borders, taking 60% of the West Bank. (MM 11/28, 12/1, 12/5)

The IDF seals the West Bank and Gaza; surrounds, tightens closures on all Palestinian cities; sends additional tanks to the outskirts of Ramallah; conducts arrest raids in Hebron, detaining 17 Palestinians, including relatives of the 8/19 bomber; fires on residential areas of Rafah. Late in the evening, the IDF imposes curfews on, sends tanks and troops into Hebron (raiding, searching 3 mosques), Jenin, Nablus (where residents report hearing helicopters, machine gun fire through most of the night), Tulkarm (where the IDF fatally shoots 1 Palestinian, wounds 7). Israel also opens the Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif to non-Muslims without agreement of the Waqf; some 150 Jews under police protection visit the site. (HA, REU 8/20; YA 8/20 in WNC 8/22; MM, NYT, PCHR, PM, WP, WT 8/21)

Abbas convenes the PA Executive Authority (EA, or cabinet) to discuss how to respond to the 8/19 suicide bombing; puts 4 recommendations to PA head Yasir Arafat for approval, threatening to resign if he does not accept them all, which he does. (HA 8/20; HA, NYT, WP 8/21; AYM 8/24 in WNC 8/26)

Israeli PM Ariel Sharon convenes his security cabinet, which approves “a series of military steps” against Hamas, Islamic Jihad, which Israel would launch only if the PA fails to take action itself. (HA 8/20; JP, YA 8/20 in WNC 8/22; NYT, WP 8/21; IDF Radio, QA, VOI, YA 8/21 in WNC 8/23)

U.S. Pres. George W. Bush phones Sharon to tell him that Israel has a right to defend itself following the “vicious” 8/19 bombing, reportedly does not urge restraint. U.S. Secy. of State Colin Powell phones Abbas tourge him to take action against Palestinian militant groups immediately. (HA 8/20; WP 8/21; HA 8/24; AYM 8/24 in WNC 8/26)

A Hamas suicide bomber detonates a device on a bus outside French Hill settlement in East Jerusalem, killing 6 Jewish settlers, 1 West Bank Palestinian laborer, wounding 12 settlers; as rescue workers arrive at the scene, a 2d Hamas suicide bomber detonates a device in the area, killing only himself. (Reports indicate that the 2 bombers today and the 1 yesterday were friends fr. Hebron, possibly mbrs. of the same soccer team.) The IDF expels Mahmud al-Safuri, brother of detained Islamic Jihad military cmdr. Haj ‘Ali al-Safuri, fr. Jenin to Gaza for 2 yrs. for allegedly aiding his brother in staging attacks; this is the first such forced transfer since 9/4/02. The IDF also seals the West Bank, places closures on most villages, cities; continues operations in Bayt Hanun, fatally shooting 1 Palestinian, demolishing 3 Palestinian homes, bulldozing more land, tightening the closure; fatally shoots a 2d Palestinian in Khan Yunis; chases, fires on a group of laborers on their way to work in Israel, causing 1 Palestinian to suffer a fatal heart attack; bulldozes 120 dunams of land in Abasan; demolishes 10 Palestinian homes in Rafah r.c.. Sharon convenes a cabinet mtg. to discuss responses, overrules calls to expel PA head Yasir Arafat. Palestinian gunmen fatally shoot an alleged collaborator in Nablus. (WT 5/18; ITAR-TASS 5/18 in WNC 5/19; HA, MM, NYT, WP 5/19; MM, PCHR 5/20; HA, MM, PR 5/21; LAW, PCHR 5/22; HA 5/23; al-Haq 5/24; NYT 6/13)

In light of the Jerusalem bombing, Sharon postpones plans to leave for Washington today to meet with Pres. George W. Bush regarding implementation of the road map; convenes his security cabinet to discuss retaliation. (NYT, WP, WT 5/19; VOI 5/20 in WNC 5/21)

Violence drops as the worst winter storm in yrs. hits region. The IDF fatally shoots a 13-yr.-old Palestinian, wounds 7 others, demolishes 8 Palestinian homes in Rafah; bulldozes 7 dunams of land and demolishes 1 Palestinian home in Khan Yunis, also shelling residential areas; conducts arrest raids in Bethlehem, Jenin, Tulkarm. A 2d Palestinian dies of injuries received on 2/16. A Haifa district court convicts 2 Israeli Arabs fr. the Galilee on charges of aiding a Palestinian who detonated a suicide bomb on 8/4/02. Israeli DM Shaul Mofaz says Israel plans to step up “active defense” in the Strip targeting Hamas. (HA, MM 2/25; HA, WP, WT 2/26; LAW, PCHR 2/27)

U.S. Pres. George W. Bush warns that he will accept nothing short of “full disarmament” by Iraq, he is willing to go to war even without passage of a 2d UNSC res., slated for vote on 3/3. U.S. diplomats tell UNSC mbrs. that a military attack is inevitable, any attempt to delay would destroy the UN’s credibility. (NYT, WP, WT 2/26)

Islamic Jihad gunmen fatally shoot a Jewish settler rabbi driving in Gaza. The IDF sends tanks into Dayr al-Balah in search of a wanted AMB mbr., fatally shoots 1 Palestinian during the raid; demolishes 3 Palestinian homes in Dayr al-Balah, 8 in nearby Wadi al-Silqa; blows up 1 Palestinian building in Nablus that the IDF claims was used as a bomb-making lab; fires on residential areas of Rafah; conducts arrest raids in Jalbun, Tulkarm, al-Yamun. Israeli police find a package bomb in a mall in Netanya, in n. Israel. A Palestinian dies of injuries received on 7/12/02. (AP 12/20; NYT, WP 12/21; WT 12/22; LAW, PCHR 12/25)

U.S. Pres. George W. Bush meets with Quartet reps. (EU, Russia, UN, U.S.) at the White House. The Quartet reaffirms its call for creation of a Palestinian state by 2005, completes “99.5%” of the revisions to the draft road map but the U.S. overrules calls by other mbrs. to finalize and endorse the road map. (CNN, MM 12/20; NYT, WP 12/21; AYM 12/22, 12/24 in WNC 12/31; MM 12/23; JP 12/29)

The IDF clashes with Islamic Jihad gunmen in, shells residential areas of Nablus and Balata r.c., leaving 1 IDF soldier dead, 3 buildings afire; fires on stone-throwing youths, killing 2 Palestinian boys ages 10 and 12, injuring 25; confiscates video footage of clashes fr. a Reuters cameraman. The IDF also fires on residential areas of Hebron, Gaza City (killing 1 Palestinian); conducts arrest raids in of Beitunia, Burkin, Hebron (reportedly detaining 5 mbrs. of a cell that has staged roadside bombings in the area), Qabatya, Tulkarm, al-Yamun; fires tank shells at residential areas of Gaza, leaving 1 Palestinian woman clinically dead (the IDF claims it was responding to mortar fire). In Ramallah, the IDF surrounds, fires shells a building where it claims some of the wanted Palestinians who hid in Arafat's offices during the siege are located; demands their surrender. (HA 9/30; HA, NYT, WP, WT 10/1; LAW, MM, PCHR 10/2; PCHR 10/3; MEI 10/11)

Bush signs the FY 2003 Foreign Relations Authorization Act, which requires the admin. to identify Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Bush says that he interprets the wording on Jerusalem as a "sense of Congress," not as binding on U.S. policy. The bill also urges the pres. to impose sanctions on the Palestinians if they do not comply with signed agmts.; withholds $10 m. of $35 m. in economic aid to Lebanon for failing to assert its authority over Hizballah; provides an additional $300 m. in aid to Israel, including $100 m. for munitions; rejects equivalent aid for Egypt. (Israel says the other $200 m. is going to be used to cover shortfalls in the defense budget.) (HA, JP, LAW, NYT, WP, WT 10/1; MM, NYT, PR, WT 10/2; Gulf Times [Doha], MENA, al-Quds 10/2 in WNC 10/3; MM 10/3; al-Quds 10/3 in WNC 10/4; AYM, MENA 10/4 in WNC 10/7; PR 10/9; MEI 10/11)

Israel's Interior M Eli Yishai says he has initiated steps to revoke the residency status of 4 East Jerusalem Palestinians arrested for participation in a Hamas cell (see 8/21); he says, "There is no need to wait for a trial because the evidence is clear and based on intelligence of their terrorist activity." Israeli police detain senior Greek Orthodox Church official Atallah Hanna at his East Jerusalem home on charges of "expressing support for terrorist organizations," "illegally entering an enemy country" (Lebanon and Syria); release him after 5 hrs. of questioning. The IDF arrests the head of Hamas's Qalqilya political wing; bulldozes 7 dunams of olive groves in Dayr al-Balah; conducts arrest raids in Dura. (AFP, HA 8/22; MM, WT 8/23; MM 8/27; LAW, PCHR 8/28)

Israeli PM Ariel Sharon cancels plans to make a trip to the U.S. to attend a rally in support of Israel in Tallahassee with Florida gov. Jeb Bush, brother of U.S. Pres. George W. Bush, on 9/9, a day before the Florida Democratic primary; go to LA to attend another rally hosted by a Republican candidate in tight midterm elections there. Democrats had denounced the visit, which was arranged with Pres. Bush's sway, but Sharon says he decided he would have to stay in Israel to prepare for a budget battle which will take place in 10/02. Sharon canceled two previous trips to Florida when he cut short previous trips to the U.S. because of bombings in Israel. (NYT, WP 8/23; MA 8/23 in WNC 8/26)

Before dawn, the IDF reoccupies Amari r.c., al-Bireh, Qadura r.c., and Ramallah, surrounding Arafat's offices (placing Arafat under de facto house arrest), arresting 13 PSF officers, meeting no resistance; imposes 24-hr. curfews on Aqaba, Dura, Iktaba, Tamun, Taysir, Tubas, Yatta; fires shells at residential areas of Khan Yunis; continues operations in Bethlehem, Jenin, Nablus (fatally shooting 1 Palestinian), Qalqilya, Tulkarm areas; lifts curfews in Jenin, Nablus, Qalqilya for 3 hrs. The IDF assassinates 2 Izzeddine al-Qassam Brigades leaders, Yasir Raziq and `Amr Kufa, in Rafah, firing missiles at their taxis, also killing 2 passengers, 2 drivers, injuring 13 bystanders. Jewish settlers stone an ambulance nr. Tulkarm. In Gaza, Hamas supporters clash with PSF officers enforcing Shaykh Yasin's house arrest, leaving 1 Hamas supporter dead. (BBC, MM, NYT, PRCS press release, WP, WT 6/24; XIN 6/24 in WNC 6/25; MM, NYT, WP, WT 6/25; LAW 6/26; PCHR, WJW 6/27; MEI 6/28)

After a wk.'s delay, Bush gives a major speech outlining the new U.S. policy toward the peace process. Without mentioning Israel's military escalations, Bush says in effect that the Palestinians must remove Arafat and create a Western-style democracy before the peace process can move forward. The U.S. halts direct dealings with Arafat. Bush's decision to call for Arafat's ouster was reportedly influenced heavily by an Israeli intelligence report he received last wk. (uncorroborated by the CIA) claiming that Arafat authorized a $20,000 payment to the AMB, which carried out the 6/19 suicide bombing. (AP, MM, NYT, WP 6/24; MA 6/24 in WNC 6/25; GS, MM, NYT, WP, WT, YA 6/25; AFP, ATL, Interfax, ITAR-TASS, MENA 6/25 in WNC 6/26; MM, NYT, WP, WT 6/26; AFP, JT, Le Monde 6/26 in WNC 6/27; NYT, WJW, WP 6/27; JT, al-Nahar 6/27 in WNC 6/28; MEI, MM 6/28; NYT, USIS Washington File 6/30; WP, WT 7/1; AN 7/1 in WNC 7/2; JPI 7/5)

Arafat sends the U.S., Arab states a 6-page memorandum outlining an ambitious 100-day reform plan, including plans for presidential and legislative elections in 1/03 and municipal elections in 3/03. (MM 6/24; NYT 6/25; MM 6/26; El Pais 6/26 in WNC 6/27;NYT, WP, WT 6/27; XIN 6/27 in WNC 6/28; AYM 7/1 in WNC 7/3; AYM 7/10, 7/17, 7/21 in WNC 7/23)

Israeli atty. gen. Elyakim Rubinstein says he will not take legal action against those calling for the "voluntary transfer" of Arabs fr. Israel, saying "voluntary transfer" is "immoral" not illegal. (The 13 Palestinians deported to Cyprus in 5/02 were "voluntarily exiled" as part of a deal brokered by Israel and the PA; see 5/22) (HA 6/24; MM 6/27)

In response to Israeli appeals to local satellite channels to drop coverage of BBC World and CNN International because of their "pro-Palestinian bias" (1 channel replaced CNN with Fox News coverage on 6/20), CNN chief news exec. Eason Jordan arrives in Israel to apologize publicly on behalf of the network, to unveil a special 5-part series on Israeli victims of violence (aired 6/24-28) and a Web "memorial" to Israeli victims of Palestinian violence. (WT 6/24; NYT 6/25; WJW 6/27; MEI 6/2; see also JTA 6/20, MSNBC 6/21)

The IDF completes its withdrawal to the outskirts of Ramallah; conducts arrest raids in Anabta, Bayt Furik; shells residential areas of Khan Yunis, wounding 7; demolishes a Palestinian home in Hebron; bulldozes 17 dunams of agricultural land in Absan nr. the Gaza-Israel border. In Silwan in East Jerusalem, Israeli special forces raid a Palestinian home, killing 1 Palestinian, wounding another. A Palestinian heart attack victim dies when his ambulance is barred fr. crossing an IDF checkpoint to reach a hospital. (LAW 6/13; UPMRC, WP 6/14; LAW, PCHR 6/19; New Haven Register 7/3)

Bush confers with Saudi FM Prince Saud al-Faisal, who holds separate talks with VP Cheney, National Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice. (MM, NYT, WP, WT 6/14)

The IDF sends troops, APCs into Bethlehem, reoccupying most of the city, directing shells and heavy machine gun fire at residential areas, demolishing the home of senior Islamic Jihad mbr. Muhammad Shihada; troops still hold most of Bethlehem at nightfall. The IDF also fires tank shells, machine guns a Palestinian mother, daughter working their farm nr. the Gaza border with Israel, killing them; the IDF says they were in a prohibited area. Denied passage by the IDF, a Palestinian woman gives birth at a checkpoint; the baby dies. The IDF withdraws to the outskirts of Tulkarm r.c.; at least 9 more IDF soldiers have been injured in the operation since the fatal ambush on 5/24. The IDF imposes curfews on Palestinian villages along the Green Line nr. Qalqilya, Tulkarm. (AFP, NYT, WP, WT 5/26; WP 5/27; LAW 5/29; PCHR 5/30; MEI 5/31)

An "intense debate" is reportedly underway among U.S. Pres. George W. Bush and his senior advisers over whether to press for Arafat's removal. Arafat adviser Muhammad Rashid, in Washington for several days for a low-key meetings with U.S. officials at the CIA, Pentagon, State Dept. and with Jewish leaders, argues that Arafat is central to the peace process. (NYT 5/26)

A suicide bomber detonates a device in an unlicensed gambling club in the Rishon Letzion suburb of Tel Aviv, killing 15 Israelis, injuring 57. Hamas's military wing claims responsibility, but the political wing will not confirm. The IDF conducts arrest raids in Tulkarm city, detaining about 40 Palestinians; bulldozes a Palestinian home, fatally shoots a Palestinian boy in Rafah; begins work on Jewish settler bypass roads nr. Khan Yunis, nr. Nablus. In Bethlehem, the siege of the Church of the Nativity continues, with Italy complaining it has not been consulted on the 5/6 agmt. (AFP, AP, CNN, MM 5/7; AFP, ANSA, XIN 5/7 in WNC 5/8; al-Quds 5/7 in WNC 5/9; MM, NYT, WP, WT 5/8; MA, RNE 5/8 in WNC 5/9; MM, WJW 5/9; al-Ra'i 5/9 in WNC 5/10; MM 5/10; AYM 5/12 in WNC 5/15; JP 5/16; MEI 5/17; HA 5/24)

The IDF announces plans to divide the West Bank into 8 isolated zones (Bethlehem, Hebron, Jericho, Jenin, Nablus, Qalqilya, Ramallah, Tulkarm); to impose severe new restrictions on the movement of Palestinians, goods btwn. zones. (UNRWA press release 5/14; al-Quds 5/16 in WNC 5/17; HA, JT [Internet] 5/17; HA 5/18; AYM 5/28 in WNC 5/20; PMC 5/19; HA 5/22; NYT 5/24)

In Washington, Sharon, Bush hold talks on PA reform, barely touch on the idea of a peace conference. They agree that the priority should be halting Palestinian violence, restructuring the PA, unifying the PA security services. Sharon also says that it is "premature" to discuss a Palestinian state, Israel will never agree to withdraw to 1967 lines; suggests Israel will not resume political talks until Arafat has been removed fr. power. Bush say he will send CIA dir. Tenet to the region to help rebuild the PA security forces. Sharon returns to Israel in light of the Rishon Letzion bombing. (AP, CNN, MM 5/7; MENA, al-Quds 5/7 in WNC 5/8; AYM 5/7, MA 5/8 in WNC 5/9; HA, JP [Internet], MM, NYT, WP, WT 5/8; MM, WJW, WP 5/9; QA, al-Ra'i 5/9 in WNC 5/10; MM 5/10; AYM 5/10 in WNC 5/13; JP [Internet] 5/10; JP 5/16)

Israel's air, land, and sea assaults continue, leaving at least 16 Palestinians dead, more than 70 injured. The IDF enters Tulkarm r.c. and Nur al-Shams r.c., meeting fierce resistance. In Tulkarm r.c., IDF fire kills 2 Palestinian ambulance workers, wounds 4 others, plus 10s of Palestinians. IDF soldiers halt an ambulance in Salem, abduct a wounded Palestinian. After a Hamas gunman sneaks into a Atzmona settlement in Gaza and opens fire, killing 5 Jewish settlers and wounding 23 before being shot dead, the IDF sends 10s of tanks and armored personnel carriers (APCs) into Aida, Bethlehem, Dahaysha, 2 neighboring villages, meeting little resistance; soldiers cut electricity, conduct house-to-house searches, occupy numerous homes and schools as observation and staging posts. F-16s bomb PA security offices in Bethlehem, destroying the Force 17 headquarters, a clinic. A PFLP suicide bomber detonates a device in Ariel settlement, lightly injuring 5 settlers; another Palestinian with a large bomb in a backpack is captured, disarmed in a Jerusalem cafe. A Palestinian gunman seriously wounds a Jewish settler nr. Nablus. IDF gunboats shell PA government buildings, political offices, intelligence headquarters, and a PSF compound in Gaza City, injuring 13 PSF officers and leaving only 2 of 25 buildings in the compound standing. The IDF also sends tanks into Jenin; shells PSF offices in Halhul, Hebron, Yatta; shells, destroys the PFLP headquarters in Bayt Hanun; invades the Jerusalem Chamber of Commerce, confiscating files related to Palestinian land, property ownership; demolish 2 Palestinian homes in Tayasir, Jenin; fire on a Palestinian school in Hawara. Some 150 Israeli intelligence officers, border police, troops seal off the Jabal Mukabir section of East Jerusalem, where they surround the home of human rights activist Khader Shkirat, briefly take him into custody, search his home. (AP, CNN, HP, LAW, NYT, WP 3/7; AFP 3/7 in WNC 3/8, 3/11; LAW, MM, NYT, WP 3/8; MA 3/8 in WNC 3/11; LAW 3/13, 3/20; MEI 3/22)

U.S. Pres. George W. Bush orders U.S. special envoy Anthony Zinni back to the region to attempt to secure an Israeli-Palestinian cease-fire. (AP 3/7; NYT, WP, WT 3/8; MM 3/11; AYM 3/12 in WNC 3/14; MEI 3/22)

The IDF fires missiles at a PA prison in Nablus for a 2d time; fires tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets at demonstrators outside Arafat's Ramallah headquarters, wounding 3; begins bulldozing Palestinian land in Za'atra for creation of a new settler bypass road. In Jenin, 10s of armed Palestinians raid a makeshift PA jail in an apartment building, freeing 10-15 detainees without meeting resistance. Israel extends the closure of Orient House for 6 mos. (MM 2/7; NYT, WT 2/8; NYT 2/9; GS 2/12; LAW, PCHR 2/13)

Sharon meets with Bush in Washington for the 4th time in less than a yr.; says Arafat is an obstacle to peace, who ideally should be replaced. Bush says the U.S. will not sever ties with Arafat but will keep pressure on him to halt Palestinian violence. Sharon also asks Bush to give Israel the $800 m. in aid that the Clinton admin. promised Israel to cover costs of its withdrawal fr. Lebanon. (MM 2/7; al-Quds 2/7, XIN 2/8, al-Ra'i 2/9 in WNC 2/11; HA, JP [Internet], MM, NYT, WP, WT 2/8; HA 2/10)

The IDF assassinates senior Hamas mbr. Adli Hamdan (Bakr Hamdan), firing missiles at his car in Khan Yunis, injuring 2 passengers. Another 5 Palestinians are killed in separate incidents, including a PA intelligence officer fatally shot by the IDF in Ramallah. A 6th Palestinian dies of injuries received earlier. In Hebron, the IDF raids, occupies a Palestinian bakery, shooting, wounding, detaining 1 Palestinian. The IDF also conducts arrest sweeps in the Bethlehem area, Tulkarm; occupies a Palestinian home in al-Khadir as an observation post. (LAW, NYT, WP 1/25; PCHR 1/30)

     The U.S. invites Sharon to come to Washington to meet with Bush on 2/7. White House also issues a statement regarding Israel's confinement of Arafat to his office in Ramallah, saying, "The president understands the reason that Israel has taken the action that it takes, and it is up to Chairman Arafat to demonstrate the leadership to combat terrorism." Bush meets with senior national security advisers to reassess U.S. Middle East policy. Some senior admin. officials (including VP Dick Cheney, Defense Secy. Donald Rumsfeld) are reportedly leaning toward sanctioning or severing ties with Arafat, the PA/PLO. (MM, WJW 1/24; AP, CNN, JP [Internet], MM, NYT, WP, WT 1/25; al-Quds 1/26, DUS 1/27 in WNC 1/28; MM 1/28)

The IDF attempts to assassinate senior Islamic Jihad mbr. Muhammad Sidir by firing missiles at his car in Hebron; Sidir is injured, 2 Palestinian children are killed, 6 others are injured. (1 of the dead, 5 of the injured are bystanders.) A 3d Palestinian is killed in al-Bireh by an IDF tank shell. The IDF also shells, destroys a PSF headquarters in n. Gaza; enters Rafah to bulldoze 3 Palestinian homes; uproots 200 olive trees in Sinjil. Palestinians fire a mortar at a Jewish settlement in Gaza, lightly injuring 1 Jewish settler. Jewish settlers in Hebron severely beat 2 Palestinian girls. Palestinians, Israeli peace activists stage a nonviolent protest at an IDF roadblock in Qalandia. (HP, LAW, MM 12/10; AP, MM, NYT, WP, WT 12/11; WT 12/12; AYM 12/12 in WNC 12/13; HA, LAW 12/13)

Arafat, Sharon meet separately with Zinni, urge him not to cut his trip short. Powell says that Zinni will indeed stay, that he never really intended to leave but just wanted to pressure the sides to act. (AP, MM, NYT, WT 12/11) (see 12/9)

In Washington, Bush hosts the White House's 1st menorah-lighting and Hanukkah party. Speaking privately with American Jewish leaders, Bush reportedly assails Arafat and the State Dept., identifies with Sharon, says that winning the war on terror means getting rid of groups like Hamas, Hizballah. (MM 12/12; MM, WJW 12/13; NYT 12/14; AYM 12/14 in WNC 12/17; WP 12/15; JT [Internet] 12/19; JP 2/1)

In Brussels, EU FMs call on Arafat to dismantle the "terrorist networks" of Hamas and Islamic Jihad; to declare, in Arabic, the end to the "armed intifada." Also call on Israel to halt assassinations, settlement expansion, attacks on the Palestinian infrastructure. (AFP 12/10; NYT, WT 12/11; IRNA, MA, SA 12/11 in WNC 12/12; AFP, MM, WT 12/12; Le Monde 12/12 in WNC 12/13; DUS 12/12 in WNC 12/14; MEI 12/21)

In Louisville, U.S. Secy. of State Colin Powell gives the 1st major policy speech on the Middle East by the George W. Bush admin., announcing plans to send 2 envoys (retired Gen. Anthony Zinni, Asst. Secy. of State for Near East Affairs William Burns) to the region to help broker an Israeli-Palestinian cease-fire based on the 6/11/01 Tenet cease-fire plan and the 5/20/01 Mitchell Comm. recommendations, which calls for a halt to violence, confidence building measures, a return to negotiations. (HA, MM 11/19; XIN 11/19 in WNC 11/20; AFP, MM, NYT, WP, WT 11/20; AYM, DUS, MENA, al-Quds, al-Ra'i, SA 11/20 in WNC 11/21; AYM 11/20, IRNA, QA 11/21, ATL, SA 11/22 in WNC 11/23; AYM 11/22 in WNC 11/28; MEI, MM 11/23; WP 11/25) (see Doc. D3 in JPS 122)

The IDF kills 2 Palestinians planting a roadside bomb in the West Bank; sends tanks into Rafah refugee camp to bulldoze 4 Palestinian homes, injuring 1 Palestinian; sends tanks, bulldozers into Bayt Hanun for several hrs. Palestinian gunmen fire on a vehicle nr. Shavei Shomron settlement, injuring 3 Jewish settlers. (NYT, WT 11/20; LAW 11/26)

The State Dept. announces that Powell will deliver a major address on the Middle East on 11/19 to lay out the Bush admin.'s principles on Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Afterward, special envoys retired Marine Gen. Anthony Zinni, Asst. Secy. of State Burns will head to the region to revive cease-fire talks. Sharon should then come to Washington to meet with Bush ca. 12/3. (JP [Internet] 11/13; MM, WP 11/14; MM, NYT 11/15; AYM 11/17 in WNC 11/19; HA 11/18)

The IDF fatally shoots a Palestinian woman in her Tulkarm home; reinforces positions in Jinin, Tulkarm; occupies a Palestinian home in Tulkarm; bulldozes Palestinian agricultural land nr. Dayr al-Balah, along the Green Line nr. Tulkarm and around Jerusalem; demolishes an aviary in nr. Bayt Lahia; directs heavy machine gun fire at residential areas of Bayt Hanun, al-Iktaba; closes 2 main north-south roads in Gaza. Palestinians report that in the past 2 days, the IDF has also bulldozed 400 trees, cultivated land, water works in the al-Mawasi area. (HP, REU 11/13; WP 11/14; PCHR 11/15)

Israeli Arab Atallah Abu Aida is arrested for smuggling arms to Palestinians in Hebron. (WT 11/14)

The U.S. identifies 19 hijackers (fr. Egypt, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, the UAE), including 7 trained pilots, who participated in the 9/11 attacks; 16 held valid U.S. visas, 12 had lived in Florida (some for yrs.), 2 were the sons of a high-ranking Saudi diplomat once posted to Washington, at least 3 had studied at the same college in Germany. (NYT, WP, WT 9/15; WP 9/18; CNN 9/21)

Asst. Secy. of State for Near East Affairs William Burns official meets with 15 Arab envoys, including the PLO rep., and tell them they must either declare their nations "mbrs. of an international coalition against terrorism or risk being isolated." Later, Arab envoys meet at the home of Saudi Arabian amb. Prince Bandar Bin Sultan to discuss U.S. plans. Egyptian amb. Nabil Fahmy warns the admin. to focus on finding and punishing those responsible for the 9/11 attacks and not to broaden the effort to include other geopolitical goals. (NYT 9/15; MM, WP 9/17; SA 9/17 in WNC 9/19)

Sharon rejects direct appeals by Bush, Powell to hold peace talks with the PA, which would facilitate U.S. efforts to form a coalition to strike at Bin Laden. Instead, he cancels tentative plans to hold an Arafat-Peres mtg. on 9/16, saying it would be "inappropriate" in light of the 9/11 U.S. attacks; tells Bush that Israel opposes the U.S. bringing the PA, Syria into its antiterrorism coalition. (AFP 9/14; AP, HP, NYT, WP 9/15; JP [Internet], WT 9/16; XIN 9/16 in WNC 9/17; WJW 9/27; JP, MEI 9/28)

Meanwhile, 3 Palestinians are killed by IDF fire in Gaza. Israeli authorities detain Mufti of Jerusalem Shaykh Ikrima Sabri following Friday prayers for several hrs. of questioning regarding his recent visit to Beirut. In Gaza's Nussayrat refugee camp, 100s of Palestinians protest against the U.S.'s threat to attack Afghanistan, fearing the U.S.'s "international campaign against terrorism" will be campaign against Muslims; undercover PSF officers confiscate reporters' film. Some 40,000 Israeli Arabs in Umm al-Fahm Israel hold a similar rally, denouncing the killing of American civilians but also condemning U.S. support for Israel. (HP, WP, WT 9/15; WP 9/16; WT 9/17; al-Quds 9/18 in WNC 9/19; WJW 9/20; LAW 9/29)

 

The U.S. says it has more evidence linking Bin Laden to the 9/11 attacks. Laying the groundwork for a military response, Bush labels the attacks "acts of war," begins to rally "an international coalition to combat terrorism." The U.S. presses Pakistan in particular to cooperate with any U.S. military action against neighboring Afghanistan, Bin Laden's base of operations. Congress adopts (100-0 in the Senate, 408-0 in the House) a joint resolution that the admin. says frees the White House from having to seek a formal declaration of war to carry out military action. (AP 9/12; NYT, WP, WT 9/13; MENA, al-Ra'i 9/13 in WNC 9/14; Dawn [Islamabad] 9/17; MM 9/19; MEI 9/28)

Israel sends 22 tanks into Jinin and nearby Arraba and Tamun. Tanks shell targets while F-15s, F-16s drop bombs, killing 8 Palestinians, wounding 50, leveling the PSF headquarters and 2 Force 17 office in Jinin, 2 PSF offices in Arraba and Tamun. Among the dead are 3 suspected Islamic Jihad mbrs. who barricade themselves in a building in Arraba during an IDF arrest sweep, are killed when the IDF shells the building. IDF soldiers also open fire on 2 taxis nr. Gaza's al-Mahatin Junction, killing 2 Palestinians, injuring 8; arrest Palestinian Council (PC) mbr. Ahmad Zagayr (Fatah) in his Jerusalem office, take him to the Russian Compound prison; direct heavy machine gun fire at residential areas of al-Khadir, Khan Yunis; bulldoze Palestinian land for a new settler bypass road to Gush Katif; reinforces troops around Nablus; conduct arrest raids in Arraba, Hizma. A Jewish settler is killed by a Palestinian sniper nr. Qalqilya. (HP, MEZ, MM 9/12; AP, MM, NYT, WP, WT 9/13; MENA 9/13 in WNC 9/14; al-Quds 9/13, SA 9/14, al-Majallah 9/16 in WNC 9/17; WP 9/14; PMC 9/15; MEI 9/28)

In the U.S., as many as 20 hijackers commandeer 4 commercial jets bound from east coast airports to California. Minutes apart, 2 planes hit the World Trade Center (WTC) in New York City, destroying the twin towers and killing possibly 1,000s of people. Within an hr., the 3d plane hits the Pentagon in Washington, killing up to 200 people, and the 4th plane crashes in w. Pennsylvania, killing all aboard. Bush vows retaliation, saying, "We will make no distinction between those who committed these acts and those who harbored them." Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT), a mbr. of the Senate intelligence comm. claims that the U.S. intercepted reports by associates of Saudi dissident Osama Bin Laden saying they had hit 2 targets; another intelligence official says, however, that the information was not so definitive. Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the PA, Hamas, Afghanistan's ruling Taliban immediately condemn the attacks. (ATL, MENA 9/11 in WNC 9/12; JT 9/11, DUS, ITAR-TASS, JT, QA, al-Quds, al-Ra'i 9/12 in WNC 9/13; HP, MM, NYT, PR, WP, WT 9/12; AFP, HA, WJW 9/13; WP 9/15; MENA 9/16 in WNC 9/17; JP 9/21; JP, MEI 9/28)

Hopes for an Arafat-Peres mtg. fade as Israel steps up its attack on Jinin. Before dawn, IDF tanks encircle the town, cut electricity, shell residential areas of Jinin and a nearby refugee camp, killing 2 Palestinians. A 3d Palestinian is fatally shot when the IDF opens fire on a taxi in Gaza. The IDF also shells areas of Gaza City, hitting 2 factories, a PSF office. Palestinian snipers fatally shoot 2 IDF soldiers nr. Tulkarm. Israel's Jerusalem Municipality demolishes 3 Palestinian homes in Bayt Hanina, issues demolition orders for another 5 houses. (AP, BBC, LAW, MM, NYT, WP 9/11; MEZ, NYT, WP 9/12; LAW 9/20; MEI 9/28)

U.S. Pres. George W. Bush phones Israeli PM Ariel Sharon to offer his condolences for recent Israeli casualties, to stress the importance of avoiding further escalations. Sharon says he is trying to ease the economic blockade on the Palestinians (see 8/14, 8/15), but adds that Israel will continue to protect its citizens, including via assassinations, which he terms "preventive actions." Meanwhile, the Israel Defense Force (IDF) tightens the closures on Nablus, Qalqilya, Ramallah; bulldozes Palestinian agricultural land around Itamar settlement. Jewish settlers stone a Palestinian taxi passing Shilo settlement nr. Nablus, causing the car to crash, killing the driver, injuring 6 passengers. Elsewhere, settlers take over small West Bank settlement of Sanur, abandoned by residents when the al-Aqsa intifada began, converts an old mosque into a synagogue; fire on Palestinian farmers nr Itamar, injuring 5. In an apparent assassination attempt, Palestinian Ibrahim al-Habisha is critically injured when his cell phone explodes, 5 bystanders are lightly injured. Palestinians fire 2 mortars at Morag settlement in Gaza, causing no damage. The IDF directs shells, heavy machine gun fire at residential areas of Hebron. (HA 8/16; MA 8/16 in WNC 8/17; HP, NYT, WP, WT 8/17; PMC 8/18)

Israeli-Palestinian clashes leave a total of 2 Palestinian, 1 Jewish settler dead. Israeli DM Ben-Eliezer approves deployment of special forces units to bolster the IDF in the West Bank; some units will operate undercover, lying in ambush for Palestinian attackers, while others will operate overtly in a show of force. Jewish settlers increase vigilante attacks in the West Bank, shooting at and stoning Palestinian cars, beating a group of Palestinians nr. Nablus. In Bethlehem, a Palestinian, previously questioned by the PSF for selling land to Israelis, is killed in a drive-by shooting outside his home, raising speculation that Palestinians targeted him as a collaborator. (HA, MM, NYT 6/1; HP 6/2)

In Washington, Israeli pres. Moshe Katsav meets separately with Bush, Powell; asks the U.S. to set a deadline for the Palestinians to halt attacks on Israel. Bush makes no commitment. Afterwards, Katsav says Bush did not ask Israel not to retaliate against Palestinian attacks; warns Arafat that he has a "few days, no more" to end the violence or face a sharply escalated IDF military response. Powell phones Arafat and asks him to "implement the Mitchell Comm.'s call for an immediate, unconditional cease-fire." (JP [Internet] 5/31; WP, WT 6/1; WJW 6/7)

Orient House head and PLO Jerusalem Affairs M Faisal Husseini dies unexpectedly of a heart attack in Kuwait. (BBC, CNN, HA, JP [Internet] 5/31; AFP 5/31 in WNC 6/1; MM, WP, WT 6/1; DUS 6/11 in WNC 6/12; al-Quds 6/20 in WNC 6/22)