137 / 14704 Results
  • January 10, 2008

    In Ramallah, PSF officers violently disperse (using batons and tear gas) several 100 anti-Bush protesters attending a rally organized by Hizb al-Tahrir, injuring more than 25. (WP 1/11; OCHA 1/16...

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  • June 14, 2007

    Hamas presses its offensive in Gaza, taking over all PA ministry offices in Gaza City, securing control of Rafah, forcing PSF officers to surrender their Gaza City headquarters (after destroying...

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  • May 19, 2007

    The IDF makes 7 air strikes on Gaza, targeting 2 Hamas rocket-launching sites in n. Gaza, killing 3 Palestinian shepherds, 1 Palestinian child; hitting a car driving in Gaza City, assassinating...

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  • May 17, 2007

    The IDF makes at least 6 air strikes on Gaza, killing 9 Palestinians, wounding 10s. Air strikes target an ESF barracks outside the Interior Min. (killing 1 ESF mbr., wounding at least 21...

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  • May 16, 2007

    As part of an ongoing crackdown on Hamas in Gaza, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) makes an air strike on a Rafah building controlled by the Executive Support Force (ESF)—a branch of the...

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  • May 15, 2007

    In Gaza, Fatah-Hamas fighting intensifies, leaving at least 15 Palestinians dead. Among the incidents: PA presidential guardsmen fatally shoot Izzeddin al-Qassam Brigades cmdr. Ibrahim Maniah nr....

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  • February 1, 2007

    IDF troops on the Gaza border fires on a group of Palestinians in the fmr. Nisanit settlement area nr. the border fence nr. Bayt Lahiya, wounding 1. In the West Bank, the IDF sends an undercover...

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  • January 27, 2007

    The IDF sends an undercover unit into Rummana nr. Jenin, raiding a home and fatally shooting a wanted Islamic Jihad mbr. in an apparent assassination; conducts arrest raids, house searches nr....

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  • January 26, 2007

    The IDF injures a 13-yr.-old Palestinian boy in a hit-and-run incident nr. Tubas; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Abu Dis, nr. Hebron. Jewish settlers fr. several settlements nr....

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  • January 3, 2007

    IDF soldiers on the n. Gaza border fire on a group of Palestinians scavenging in the fmr. Dugit settlement site n. of Bayt Lahiya, wounding 1. IDF soldiers on the central Gaza border fire on...

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  • December 20, 2006

    IDF troops on the n. Gaza border nr. Bayt Lahiya fire on a group of Palestinian farmers who stray too nr. the border fence, wounding 1. The Israeli navy fire machine guns at Palestinian fishing...

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  • December 17, 2006

    In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Jenin, searching several stores; conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Hebron; demolishes a new addition to a Palestinian home nr. Hebron. In a...

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  • December 13, 2006

    IDF troops at Gaza’s Qarni crossing fatally shoot a Palestinian who strays close to the border fence, marking the 1st IDF killing since the 11/26 cease-fire went into effect. Israeli naval vessels...

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  • December 1, 2006

    The AMB fires a rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, violating the unilateral Palestinian truce but causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Anabta nr. Tulkarm (firing on...

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  • October 1, 2006

    The IDF sends troops, tanks, bulldozers into n. Gaza to occupy border areas nr. Bayt Hanun (the Shurrab Farm area), Bayt Lahiya to deter Palestinian rocket fire. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols...

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  • August 7, 2006

    In the West Bank, the IDF sends undercover units into Azun in a car with Palestinian license plates, surrounds a home, arrests 1 PSF mbr. who surrenders; conducts random ID checks in, fires on...

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  • June 21, 2006

    In Gaza, the IDF makes 2 air strikes on Islamic Jihad mbrs. driving in Khan Yunis, missing the car, hitting the street and a house, killing 2 Palestinian bystanders, including a pregnant woman,...

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  • June 12, 2006

    The IDF sends undercover units into Tulkarm in a car with Palestinian license plates to arrest a wanted Palestinian; later sends a 2d undercover unit into Tulkarm that is intercepted by PA...

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  • May 24, 2006

    The IDF sends undercover units into Ramallah’s central shopping district, where they arrest Islamic Jihad’s Qalqilya military leader Muhammad Shubaki; when the unit is confronted by armed...

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  • May 22, 2006

    The IDF detains Change and Reform PC mbrs. Khalid Abu ‘Arafa, Ahmad Abu Atun, Muhammad Abu Tir for participating in a public demonstration at the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount on 5/19 to urge...

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  • March 22, 2004

    The IDF assassinates Hamas spiritual leader and founder Shaykh Ahmad Yasin, firing 3 internationally banned flechette missiles at him as he leaves a Gaza City mosque after morning prayers, also...

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  • February 11, 2004

    The IDF stages a major raid on Gaza City (reportedly in response to recent attacks on nearby Jewish settlements that caused no injuries), sparking an intense exchange of gunfire with Hamas,...

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  • January 29, 2004

    A Palestinian suicide bomber detonates a device on a crowded bus nr. Sharon’s official residence in West Jerusalem, killing 10 Israelis, wounding 44. The bomber, whom the PA confirms was a...

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  • November 24, 2003

    The IDF conducts arrest raids in Tubas; fires on residential areas of Khan Yunis; bulldozes 39 dunams of land in al-Bureij r.c. The PSF raids a mosque in Aida r.c. nr. Bethlehem, arresting Hamas...

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  • November 7, 2003

    The IDF reinforces its troop presence in n. Jerusalem, surrounding villages; sends tanks, troops into Maghazi r.c. in search of wanted Palestinians, shells residential areas (wounding 5,...

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  • October 4, 2003

    A female Islamic Jihad suicide bomber detonates a device in a Haifa restaurant, killing 14 Israeli Jews, 5 Israeli Arabs, wounding around 50. (The bomber, Hanadi Taysir Jaradat, who had just...

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  • September 18, 2003

    The IDF fatally shoots wanted Hamas Nussayrat r.c. leader Jihad Abu Sawarih when he allegedly resists arrest; 3 IDF soldiers are injured in the operation, at least 1 by a 2d Hamas mbr. who fires...

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  • August 17, 2003

    The IDF begins construction of 2 permanent, fortified military posts in the PAcontrolled section of Hebron, on 10 dunams (4 dunams = 1 acre) of confiscated land in Abu Sunayna, 40 dunams of...

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  • July 19, 2003

    Mbrs. of the AMB’s Jenin faction pull Jenin mayor Haidar Irshayd fr. his car, beat and kidnap him, alleging he is corrupt and has collaborated with Israel, demanding the PA put him on trial; they...

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  • July 3, 2003

    As gestures to the PA, Israel announces a halt to deporting families of West Bank Palestinian militants to Gaza; releases 34 Palestinian prisoners, including senior Gaza PSF official Sulayman Abu...

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In Ramallah, PSF officers violently disperse (using batons and tear gas) several 100 anti-Bush protesters attending a rally organized by Hizb al-Tahrir, injuring more than 25. (WP 1/11; OCHA 1/16; PCHR 1/17; WP 1/22)

After meeting with Abbas in Ramallah and for a 2d time with Olmert in Jerusalem, Bush issues his most comprehensive statement to date on his vision of a final peace agreement, saying that Palestinian refugees should receive compensation for the homes and property lost in 1948, but also reiterating statements made in his 4/04 letter to then-PM Ariel Sharon (see Doc. B of the Special Documents in JPS 132) that adjustments should be made to the 1967 borders to accommodate major Jewish settlement blocs. (NYT, WP, WT 1/11)

Hamas presses its offensive in Gaza, taking over all PA ministry offices in Gaza City, securing control of Rafah, forcing PSF officers to surrender their Gaza City headquarters (after destroying all equipment, computers, archives; eye-witness reports say Hamas mbrs. summarily execute at least 7 PSF mbrs.) and other main security compounds; capturing and executing Fatah’s n. Gaza cmdr. Samih al-Madhun. At least 27 Palestinians are killed (14 of them in the fight for the PSF headquarters), 70 wounded in fighting during the day. Nearly 100 senior Fatah security and admin. officials flee Gaza for Egypt by boat (Egypt has already returned the 40 PA presidential guards who fled on 6/13). At the same time, the IDF occupies hills outside Bayt Lahiya to prevent rocket fire into Israel. With Gaza under almost complete Hamas control, Abbas declares a state of emergency, fires Haniyeh, and dissolves the national unity government. He also for the first time orders PA/Fatah forces to take offensive action against Hamas. Late in the evening, Hamas gains control of Abbas’s Gaza City offices, the only remaining Gaza institution still in the hands of Fatah/the PA. In the West Bank, PA forces under Abbas’s control begin rounding up 10s of Hamas mbrs. In and around Nablus and in Jenin, Tulkarm, masked AMB mbrs. raid offices affiliated with Hamas, Change and Reform, looting and sometimes setting fire to them, exchanging fire with Hamas mbrs., leaving at least 13 Palestinians injured. The AMB also abducts 5 Hamas mbrs. in Jenin. Meanwhile, Abbas’s national security adviser Muhammad Dahlan (the U.S. and Israel’s hope for restoring order to Gaza) returns from an extended stay in Egypt, where he underwent minor surgery, going to Ramallah instead of Gaza to confer with Abbas. Meanwhile, the IDF sends an undercover unit into Saida nr. Tulkarm, driving a car with Palestinian license plates, assassinating wanted AMB mbr. Muhammad Twair in a driveby shooting, also wounding 2 bystanders; sends patrols in Ithna nr. Hebron, Kafr Dan and Kafr Ra’i nr. Jenin, firing on residential areas and on stone-throwing youths who confront them, seriously wounding 1 Palestinian. Jewish settlers burn 10s of olive trees nr. Tulkarm; the IDF bars firefighters fr. reaching the scene. In Gaza, 5 Palestinian children (ages 10–15) are killed and 4 (ages 9–16) are wounded by IDF UXO nr. Shuka while collecting scrap metal; the 8 children are from 3 families: 2 Mansour boys are killed, 2 Hessi boys are killed, and 1 Barbakh boy is killed and 4 are wounded. (AFP, Jerusalem Post, MENA, MNA 6/14 in WNC 6/15; AP, BBC, NYT, WP, WT 6/15; WP 6/18; PCHR 6/21)

The IDF makes 7 air strikes on Gaza, targeting 2 Hamas rocket-launching sites in n. Gaza, killing 3 Palestinian shepherds, 1 Palestinian child; hitting a car driving in Gaza City, assassinating Hamas’s Muhiy al-Din al-Sirhi, also killing 2 civilians traveling with him; destroying the Gaza City home of Hamas mbr. Imad Dallul in an apparent assassination attempt, wounding him and 3 other Hamas mbrs.; destroying 4 alleged weapons factories in Bayt Hanun, Bayt Lahiya, and Nussayrat r.c., damaging nearby homes. The IDF also shells residential areas in Bayt Hanun, injuring a Palestinian woman, 4 children. In Gaza City, 3 Palestinians are injured by IDF UXO; 3 Hamas mbrs. are injured when explosives they are handling detonate prematurely. Hamas fires an RPG at an IDF bulldozer leveling land along the Gaza border fence, injuring 2 IDF soldiers; fires 5 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, starting a brush fire but causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in, fires on residential areas of Nablus. Jewish settlers fr. Tel Rumeida in Hebron beat 2 international peace activists escorting Palestinian children nr. Beit Hadasah settlement. Jewish settlers fr. Itamar nr. Nablus burn Palestinian olive trees in nearby Bayt Furik. Meanwhile, at least 6 Palestinians are wounded in factional fighting in Gaza that includes a gun fight btwn. ESF and NSF mbrs. in Gaza City, a Hamas attack on a PSF base in Rafah, and Fatah’s kidnapping and malicious wounding of 2 Hamas mbrs. in Gaza City. NSF officers manning several checkpoints reportedly harass observant Muslims, ordering women to remove their head coverings and arresting bearded men on suspicion of being Hamas mbrs., raising public outrage against Fatah. Another Egyptian-brokered cease-fire (involving 3 phone conversations btwn. Abbas, Damascus-based Hamas leader Khalid Mishal) that was to go into effect at 3:00 P.M. local time is ignored by Hamas and Fatah. (NYT, WP 5/20; PCHR 5/21; OCHA 5/23; PCHR 5/24)

The IDF makes at least 6 air strikes on Gaza, killing 9 Palestinians, wounding 10s. Air strikes target an ESF barracks outside the Interior Min. (killing 1 ESF mbr., wounding at least 21 Palestinians, including at least 10 bystanders); a civilian car (apparently mistaken for a Hamas vehicle) driving nr. Rafah, killing 2 Palestinian children, wounding their father, 2 siblings; a trailer used to house ESF mbrs. guarding Interior Min. spokesman Khalid Abu Hilal’s home, killing 1 ESF mbr., wounding 4; a Hamas base e. of Gaza City nr. Qarni, killing 4 Hamas mbrs., 1 bystander and wounding 4 Hamas mbrs., 2 bystanders; a car in Gaza City, in an apparent attempt to assassinate Izzeddin al-Qassam Brigades (IQB) cmdr. Imad Shabanah and a 2d senior Hamas mbr., wounding them, 4 bystanders. The IDF reoccupies an area of prime Palestinian agricultural land northeast of Bayt Hanun and northwest of Bayt Lahiya to expand its n. Gaza buffer zone, declaring the area off limits to Palestinians farmers, leveling land; deploys an artillery battery on the n. Gaza border, shelling areas nr. Bayt Lahiya and in Jabaliya r.c. (targeting Islamic Jihad mbrs.), causing no injuries; sends tanks into n. Gaza to conduct “limited ground operations” to halt Palestinian rocket fire, occupying buildings in Bayt Lahiya, and later Bayt Hanun and Jabaliya r.c. (The U.S. supports Israel’s “right to defend itself.”) A Palestinian teenager is injured in Jabaliya r.c. when he accidentally triggers unexploded IDF ordnance (IDF UXO). Palestinians fire at least 17 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, wounding several Israelis and damaging a synagogue, high school, and industrial building. (The Israeli DMin. evacuates 900 residents fr. Sederot, where most rockets have hit, taking them for a “weekend respite” at a recreation center in Netanya; about half of the town’s 24,000 residents have left.) In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Salfit, Tulkarm (firing on stone-throwing Palestinians who confront them, wounding 2) and in Hebron (also raiding a wedding in Hebron, interrogating celebrants and arresting 3), Nablus; sends troops to patrol in Bayt Fajjar nr. Bethlehem, firing on residential areas and stonethrowing youths who confront the troops, killing 1 Palestinian teenager, wounding a 2d. Meanwhile, a new Hamas-Fatah ceasefire significantly reduces violence in Gaza, though at least 6 Palestinians are killed in clashes during the day. The dead include a Hamas mbr. kidnapped, executed by Fatah; a Hamas mbr. killed by a Fatah sniper; 4 Hamas supporters killed, 14 wounded when Fatah forces ambush a funeral for 2 ESF mbrs. killed on 5/16. Hamas mbrs. also attack PA national security forces (NSF) and PSF headquarters in n. Gaza. With the PA security forces unable to guarantee his security, Abbas delays plans to go to Gaza today to discuss the interfactional fighting. (AP, HA, REU 5/17; IFM, NYT, WP, WT 5/18; PCHR 5/21; OCHA 5/23; PCHR 5/24)

As part of an ongoing crackdown on Hamas in Gaza, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) makes an air strike on a Rafah building controlled by the Executive Support Force (ESF)—a branch of the Palestinian Authority (PA) Interior Min. loyal to Hamasaffiliated PM Ismail Haniyeh—killing 3 ESF mbrs. and wounding at least 21 ESF mbrs., 3 mbrs. of the Fatah-affiliated PA Preventive Security Force (PSF) in a PSF office nearby, 3 bystanders (including 2 journalists). Hamas mbrs. fire 12 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, hitting a home in Sederot, moderately injuring 1 Israeli, and hitting a transformer, cutting electricity to 24,000 residents. The IDF responds with an air strike on a house nr. Jabaliya refugee camp (r.c.), killing 2 Hamas mbrs., wounding 3. Israeli PM Ehud Olmert convenes his security cabinet which authorizes the IDF to carry out “severe and harsh” attacks on Gaza, including assassinations of resistance leaders, to prevent further rocket fire, effectively ending the 11/26/06 Gaza cease-fire, frequently violated by both sides. Meanwhile in Gaza, factional fighting btwn. Fatah, Hamas (ongoing since PA Pres. Mahmud Abbas [Fatah] deployed 1,000s of PA security forces under his control without coordinating with either independent Interior M Hani al-Qawasmi, who resigned in protest, or ESF cmdrs. on the ground) escalates sharply, particularly in Gaza City, leaving at least 20 Palestinians dead, 10s wounded, and a number of Fatah and Hamas mbrs. kidnapped. Among the incidents: an Egyptian official is fatally shot by Fatah mbrs. while walking the streets of Rafah with Fatah and Change and Reform legislators to test the intra-Palestinian cease-fire declared on 5/15; Hamas mbrs. ambush a PSF vehicle not knowing that it is transporting Hamas detainees, killing 5 Hamas mbrs., 2 PSF mbrs.; Fatah makes a retaliatory strike on an ESF post outside the Interior Min.’s offices in Gaza City, firing rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), killing 4 ESF mbrs.; some 200 Hamas mbrs. attack and occupy the home of PA internal security head Rashid Abu Shibak (who is not home at the time), killing at least 4 bodyguards; Hamas mbrs. fire mortars at Abbas’s Gaza residence, causing no injuries; Hamas mbrs. fire antitank rockets at the PA General Intelligence base nr. Shati‘ r.c. (After Fatah’s attacks today, the ESF, which has largely remained in its barracks, deploys “to respond with all our power” to further attacks.) Among the wounded are 8 Palestinian civilians among 200 who turned out in Gaza City to protest the interfactional violence and who placed themselves btwn. Fatah and Hamas gunmen to prevent further clashes. Palestinians in Ramallah observe a 1-day general strike to protest the factional violence. Midday, Hamas announces a unilateral cease-fire to begin at 8:00 P.M. local time, and Abbas calls on Fatah mbrs. to follow suit, but gun battles resume within hrs., leaving 2 Fatah mbrs. dead, 10 Palestinians wounded (included in totals above). Israeli Vice PM Shimon Peres says that Israel would respond favorably if Abbas asked for assistance in quelling the violence. Meanwhile, in the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids in al-Til nr. Tulkarm (deliberately setting fire to a Palestinian home, damaging 5 others), neighboring Allar, and in and around Balata r.c. and Nablus. Jewish settlers fire on Palestinian homes in Bayt Furik nr. Nablus, causing no injuries; the IDF intervenes, removes the settlers. (BBC, HA, REU 5/16; IFM, NYT, WP, WT 5/17; PCHR 5/21; OCHA 5/23; PCHR 5/24)

In Gaza, Fatah-Hamas fighting intensifies, leaving at least 15 Palestinians dead. Among the incidents: PA presidential guardsmen fatally shoot Izzeddin al-Qassam Brigades cmdr. Ibrahim Maniah nr. Qarni (Hamas claims he was assassinated, Fatah says he died in an exchange of gunfire); in retaliation, Hamas mbrs. attack a PA presidential guard training facility at the Qarni crossing with rockets, mortars, and RPGs, also firing on other PA security forces who come to the guardsmen’s aid, killing 8 national security officers. IDF troops on the Gaza border nearby fire on 2 guardsmen fleeing the scene toward the border fence, killing 1. Outside Abbas’s Gaza City offices, PA security forces loyal to Abbas halt, harass, shoot execution-style 2 Palestinian reporters for a pro-Hamas newspaper. A 12th Palestinian is killed in interfactional fighting in Gaza City. Across the Strip, Palestinian civilians stay in their homes and most stores close, while Fatah and Hamas gunmen take up strategic positions along roads and atop high buildings, and Egyptian mediators work to establish a new cease-fire. PA National Security Adviser Muhammad Dahlan, currently abroad, orders 500 Fatah-affiliated PSF mbrs. undergoing training in Egypt to return to Gaza immediately to help defend the pro-Abbas forces; Israel gives its consent for the forces to enter. Hamas also fires more than 20 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, hitting a house and empty school, seriously wounding 1 Israeli, moderately wounding another. Meanwhile, in the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Nablus, nr. Hebron. (BBC, HA, NYT, OCHA, WP 5/16; PCHR, WP 5/17; WP 5/18)

IDF troops on the Gaza border fires on a group of Palestinians in the fmr. Nisanit settlement area nr. the border fence nr. Bayt Lahiya, wounding 1. In the West Bank, the IDF sends an undercover unit in a car with Palestinian license plates into Tulkarm r.c., fires on a group of Palestinians wounding 4 (an AMB mbr., an Islamic Jihad mbr., 2 bystanders ages 10 and 16), then fires 5 shots at 1 of the wounded, AMB mbr. Jasr Zughayb, assassinating him; fatally shoots 2 AMB mbrs. in an exchange of fire in Nablus, also demolishing the home in which they were staying; fatally shoots a 17-yr.-old Palestinian who attempts to cut through the separation fence nr. Ramallah; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Abu Dis; raids the Modern College building in Beitunia nr. Ramallah, firing on PSF officers dispatched to the scene responding to reports of suspicious activity, killing 2 PSF officers. In Gaza, a combined group of Hamas, ESF mbrs. acting on rumors of Fatah of smuggling weapons halt, demand to inspect a 4-truck convoy escorted by Abbas’s presidential guard that entered Gaza fr. Israel through the Kerem Shalom crossing, sparking an exchange of gunfire that leaves at least 5 Palestinians dead (including 4 presidential guardsmen, 1 female bystander), 34 wounded (including 14 bystanders); the shipment of supplies (widely believed to be arms and ammunition though in separate statements, Fatah says it is food and medical supplies, equipment and tents, generators and spare parts) fr. the UAE reportedly was organized by Gaza strongman Dahlan, with the knowledge of the U.S. and Israel, and was intended for guard units loyal to him; the contents of the trucks cannot be confirmed, as they are seized during the clash (it is unclear by whom). The convoy incident precipitates Fatah-Hamas gunfights across the Strip that kill at least 3 Palestinians, wound at least another 50, and end a 3-day truce. In the most serious incidents: PA Presidential Guard units storm the Islamic University campus, clash with ESF mbrs. guarding the campus (leaving 22 wounded), claim to seize a large weapons cache and to detain 7 Iranian “explosives experts”; Hamas denies the presence of any Iranians in Gaza, Fatah does not give any proof of the arrests, Israel and the U.S. say they cannot corroborate the story; suspected Fatah gunmen fire on Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhum nr. Gaza City, causing no injuries. Other Fatah-Hamas clashes are reported in Bayt Hanun, Bureij r.c., Gaza City, Jabaliya r.c., Khan Yunis, Rafah. In Gaza City, 5,000 Palestinians attend a rally organized by the National and Islamic Higher Comm. for the Follow-up of the Intifada (NIHC) calling for a cessation to intra-Palestinian violence. Abbas issues a presidential decree taking over 18 acres of Palestinian land nr. the Qarni crossing for construction of a presidential guard training base, to be funded by Western donors; the UN will provide training; a 16-acre presidential guard base and intelligence services training college is also being built in Jericho. (MM 2/1; NYT, WP, WT 2/2; WP 2/3; Middle East Newsline 2/5; MM 2/6; OCHA 2/7; PCHR 2/8; NYT 2/23; JTA 3/4)

The IDF sends an undercover unit into Rummana nr. Jenin, raiding a home and fatally shooting a wanted Islamic Jihad mbr. in an apparent assassination; conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Ramallah. In Gaza, most of the Strip shuts down and streets empty as heavy Hamas-Fatah fighting continues in Gaza City for a 3d day, leaving at least another 6 Palestinians dead (including 2 PSF mbrs., 2 Hamas mbrs., a 12-yr.-old boy), at least 23 wounded. A Hamas mbr. dies of injuries received in clashes with the PSF in Gaza City on 1/26. Hamas, Fatah officials negotiate the release of 7 Hamas mbrs., 4 Fatah mbrs. kidnapped in recent days in Khan Yunis; around 12 Fatah and Hamas mbrs. remain in captivity. (NYT, WP, WT 1/28; OCHA 1/31; PCHR 2/1)

The IDF injures a 13-yr.-old Palestinian boy in a hit-and-run incident nr. Tubas; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Abu Dis, nr. Hebron. Jewish settlers fr. several settlements nr. Bethlehem close off a main road southeast of Bethlehem to Palestinian traffic to protest the IDF’s ban on their using the road. In Jabaliya r.c, Hamas gunmen surround the home of local Fatah leader Mansur Shalail, attempting to detain him in connection with the killing of 2 Hamas supporters; after several hrs.10s of Hamas mbrs. storm the house exchange fire with Shalail and a supporter, leaving 2 Hamas mbrs. dead and withdrawing without detaining or harming Shalail. Meanwhile, Fatah mbrs. storm the al-Hidaya mosque in Gaza City, open fire on worshipers, killing 5 Palestinians, and taking 10 Hamas mbrs. hostage, threaten to kill them if Shalail is harmed; the 10 are not released after Shalail is left unharmed. The incident sparks heavily clashes (including mortar and RPG fire) btwn. Hamas, Fatah mbrs. in Gaza City, including a Hamas attacks on the PSF headquarters, gun battles outside the residences of Abbas, Zahhar, PA internal security head Rashid Abu Shibak of Fatah. Clashes are also reported in and around Jabaliya, in Khan Yunis. In total, 14 Palestinians are killed (including a 2-yr.-old boy killed during an exchange of gunfire btwn. Hamas, Fatah mbrs. in Khan Yunis), 45 wounded in intra-Palestinian fighting during the day. Fatah, Hamas say that national unity talks will be suspended until fighting ceases, each blaming the other for staring the violence. Hamas claims that talks were close to an agmt. when “putschists inside Fatah rushed to blow up the situation to serve their own interests and a foreign agenda.” (NYT, WP, WT 1/27; NYT, WT 1/28; OCHA 1/31; PCHR 2/1; AIC 2/13)

IDF soldiers on the n. Gaza border fire on a group of Palestinians scavenging in the fmr. Dugit settlement site n. of Bayt Lahiya, wounding 1. IDF soldiers on the central Gaza border fire on Palestinian shepherds who stray nr. the border fence nr. Bureij r.c., causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in Bayt Kahil, Tubas, and nr. Bethlehem, Tulkarm (targeting Islamic Jihad); issues a military order confiscating 200 d. of Palestinian land nr. Tulkarm to build a fence around Avnei Hefetz settlement. The Israeli High Court rules that Palestinian residents of al-Hadidiyya (pop. 80) in the Jordan Valley pose a security threat to Jewish settlers in Ro’i settlement and must vacate the village by 2/10 or face eviction. In Bayt Lahiya, suspected Hamas gunmen fatally shoot an AMB mbr.; suspected Fatah mbrs. ambush an ESF patrol, wounding 2 ESF mbrs.; suspected Hamas mbrs. then kidnap 4 Fatah mbrs. In Khan Yunis, PSF and ESF forces clash, leaving 3 PSF officers dead (each side claims the other fired first); suspected Hamas mbrs. kidnap a PSF officer. In Jabaliya r.c, Fatah, Hamas mbrs. exchange gunfire, killing 1 Palestinian bystander, wounding 9 Palestinians. In Tulkarm, unidentified gunmen fire on the Religious Affairs Min., causing no injuries. (REU 1/3; MM, NYT, WP, WT 1/4; OCHA 1/10; PCHR 1/11; OCHA 1/31)

IDF troops on the n. Gaza border nr. Bayt Lahiya fire on a group of Palestinian farmers who stray too nr. the border fence, wounding 1. The Israeli navy fire machine guns at Palestinian fishing boats off the Rafah coast, damaging several but causing no injuries. Palestinians fire 9 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF makes an overnight arrest raid on Silat al-Harithiyya, exchanging fire with and fatally shooting 2 wanted Islamic Jihad mbrs.; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Bayt Sahur (raiding the offices of the Islamic Association), Dahaysha r.c. nr. Bethlehem. The Fatah-Hamas ceasefire in Gaza generally holds, though just after it is announced, PA Preventive Security Force (PSF) mbrs. controlled by Abbas fire on a group of Hamas mbrs. in Gaza City, sparking an exchange that leaves 2 PSF mbrs. dead. During a funeral process for the men in Gaza City later in the day, Fatah mbrs. fire in the air, set cars on fire, but cause no injuries. (IFM, NYT, PCHR 12/21; OCHA 12/27; PCHR 12/28)

In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Jenin, searching several stores; conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Hebron; demolishes a new addition to a Palestinian home nr. Hebron. In a predawn raid on a Force 17 training camp in Gaza, suspected Hamas gunmen kill a Force 17 officer. In Gaza City, suspected Fatah gunmen fire on PA FM Mahmud Zahhar’s motorcade in an apparent assassination attempt, causing no injuries. Hrs. later, suspected Hamas mbrs. direct gunfire, several mortars at the presidential compound in Gaza City (Abbas is not there), hitting inside the compound and a nearby home, wounding 5 Palestinians; in response, PA security forces under Abbas’s control take over the Agriculture and Transportation Mins. to “secure the area.” Fatah-Hamas clashes continue in Gaza City and Jabaliya, leaving at least 3 Palestinians dead (a PSF colonel, a Presidential Guard mbr., a female bystander), at least 24 wounded. After nightfall, senior PA security officer and Fatah mbr. Col. Adnan Rahmi is found shot dead in n. Gaza. Fatah mbrs. kidnap several Hamas mbrs. in n. Gaza. In the evening, Fatah, Hamas agree on a cease-fire, removing armed mbrs. fr. the streets. (NYT, WP, WT 12/17; OCHA 12/20; PCHR 12/21)

IDF troops at Gaza’s Qarni crossing fatally shoot a Palestinian who strays close to the border fence, marking the 1st IDF killing since the 11/26 cease-fire went into effect. Israeli naval vessels fire on Palestinian fisherman off the coast nr. Rafah, wounding 3. In the West Bank, a Palestinian stabs, wounds a private Israeli security contractor at Qalandia checkpoint outside Jerusalem. The IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in ‘Askar r.c., Balata r.c., Tulkarm r.c. and nr. Bethlehem, Hebron, Jenin, Nablus, Qalqilya; begins work on a new segment of the separation wall s. of Tulkarm that will isolate 2,000 d. of Palestinian land btwn. the wall and the Green Line. The Israeli High Court rules that a section of the separation wall northeast of Jerusalem btwn. Dahiyat al-Barid and alRama may stand. In Jenin, AMB gunmen fire on the governorate building, set fire to a PA police station, exchange fire with police (injuring a 14-yr.-old bystander) to protest the fatal PA police shooting of an AMB mbr. in an incident involving a stolen vehicle. In Nussayrat r.c., unidentified assailants throw an explosive device into a crowd of Hamas supporters holding a rally, injuring several. In Gaza City, ESF, PSF mbrs. exchange fire, wounding a Palestinian girl. In Khan Yunis, suspected Fatah gunmen assassinate Hamas cmdr. Bassam al-Farra, forcing him to kneel, shooting him execution-style; Haniyeh, currently in the Sudan, cuts short his regional tour to return to Gaza to deal with the escalating intra-Palestinian violence. (NYT, PCHR, WP, WT 12/14; OCHA 12/20; PCHR 12/21; AIC 1/17)

The AMB fires a rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, violating the unilateral Palestinian truce but causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Anabta nr. Tulkarm (firing on residential areas and shops, causing no casualties), ‘Azun (firing on residential areas and stone-throwing youths who confront troops, wounding a 13-yr.-old Palestinian), Tulkarm (firing on homes, causing no injuries); conducts arrest raids in Bayt Sahur. Possibly related to ongoing Fatah-Hamas violence, a PSF officer is found shot dead in his home in Jabaliya. (MM 12/1; NYT 12/2; OCHA 12/6; PCHR 12/7)

The IDF sends troops, tanks, bulldozers into n. Gaza to occupy border areas nr. Bayt Hanun (the Shurrab Farm area), Bayt Lahiya to deter Palestinian rocket fire. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in, fires on residential areas of Tubas. In Gaza City, Fatah-led protests demanding that the Hamas-led government pay back salaries owed civil servants escalate dramatically, with some 3,000 Fatah-affiliated security forces attacking members of the predominantly Hamas ESF, sparking clashes that leave 6 Palestinians dead (3 bystanders, 1 Force 17 officer, 1 PSF officer, 1 ESF officer), around 61 wounded; the ESF reportedly uses grenades, antitank weapons, rifles to break up the demonstration and arrests 25 protesters. During the day, demonstrations spread to Khan Yunis (where Fatah-affiliated security officers clash with the ESF, leaving 26 wounded), al-Bureij r.c. (where Fatah, Hamas mbrs. exchange fire, killing 2 Palestinians), Ramallah (where AMB mbrs. demonstrate for the removal of the Hamasled government and vandalize, partially burn the empty PC building and adjacent building, vandalizing a Hamas newspaper office, temporarily occupying the PA Education Min.), as well as in Askar r.c. (where Fatah, Hamas mbrs. trade fire, wounding 1 Palestinian), Balata r.c. (where protesters attack a women’s center, a youth center), Hebron (where Fatah protesters ransack, set fire to offices of Hamas-affiliated PC mbrs.), Nablus (where Fatah mbrs. ransack, torch offices of Hamas-affiliated PC mbrs.; vandalize 2 Islamic private schools, wounding 2 Palestinians; fire on the home of an al-Jazeera TV reporter), and Salfit (where protesters attack the al-Nahda association offices). Late in the evening in Gaza City, suspected Hamas mbrs. throw grenades at a group of PSF protesters, killing 1 PSF mbr., wounding 30. Late in the evening, PA Interior M Siyam orders the ESF to return to barracks to reduce tensions. Abbas, Haniyeh appeal for calm. (AP, NYT, WP, WT 10/2; PCHR 10/5)

The IDF completes its withdrawal fr. Lebanon at 2:30 A.M. local time (8:30 P.M. 9/30 ET) but vows to continue surveillance overflights of Lebanon until UN Res. 1701 is implemented in full, including the release of 2 captured IDF soldiers and disarmament of Hizballah. The UN says that the overflights constitute violations of the cease-fire. (NYT, WP 10/1; NYT 10/2; see also NYT 9/27) (see 9/8, 9/19)

In the West Bank, the IDF sends undercover units into Azun in a car with Palestinian license plates, surrounds a home, arrests 1 PSF mbr. who surrenders; conducts random ID checks in, fires on residential areas of Kafr Dan nr. Jenin; conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Jenin and Nablus, in Dahaysha r.c., nr. Bethlehem, Hebron; burns 70 d. of agricultural land btwn. the separation wall and the Green Line nr. Tulkarm (see 8/5). In Ramallah, 7 Palestinians working in the PC building are taken to the hospital with breathing difficulties after opening a suspicious letter addressed to PM Haniyeh; the building is evacuated. The PA head of military intelligence for n. Gaza dies of injuries received in an ambush in Jabaliya r.c. on 8/6; no group claims responsibility. (AP 8/7; WP 8/8; OCHA 8/9; PCHR 8/10)

Overnight, the IDF destroys the last remaining bridge over the Litani River linking n. and s. Lebanon; this cuts off access to Tyre. The IDF announces a 10:00 P.M. curfew on Tyre, saying that any movement there after dark and any vehicular traffic s. of the Litani River at any time will henceforth be considered Hizballah activity and a legitimate target. As UN mbrs. narrow differences on a cease-fire res., Olmert’s security cabinet discusses speeding up the IDF’s advance to the Litani River, escalating attacks on Lebanon’s civilian infrastructure. During the day, the IDF continues heavy air, artillery strikes on some 150 targets across Lebanon, hitting s. Beirut (including 47 killed, 70 wounded in the Christian-Shi‘i suburb of al-Shiyah, where Shi‘a are pro-Amal), the Biqa‘ Valley (including Baalbek, Masnaa), in and around Nabatiyya (including 7 civilians killed in air strikes on cars traveling in Qasmiyya; 15 killed, 20 wounded in an air strike on an apartment building in Ghaziyya), and across s. Lebanon (including demolishing a 4-building apartment complex in Tyre), killing at least 69 Lebanese civilians; continues ground operations across s. Lebanon that leave 3 IDF soldiers dead, 7 wounded in Bint Jubayl and include heavy fighting in Hula (the IDF claims to kill at least 15 Hizballah mbrs.); downs an unmanned Hizballah drone off the s. Lebanon coast. Hizballah fires 130 rockets into n. Israel, injuring 10 Israelis, hitting targets in Acre, Carmiel, Kiryat Shimona (70 rockets), Ma’alot, Nahariya, Safad. The ICRC says that the IDF has barred humanitarian aid missions to the south for 3 days. (BBC, NYT, WP 8/7; BBC, NYT, WP, WT 8/8; WP, WT 8/9; WP 8/10)

In Gaza, the IDF makes 2 air strikes on Islamic Jihad mbrs. driving in Khan Yunis, missing the car, hitting the street and a house, killing 2 Palestinian bystanders, including a pregnant woman, and wounding 15 bystanders; prevents EU monitors fr. reaching the Rafah crossing, forcing it to close for the day; closes the Sufa and Kerem Shalom crossings for the day, citing security threats; detains 2 unarmed Palestinians attempting to sneak across the Gaza border into Israel to find work; fires on 2 Palestinians swimming off the Gaza coast nr. the Egyptian border, suspected of smuggling, wounding 1. Palestinians fire 2 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Dura (firing on residential areas, then firing live ammunition at stone-throwing youths who confront them, causing no injuries), Nablus (firing rubber bullets at stone-throwing youths, wounding 12); conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Nablus, nr. Hebron, and in Bethlehem and Jalazun r.c. nr. Ramallah. In Gaza City, a bomb goes off in a car driven by a mbr. of the Fatah-dominated PSF, injuring the 3 people in the car; no group claims responsibility. Unidentified gunmen shoot, wound 2 Fatah mbrs. in Khan Yunis. (OCHA 6/21; ITV, MENA, VOI, YA 6/21 in WNC 6/22; HA, MM, PCHR, WP, WT 6/22; VOI, YA 6/22 in WNC 6 /23; HA 6/24; OCHA 6/28; PCHR 6/29)

The IDF sends undercover units into Tulkarm in a car with Palestinian license plates to arrest a wanted Palestinian; later sends a 2d undercover unit into Tulkarm that is intercepted by PA security forces, withdraws after an exchange of fire, causing no injuries; sends undercover units into Jenin, who exchange fire with local gunmen, withdraw under IDF support, without making any arrests; demolishes a Palestinian home nr. Jenin next to the separation wall; patrols in Tubas, firing on residential areas; conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Nablus, Tulkarm and in Aida r.c., al-Fara‘a r.c. (firing on stone-throwing youths who confront the troops). In Rafah, at least 100 Fatah, Hamas gunmen clash, leaving 1 Hamas mbr. and 1 Palestinian bystander dead and 15 Palestinians wounded, with Hamas firing antitank weapons and rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) at the local PSF headquarters. (Hamas says that Fatah gunmen fired on a Hamas funeral procession, precipitating the clash, while Fatah says that Hamas mbrs. in the procession fired first on the PSF headquarters along the route.) Soon after, 100s of Fatah-dominated PA security forces and AMB mbrs. reacting to the Gaza violence rampage through Ramallah, raiding, firing on, vandalizing, setting fire to the PC building and the cabinet headquarters in a show of force against Hamas. Later, Fatah gunmen kidnap Change and Reform PC mbr. Khalil Rabei, set fire to his Ramallah office; Rabei is freed hrs. later at Abbas’s intervention; 7 other Change and Reform PC mbrs. take refuge in the Muqata‘a under Abbas’s protection. Abbas declares a state of emergency and curfew. Inside Israel, Israeli police arrest 7 Palestinians in Shafa ‘Amr suspected in the 8/4/05 killing of an IDF soldier who boarded a bus in the town and opened fire, killing 4 Palestinians before being beaten to death. In addition, unknown assailants vandalize the Orthodox Christian Church in Majdal nr. Nazareth; the recently refurbished church, which tends to a growing Russian Orthodox population, has been threatened on several occasions by local right-wing Jews. (MM, NYT, WP, WT 6/13; PCHR 6/15)

The IDF sends undercover units into Ramallah’s central shopping district, where they arrest Islamic Jihad’s Qalqilya military leader Muhammad Shubaki; when the unit is confronted by armed militants and stone-throwing protesters, the IDF sends in uniformed reinforcements that clash with the Palestinians, leaving 1 PA General Intelligence officer, 3 bystanders dead, at least 35 Palestinians and 1 IDF soldier wounded. The IDF also sends bulldozers, tanks, jeeps 200 m inside the Gaza border nr. Bureij r.c. to level land for ongoing construction of a cement wall along the n. Gaza border; raids the municipal offices in Maithalun nr. Jenin, removes the Palestinian flag fr. the building, fires tear gas; patrols in Farkha nr. Nablus (firing on residential areas), Kafr Dan; conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Nablus, in Bethlehem, and nr. Hebron, Jenin. In central Gaza, PSF chief for central Gaza Nabil Hudud dies when a bomb rigged to his car explodes; no group claims responsibility; Fatah and Hamas gunmen, however, exchange fire outside Gaza’s Shifa Hospital after Hudud’s body is brought in. In Khan Yunis, unidentified gunmen kidnap, shoot 3 Hamas mbrs., killing 1; no group claims responsibility; Hamas accuses the PA security forces. (AFP, Guardian, HA, NYT, PCHR, Palestine Monitor [Internet], WP 5/25; OCHA, PCHR 6/1)

The IDF detains Change and Reform PC mbrs. Khalid Abu ‘Arafa, Ahmad Abu Atun, Muhammad Abu Tir for participating in a public demonstration at the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount on 5/19 to urge people to donate money to the PA government, bars them fr. entering the holy site for 2 wks.; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Nablus and nr. Bethlehem, Hebron, Jenin, Ramallah. The High Court of Israel also approves a segment of the separation wall in Ramallah that will isolate at least 3,900 d. of Palestinian land and uproot 1,100 olive trees. Fatah and Hamas activists, mbrs. of the predominately Hamas ESF and the predominantly Fatah PA Preventive Security Forces (PSF) exchange fire nr. the PC headquarters in Gaza City, killing the Jordanian amb.’s driver, wounding 11 Palestinians in the crossfire; it is unclear who shot first and why. Fatah, Hamas gunmen (not mbrs. of the security forces) also clash in Khan Yunis, leaving 1 Fatah mbr. dead; Hamas says the incident was sparked by Fatah mbrs. attempting to kidnap 2 of its men, whereas Fatah says it began when Hamas mbrs. ambushed a Fatah vehicle. (AFP, HA 5/22; AFP, NYT, WP, WT 5/23; PCHR 5/25)

The IDF assassinates Hamas spiritual leader and founder Shaykh Ahmad Yasin, firing 3 internationally banned flechette missiles at him as he leaves a Gaza City mosque after morning prayers, also killing 3 bodyguards, 4 bystanders, wounding at least 17 Palestinians, including Yasin’s 2 sons. Immediately, 100,000s of Palestinians take to the streets throughout the territories to protest the assassination. The IDF seals Gaza; clashes with Palestinian demonstrators in Balata r.c. (killing an al-Najah Radio correspondent in Balata r.c., apparently thinking his mobile phone was a weapon), Bethlehem, Dayr al-Balah, Hebron (fatally shooting 1 Palestinian watching fr. his balcony), Jenin, Khan Yunis (killing 3 Palestinians), Nablus; fires on residential areas of Rafah, Qalqilya, Tal Zu’rub; imposes a curfew on areas around Jenin, fires on residential areas; temporarily occupies a Palestinian home as an IDF post nr. Dayr al-Balah. 100s of Palestinian youths in East Jerusalem gather at checkpoints to throw stones at IDF soldiers; Palestinian prisoners in 2 Israeli jails riot. Palestinians fire Qassam rockets, mortars, antitank rockets at Gush Katif and Netzarim settlements, nearby IDF posts, the western Negev, damaging 2 apartments in Netzarim but causing no injuries. An ax-wielding Palestinian fr. the West Bank village of Bidiyya wounds 3 Israelis outside an army base in Tel Aviv before being arrested. An unidentified assailant said to be Arab stabs, lightly wounds 3 Israelis on a Jaffa bus. 4 Palestinians are arrested for beating up a Jewish settler in East Jerusalem. Jewish settlers detain, beat a Palestinian man in the Jordan Valley. An estimated 200,000 Palestinians, including reps. of all Palestinian factions, take part in Yasin’s funeral services later in the day, with 21 PSF officers forming an honor guard for Yasin’s coffin, Gaza churches ringing their bells, mosques broadcasting Qur’anic verses. Meanwhile, Israeli defense chiefs meet, agree to target the entire remaining Hamas leadership immediately, without waiting for another Hamas attack. Israel also announces that it will close the only mental health clinic serving East Jerusalem Palestinians (1,200 patients) because of “security concerns.” (AP, BBC, CSM, HA, MA, MM, NYT, REU, WP, WT 3/22; AP, ATL, ITARTASS, MNR, MENA, IDF Radio, IRNA, ITARTASS, JP, VIRI, VOI, VOP, XIN 3/22 in WNC 3/24; al-Arabiyya TV [Dubai], Syrian Arab News Agency 3/22 in WNC 4/27; AFP, BBC, CSM, HA, JT, MM, NYT, WP, WT 3/23; AFP, AYM, DUS, HA, al-Hayat al-Jadida, JT, MA, MENA, al-Ra’i, THWR, TSHR, VIRI, YA 3/23 in WNC 3/25; MM, NYT, PR, WP 3/24; ATL, ITAR-TASS, Izvestiya, JT, al-Ra’i, SA, VOP, XIN 3/24 in WNC 3/26; AYM 3/24 in WNC 4/3; JT, MM, PCHR, WJW 3/25; ITAR-TASS, MENA, NHR, VIRI 3/25 in WNC 3/27; MM 3/26; MNR 3/27 in WNC 3/30; AYM 3/30, VOP 3/31 in WNC 4/2; MEI 4/2; PCHR 4/15)

In Washington, Shalom holds further talks on Sharon’s disengagement plan with VP Dick Cheney, Powell, Rice. (WP 3/23)

The IDF stages a major raid on Gaza City (reportedly in response to recent attacks on nearby Jewish settlements that caused no injuries), sparking an intense exchange of gunfire with Hamas, Islamic Jihad gunmen, leaving 12 Palestinians (5 Hamas mbrs., 2 Islamic Jihad mbrs., 2 PSF officers, 3 bystanders) dead and 60 (33 of them children) wounded; no IDF soldiers are injured. In an apparent assassination during the raid, the IDF surrounds the home of wanted Hamas mbr. Ashraf Abu Hassanain; orders his family to evacuate; shoots into the home, killing Abu Hassanain and 2 other Hamas mbrs.; blows up the home atop their bodies. In response, Palestinians fire 2 mortars at Karnei settlement, 2 Qassam rockets toward Sederot, causing no damage or injuries. The IDF also stages a major incursion into Rafah, fatally shooting 3 Palestinians, wounding 17 (including 10 children), demolishing 24 Palestinian homes and 3 schools; fires on residential areas of Khan Yunis, seriously wounding a 9- yr.-old Palestinian inside his home; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Bayt Sahur, in Tulkarm, nr. Nablus; demolishes a Palestinian home in Wadi al-Silqa. Later in the day, 1,000s of Palestinians attend the funeral for 1 of the Hamas mbrs. killed today, senior military cmdr. Hani Abu Shukayla, who had survived 2 previous Israeli assassination attempts. An IDF warplane malfunctions, crashes outside Hebron, causing no damage or injuries; the pilot ejects safely. (BBC, HA, MM, PR 2/11; IDF Radio, VOI, VOP, YA 2/11 in WNC 2/13; MM, NYT, PCHR, WP, WT 2/12; al-Hayat al-Jadida, al-Quds 2/12 in WNC 2/18; PR 2/18; PCHR 2/19; MEI 2/20)

A Palestinian suicide bomber detonates a device on a crowded bus nr. Sharon’s official residence in West Jerusalem, killing 10 Israelis, wounding 44. The bomber, whom the PA confirms was a Bethlehem PSF officer fr. Aida r.c., leaves 2 suicide notes claiming the attack in the name of the AMB, Hamas; the AMB initially claims responsibility, Hamas does so after the 2d letter is released; the groups do not claim joint responsibility, as they have done in the past, raising questions as to who really staged the attack. Israeli DM Shaul Mofaz says Israel will not routinely seal the territories in the wake of the bombing, so as not to aggravate Palestinians’ hardship; will specifically target militant groups. The IDF tightens checkpoints around Hebron; conducts house searches, arrest raids in Hebron, Jenin, Nablus. Hebron Jewish settlers attack Palestinians in nearby Yatta, forcing 9 Palestinian families out of their cave dwellings and mud houses; Hebron settlers reportedly seek to expropriate more than 37,000 dunams in the area for settlement expansion. In a plea agmt., an Israeli court sentences to 15 mos. in jail Havat Maon settlers Yitzhak Paz and Matityahu Shvu, arrested on 7/17/03 for transporting explosives, plotting a major bombing of a Palestinian school, carrying out 2 bombings at Palestinian schools that resulted in no deaths. (BBC, HA, MM 1/29; MM, NYT, WP, WT 1/30; MM 2/3; WJW 2/5; JPI 2/6; al-Majallah [London] 2/8 in WNC 2/18; PCHR 2/12; JPI 2/13)

Israel, Hizballah begin to implement the 1st stage of their 2-stage prisoner swap. (BBC, HA, MNR, NYT, WJW, WP, WT 1/29; HA, MM, NYT, WP, WT 1/30; MM 2/2; JPI, MEI 2/6; JPI 2/13) (see 1/24)

The IDF conducts arrest raids in Tubas; fires on residential areas of Khan Yunis; bulldozes 39 dunams of land in al-Bureij r.c. The PSF raids a mosque in Aida r.c. nr. Bethlehem, arresting Hamas mbrs. thought to be plotting a suicide bombing. Shin Bet arrests Palestinian hospital worker and chemist Rashid al-Nimr, cousin of PLO Exec. Comm. mbr. Faruq al-Qaddumi, on charges of selling Hamas 6 containers of hydrogen peroxide for use in building bombs, transporting the chemicals by ambulance, evading the IDF by hiding in hospitals. (JP 11/25 in WNC 11/27; LAW, PCHR 12/4; JP 12/11 in WNC 12/13)

The IDF reinforces its troop presence in n. Jerusalem, surrounding villages; sends tanks, troops into Maghazi r.c. in search of wanted Palestinians, shells residential areas (wounding 5, destroying 1 Palestinian home), exchanges fire with Hamas mbrs. attempting to block the incursion, killing Hamas mbr. Mu‘amin Mughari; opens fire on a group of Palestinians nr. the Qarni crossing, killing a 10-yr.-old Palestinian boy; raids Jenin, capturing local Islamic Jihad cmdr. Amjad Obeid, sparking rioting and an exchange of gunfire in which 1 Palestinian is killed; raids, fires on residential areas of Balata r.c. (killing 1 Palestinian), Rafah; fatally shoots 2 Palestinian teenagers apparently attempting tosneak across the Israeli border at Bayt Hanun to find work; demolishes 3 Palestinian homes in Jenin, 1 in Rafah, a greenhouse nr. Rafah. The PSF arrests 2 AMB mbrs. for plotting attacks inside Israel. Palestinians fire a mortar at a Jewish settlement in Gaza, causing no damage or injuries. A Palestinian dies of injuries received earlier. (AP, MM, NYT 11/7; al-Quds 11/7 in WNC 11/11; WP 11/8; PCHR 11/13)

A female Islamic Jihad suicide bomber detonates a device in a Haifa restaurant, killing 14 Israeli Jews, 5 Israeli Arabs, wounding around 50. (The bomber, Hanadi Taysir Jaradat, who had just graduated fr. law school in Jordan, watched as IDF undercover units assassinated her brother and cousin, both Islamic Jihad mbrs., outside their family home in Jenin on 6/12/03.) Israel says Arafat is to blame for failing to order the PSF to take steps to dismantle Islamic Jihad. Bush says the bombing “underscores once again the responsibility of the Palestinian authorities to fight terror,” says “the new Palestinian cabinet must dedicate itself to dismantling the infrastructure of terror,” does not call for Israeli restraint; Powell also phones Israeli FM Silvan Shalom to express condolences and strong condemnation of the attack, but does not urge restraint. In response, the IDF shells, demolishes an empty Palestinian home in Gaza City, and empty garage in Bureij r.c.; makes a failed assassination attempt on an Islamic Jihad mbr. in central Gaza, firing missiles at him in an open field, but missing him; moves troops into Jenin. Mbrs. of the Israeli peace group Gush Shalom, the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) surround Arafat’s Ramallah headquarters to act as human shields should Israel attempt to “remove” him. During the day, the IDF also raids Tulkarm r.c., assassinates AMB mbr. Sirhan Biharan Hassin Sirhan, whom Israel says killed 5 Israelis in Kibbutz Metzer on 11/10/02, also killing a 9-yr.-old Palestinian bystander; fires on residential areas of Rafah. A Palestinian toddler dies of injuries received on 10/2; a 2d Palestinian dies of injuries received in 2002. (GS, HA 10/4; AFP, MENA, VOP 10/4, AFP, IRNA, ITAR-TASS, al-Quds, VIRI, VOP, XIN 10/5 in WNC 10/7; NYT, WP, WT 10/5; MM, WP 10/6; al-Ra’i 10/6 in WNC 10/8; HA, MM, NYT 10/7; PR, WP 10/8; PCHR, WJW 10/9; MEI 10/10; MM 10/17)

The IDF fatally shoots wanted Hamas Nussayrat r.c. leader Jihad Abu Sawarih when he allegedly resists arrest; 3 IDF soldiers are injured in the operation, at least 1 by a 2d Hamas mbr. who fires on them. The IDF also sends troops into Jenin, allegedly to look for weapons, imposes a 24-hr. curfew in an operation that is expected to last several days; uproots some trees, bulldozes some land in Khan Yunis. In Gaza, the PSF arrests 7 Hamas mbrs. in connection with the kidnapping of a PSF officer on 9/17; Hamas supporters throw rocks at, exchange gunfire with PSF officers, leaving 5 Palestinians injured. The PSF later releases the 7 Hamas mbrs. in exchange for the kidnapped PSF officer. (HA, MM 9/18; WP, WT 9/19; PR 9/24; PCHR 9/25)

The IDF begins construction of 2 permanent, fortified military posts in the PAcontrolled section of Hebron, on 10 dunams (4 dunams = 1 acre) of confiscated land in Abu Sunayna, 40 dunams of confiscated land on Junaydi Hill. The IDF alsobegins easing the closure on Nablus; shoots, wounds a mentally handicapped Palestinian when he strays too near the Dugit settlement fence; bulldozes a Palestinian home in Balata refugee camp (r.c.); conducts arrest raids in Hebron, Jaba’, Nablus; fires on Palestinians in Bayt Furik (wounding 6), Khan Yunis; arrests 5 IsraeliArabs in Silwan for allegedly attempting to set up an East Jerusalem branch of the Palestinian Authority (PA) Preventive Security Force (PSF). Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade (AMB) gunmen fire on a Jewish settler vehicle nr. Yitzhar settlement, lightly wounding 1 woman. (HA, MM 8/18; PCHR 8/21)

PA-Israelisecurity talks regarding expanding PA security control fr. Bethlehem and parts of Gaza to Jericho and Qalqilya fall apart over Israel’s refusal to remove checkpoints around the cities or give the PA control over the sole entry point to Qalqilya. Plans for further talks on 8/18 are canceled. (MM, NYT, WP, WT 8/18; MA, al-Quds 8/18 in WNC 8/20; MM 8/19; al-Quds 8/19 in WNC 8/21)

Mbrs. of the AMB’s Jenin faction pull Jenin mayor Haidar Irshayd fr. his car, beat and kidnap him, alleging he is corrupt and has collaborated with Israel, demanding the PA put him on trial; they release Irshayd after receiving a call fr. an aid to Arafat. Meanwhile, Dahlan announces that the PSF has begun “a large-scale campaign” to bring security to Gaza; the DFLP reports that the PSF has arrested 2 of its mbrs. The IDF fires at a Palestinian farmer who attempts to plant agricultural land previously bulldozed by the IDF, damaging his tractor, forcing him off the land. (XIN 7/19 in WNC 7/22; NYT, WP, WT 7/20; MM 7/21; PCHR 7/24)

As gestures to the PA, Israel announces a halt to deporting families of West Bank Palestinian militants to Gaza; releases 34 Palestinian prisoners, including senior Gaza PSF official Sulayman Abu Mutlak, who was arrested in early 5/03 and is freed for lack of evidence. Overnight, Palestinians fire an antitank rocket at Kefar Darom, wounding 4 Jewish settlers; the Palestinian resistance comms. (PRCs) and a Rafah-based Fatah offshoot called Abu Rish, neither of which agreed to the cease-fire, claim responsibility; meanwhile, the PSF arrests 4 PRC mbrs., an AMB mbr. in connection with the attack; the IDF shuts Gaza’s main north–south road for 6 hrs. to search for the assailants, without success. Abbas condemns the rocket attack and the 6/30 fatal shooting of a Bulgarian worker as “acts of sabotage.” The PSF also arrests 2 Palestinians in Khan Yunis on charges of firing mortars at Gush Katif on 7/1. The IDF raids Qalqilya, arresting local AMB head Ibrahim Mansur, fatally shooting his aide Mahmud Shawar (reportedly 1st wounding him in the leg, then executing him with gunshots to the head); the AMB vows to respond within 24 hrs. The IDF also imposes a curfew on, conducts arrest raids in Tulkarm; fires on Palestinians waiting to cross a Khan Yunis checkpoint, wounding 1; bulldozes 8 dunams of Palestinian land nr. Dayr al-Balah. Sharon authorizes Israeli police to crack down on crime among bedouin in s. Israel. (HA, MM 7/3; MA, VOI 7/3, AYM 7/5 in WNC 7/10; NYT, WP, WT 7/4; NYT 7/6; MM 7/8; PR 7/9; PCHR 7/10)