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  • December 26, 2006

    IDF troops on the n. Gaza border shoot, wound a Palestinian farmer working his land nr. the border fence e. of Bayt Lahiya. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in and...

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  • May 21, 2006

    The IDF opens Gaza’s Sufa commercial crossing (closed since 5/17); shells Bayt Hanun, Bayt Lahiya, injuring a 12-yr.-old Palestinian; sends troops into Hebron to surround the Polytechnic...

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  • August 18, 2005

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

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  • August 14, 2005

    As of midnight local time, the IDF seals the Gaza Strip in preparation for disengagement implementation beginning on 8/17, making it illegal for Israelis to enter Gaza. During the day, some 7,500...

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  • June 26, 2005

    The IDF demolishes 11 long-abandoned bungalows along the s. Gaza shore outside Shirat Hayam settlement being used by some 100 West Bank Jewish settlers who recently came to Gaza to block...

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IDF troops on the n. Gaza border shoot, wound a Palestinian farmer working his land nr. the border fence e. of Bayt Lahiya. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Hebron, nr. Bethlehem, and in Aida r.c., Jenin (detaining a senior Islamic Jihad cmdr.), Nablus; begins work on a new segment of the separation wall s. of Bethlehem nr. Um Salamuna; fences off areas along a settler bypass road through Jinata village nr. Bethlehem, declaring the areas closed military zones. (In response to the Jenin arrest, Islamic Jihad fires 7 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, seriously wounding 2 13-yr.-old Israeli boys in Sederot.) Israel announces approval for a new Jewish settlement, Maskiyot, in the n. Jordan Valley, where construction work to house 23 settler families evacuated fr. Shirat Hayam in the Gaza disengagement began several mos. ago, though 100 families are expected to move there in the near future; the approval violates pledges to the U.S. to halt settlement expansion and marking the government’s 1st official announcement of a new settlement since 1992 (though more than 100 unauthorized settlements have been built since 3/01); Israel claims the settlement is not new but the revival of a settlement approved in 1981; the site has been in use as an IDF base. (NYT, OCHA, WP, WT 12/27; PCHR 12/28)

The IDF opens Gaza’s Sufa commercial crossing (closed since 5/17); shells Bayt Hanun, Bayt Lahiya, injuring a 12-yr.-old Palestinian; sends troops into Hebron to surround the Polytechnic University campus, firing percussion grenades, tear gas and arresting 7 students; sends undercover units into Tamun nr. Jenin in a car with Palestinian license plates to arrest 3 Palestinians; sends troops into Tubas nr. Jenin, firing on stonethrowing youths who confront them; patrols in, fires on residential areas of Nablus; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Tulkarm and nr. Hebron, Jenin, Nablus. Israeli DM Amir Peretz authorizes the expansion of the “jurisdictional area” of 4 West Bank Jewish settlements, often the prelude to construction of new settlement neighborhoods: Givat Ze’ev nr. Jerusalem (to be expanded by 60 dunum [d.; 4 d. = 1 acre].); Beitar Ilit nr. Bethlehem (to be expanded by 400 d.); Oranit, just over the Green Line nr. Kefar Saba; Maskiyot, in the Jordan Valley, where Israel plans to relocate the 40 settlers evacuated fr. Shirat Hayam settlement in Gaza. Jewish settlers fr. Ma’on nr. Hebron attack Palestinian school children being escorted to school by the IDF, injuring 2. PA security forces find, dismantle a 150-lb roadside bomb planted along the motorcade route of Internal Security Service dir. gen. Rashid Abu Shibak, who was appointed by Abbas to the new position on 4/6 in a bid to wrest control of the security forces away fr. Interior M Siyam; no group takes responsibility, but Fatah officials hint that Hamas is to blame, note that the PRCs have previously fired on his home. In reaction, 100s of Fatah mbrs. rally in Gaza City in support of the PA security forces, offering to volunteer their services to counterbalance Siyam’s new volunteer force. Overnight, a previously unknown group calling itself the al-Qa‘ida Organization of the State of Palestine claims responsibility for the 5/20 attack on Abu Rajab in a statement on the Internet. (MM, NYT 5/22; OCHA 5/24; see also MA 5/20 in WNC 5/21; PCHR, PNN 5/25)

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

As of midnight local time, the IDF seals the Gaza Strip in preparation for disengagement implementation beginning on 8/17, making it illegal for Israelis to enter Gaza. During the day, some 7,500 PA security forces, overseen byEgyptian security officers, begin deploying nr. Gaza settlements to prevent Palestinians fr. approaching them. Before dawn, Palestinian gunmen fire on Kefar Darom, causing no damage or injuries; an IDF tank returns fire, accidentally targeting an IDF personnel carrier, wounding 5 IDF soldiers. In the West Bank, the IDF sends troops into Tulkarm, closes the main street, interrogates residents; conducts arrest raids, house searches in villages around Tulkarm; occupies a house nr. Nablus as an observation post. Nr. Qalqilya, a Palestinian dies of heat stroke after being handcuffed by IDF troops, left in the sun for hrs. In light of threats by Jewish extremists to storm the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount and destroy the al-Aqsa mosque, 100s of Israeli police, troops deploy in and around the Old City of Jerusalem to prevent possible Israeli-Palestinian clashes; 1,000s of Muslims fr. Jerusalem and Israel attempt to converge to defend the site, but West Bank Palestinians are barred fr. entering Jerusalem, Israeli Palestinians under age 45 are banned fr. accessing the mosque compound. Jewish settlers gather outside Homesh settlement to protest the disengagement, throw stones at passing Palestinian vehicles. In Gaza, Jewish settlers block Palestinian access to roads btwn. Kefar Yam and Shirat Hayam. A French sound technician covering the disengagement in Gaza is kidnapped by unknown Palestinians; Hamas accuses the PA of not doing enough to protect internationals working in Gaza, says targeting foreigners should be a red line. In light of recent kidnappings, the UN moves all nonessential foreign staff in Gaza to Jerusalem until further notice. (AFP, XIN 8/14; IMEMC, WT 8/15; PR 8/17; PCHR, REU 8/18; IMEMC 8/19)

The IDF demolishes 11 long-abandoned bungalows along the s. Gaza shore outside Shirat Hayam settlement being used by some 100 West Bank Jewish settlers who recently came to Gaza to block disengagement; the settlers scuffle with soldiers, break into a nearby Palestinian clinic, damage 12 d. of Palestinian crops and an irrigation network nearby; 1 IDF soldier is arrested, ordered jailed for 56 days for refusing to follow orders to carry out the demolition. The IDF also conducts arrest raids in, fires on residential areas of ‘Azun nr. Qalqilya; fires on residential areas of Khan Yunis; imposes a curfew on Saffa nr. Ramallah; conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron, Bethlehem, Tulkarm; begins construction of a new separation wall segment northeast of Jerusalem nr. ‘Anata. In Rafah, 4 Palestinian children are injured when they trigger either a roadside bomb or unexploded IDF ordnance. A Palestinian stabs, wounds an IDF soldier in East Jerusalem, is arrested. A Jewish settler beats, injures a Palestinian man in Hebron; the IDF intervenes, arrests the settler. Another group of Jewish settlers fr. Beit Haggai beat 2 Palestinian employees of the Hebron Reconstruction Comm. doing work on local Palestinian homes. Jewish settlers fr. Avraham Avino in Hebron burn down a Palestinian shop, vandalize several others. A Jewish settler wounded in the 6/24 shooting outside Hebron dies. (HA, IMEMC, XIN 6/26; VOI 6/26 in WNC 6/27; NYT, WP, WT 6/27; PCHR 6/28; OCHA, PR, WP, WT, XIN 6/29; PHRC 6/30)