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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 15, 2005

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

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  • June 23, 2004

    The IDF raids Nablus, fatally shoots local Islamic Jihad military cmdr. Shadi Salim in an apparent assassination, severely beats a 2d Palestinian. The IDF also conducts arrest raids, house...

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  • January 25, 2003

    The IDF completes demolition of 4 bridges linking Bayt Hanun, Gaza City; pulls forces out of Bayt Hanun. Late in the evening, the IDF sends tanks, helicopter gunships into central Gaza City in its...

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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)

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

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

The IDF raids Nablus, fatally shoots local Islamic Jihad military cmdr. Shadi Salim in an apparent assassination, severely beats a 2d Palestinian. The IDF also conducts arrest raids, house searches in Dahaysha r.c. and nr. Ramallah, Tulkarm; fatally shoots a Palestinian who allegedly attempts to infiltrate Gaza’s Gan Or settlement; fires on residential areas of Rafah. Palestinians detonate a roadside bomb nr. an IDF patrol in Rafah, causing no damage or injuries. A Palestinian dies of injuries received during the 7/22 IDF raid on Bayt Hanun; a 2d Palestinian dies of injuries received during the 5/18 IDF raid on Rafah. (HA 6/23; VOI, VOP 6/23 in WNC 6/25; PCHR 6/24; PR 6/30; PCHR 7/1)

Egyptian envoy Sulayman presents Arafat, PA PM Ahmad Qurai‘, Sharon with a detailed timetable for moving forward with Sharon’s disengagement plan in a way that would link disengagment to the road map, a comprehensive cease-fire. (AP, MM 6/23; MENA, VOI, VOP 6/23 in WNC 6/25; MM 6/24; AYM, VOP 6/24 in WNC 6/26; NYT 6/25; Globes 7/8 in WNC 7/9)

The IDF completes demolition of 4 bridges linking Bayt Hanun, Gaza City; pulls forces out of Bayt Hanun. Late in the evening, the IDF sends tanks, helicopter gunships into central Gaza City in its deepest incursion into Gaza since the al-Aqsa intifada began, marking a major military escalation just 3 days before Israeli elections. IDF soldiers clash with Palestinians fr. around the area who race to block the incursion, killing 12 Palestinians (3 of them armed, 2 of them children), injuring at least 40, demolishing 3 Palestinian homes and 2 workshops, raiding 10s of buildings and shops. IDF troops guarding Gan Or, Neve Dekalim settlements fire on residential areas of Khan Yunis. Jewish settlers fire at 2 Palestinians grazing sheep nr. Mod’in settlement, killing 1. (HA 1/25; AFP 1/25 in WNC 1/31; HA, LAW, NYT, WP, WT 1/26; WP 1/27; ATL 1/27 in WNC 1/28; LAW, PCHR, PR 1/29; MEI 2/7; WP 2/10; MEI 2/21)

Ha’Aretz reports that “several wks. ago” Sharon met secretly with YESHA rabbis, promised that he would open the Temple Mount to Jewish worshipers soon. One rabbi warned Sharon that he came to power in part because of his 9/00 visit to Temple Mount, that he risks losing power if he does not follow through and reopen the holy site to Jews soon. Sharon says he will “work behind the scenes” to achieve that goal, that he would be interested in joining a growing number of Jewish protesters who circle the Temple Mount once a mo. to protest the ban on Jewish worship at the site. (HA 1/25)