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  • April 11, 2003

    The IDF shoots British ISM activist Thomas Hurndall in Rafah, leaving him brain dead; the Briton was standing btwn. IDF soldiers and a group of stone-throwing Palestinian youths when troops opened...

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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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  • May 16, 2001

    Israeli-Palestinian clashes, now in their 8th mo., continue, with Israel Defense Force (IDF) increasingly striking Palestinian targets and entering areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority (...

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  • December 10, 1998

    In Gaza, the PLO Central Council approves Arafat's 1/98 letter to Clinton, annulling clauses of the PLO charter calling for Israel's destruction. (NYT, WP, WT 12/11; MM 12/14)

    PM Netanyahu...

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  • January 20, 1984

    SOCIAL/POLITICAL:

    Occupied Palestine/Israel: As students escalate protests against Jordan's imposition of comprehensive exams, UNRWA-operated Ramallah Teachers Training Centers for men and...

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  • November 3, 1983

    Military Action:

    Baddawi and Nahr al-Bared refugee camps hit by intense tank and artillery barrages from anti-Arafat forces, Arafat says Syrian and Libyan units participate; oil storage...

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The IDF shoots British ISM activist Thomas Hurndall in Rafah, leaving him brain dead; the Briton was standing btwn. IDF soldiers and a group of stone-throwing Palestinian youths when troops opened fire, hitting him in the head. IDF helicopters fire missiles at a cemetery in Khan Yunis, injuring 7 Palestinians. The IDF also sends troops, 10s of tanks into Bureij, conducting house-to-house searches, arresting at least 4 Palestinians; conducts similar raids in Nablus, Qalandia. Jewish settlers shoot at Palestinian farmers working nr. Harsina settlement, wounding 5. (HA 4/11; NYT 4/12; LAW, PCHR 4/17)

“Frenzied looting” continues across Iraq, particularly in Baghdad, unchecked by coalition forces, spreads to private homes, hospitals, banks. In Washington, U.S. Secy. of Defense Donald Rumsfeld strongly criticizes press coverage of the mayhem, saying, “Stuff happens! Freedom’s untidy. And free people are free to make mistakes, and to commit crimes and do bad things.” (NYT, WP WT 4/12; MEI 4/18)

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)

Israeli-Palestinian clashes, now in their 8th mo., continue, with Israel Defense Force (IDF) increasingly striking Palestinian targets and entering areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority (PA) without provocation so as to "keep them guessing and [have] them spend more time defending themselves" and with Palestinians stepping up their sniping at soldiers and settlers and firing of mortars (especially in Gaza). To date, around 511 Palestinians, 82 Israelis have been killed. Today, 1 Palestinian is shot dead by IDF troops. The IDF also shells the PA Preventive Security Force (PSF) offices in Jabaliyya, Jinin; directs shells, heavy machine gun fire at residential areas of Khan Yunis; sends tanks, bulldozers into 2 PA-controlled areas in Gaza, occupying a multistory building in al-Qarara nr. Gush Katif settlement and a factory in Dayr al-Balah. IDF soldiers at a checkpoint on the Nablus-Ramallah road halt a Red Crescent ambulance en route to pick up a critically ill patient, severely beat 3 medics, empty the ambulance and damage supplies; the harassment ends when the International Comm. of the Red Cross (ICRC) intervenes. (AFP [Internet], HP 5/16; MM, NYT, PCHR, WP, WT 5/17; LAW, WT 5/18)

The IDF concedes that the 5/14 attack on a PSF post in Beitunia that left 5 PSF officers dead was a "blunder" and that the area was quiet when soldiers attacked. (WP 5/17; AN, HJ 5/17 in WNC 5/18, 5/21; HA, NYT 5/18)

PA Information M Yasir `Abid Rabbuh appeals to Congress to support the recommendations of the Mitchell Comm., the U.S.-led international inquiry into the causes of the al-Aqsa intifada headed by fmr. U.S. sen. George Mitchell. The comm.'s preliminary report (submitted to Israel and the PA on 5/1) suggests a two-pronged approach to restoring calm based on Israel halting all settlement construction, the PA making a 100% effort to halt violence. The comm.'s final report is expected in 1 wk. The State Dept. says Secy. of State Colin Powell is considering meeting with Sharon, Arafat on the sidelines of his trip to Africa, Europe 5/22+n30. (WT 5/18)

In Washington, U.S. Pres. George W. Bush holds a strategy session on the Middle East with his top foreign policy advisers, including Secy. of State Powell, Secy. of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, National Security Adviser (NSA) Condoleeza Rice. Powell advocates using the recommendations of the Mitchell Comm. and the Jordanian-Egyptian initiative as the base for a cease-fire plan. Both plans call for a full freeze on settlement construction, which admin. officials claim they cannot directly demand from Israeli PM Ariel Sharon. (MM 5/16; MM, NYT 5/17)

In Gaza, the PLO Central Council approves Arafat's 1/98 letter to Clinton, annulling clauses of the PLO charter calling for Israel's destruction. (NYT, WP, WT 12/11; MM 12/14)

PM Netanyahu orders crackdown on Palestinian demonstrations in Israeli-controlled areas in advance of Clinton visit. (Reuters [Internet] 12/10)

7 fmr. U.S. defense secys. (Frank Carlucci, Richard Cheney, Melvin Laird, Elliot Richardson, Donald Rumsfeld, James Schlesinger, Caspar Weinberger) send letter to Pres. Clinton urging him not to free Pollard. (WT 12/11) (see 11/17)

U.S. sends 3 Patriot antimissile batteries fr. Germany to Israel. On 11/9 during the last round of tension with Iraq, the U.S. promised Israel that it would redeploy Patriots fr. Europe to Israel for extra defense in case of a U.S. attack on Iraq. (WP 12/20)

SOCIAL/POLITICAL:

Occupied Palestine/Israel: As students escalate protests against Jordan's imposition of comprehensive exams, UNRWA-operated Ramallah Teachers Training Centers for men and women close for 8 days. Israeli police arrest Yonah Aburushmim in connection with last year's murder of Peace Now activist Emil Gruinzweig. Palestinian home in Ibtin village destroyed by Israeli police bulldozer on pretext that structure was unlicensed.

Other Countries: British PM Thatcher and US envoy Donald Rumsfeld meet in London to discuss alternatives to MNF in Lebanon.

Military Action:

Baddawi and Nahr al-Bared refugee camps hit by intense tank and artillery barrages from anti-Arafat forces, Arafat says Syrian and Libyan units participate; oil storage tanks at Tripoli port hit by artillery; IDF patrol hit by explosion near Zahrani river.

Casualties:

50-100 killed, 100-200 wounded in fighting around Tripoli; 3 IDF soldiers wounded near Zahrani.

Political Responses:

Israel/ Occupied Territories: Deposed mayors Khalaf and Shaka'a placed under house arrest to prevent official meeting with British Foreign Office minister, Shakaa also refused permission to travel to US.

Palestinians/ Lebanese: Geneva conference participants agree to put aside issue of May 17 agreement, permit Gemayel time to explore means to end Israeli occupation and ensure national sovereignty; Arafat appeals to Arab and Non-aligned heads of state for support. US and Other Countries: Donald Rumsfeld, Defense Secretary in Ford administration, succeeds McFarlane as Special Envoy to Middle East.