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  • December 18, 2023

    In the West Bank, an Israeli settler stabbed and injured a Palestinian and rammed his livestock with a car, killing 2 goats in Khirbet al-Farisiyya. Israeli settlers also threw stones at...

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  • April 12, 1983

    Military Action:

    IDF reportedly constructing series of large and sophisticated military bases across South and central Lebanon, including airstrip at Damour, barracks and transport...

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In the West Bank, an Israeli settler stabbed and injured a Palestinian and rammed his livestock with a car, killing 2 goats in Khirbet al-Farisiyya. Israeli settlers also threw stones at Palestinian vehicles near Rawabi. Elsewhere, Israeli settlers assaulted Palestinians with pepper spray at the Ibrahimi Mosque. Israeli forces shot and killed 4 Palestinians, including 2 children, during a raid in al-Fara’a refugee camp. Israeli forces also shot and injured 3, including a journalist near Jaffna and 2 others in Tell. Elsewhere, Israeli forces demolished a home under construction in Majdal Bani Fadel and electricity networks connecting Majdal Bani Fadel and Aqraba. An Israeli settler was shot and injured near the Ateret settlement. 35 Palestinians were arrested during late-night raids in and around Tulkarm, Jericho, Ramallah, Hebron, Qalqilya, and Bethlehem. In Gaza, Israeli forces bombed Nuseirat refugee camp, Gaza City, Khan Yunis, Jabalia refugee camp, Dayr al-Balah, and Rafah; it was unclear how many casualties there were. Israeli forces also raided al-Ahli Arab Hospital, causing injuries and arresting dozens. 2 Israeli soldiers were killed in combat. In Lebanon, Hezbollah fired missiles at Kiryat Shmona and Israeli forces attacked a funeral in Aita al-Shaab. In Syria, Israeli forces fired tank shells at a Syrian army position, saying missiles had been launched at Israel. In the Red Sea, Houthi forces attacked 2 ships with drones, saying they failed to respond to calls. (AJ, AJ, AJ, HA, HA, HA, HA, UNOCHA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 12/18; AJ, UNOCHA 12/19)

As of 12/17 more than 19,453 Palestinians had been killed by Israeli forces in Gaza, including at least 7,729 children and 5,153 women, and around 54,000 had been injured since 10/7. At least 8,000 people were missing in rubble, including 1,700 children. 294 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and settlers in the West Bank and East Jerusalem since 10/7, including 74 children. More than 3,387 people have been injured. Israel reported that 1,200 Israelis and foreign nationals have been killed and 5,400 have been injured since 10/7. 132 Israeli soldiers have been killed and 719 injured in Gaza since the ground invasion began on 10/27. Over 1.93 million Palestinians, nearly 85% of the population of Gaza, have been displaced since 10/7. There has been a complete electricity blackout in Gaza since 10/12 due to the Israeli blockade. As of 12/3, at least 52,000 housing units had been destroyed and 253,000 had been damaged in Israeli airstrikes since 10/7, constituting 60% of all housing units. 60 trucks carrying aid entered Gaza via the Rafah crossing and 64 entered via the Karem Abu Salem (Kerem Shalom) crossing. 55 injured people, accompanied by 56 others, and 548 dual nationals were evacuated to Egypt. (AJ, UNOCHA 12/18; UNOCHA 12/19)

Human Rights Watch issued a report saying Israel was using starvation as a weapon of war by deliberately denying civilians access to food and water. The report pointed out that 3 Israeli ministers have made statements confirming the policy. (AJ, HA, HRW, WAFA 12/18)

Hamas released a video of 3 elderly Israeli captives. (AJ, AJ, HA, HA, REU 12/18)

U.S. secretary of defense Lloyd Austin arrived in Israel for meetings with Israeli officials, including Defense Minister Yoav Gallant and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. During the meetings, Austin said the U.S. support for Israel was unshakeable but that the U.S. urged Israel to protect civilians and increase the flow of aid. Israeli and U.S. sources told Axios that Gallant and Netanyahu told Austin they want Hezbollah to move its forces 6 miles north of the Blue Line. CIA director William Burns met with Qatari prime minister Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani and Mossad director David Barnea in Warsaw. (AJ, AJ, AX, AX, HA, HA, HA, NYT, NYT, NYT, REU 12/18; REU 12/19; AJ 12/20)

PA president Mahmoud Abbas congratulated Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi on his re-election. Egypt’s National Election Authority said el-Sisi won with 89.6% of the vote and the voter turnout was 66.8%. (AP, NYT, WAFA 12/18; HA 12/19)

The U.S. launched a new patrol mission in the Red Sea to counter Yemeni attacks on commercial ships. The UK, Bahrain, Canada, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, the Seychelles, and Spain joined the U.S.-led mission. A Houthi spokesperson called the mission unnecessary, saying waters around Yemen are safe, except for Israel-linked ships or vessels traveling to Israel. The Taiwanese shipping company Evergreen said it has stopped accepting Israeli cargo. (AJ, HA, HA, REU, REU 12/18; AJ, AJ, AJ, AP, HA, REU 12/19)

Military Action:

IDF reportedly constructing series of large and sophisticated military bases across South and central Lebanon, including airstrip at Damour, barracks and transport facilities at Sidon, fortified posts in Arkoub and Bekaa Valleys, logistics HQ near Marjayoun; Syrian forces and IDF exchange artillery fire in Bekaa; Haddad says he must formally be made military governor of South Lebanon.

Casualties:

9 suspects indicted for grenade attack that wounded 5 US Marines on March 16.

Political Responses:

Israel/ Occupied Territories: IDF seals 4 Dahariya homes of Palestinians who reportedly admitted to attacks in Hebron area, including stone-throwing that killed Israeli woman in January; IDF orders West Bank schools to remain closed until April 19, Jenin schools closed indefinitely; Umm Safa and Gibya residents report thousands of dunams seized for nearby Ateret settlement; molotov cocktail thrown at border police patrol in Bethlehem; Jerusalem Mayor Kollek warns civic and religious leaders of Shufat and Beit Hanina if they don't stop stone-throwing along road to Neve Ya'acov settlement then police and army will; Peace Now begins protests near site of proposed Upper Nablus settlement; court orders Ministry of Defense to pay compensation of IS2m. to family of Palestinian woman shot by Israeli soldier in April 1982, soldier given 5 months suspended sentence; Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs spokesman offers 3,939 apartments and building plots in West Bank and Gaza, announces campaign to expand 68 settlements, increase Jewish population in occupied territories 30-50,000 in next 18 months; Chief of Staff Eitan, in farewell statement to Cabinet, says there should be 10 new Jewish settlements for each stone-throwing incident, when Israelis have settled the land all the Arabs will be able to do about it is scurry around like drugged roaches in a bottle; 2 Likud MKs recommend that soldiers be instructed to aim higher if shooting at demonstrators' legs doesn't stop stone-throwing; Israeli Electric Corporation completes 4-year project to supply electricity to West Bank settlements and villages at cost of IS360m.; Association for Civil Rights says ban on section of '83 film is attack on freedom of expression, asks for its revocation.

Palestinians/ Lebanese: PLO stresses importance of continuing relations and dialogue with Jordan; Habib participates for first time in troop withdrawal negotiations at Netanya.

Arab Governments: Mubarak says it is imperative PLO join Jordan to facilitate negotiations; Moroccan sources say proposed Arab summit later this week likely to be postponed; Jordan reportedly considering reducing ties to West Bank; King Hussein meets British Foreign Secretary; Syria says Hussein's refusal to enter talks shows US does not hold key to Middle East peace.

US and Other Countries: Shultz says there is no alternative to the Reagan plan, suggests PLO should lose its 1974 Arab League mandate as sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people if this authority is not exercised constructively; House Foreign Affairs subcommittee links sale of advanced US weapons to Jordan to commitment to recognize Israel and enter into direct negotiations with it, increases Reagan's requests for economic aid to Israel from $785m. to $850m., all grants, increases grant portion of military aid from $550m. to $850m. out of $1.7b. total, and approves same amount for FY 1985 in largest single legislative package of aid for Israel ever approved; CIA director Casey reportedly travelled secretly to Israel last week to convince Israelis that Lebanese Army can control South Lebanon.