Return to home2004 Jan 3,
Israeli soldiers shot and killed 3 Palestinians in the West Bank
city of Nablus.
2004 Jan 7, Israeli soldiers
patrolling West Bank towns shot and killed 3 Palestinian militants
during an ongoing sweep of the area.
2004 Jan 8, PM Ahmed Qureia
warned that Palestinians would forgo a 2-state solution and force
Israel into a losing demographic race if a unilateral boundary is
(WSJ, 1/9/04, p.A1)
2004 Jan 9, Israeli troops
swept into the West Bank town of Jenin, making arrests and trading
gunfire with militants.
2004 Jan 14, Reem al-Reyashi
(22), Palestinian mother of two, blew herself up at the main
crossing point between Israel and the Gaza Strip, killing at least 4
Israelis and wounding 7 other people.
(AP, 1/14/04)(SFC, 1/15/04, p.A3)
2004 Jan 16, Hamas founder
Ahmed Yassin brushed off warnings by a top Israeli official that he
is "marked for death" and, in a defiant appearance at a Gaza City
mosque, and said his Islamic militant group will continue to attack
2004 Jan 21, Israeli forces
demolished houses in Gaza's Rafah refugee camp for the second
straight day in an anti-militant clampdown that has left 400 people
homeless. A Palestinian woman was killed.
(AP, 1/21/04)(WSJ, 1/22/04, p.A1)
2004 Jan 22, Israeli soldiers
shot and killed a 14-year-old Palestinian boy as he and six other
unarmed teenagers tried to sneak from the Gaza Strip into Israel.
2004 Jan 24, Israeli troops
shot to death two Palestinian militants who entered an unauthorized
military zone near a security barrier separating Gaza from Israel.
2004 Jan 28, Arab prisoners
began their journey to Germany under a long-awaited prisoner swap
between Israel and Hezbollah guerrillas.
2004 Jan 28, Israeli troops
clashed with Palestinian militants in fierce, prolonged street
battles across Gaza City, killing eight Palestinians.
(AP, 1/28/04)(SFC, 1/29/04, p.A7)
2004 Jan 29, A Palestinian
suicide bomber detonated a bag of explosives on a crowded Jerusalem
bus outside Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's residence, killing 10
passengers and wounding 50 bystanders.
2004 Feb 1, Israeli troops
riding jeeps and a tank raided the biblical town of Jericho for the
first time in months, killing one Palestinian militant and forcing
many residents to stay inside at the start of the four-day Muslim
holiday of Eid al-Adha.
2004 Feb 2, Israel killed a
leader of Islamic Jihad and three other militants in a Gaza raid.
2004 Feb 7, An Israeli
helicopter fired a missile into a car traveling in a crowded Gaza
City street, killing Aziz Mahmoud Shami, a leader of the militant
Islamic Jihad group and a 12-year-old boy on his way to school. The
attack wounded 10 Palestinians, three of them critically.
2004 Feb 7, Nearly 400 members
of Yasser Arafat's ruling Fatah Party resigned to protest what they
call corruption and bad leadership within the group.
2004 Feb 9, Saloum Cohen (82),
high priest of the tiny Samaritan community and a Palestinian
lawmaker, died. Cohen had been the spiritual head of the 660-strong
Samaritans since 2001.
2004 Feb 11, Israeli troops
rode tanks into the Gaza Strip searching for Islamic militants
firing rockets at nearby Jewish settlements, and the ensuing battle
left at least 14 Palestinians dead and more than 50 wounded.
2004 Feb 10, French prosecutors
launched a money-laundering probe into the alleged transfers of
$11.5 million dollars to accounts held by the wife of Palestinian
leader Yasser Arafat.
(AP, 2/11/04)(WSJ, 2/11/04, p.A1)
2004 Feb 11, Israeli troops
rode tanks into the Gaza Strip searching for Islamic militants
firing rockets at nearby Jewish settlements, and the ensuing battle
left at least 15 Palestinians dead and more than 50 wounded.
(AP, 2/11/04)(SFC, 2/12/04, p.A8)
2004 Feb 25, Israeli security
forces raided four branches of Palestinian banks, seizing $6.7
million they said was sent by Iran, Syria and Lebanese Hezbollah
guerrillas to fund Palestinian militants.
(AP, 2/25/04)(WSJ, 2/26/04, p.A1)
2004 Feb 26, Israeli soldiers
shot and killed two Palestinians during violent protests against
Israel's West Bank barrier. Two Palestinian gunmen killed an Israeli
soldier at a Gaza Strip crossing before being gunned down by troops.
3 Palestinian boys, aged 12-15, were arrested near Nablus as they
tried to cross a checkpoint with homemade guns.
(AP, 2/26/04)(SSFC, 2/29/04, p.A3)
2004 Feb 27, Israeli police
stormed one of Jerusalem's holiest sites to disperse hundreds of
Palestinian stone-throwers protesting Israel's contentious West Bank
2004 Feb 28, The mayor of
Nablus, the West Bank's largest city, said he is quitting to protest
Yasser Arafat's failure to rein in armed gangs.
2004 Feb 29, Israel's Supreme
Court ordered the government to suspend work for one week on a
section of the West Bank security barrier, an attorney said, while
security forces arrested three Palestinian youths who planned an
2004 Mar 2, Khalil al-Zaben
(59), a close associate of Yasser Arafat, was assassinated in Gaza
City by unidentified gunmen. Separately Arafat agreed to a new
system for paying his security forces.
(SFC, 3/03/04, p.A8)
2004 Mar 4, Israeli forces
raided the southern Gaza town of Rafah, killing a 14-year-old boy,
bulldozing houses and damaging the water and electricity networks.
2004 Mar 6, Palestinian gunmen
and car bombers attacked a major crossing point between the Gaza
Strip and Israel. At least four attackers and two Palestinian
policemen were killed, and no Israeli soldiers were hurt.
2004 Mar 7, Israeli troops
traded heavy gunfire with Palestinians in a raid near Bureij Refugee
Camp, killing 14 Palestinians. Among the dead were 11 militants and
three boys between the ages of 8 and 15, and 81 people were wounded.
(AP, 3/7/04)(AP, 3/8/04)
2004 Mar 9, Israeli forces
backed by tanks and combat helicopters raided the West Bank town of
Jenin, prompting a gun battle that killed a Palestinian woman in her
2004 Mar 13, Israeli soldiers
shot and killed two Palestinian militants in an off-limits military
zone between Israel and the Gaza Strip.
2004 Mar 14, In Israel 2
explosions killed eight people and wounding 18 at the seaport of
Ashdod. Police said 2 Palestinian suicide bombers were responsible.
2004 Mar 15, Israeli
helicopters attacked two suspected Hamas weapons workshops in Gaza
City and Prime Minister Ariel Sharon called off a summit with his
2004 Mar 17, Israeli
helicopters fired two missiles into a crowd of suspected gunmen in a
Palestinian refugee camp, killing four people in a stepped-up
campaign to root out militants in the Gaza Strip. 2 teenage boys
were killed in an air strike at the Rafah refugee camp.
(AP, 3/17/04)(SFC, 3/18/04, p.A2)
2004 Mar 17, Israel's Supreme
Court imposed an open-ended freeze on construction of a 15-mile
section of the country's controversial West Bank separation barrier.
2004 Mar 21, Four Hamas
militants and a Palestinian woman were killed in fighting with
Israeli troops, the sixth day of Israel's new offensive in the Gaza
2004 Mar 22, Israel killed
Hamas founder Ahmed Yassin and 7 other Hamas members in a helicopter
missile strike outside a Gaza City mosque, prompting threats of
unprecedented revenge by thousands of Palestinian. Sheik Ahmed
Yassin, a quadriplegic preacher, founded the Islamic militant group
Hamas in 1987 and presided over its rise to a violent, radical
alternative to Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Authority.
(AP, 3/22/04)(USAT, 3/23/04, p.1A)
2004 Mar 23, Israel threatened
the entire Hamas leadership with death as Abdel Aziz Rantisi took
command of the group in Gaza.
(WSJ, 3/24/04, p.A1)
2004 Mar 25, Armed Palestinians
in wetsuits and flippers emerged from the Mediterranean and fired
toward a beachfront Israeli settlement of Tel Katifa in Gaza. Two
attackers were killed and a third was wounded and fled.
2004 Mar 26, A Palestinian
militant was killed when an explosion went off in a van he was
driving in a West Bank refugee camp.
2004 Mar 27, A 7-year-old
Palestinian boy was killed by what the Israeli military said was
haphazard Palestinian gunfire toward an army jeep in a West Bank
2004 Apr 2, PM Ariel Sharon
revealed the scope of his withdrawal plan, saying Israel will leave
all of the Gaza Strip and dismantle four West Bank settlements.
2004 Apr 3, Israeli troops
arrested 23 wanted Palestinians early in a large-scale raid in the
West Bank city of Nablus. Zohair Arda, a Palestinian gunman, broke
into an Israeli settlement early, killing an Israeli man and
wounding his 12-year-old daughter in their home. Israeli troops
entered the Tulkarem refugee camp overnight and demolished the home
of Arda (18), who was shot dead during the attack.
(AP, 4/3/04)(AP, 4/4/04)
2004 Apr 5, Israeli troops
killed 3 Palestinians near a Gaza settlement.
(WSJ, 4/6/04, p.A1)
2004 Apr 10, A stray bullet
killed an 11-year old Palestinian girl in her kitchen when Israeli
troops fired on her neighborhood in the southern Gaza Strip.
2004 Apr 12, Israeli troops
exchanged fire with Palestinian gunmen near an Israeli settlement in
the Northern Gaza Strip, killing at least three of the assailants.
2004 Apr 14, President Bush
gave PM Ariel Sharon U.S backing for Israeli plans to hold on to
parts of the West Bank. He also ruled out Palestinian refugees
returning to Israel, bringing strong criticism from the
2004 Apr 17, A Palestinian
suicide bomber blew himself up at an industrial zone between Israel
and Gaza, wounding four Israeli security workers.
2004 Apr 17, An Israeli missile
strike came 4 hours after a suicide bombing and killed Hamas leader
Abdel Aziz Rantisi (56) as he rode in his car in Gaza City. The dead
included Akram Nassar (35) Rantisi's personal bodyguard and his son
(AP, 4/17/04)(SSFC, 4/18/04, p.A1)
2004 Apr 18, Hamas secretly
appointed a new Gaza Strip chief. Dr. Mahmoud Zahar was appointed as
the group's 3rd leader.
(AP, 4/18/04)(SFC, 4/23/04, p.A16)
2004 Apr 20, Palestinians fired
a barrage of homemade rockets and mortar shells at Gaza Strip
settlements and towns inside Israel in retaliation for the killing
of Hamas leader Abdel Aziz Rantisi. Over two days, 15 Qassam rockets
hit Israeli targets, wounding one Israeli and damaging at least five
structures. Israeli soldiers raided the Gaza neighborhood where some
of the rockets originated, killing 5 Palestinians, among them 3
militants, and wounding 21 others.
(AP, 4/20/04)(SFC, 4/21/04, p.A12)
2004 Apr 20, Palestinian
militants stormed a Palestinian police station in Gaza City and
released three men with possible links to a deadly bombing of a U.S.
2004 Apr 21, Israeli troops
killed 9 Palestinians after rocket attacks were fired at Israel for
a 2nd day.
(WSJ, 4/22/04, p.A1)
2004 Apr 23, Israeli troops
killed four Palestinians, one of them armed, in arrest raids in the
2004 Apr 26, Hamas denounced 2
Palestinian men who died while stopping a suicide bomber from
(WSJ, 4/28/04, p.A1)
2004 Apr 27, Israeli troops
killed two Hamas fugitives and seriously wounded a third in a gun
battle in the West Bank Tulkarem refugee camp.
2004 May 2, In Israel PM
Sharon’s Likud Party rejected his proposal to withdraw troops and
settlers from the West Bank. Palestinian militants attacked an
Israeli vehicle in the Gaza Strip, killing 4 children and their
mother. Israeli soldiers killed the 2 attackers.
(AP, 5/2/04)(SFC, 5/3/04, p.A1)
2004 May 5, Israel's state
comptroller said the Housing Ministry has funneled nearly $6.5
million to illegal settlement construction in the West Bank in the
past three years, more than half of it to outposts Israel pledged to
2004 May 7, Israeli troops
raided a West Bank village near the town of Tulkarem, surrounding a
house and killing two Palestinian militants.
2004 May 11, Hamas militants
triumphantly displayed remains of some of the six Israeli soldiers
killed in a roadside bombing in Gaza City, prompting Israeli threats
of punishing reprisals if body parts are not returned. 8
Palestinians were killed and 123 wounded in a battle that pitted
hundreds of gunmen against Israeli troops.
2004 May 12, Israeli troops
launched a massive incursion into a Gaza neighborhood, firing
missiles, demolishing buildings and scouring rooftops, in a bid to
recover the body parts of six soldiers killed the day before by
Palestinian militants. An Israeli helicopter fired a missile in
Gaza's Zeitoun neighborhood, killing at least three Palestinians.
Five Israeli soldiers were killed when Palestinians blew up an
Israeli armored vehicle.
(AP, 5/12/04)(AP, 5/13/04)
2004 May 13, Israeli forces
pulled out of Gaza City after Egyptian intermediaries helped return
body parts of Israeli soldiers. At least 12 Palestinians were killed
as the army left behind a swath of destruction.
(AP, 5/13/04)(SFC, 5/14/04, p.A6)
2004 May 14, Heavy fighting
raged in the Rafah refugee camp, killing two Israeli soldiers and a
2004 May 15, More than 100,000
Israelis rallied in favor of a pullout from the Gaza Strip.
2004 May 18, Israeli troops
under Operation Rainbow combed the Rafah refugee camp for weapons
and gunmen in the biggest Gaza offensive in years. Twenty
Palestinians were killed, including two teenagers, shot by an
Israeli sniper, as they gathered laundry.
(AP, 5/18/04)(SFC, 5/18/04, p.A3)(SFC, 5/25/04,
2004 May 19, Israeli forces
fired a missile and a tank shell into a large crowd of Palestinians
demonstrating against the invasion of a neighboring refugee camp,
witnesses said. At least 10 Palestinians were killed, all children
2004 May 20, Palestinian
uprising leader Marwan Barghouti, widely seen as a potential
successor to Yasser Arafat, was convicted of ordering shootings that
killed four Israelis and a Greek monk and supplying funds and arms
for other attacks. Israeli troops pressed their offensive in a Gaza
Strip refugee camp for a third day, killing 8 Palestinians, most of
them armed, and demolishing several buildings. In the West Bank, 3
Palestinians were killed by army fire.
2004 May 21, Israeli troops
pulled back from two neighborhoods in the Rafah refugee camp.
2004 May 22, A 3-year-old
Palestinian girl was shot and killed in the Rafah refugee camp on
the fifth day of Israeli searches and house demolitions. A suicide
bomber blew himself at an Israeli army checkpoint in the West Bank,
wounding five people.
2004 May 23, A car explosion
rocked the West Bank city of Nablus, killing at least 2 people.
Israeli military denied responsibility.
2004 May 25, Israeli troops
abruptly left the Rafah refugee camp without completing a sweep for
arms smuggling tunnels. The weeklong offensive left 45 Palestinians
killed by Israeli fire, including at least 17 gunmen and 12 children
2004 May 29, A Palestinian
gunman killed an Israeli officer after opening fire on Israeli
troops conducting a routine raid in the West Bank Balata refugee
camp. An Israeli man was stabbed in the back by a Palestinian in
Jerusalem's Old City.
2004 May 30, An Israeli air
strike killed Wael Nassar (38), a top Hamas commander, along with
his assistant and a bystander in Gaza City.
(SSFC, 5/30/04, p.A9)
2004 Jun 6, Ariel Sharon’s
cabinet declared its intent to remove 21 Jewish settlements in the
Gaza strip plus 4 in the West Bank. An Israeli court sentenced
Palestinian leader Marwan Barghouti to 5 consecutive life terms and
40 years for his role in attacks that killed 4 Israelis and a Greek
(AP, 6/6/04)(Econ, 6/12/04, p.45)
2004 Jun 14, An Israeli
helicopter attack in the West Bank killed 2 Palestinian militants.
(WSJ, 6/15/04, p.A1)
2004 Jun 24, Israeli troops
posted near a Gaza Strip settlement killed two Palestinians wearing
bulletproof vests and armed with submachine guns, ammunition clips
2004 Jun 26, Israeli troops
killed 7 Palestinian militants during a raid in Nablus.
(SSFC, 6/27/04, p.A24)
2004 Jun 27, Palestinian
militants blew up an Israeli army post with explosives in a tunnel
near the Gush Katif settlement in the Gaza Strip. At least one
soldier was killed. A firefight followed that left 2 Palestinians
(SFC, 6/28/04, p.A6)
2004 Jun 28, A Palestinian
rocket attack on Sderot killed an Israeli boy (3) and man (49).
(USAT, 6/29/04, p.12A)
2004 Jun 29, Israeli forces
countered a Palestinian rocket attack with tanks and missiles in
northern Gaza. One Palestinian was killed.
(USAT, 6/29/04, p.12A)
2004 Jul 3, Israeli troops shot
and killed a 9-year-old Palestinian boy in the 5th day of an army
operation meant to prevent militants from firing rockets at Israeli
towns by the Gaza Strip.
2004 Jul 6, Khaled Sallah, an
American-educated computer science professor, and his son were
killed during an arrest raid by Israeli commandos in the Ein Beit
Ilma refugee camp in the West Bank city of Nablus. West Bank and
Gaza fighting left 6 Palestinians and one Israeli soldier dead.
(AP, 7/6/04)(WSJ, 7/7/04, p.A1)
2004 Jul 9, The Int’l. Court of
Justice ruled that Israel’s separation barrier in the occupied West
Bank violates freedom of movement and should be demolished.
(SFC, 7/10/04, p.A1)
2004 Jul 11, Palestinian
militants set off explosives hidden in shrubs at a Tel Aviv bus
stop, killing a female soldier and seriously wounding at least five
2004 Jul 15, Israel said it
will spend $11.1 million to change completed portions of its West
Bank barrier, building new roads, underpasses and tunnels to try to
ease Palestinian conditions.
2004 Jul 17, A Palestinian
security panel under Yasser Arafat declared a state of emergency
after a spate of kidnappings.
(SFC, 7/17/04, p.A11)
2004 Jul 17, Palestinian PM
Ahmed Qureia submitted his resignation to Yasser Arafat, who
rejected it the next day.
2004 Jul 18, Gunmen angry over
Yasser Arafat's overhaul of his security forces burned down
Palestinian Authority offices in Gaza.
2004 Jul 19, An Israeli
aircraft struck a Palestinian militant safe house at a beach camp
near Gaza City, wounding three fighters.
2004 Jul 22, In a Gaza City 2
Palestinians were killed when their car exploded. The Israeli attack
was aimed at a man involved in the slaying of six Israeli soldiers
on May 11.
(AP, 7/23/04)(SFC, 7/24/04, p.A14)
2004 Jul 24, Militants torched
a Palestinian police station south of Gaza City.
2004 Jul 25, Tens of thousands
of Jewish settlers and their supporters joined hands to form a human
chain along a 55-mile route, serving notice they will fight Prime
Minister Ariel Sharon's plan to withdraw from the Gaza Strip.
2004 Jul 25, Israeli soldiers
in the West Bank shot to death six members of the Al Aqsa Martyrs
Brigades in a gunbattle in the town of Tulkarem.
2004 Jul 29, Israeli forces
killed 2 top Palestinian militants in Gaza.
(WSJ, 7/30/04, p.A1)
2004 Aug 2, In Gaza City 5
masked men broke into a hospital and shot dead a convicted
Palestinian collaborator who had been wounded in a grenade attack in
his prison cell just hours earlier.
2004 Aug 4, Clashes in the Gaza
Strip left 4 Palestinians dead including a 10-year-old boy. Israeli
forces uncovered a smuggling tunnel on the border with Egypt.
(SFC, 8/5/04, p.A3)
2004 Aug 6, Israel reopened a
border crossing with Egypt, closed since July 18, enabling some
2,000 stranded Palestinians to return home.
(SFC, 8/7/04, p.A11)
2004 Aug 7, Nahed Arreyes,
Palestinian justice minister, resigned to protest Yasser Arafat’s
refusal to share power.
(SSFC, 8/8/04, p.A18)
2004 Aug 11, A West Bank
assailant detonated a large bomb near a busy Israeli military
checkpoint, killing two Palestinian men and wounding 16 people.
2004 Aug 13, A Palestinian
gunman killed an Israeli security guard near a Jewish West Bank
settlement before being slain himself.
2004 Aug 14, More than 100
unemployed university graduates stormed a Palestinian Authority
building in a Gaza Strip refugee camp, calling on the Palestinian
leadership to provide them with jobs.
2004 Aug 17, Israeli Prime
Minister Ariel Sharon approved the construction of 1,000 more homes
in Jewish settlements in the West Bank.
2004 Aug 17, Israeli soldiers
shot and killed a 9-year-old Palestinian boy in Nablus as he sat on
the front steps of his home eating a sandwich.
2004 Aug 18, Five Palestinians
were killed in a blast outside the house of a well-known Hamas
militant in Gaza City.
2004 Aug 23, Israel announced
plans for more than 500 new housing units in the West Bank,
following an apparent US policy shift on Jewish settlements that has
infuriated the Palestinians.
2004 Aug 29, Israeli troops
killed an armed Palestinian man as he tried to sneak into southern
2004 Aug 29, In Sidon, Lebanon,
fighting in a Palestinian camp left 3 dead.
(WSJ, 8/30/04, p.A1)
2004 Aug 30, Israeli officials
said PM Ariel Sharon wants all 21 Jewish settlements in the Gaza
Strip evacuated at the same time, instead of in three stages.
2004 Aug 31, In Beersheba,
Israel, Palestinian suicide bombers exploded two buses almost
simultaneously, killing at least 16 people and wounding more than
(AP, 8/31/04)(AP, 9/1/04)
2004 Sep 7, Israeli helicopters
attacked a Hamas training camp, killing at least 14 militants and
wounding 30 others.
2004 Sep 9, Clashes with
Israeli troops killed 8 Palestinians and left 27 wounded in the West
Bank and Gaza Strip.
(AP, 9/9/04)(WSJ, 9/10/04, p.A1)
2004 Sep 13, An Israeli
helicopter fired a missile at a car in the West Bank town of Jenin,
killing three Al Aqsa men. Israeli police shut down six Palestinian
elections offices in east Jerusalem after seizing voter registration
(AP, 9/13/04)(WSJ, 9/14/04, p.A1)
2004 Sep 20, An Israeli
helicopter blew up a car in Gaza City, killing Khaled Abu Shamiyeh
(30), a Hamas militant who was involved in making and firing rockets
at Israeli towns.
2004 Sep 22, A Palestinian
suicide bomber blew herself up near a crowded bus stop in Jerusalem.
2 Israeli police officers were killed.
(AP, 9/22/04)(SFC, 9/23/04, p.A3)
2004 Sep 23, Three Palestinian
gunmen infiltrated a fog-shrouded Israeli army post at dawn, killing
three Israeli soldiers in a fierce gunbattle before they were shot
2004 Sep 24, Palestinians
shelled a Jewish settlement in the Gaza Strip and killed an
Israeli-American woman just ahead of Yom Kippur.
2004 Sep 25, An Israeli
helicopter fired two missiles toward a crowd of Palestinians on the
outskirts of a refugee camp, killing a 55-year-old man and wounding
(SFC, 9/25/04, p.A3)
2004 Sep 25, The Israeli army
charged into a Palestinian refugee camp, killing one person and
tearing down 35 homes.
2004 Sep 26, Ezzedin Sheikh
Khalil, a senior Hamas operative, was killed in a car bombing
outside his house in Damascus, the first such killing of a leader of
the Islamic militant group in Syria. The hit was claimed by Israeli
2004 Sep 27, An Israeli
helicopter fired a missile at a Palestinian vehicle traveling in the
southern Gaza Strip, killing one person and wounding three others. 7
Palestinians were killed in several incidents across the West Bank
and Gaza. In Gaza City gunmen kidnapped a CNN TV producer and
released him the next day.
(AP, 9/27/04)(SFC, 9/28/04, p.A8)(WSJ, 9/29/04,
2004 Sep 29, A large force of
Israeli tanks, armored vehicles and troops pushed into northern Gaza
in an overnight raid aimed at militants who have fired rockets
against nearby Israeli towns. The incursion killed at least three
2004 Oct 1, Israel's security
Cabinet approved a large-scale military operation, dubbed "Days of
Penitence," to stop Palestinian rocket fire. Two Palestinians were
killed and three wounded when an Israeli tank fired a shell in the
Jebaliya refugee camp. 8 Palestinians were killed in the northern
(AP, 10/1/04)(SFC, 10/2/04, p.A9)
2004 Oct 2, Israeli troops
killed 10 Palestinian militants, as the military expanded one of its
largest offensives against Palestinian militants in four years of
(AP, 10/2/04)(SSFC, 10/3/04, p.A11)
2004 Oct 3, An Israeli aircraft
fired two missiles at a group of Palestinians who launched a
homemade rocket at Israel, killing two militants.
2004 Oct 4, Palestinian
militants fired off two more rockets at the Israeli town of Sderot,
lightly wounding one person, according to rescue workers. Ongoing
violence in northern Gaza killed at least seven Palestinians,
including a teenager.
2004 Oct 5, An Israeli aircraft
launched a missile at a car in Gaza City, killing at least 2
militants and wounding three others. A helicopter strike in Gaza
killed Bashir Al Dabash (42), a senior Islamic Jihad leader, as well
as his bodyguard. Iyman Hams, a 13-year-old Palestinian girl, was
shot and killed by Israeli forces, which soon prompted an
investigation. In 2005 an Israeli military court acquitted an army
captain who was charged with intentionally killing the Palestinian
girl, saying she was already dead when he shot her.
(AP, 10/5/04)(SFC, 10/6/04, p.A17)(SFC, 10/13/04,
2004 Oct 5, The US vetoed an
Arab-backed UN Security Council resolution demanding that the Jewish
state immediately end military operations and called the resolution
"lopsided and unbalanced." 11 of 15 voted in favor with 3
2004 Oct 7, Two Palestinian
boys, ages 15 and 14, were killed in an Israeli missile strike.
2004 Oct 8, Israeli Soldiers
shot and killed a 10-year-old Palestinian girl and three other
Palestinians died in missile strikes during a massive offensive into
the northern Gaza Strip.
2004 Oct 9, Israeli troops shot
at Hamas militants about to fire an anti-tank missile, setting off
an explosion that killed one man and wounded three. Israeli soldiers
in northern Gaza killed 5 Palestinians including Hamas militant Abed
(AP, 10/9/04)(SSFC, 10/10/04, p.A16)
2004 Oct 10, An Israeli
aircraft fired a missile at a home near a Hamas stronghold in the
Jebaliya refugee camp, killing one civilian and wounding 8 other
2004 Oct 11, An Israeli
aircraft fired a missile at a house in the southern Gaza town of
Rafah, wounding five people, including a top Islamic Jihad leader.
2004 Oct 13, The Israeli
military killed 4 Palestinian militants as troops extended a 2-week
operation in the Gaza Strip to silence Palestinian rocket fire.
(SFC, 10/14/04, p.A8)
2004 Oct 21, An Israeli
aircraft fired two missiles at a car traveling in the Gaza Strip
killing Adnan al-Ghoul, a senior Hamas commander.
2004 Oct 22, A UN aid agency
reported that Israel's recent 17-day military offensive in the
northern Gaza Strip killed 107 Palestinians, left nearly 700
homeless and caused more than $3 million dollars in property damage.
2004 Oct 22, Defiant
Palestinian militants pounded Jewish settlements in the southern
Gaza Strip with mortar fire, following the killing of a top Hamas
militant in an Israeli airstrike.
2004 Oct 23, The bullet-riddled
body of a Palestinian was found near a trash bin on a Gaza City.
Hamas said it killed the man on suspicion he passed along
information that helped Israel assassinate the group's founder and
2004 Oct 25, Israeli troops
killed 14 Palestinians in a Gaza raid.
(WSJ, 10/26/04, p.A1)
2004 Oct 25, Egyptian
authorities said a Palestinian refugee plotted the coordinated
bombings targeting Israeli tourists at resorts in the Sinai and
accidentally killed himself while carrying out the deadliest blast.
Egypt announced it had arrested five of the nine men who bombed Red
Sea resorts almost three weeks ago, saying the attackers used stolen
cars packed with old war-time explosives and a washing-machine
2004 Oct 27, An ailing Yasser
Arafat collapsed, was unconscious for about 10 minutes and remained
in a serious condition.
2004 Oct 29, Palestinian leader
Yasser Arafat (75), suffering from a serious but mystery illness,
was flown to France and rushed to a military hospital for treatment.
Arafat’s secret assets have been estimated at $200 million to $6
billion. Details were only known by his financial advisor Mohammed
(AP, 10/29/04)(SSFC, 11/7/04, p.A10)
2004 Nov 1, A Palestinian (16)
blew himself up in a crowded outdoor market in central Tel Aviv,
killing three Israelis and wounding 32. This was the 117th suicide
bombing since Israeli-Palestinian fighting broke out in 2000. 494
Israelis have been killed in the attacks. Israeli troops killed 3
activists in Nablus and a boy (12) throwing stones in Askar.
(AP, 11/1/04)(SFC, 11/2/04, p.A5)
2004 Nov 6, Israeli troops
killed 5 Palestinians, including a 14-year-old boy, in West Bank and
2004 Nov 7, Israeli undercover
forces shot and killed 4 Palestinians in Jenin.
2004 Nov 7, Hezbollah sent an
aerial drone over northern Israel on a 1st test flight.
(WSJ, 11/8/04, p.A1)
2004 Nov 9, Israeli troops shot
and killed two Palestinians who entered an unauthorized area in the
Gaza Strip. Israeli troops in Nablus clashed with stone throwing
youths, shooting dead a 22-year-old man and seriously wounding
2004 Nov 11, Yasser Arafat
(75), Palestinian leader, died in Paris. He triumphantly forced his
people's plight into the world spotlight but failed to achieve his
lifelong quest for statehood. Arafat's body was flown back to the
Mideast for funeral services in Egypt. Internment was to be in
(AP, 11/11/04)(SFC, 11/11/04, p.A1)
2004 Nov 11, Mahmoud Abbas, a
former PM and veteran peace negotiator, was elected chairman of the
Palestine Liberation Organization. Rauhi Fattouh, Palestinian
parliament speaker, was set to serve as president until elections in
about 60 days.
(AP, 11/11/04)(WSJ, 11/11/04, p.A1)
2004 Nov 11, Israeli troops,
backed by tanks and helicopter gunships raided a Gaza Strip town,
killing 3 Palestinians and wounding at least 9 others.
2004 Nov 12, Kings, princes and
presidents from across the world paid a last tribute to Yasser
Arafat at a military funeral in Cairo. Arafat was interned in
Ramallah before a sea of mourners.
(AP, 11/12/04)(SFC, 11/13/04, p.A17)
2004 Nov 14, Israel's military
said it will stop allowing Palestinian security forces in the West
Bank to carry weapons in public within the next 24 hours.
2004 Nov 14, Gunmen in the Gaza
Strip fired weapons near Mahmoud Abbas (69) and left 2 security men
dead. Palestinian officials scheduled Jan. 9, 2005, for presidential
(AP, 11/14/04)(SFC, 11/15/04, p.A3)
2004 Nov 15, Israel offered its
first indication it was reassessing relations with the Palestinians
after Yasser Arafat's death, suggesting it might coordinate a
planned withdrawal from the Gaza Strip if the Palestinian Authority
cracks down on militant groups.
2004 Nov 15, Interim
Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, has asked Palestinian militants
to halt violence during the campaign for Jan. 9 presidential
2004 Nov 19, Israel’s Yediot
Ahronot newspaper published photos of Israeli soldiers posing with
dead Palestinians. Allegations of abuse followed.
(SFC, 11/20/04, p.A16)
2004 Nov 20, Palestinians
formally opened the campaign for a successor to Yasser Arafat.
2004 Nov 22, The ruling Fatah
party chose Mahmoud Abbas as its candidate to replace Yasser Arafat
as head of the Palestinian Authority in Jan. 9 elections.
2004 Nov 22, A World Bank
report said nearly half the Palestinian population was living in
poverty on less than $2 a day.
2004 Nov 23, Interim
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas told parliament that he would
follow Arafat's footsteps and demand that Israel recognize the
"right of return" of Palestinian refugees.
2004 Nov 26, The ruling party
in the Palestinian Authority set Aug. 4 as the date for an internal
election in an apparent attempt to persuade the head of Fatah's
restless young guard to drop out of the January presidential
2004 Dec 1, A Hamas leader
announced that the militant group will boycott upcoming Palestinian
2004 Dec 3, Sheikh Hassan
Yousef, a top Hamas leader, said the militant group would accept the
establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip
as well as a long-term truce with Israel.
(AP, 12/3/04)(SFC, 12/4/04, p.A3)
2004 Dec 5, In Ramallah Jad
al-Hindi (19) was abducted by the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, a
violent militant group linked to the dominant Fatah movement. Police
found al-Hindi's body the next day, saying he had been shot in the
head 12 times.
2004 Dec 7, Hamas militants
killed an Israeli soldier and wounded four with an explosion in a
booby-trapped chicken coop. An Israeli aircraft fired a retaliatory
missile at armed Palestinians near Gaza City leaving 4 gunmen dead.
(AP, 12/7/04)(WSJ, 12/8/04, p.A1)
2004 Dec 10, Israeli troops
shot and killed a 7-year-old Palestinian girl after militants fired
mortar rounds at a Gaza Strip settlement, injuring four Israelis,
one of them a child.
2004 Dec 12, Palestinian leader
Mahmoud Abbas apologized to Kuwaitis for the Palestinian support of
former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein after Iraq invaded Kuwait in
2004 Dec 12, Palestinians
detonated a massive bomb under an Israeli military checkpoint
killing at least 5 Israeli soldiers.
(SFC, 12/13/04, p.A6)(AP, 12/12/05)
2004 Dec 12, The Israeli
Cabinet agreed to release scores of Palestinian prisoners as a
gesture to Egypt and the Palestinian leadership ahead of next
month's Palestinian elections. The Israeli army fired three tank
shells at the Khan Younis refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip on
Sunday, wounding seven schoolchildren.
2004 Dec 14, Palestinian leader
Abbas called for an end to attacks on Israel as Israeli troops
destroyed 7 Palestinian houses in Gaza.
(WSJ, 12/15/04, p.A1)
2004 Dec 17, Israeli troops
raided a Gaza refugee camp in retaliation for a deadly Palestinian
mortar fire, sparking fighting that killed 8 Palestinians and
wounded 24 Palestinians and an Israeli soldier.
(AP, 12/17/04)(SFC, 12/18/04, p.A14)
2004 Dec 18, Israeli troops
killed three Palestinians on the second day of an Israeli raid in
the Khan Younis refugee camp in southern Gaza. Israeli forces
withdrew and ended a 2-day raid that left 11 Palestinians dead.
(AP, 12/18/04)(SSFC, 12/19/04, p.A15)
2004 Dec 19, Israel approved
the release of 170 Palestinian prisoners in a goodwill gesture
toward Egypt and the new Palestinian leadership.
2004 Dec 23, Thousands of
Palestinians crammed polling stations in West Bank towns to vote in
municipal elections, the first in nearly 30 years. Hamas made a
strong showing in local elections in the West Bank. Palestinian
women won 51 seats in local elections defeating many of their male
(AP, 12/24/04)(AP, 12/27/04)
2004 Dec 27, Israel released
159 Palestinian prisoners as a gesture to the new Palestinian
2004 Dec 29, About 10 Israeli
tanks moved into the Khan Younis refugee camp to stop rocket fire. 2
Palestinian gunmen were killed by tank fire.
(AP, 12/30/04)(WSJ, 12/30/04, p.A1)
2004 Dec 30, In southern Gaza 2
Palestinians were killed in an Israeli missile strike, the 2nd day
of an army raid to stop Palestinian rocket fire from the Khan Younis
2004 Daniel Gavron authored
“The Other Side of Despair: Jews and Arabs in the Promised Land," in
which he called for the creation of a democratic, binational State
(Econ, 3/16/13, p.25)
2004-2008 Jordan stripped some 2,700 Jordanians of
Palestinian origin of their citizenship during this period. Nearly
half the kingdom’s people were of Palestinian origin. The government
allegedly feared that if Palestinians were to become a majority, it
would disrupt the its delicate demographic balance.
(SFC, 2/2/10, p.A2)
2005 Jan 4, Two Israeli tank
shells slammed into a field in response to Palestinian mortar fire,
killing seven Palestinians youths working in a strawberry field.
(AP, 1/4/05)(SFC, 1/4/05, p.A3)
2005 Jan 5, A group calling
itself "The Free People of the Galilee" claimed that it abducted an
Dana Bennet, an Israeli-American woman in Aug 2003, and demanded
that Israel release 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for
information about her fate.
2005 Jan 5, Two homemade
Palestinian rockets fell into an army base in southern Israel,
wounding 12 people, one of them seriously.
2005 Jan 7, Palestinian
militants attacked a group of Israeli civilians outside the West
Bank city of Nablus, wounding four people, including one who was in
2005 Jan 9, Palestinians held
their 1st presidential election in nine years, choosing a successor
to longtime leader Yasser Arafat. Mahmoud Abbas was elected
Palestinian Authority president by a landslide, giving the
pragmatist a mandate to resume peace talks with Israel.
(AP, 1/9/05)(AP, 1/10/05)
2005 Jan 11, Palestinian
militants in the Gaza Strip launched a barrage of homemade rockets
and mortar rounds at Jewish towns and settlements, hours after newly
elected Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas extended his hand in peace
2005 Jan 12, Islamic militants
detonated a bomb near a Jewish settlement in the southern Gaza
Strip, killing an Israeli civilian and wounding three soldiers.
2005 Jan 13, Palestinian
militants killed six Israeli workers at a Gaza crossing. 3
Palestinian attackers were also killed.
(AP, 1/14/05)(SFC, 1/14/05, p.A3)
2005 Jan 14, Israel sealed off
the Gaza Strip but signaled it will hold off on harsh retaliation
for an attack by Palestinian militants.
2005 Jan 15, Mahmoud Abbas was
sworn in as Palestinian Authority president. 46 members of the
Palestinian election commission, including top managers, resigned
saying they were pressured by Mahmoud Abbas' campaign and
intelligence officials to abruptly change voting procedures during
the Jan. 9 presidential poll.
2005 Jan 16, A top PLO
decision-making body called on Palestinian militants to halt attacks
against Israel, charging that the violence gives Israel an excuse to
carry out military operations.
2005 Jan 17, Palestinian leader
Mahmoud Abbas ordered his security forces to try to prevent attacks
against Israel and to investigate a shooting at a Gaza Strip
crossing that killed six Israeli civilians last week.
2005 Jan 18, Palestinian leader
Mahmoud Abbas summoned militant leaders to cease-fire talks in the
Gaza Strip and said he is hopeful he can persuade them to halt
attacks on Israel.
2005 Jan 20, Israeli officials
accepted a Palestinian plan to deploy hundreds of police officers
along the Gaza-Israel frontier Jan 21, in the first act of security
cooperation with Israel under Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.
2005 Jan 21, Hundreds of armed
Palestinian police deployed across the northern Gaza Strip on Friday
to prevent rocket fire on Israeli communities.
2005 Jan 23, Israeli leaders
said it willing to suspend military operations against Palestinian
militants if they call off attacks.
2005 Jan 24, Militant groups
have agreed to suspend attacks as they near a formal truce deal with
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and await Israel's response.
2005 Jan 25, The top Hamas
leader said his militant group is prepared to suspend attacks if
Israel stops targeting militants and agrees to release thousands of
2005 Jan 26, Israel and the
Palestinian Authority resumed diplomatic contacts after a two-week
freeze, and Israel agreed to suspend targeted killings of
2005 Jan 27, The Palestinian
leadership banned civilians from carrying weapons, its latest step
aimed at reigning in militant violence.
2005 Jan 28, Election officials
said the Hamas won an overwhelming victory in local elections in
Gaza towns in a setback for the Fatah Party of Palestinian leader
2005 Jan 28, Israel's army
chief ordered troops to halt operations in the Gaza Strip and to
scale back raids in the West Bank, as hundreds of Palestinian police
deployed in the volatile central and southern parts of the
2005 Jan 30, More than 100,000
demonstrators gathered in Jerusalem to protest PM Ariel Sharon's
plan to evacuate all 21 Jewish settlements from Gaza and four from
the West Bank, demanding it be put to a national referendum.
2005 Jan 30, Israeli troops
killed a 65-year-old man who entered an unauthorized area near an
2005 Jan 31, Jewish settlers
and their supporters protested outside parliament for a 2nd day
against Israel's planned withdrawal from Palestinian territories.
Palestinian officials said a 10-year-old Palestinian girl was shot
and killed by Israeli tank fire at a UN school in the Rafah refugee
2005 Feb 3, Hamas leader Khaled
Mashaal said that fugitives in his Palestinian group would not sign
pledges to halt attacks because that would negate the legitimacy of
their right to fight the Israeli occupation.
2005 Feb 3, Israeli Cabinet
ministers approved the release of 900 Palestinian prisoners and a
military pullout from the West Bank town of Jericho within days.
2005 Feb 8, In Sharm El-Sheik,
Egypt, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and Palestinian leader
Mahmoud Abbas declared that their people would stop all military and
violent attacks against each other, pledging to get peace talks back
on track. The Palestinian militant group Hamas said it would not be
bound by the cease-fire declarations.
2005 Feb 9, Palestinian leader
Mahmoud Abbas said Israel will lift travel restrictions on
Palestinians in parts of the West Bank and abandon several major
checkpoints as part of its withdrawal from five towns in the coming
2005 Feb 10, Palestinian
militants fired dozens of mortar shells and homemade rockets at
Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip, prompting Palestinian leader
Mahmoud Abbas to order his security forces to move quickly to
preserve a new cease-fire with Israel. Abbas fired his top security
commanders following the attacks.
(AP, 2/10/05)(WSJ, 2/11/05, p.A1)
2005 Feb 11, A day after firing
his top security commanders, Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas headed
to the Gaza Strip to demand that militant leaders stop attacking
Israelis, a strong sign of his determination to enforce a fragile
truce with Israel.
2005 Feb 13, Israel's Cabinet
approved a list of names of 500 Palestinian prisoners to be released
in coming days, and several hundred Palestinian workers returned to
jobs in Israel in line with agreements reached at a Mideast summit
2005 Feb 16, Israel's
parliament gave the final approval to PM Ariel Sharon's plan to
withdraw from the Gaza Strip and four West Bank settlements.
2005 Feb 17, Hundreds of Jewish
settlers took first steps to eventually leave their homes in the
Gaza Strip, a day after Israel's parliament approved $871 million in
compensation for them.
2005 Feb 20, Israel's Cabinet
gave final approval to the government's planned withdrawal from the
Gaza Strip and four West Bank settlements.
2005 Feb 21, Israel freed 500
Palestinian prisoners in a goodwill gesture.
2005 Feb 22, Palestinian Prime
Minister Ahmed Qureia promised a drastic overhaul of his Cabinet,
signaling the start of long-sought reform.
2005 Feb 24, The Palestinian
parliament approved a 24-member Cabinet dominated by professional
appointees, including nearly half with doctoral degrees, in a major
move toward long-promised government reform.
2005 Feb 25, A Palestinian
suicide bomber blew himself up in a crowd of young Israelis waiting
outside the Stage nightclub near Tel Aviv's beachfront promenade
just before midnight, killing at least four other people, wounding
(AP, 2/25/05)(SFC, 2/26/05, p.A1)
2005 Feb 26, Palestinian and
Israeli security forces arrested 7 suspected militants in connection
with a suicide bombing that killed four Israelis at a Tel Aviv
nightclub. The bomber was identified as Abdullah Badran (21), a
student from the West Bank village of Deir al-Ghusun.
(AP, 2/26/05)(SSFC, 2/27/05, p.A7)
2005 Feb 28, Israeli troops
discovered a vehicle packed with half a ton of explosives in the
West Bank, the largest bomb found in four years of fighting.
2005 Mar 1, Palestinian leader
Mahmoud Abbas pledged to reform Palestinian security. Militants in
the West Bank town of Jenin issued a belligerent challenge to the
new Palestinian leadership's efforts to rein in militant groups,
shooting in the air and demanding that the visiting security chief,
Interior Minister Nasser Yousef, leave the area immediately.
2005 Mar 4, Palestinian gunmen
opened fire at a police station, sparking a gunfight that left three
2005 Mar 6, Palestinian
militants shot and wounded two Israeli border policemen in an attack
on a military post near a West Bank shrine.
2005 Mar 9, An Israeli inquiry
into the establishment of unauthorized West Bank settlement outposts
found widespread complicity of successive Israeli governments and
recommended that prosecutors consider investigations some of those
2005 Mar 10, Israeli troops
killed an Islamic Jihad Palestinian militant in a raid on a village
near the West Bank town of Jenin.
2005 Mar 12, The Hamas militant
group announced it will participate in Palestinian parliamentary
2005 Mar 14, UN
Secretary-General Kofi Annan said the United Nations is establishing
a register of property damage caused by Israel's West Bank
separation barrier. Hundreds of Palestinians protested the barrier
outside the walled Palestinian government compound where he spoke.
2005 Mar 16, Israeli troops
handed Jericho to Palestinian security control, dismantling a
checkpoint and easing travel restrictions in what was seen as a
message to ordinary Palestinians that an informal truce is starting
to pay off.
2005 Mar 17, Palestinian
militants declared a halt to attacks on Israel for the rest of this
year, their longest cease-fire promise ever and a victory for
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.
2005 Mar 18, Israel welcomed a
temporary truce declared by Palestinian militants and promised to
hold its fire in return, but demanded that the Palestinian Authority
eventually dismantle the armed groups.
2005 Mar 21, Israeli and
Palestinian negotiators reached agreement on handing over control of
the West Bank town of Tulkarem to Palestinian security forces.
2005 Mar 22, Israel completed
its handover of the West Bank town of Tulkarem to Palestinian
2005 Mar 28, Israeli troops
raided the West Bank town of Jenin, carrying out house-to-house
searches and arresting eight Palestinians.
2005 Mar 31, In Palestine
Mahmoud Abbas ordered a crackdown on Ramallah militants after a
group of gunmen fired at his compound in a sign of escalating
2005 Apr 3, Palestinian leader
Mahmoud Abbas announced plans for a jobs program aimed at militants.
(SFC, 4/12/05, p.A6)(http://tinyurl.com/6ldnx)
2005 Apr 4, A Palestinian
official immediately denounced Israeli plans to dispose of garbage
on Palestinian land in the West Bank, as violating international
law, saying, "We are not a dumping ground."
2005 Apr 9, Israeli border
troops shot and killed 3 Palestinian youths in a southern Gaza Strip
refugee camp in violence that ended weeks of calm.
(AP, 4/9/05)(SSFC, 4/10/05, p.A5)
2005 Apr 14, Palestinian leader
Mahmoud Abbas on ordered reforms of his security services, a key
Israeli and U.S. condition for renewing peace negotiations.
2005 Apr 14, Israeli troops
shot and killed a Palestinian militant in the West Bank.
2005 Apr 17, Armed Palestinian
militants shut down a government building in the West Bank and
threatened to kill members of the Palestinian parliament, demanding
the Palestinian Authority provide jobs to former prisoners and to
relatives of people killed in fighting.
2005 Apr 29, Russian President
Vladimir Putin laid a wreath on the late-Palestinian leader Yasser
Arafat's tomb and held talks with Arafat's successor, Mahmoud Abbas,
but Palestinians held out little hope for concrete results.
2005 Apr 30, Palestinian
security officials said Israeli special forces entered Tulkarem
before dawn and arrested 18-year-old Mohammed Shalhoub. Israeli
military officials said Shalhoub was an Islamic Jihad militant
preparing an imminent suicide attack against Israelis and had
already filmed the video testament often left by suicide bombers.
2005 May 2, An Israeli soldier
and a Palestinian fugitive were killed in a shootout at Seideh in
the West Bank.
(AP, 5/2/05)(SFC, 5/3/05, p.A5)
2005 May 3, Israeli officials
said Hamas must disarm before participating in Palestinian
parliament elections this summer, in a new twist to their standoff
with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas over his refusal to use force
2005 May 4, Israeli Defense
Minister Shaul Mofaz said he is freezing the handover of West Bank
towns to Palestinian security control because the Palestinians have
failed to honor their promise to disarm militants.
2005 May 4, Israeli soldiers
shot and killed two Palestinian youths in a West Bank village near
the city of Ramallah.
2005 May 5, Palestinians voted
for local governments in dozens of towns and villages across the
West Bank and Gaza Strip. More than 2,500 candidates were vying for
seats on 84 municipal councils.
2005 May 6, Palestinian leader
Mahmoud Abbas' ruling Fatah movement narrowly fended off a strong
challenge by Hamas to win local elections, but the Islamic militant
group captured the 3 biggest races in the West Bank and the Gaza
Strip, establishing itself as a major political force.
2005 May 6, The UN Sec. Gen.
appointed Alvaro de Soto as the Special Coordinator for the Middle
East Peace Process. De Soto resigned in May, 2007.
2005 May 9, Palestinian
militants and police exchanged gunfire in two West Bank towns
Monday, defying Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas' attempts to crack
down on lawlessness and put peacemaking with Israel on a more solid
2005 May 9, PM Ariel Sharon
told Israeli media that Israel's evacuation of the Gaza Strip will
be put off until mid-August.
2005 May 18, An Israeli
aircraft fired at a group of Hamas militants who were about to shoot
mortar shells at a Jewish settlement in the Gaza Strip.
2005 May 20, Palestinian
militants fired six anti-tank missiles and a mortar round and opened
up with light arms at a Jewish settlement in the Gaza Strip.
2005 May 21, The Palestinian
interior ministry said the Hamas militant group has agreed to halt
mortar and rocket fire on Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip, a
deal meant to save a truce threatened by three consecutive days of
2005 May 22, In Palestine
protesters besieged Laura Bush during her visit to two of
Jerusalem's most sacred sites.
2005 May 22, Jordan, Israel and
the Palestinian Authority said they had agreed terms for a
feasibility study on transferring water from the Red Sea to the Dead
Sea, to save the world's lowest sea from vanishing.
2005 May 23, The Palestinian
Election Commission said that parliamentary elections scheduled for
July 17 will be delayed because it needed more time to prepare for
2005 May 24, World Orthodox
leaders gathered in Istanbul, the ancient seat of Orthodoxy. They
decided to stop recognizing the beleaguered patriarch of Jerusalem,
Irineos I, for allegedly leasing sites in the Palestinian side of
the city to Jewish investors. They asserted a rare unified position
on the crisis facing the church in the Holy Land.
(AP, 5/24/05)(WSJ, 5/25/05, p.A1)
2005 May 26, President Bush met
with Palestinian leader Mohmoud Abbas, praised his steps toward
democracy, and said the US will pay $50 million in housing aid for
Palestinians in Gaza.
2005 May 29, Israel's Cabinet
approved the release of 400 Palestinian prisoners.
2005 May 30, The Israeli
military targeted rocket launchers just before an attack was to be
launched from northern Gaza, and two launchers were destroyed.
2005 May 31, James Wolfensohn,
former World Bank chief, assumed the post of special envoy for Gaza
disengagement for the Quartet (USA, Russia, EU and UN). He was
assigned to co-ordinate Israel’s imminent withdrawal from the Gaza
Strip and to focus on economic ways to help Palestinians after the
Israeli exit. He left the post a year later.
(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Wolfensohn)(Econ, 6/30/07, p.55)
2005 Jun 2, Israel released 398
Palestinian prisoners, completing a pledge made under a cease-fire
agreement, hours after Israel and the Palestinians announced their
leaders would soon meet for the first time since February.
(AP, 6/2/05)(WSJ, 6/3/05, p.A1)
2005 Jun 7, Israeli soldiers
killed a top Islamic Jihad militant in a West Bank gunbattle, and a
Palestinian mortar attack on a Jewish settlement in Gaza killed two
2005 Jun 8, In Palestine 3
workers at a Jewish settlement in Gaza were killed in a Palestinian
mortar strike, two West Bank militants were shot dead by soldiers
and an infiltrator from Egypt to Gaza was gunned down by Israeli
2005 Jun 12, The Palestinian
Authority carried out its first executions since 2001, killing four
convicted murderers as part of a new campaign to rein in lawlessness
2005 Jun 18, The Palestinian
parliament passed a compromise election law afternoon removing a
major hurdle to new legislative elections that were originally
scheduled for next month but were postponed indefinitely.
2005 Jun 18, Palestinian
militants attacked a Gaza Strip settlement, sparking a gunbattle
that killed one of the attackers and wounded another.
2005 Jun 19, Palestinian
militants fired light arms and rocket-propelled grenades at Israelis
near an army post on the Gaza-Egypt border, wounding 3 Israelis. One
militant was killed in the attack.
2005 Jun 20, Palestinian gunmen
ambushed an Israeli minivan driving through the northern West Bank,
riddling the vehicle with bullets, killing one passenger and
wounding a second.
2005 Jun 21, Palestinian leader
Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon met for the
first time since declaring a February truce, but the summit was
clouded by Israel's arrest of 52 Islamic Jihad activists and a
missile strike in the Gaza Strip.
2005 Jun 22, The first
Palestinian-Israeli summit in four months failed to propel peace
prospects forward or solidify a shaky truce, leaving main issues
unresolved and both sides disappointed.
2005 Jun 22, Palestinian gunmen
fired shots and detonated an explosive device as PM Ahmed Qureia
left a building in a West Bank refugee camp where he was lecturing
militants on the need to restore order to the streets.
2005 Jun 23, Palestinian
officials said they reached a tentative agreement to absorb about
700 gunmen in Nablus into the Palestinian security services.
2005 Jun 23, Palestinian
militants killed an officer in an attack on a police station in the
West Bank town of Jenin.
2005 Jun 24, Palestinian gunmen
opened fire on a group of hitchhikers and killed one, the third
Israeli slaying in a flare-up of violence that threatens a truce
reached in February.
2005 Jun 29, Palestinian leader
Mahmoud Abbas asked Hamas militants to join his Cabinet to improve
prospects of a peaceful takeover of the Gaza Strip.
2005 Jul 5, Hamas rejected an
invitation from Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to join his
2005 Jul 8, An Israeli security
guard shot dead a Palestinian teenager during a protest against
Israel's West Bank separation barrier.
2005 Jul 12, Sami Abu Khalil
(18), from the West Bank village of Atil, detonated 22 pounds of
explosives strapped to his body outside a shopping mall in Netanya.
He killed two 16-year-old girls and a 31-year-old woman. A
50-year-old woman died in the hospital the next day.
2005 Jul 13, Israeli troops
reoccupied the West Bank city of Tulkarem early, killing a
Palestinian policeman in a firefight and arresting five Islamic
Jihad activists after the militant group killed four Israelis in a
2005 Jul 15, The Israeli
military launched an airstrike at a van carrying a group of Hamas
militants and a cache of homemade rockets in a Gaza City street,
killing 4 people.
2005 Jul 16, Israeli troops
raided towns across the West Bank, arresting 26 suspected
Palestinian militants. Israeli aircraft launched a series of
airstrikes in Gaza City and the southern Gaza town of Khan Younis.
2005 Jul 19, Israeli police
encircled thousands of Gaza withdrawal opponents, confining them to
a fenced-in farming village to prevent them from marching to the
nearby Gaza Strip. Israeli and Palestinian leaders announced a fresh
(AP, 7/19/05)(Econ, 7/23/05, p.41)
2005 Jul 20, In Palestine the
ruling Fatah movement and the Islamic Hamas agreed to end several
days of clashes in northern Gaza that took the lives of two
2005 Jul 24, Palestinian
militants killed two Israeli motorists in the Gaza Strip. Israeli
troops killed 2 of the gunmen. A suicide bomber was caught near an
Israeli communal farm with a belt packed with 11 pounds of
(AP, 7/24/05)(WSJ, 7/25/05, p.A1)
2005 Jul 26, Officials said
Jerusalem planners have approved the construction of a new Jewish
neighborhood in the city's Muslim Quarter.
2005 Jul 27, Israeli troops
killed a Palestinian stone-thrower during an arrest raid that caught
a wanted Islamic Jihad militant in this West Bank town.
2005 Aug 2, A 3-year old
Palestinian boy was killed and 9 Palestinians were wounded in the
northern Gaza Strip when rockets launched by militants misfired and
landed in Palestinian areas.
2005 Aug 3, Islamic Jihad, a
major Palestinian militant group, declared that it would fire no
more rockets at Israelis through Israel's planned Gaza Strip
withdrawal, after a deadly barrage inadvertently killed a 5-year-old
2005 Aug 6, Palestinian judges
and lawyers shut down the Palestinian legal system until further
notice to protest recent attacks against senior legal officials.
2005 Aug 13, For the first time
in a decade, the founders and top political leaders of Hamas
gathered on the same stage, vowing to go on fighting Israel and
claiming victory for its impending withdrawal from the Gaza Strip.
2005 Aug 14, Israel sealed the
Gaza Strip to Israeli civilians, signaling the start of the historic
withdrawal from the Gaza Strip.
2005 Aug 15, Israel began to
pull out from the Gaza Strip after 38 years of occupation. Asher
Weisgen (Weisgan), an Israeli settler, murdered four Palestinians
under his employ and wounded a fifth near Shilo in an effort to
prevent Israeli withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. On Sep 27, 2006,
Weisgan was sentenced to 4 consecutive life terms plus 12 years and
ordered to pay $53,000 to the families of those killed and $23,000
to Rauhi Kassab, who survived.
2005 Aug 18, Israeli forces
stormed the synagogue Neve Dekalim to remove about 1,500 protesters
inside. This was the main synagogue of the Gaza Strip Jewish
settlement and one of the last bastions of resistance to the Gaza
2005 Aug 20, Palestinian leader
Mahmoud Abbas signed a decree appropriating Jewish settlement land
and scheduled elections for Jan 25. In a challenge to Abbas, dozens
of masked Hamas gunmen took over Gaza City's central square and
announced they would not stop attacks on Israel, despite Israel's
ongoing withdrawal from the Gaza Strip.
(AP, 8/20/05)(SSFC, 8/21/05, p.A13)
2005 Aug 21, Thousands of
troops poured into four Gaza settlements, the final phase of
removing settlers from the coastal strip.
2005 Aug 22, The last Jewish
settlers left Gaza, making way for the Palestinian government.
2005 Aug 22, The Greek Orthodox
Church in the Holy Land elected a new patriarch to succeed their
ousted leader, who fell from grace over a controversial east
Jerusalem land deal.
2005 Aug 24, Palestinian
President Mahmoud Abbas said that the Israeli Army is expected to
leave the Gaza Strip by Oct. 4 at the latest.
2005 Aug 25, An Israeli
military raid on the West Bank refugee camp of Tulkarem left five
militants dead. Palestinians said at least two of the dead were
unarmed teenagers who were neighbors of the wanted men but didn't
belong to any militant group. An Orthodox Jewish man was stabbed to
death in Jerusalem.
2005 Aug 30, A US federal court
ordered Palestinian Authority assets in the US frozen in order to
pay a $116 million judgement for the 1996 killing of an American in
(WSJ, 8/31/05, p.A1)
2005 Aug, Samar Sabih (22),
Hamas' first female bomb maker, was arrested by Israeli security at
her home in the West Bank town of Tulkarem. The university graduate
was recruited in Gaza and sent to the West Bank to teach others to
assemble explosives. Security officials noted a sharp rise in the
use of women by militant groups in the past two years.
2005 Sep 3, Hamas' secretive
military wing emerged from hiding, naming commanders and detailing
how they attacked Israelis as part of a competition with the
Palestinian Authority over who will get credit for Israel's pullout
2005 Sep 5, An explosion
destroyed a house after nightfall in Gaza City, killing four people
and injuring at least 30. It belonged to a well-known family of
supporters of the Islamic militant group Hamas, but the Israeli
military denied having anything to do with the blast.
2005 Sep 6, Israel said it its
has authorized construction of 117 homes in one of the West Bank's
largest settlements and approved preliminary plans for another 3,000
housing units there, despite repeated US appeals to freeze
2005 Sep 7, About 100 masked
militants stormed the heavily guarded home of Moussa Arafat (65),
Gaza's former security chief, dragged him out in his pajamas and
killed him in a burst of gunfire days before Israel was to hand over
Gaza. The Popular Resistance Committees, a violent group made up
largely of former members of the Fatah movement of Palestinian
leader Mahmoud Abbas, claimed responsibility.
2005 Sep 10, Masked gunmen
abducted Lorenzo Cremonesi of the Corriere della Serra daily, an
Italian journalist in the Gaza Strip town of Deir El-Balah. He was
released after a few hours.
2005 Sep 10, Syrian President
Bashar Assad met with leaders of 10 militant Palestinian groups
based in Syria, defying U.S. pressure to crack down on these groups.
Syria's official news agency SANA reported Assad urged the radical
Palestinian leaders, including Khaled Mashaal, the political leader
of the militant Hamas group, to close ranks and continue the
struggle in order to achieve their goal of an independent
2005 Sep 11, Israel's Cabinet
voted unanimously to end its 38-year occupation of the Gaza Strip,
clearing the way to complete the country's withdrawal from the area
and turn it over to Palestinian control.
2005 Sep 12, Joyous Gazans
flooded into empty Jewish settlements and Palestinians climbed ropes
and clambered over walls to the Egyptian side of Rafah to join a
chaotic celebration of the end of 38 years of Israeli military rule
over the Gaza Strip. Palestinians set fire to abandoned synagogues.
2005 Sep 13, Tens of thousands
of people filled the center of Gaza City for the biggest Hamas
demonstration ever seen here, celebrating Israel's pullout and
listening to Hamas leaders vowing to continue the fight until
Israelis leave the rest of the Palestinian areas.
2005 Sep 14, Egypt said it had
found an arms-smuggling tunnel under the Gaza border, and
Palestinians crossing the frontier were warned to return by sunset
when passport controls will be reimposed.
2005 Sep 15, Israel's Supreme
Court upheld the legality of Israel's West Bank security barrier,
rejecting a ruling by the International Court of Justice that the
barrier violates Palestinian rights and should be torn down. It also
ruled that part of the barrier imposed major hardship on Palestinian
villagers and must be rerouted.
(AP, 9/15/05)(SFC, 9/16/05, p.A7)
2005 Sep 16, Thousands of
Palestinians broke through Egyptian and Palestinian Authority lines
on the Gaza border, pouring into Egypt in defiance of government
attempts to secure the frontier.
2005 Sep 19, Palestinian leader
Mahmoud Abbas said the Gaza-Egypt border will reopen only as part of
an international agreement, quashing speculation Egypt and the
Palestinians might operate a crossing without Israel's blessing.
2005 Sep 20, Egyptian police
stopped Palestinians from returning to Gaza, causing a crowd of more
than 1,000 people to gather near the crossing here, as officials
from the two sides met to discuss the border situation.
2005 Sep 22, Israelis left a
West Bank base used as a staging area to remove settlers and
soldiers killed a Palestinian teenager who entered the base early.
(WSJ, 9/23/05, p.A1)
2005 Sep 23, Palestinians took
charge of a border for the first time ever, allowing thousands to
cross between the Gaza Strip and Egypt in a temporary opening of the
2005 Sep 23, In Gaza’s Jebaliya
refugee camp a truck filled with masked militants and homemade
weapons exploded at a Hamas rally, killing at least 15 Palestinians
and wounding 80, including children. Hamas blamed Israel and
unleashed a barrage of rocket fire that lasted through the night.
(AP, 9/24/05)(SSFC, 9/25/05, A3)
2005 Sep 24, Israel killed at
least two Hamas militants in a missile strike and moved artillery
cannons to the Gaza border, launching what it vowed would be a
"crushing" response to a Hamas rocket barrage on Israeli towns. An
air strike caused heavy damage to the Al-Arkam school run by Hamas.
(AP, 9/24/05)(SSFC, 9/25/05, A3)
2005 Sep 25, Israeli aircraft
blasted suspected Palestinian weapons facilities in Gaza and
authorities arrested hundreds of militants in the West Bank,
launching an offensive against the Islamic group Hamas after it
bombarded Israeli towns with rockets. Hamas announced it would no
longer use Gaza Strip as a staging ground for attacks against
(AP, 9/25/05)(SFC, 9/26/05, A4)
2005 Sep 26, Israeli aircraft
attacked suspected weapons factories throughout the Gaza Strip,
pushing forward an offensive against Palestinian militants despite a
pledge by a top Hamas leader to halt rocket fire against Israel.
2005 Sep 27, Israel hit Gaza
with shells and airstrikes to suppress rocket fire and detained 379
West Bank militants in an overnight sweep against Hamas and Islamic
(AP, 9/27/05)(WSJ, 9/28/05, p.A1)
2005 Sep 28, Widening its
five-day campaign against Palestinian militants, Israel for the
first time fired live artillery shells into the Gaza Strip and shut
down 15 West Bank offices suspected of distributing money to
families of suicide bombers.
2005 Sep 29, Hamas captured up
to 1/3 of the votes in Palestinian municipal elections. Palestinian
leader Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party won in 51 of 104 municipalities,
to 13 for the Hamas militant group.
(SFC, 9/30/05, p.A10)(AP, 10/1/05)
2005 Sep 29, Israeli soldiers
killed 3 Palestinian gunmen in arrest raids in the West Bank,
pressing on with a major offensive against militants even as
Palestinian officials said they have begun enforcing a ban on public
2005 Sep 30, Israeli troops
killed two Palestinian militants in a shootout, while Palestinian
leader Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement made an unexpectedly strong
showing against rival Hamas in local elections in dozens of West
Bank towns and villages.
2005 Oct 2, Israel suspended
its offensive into the Gaza Strip following a lull in rocket fire by
Palestinian militants, but it is ready to restart the operation if
2005 Oct 2, Hamas gunmen
clashed with Palestinian security forces in the Gaza Strip. A police
commander and a civilian were killed and at least 50 others were
(SFC, 10/3/05, p.A8)
2005 Oct 3, The Palestinian
parliament voted that Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas must form a
new government within two weeks.
2005 Oct 4, A Palestinian woman
brandishing a knife stabbed and wounded an Israeli soldier at a
checkpoint outside the West Bank city of Nablus before other
soldiers shot and killed her.
2005 Oct 6, Gunmen abducted
three local Hamas leaders in a series of kidnappings. Prof. Riad
Abdel Karim al-Raz (47), a Palestinian university professor known as
a Hamas leader, was released the next day. The al-Farouk bin
al-Khatab Brigades, claimed responsibility.
2005 Oct 7, Palestinian police
arrested 30 suspected car thieves and drug dealers in a high-profile
crackdown on crime in this West Bank town.
2005 Oct 10, Israeli forces
caught a 14-year-old boy whom militants tried to push into becoming
a suicide bomber.
2005 Oct 11, Israeli forces
disguised as vegetable vendors in Tsurif captured Ibrahim Ighnimat
(47), a senior Hamas operative, who had been on the run for eight
2005 Oct 12, Masked Palestinian
gunmen kidnapped a US and a British journalist in the Gaza Strip.
Both men were freed in the evening.
2005 Oct 14, Palestinian leader
Mahmoud Abbas arrived in Jordan for talks with King Abdullah II.
2005 Oct 16, Palestinian gunmen
killed three Israelis and wounded five in drive-by attacks near
2005 Oct 17, Israel suspended
negotiations with the Palestinian Authority on issues such as
prisoner releases and slapped tough travel restrictions on the West
Bank after Palestinian gunmen killed three Israelis and wounded five
a day earlier.
2005 Oct 18, A shadowy
Palestinian militant group said it has abducted two alleged
collaborators with Israel and threatened to carry out additional
2005 Oct 20, President Bush met
with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in the Oval Office and said
prospects for Palestinians gaining a state seem to be better than
2005 Oct 23, Militant
Palestinians fought members of a Lebanese leftist party in a gun
battle that left one man dead and three wounded outside a refugee
2005 Oct 26, A Palestinian
suicide bomber struck a food stand in the Israeli town of Hadera,
killing 5 people, wounding at least 30 and leaving a path of
destruction at an open air market.
2005 Oct 27, Israeli troops
entered the West Bank town of Jenin and witnesses said they arrested
a local leader of Islamic Jihad, pushing forward with an offensive
against the Palestinian militant group following a suicide bombing
that killed five Israelis.
2005 Oct 27, Israeli forces
fired missiles in a Gaza refugee camp after nightfall, killing two
people including a leading Islamic Jihad militant.
2005 Oct 29, Israeli aircraft
fired missiles at open areas in northern Gaza and ground troops set
up a second artillery battery near the coastal strip, part of an
intensifying campaign against Palestinian rocket fire.
2005 Oct 30, Palestinian
officials said they have agreed with Israel to halt nearly a week of
fighting after militant groups pledged to halt rocket fire on
southern Israeli towns.
2005 Oct 30, Israeli troops
killed 3 Palestinian militants, including the suspected mastermind
of a suicide attack, in a West Bank raid just hours after the two
sides had reached a tentative new truce deal.
2005 Nov 1, An Israeli missile
strike on a car killed two Palestinians in the Jebaliya refugee
camp, Hassan Madhoun (37), a leader of the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades
and Fawzi Abu al-Karei (32), top man of the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam
Brigades, the militant wing of Hamas.
(AP, 11/1/05)(SFC, 11/2/05, p.A12)(Econ, 11/5/05,
2005 Nov 3, Israeli soldiers
shot and critically wounded a 13-year-old Palestinian boy who threw
stones at troops patrolling Jenin. The boy died Nov 5. The parents
of the Palestinian boy donated his organs to three Israeli children
waiting for transplants.
(AP, 11/3/05)(AP, 11/5/05)(AP, 11/7/05)
2005 Nov 7, The EU agreed to
monitor a Gaza-Egypt border crossing that serves as the main gate to
the world for Palestinians.
2005 Nov 7, EU foreign
ministers agreed to launch a three-year police training mission to
help the Palestinian Authority build up a new "sustainable and
effective" police force.
2005 Nov 14, Israeli troops
killed Amjad Hanawi (34), a senior Hamas militant, during an early
raid and arrest attempt in Nablus.
2005 Nov 15, Prodded by US Sec.
of State Condoleezza Rice, Israel and the Palestinians agreed on
details for opening the borders of the Gaza Strip and allowing freer
movement for Palestinians elsewhere.
2005 Nov 17, Israeli forces
killed two Palestinian militants during a West Bank arrest raid,
riddling their car with bullets when it tried to run a roadblock
outside the town of Jenin.
2005 Nov 18, In Gaza 2 rival
clans and Palestinian police exchanged fire in a dispute over land
in the area of a former Israeli settlement, killing Naef Astal (17)
and wounding 5 people.
2005 Nov 24, Iyad Abu Rob, a
top Islamic Jihad militant, surrendered to Israeli soldiers in
Jenin. In a separate operation, 2 wanted men surrendered after
Israeli troops surrounded two houses in the village of Kfar Kalil
near Nablus. Another man was shot, but his condition was not known.
2005 Nov 25, Palestinian leader
Mahmoud Abbas opened the Gaza-Egypt border in a festive ceremony, a
milestone for the Palestinians who for the first time took control
of a frontier crossing without Israeli veto powers and gained some
freedom of movement.
2005 Nov 25, Palestinian leader
Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party held primaries in six West Bank cities to
choose candidates for a January parliament election.
2005 Nov 26, Preliminary
results showed jailed Palestinian uprising leader Marwan Barghouti
and other younger activists swept Fatah primaries, signaling a
change of generations that could make the corruption-tainted ruling
party more attractive to voters in Jan. 25 parliament elections.
2005 Nov 28, The Palestinians'
ruling Fatah Party halted its primary election across the Gaza Strip
after angry gunmen shot in the air at several polling stations,
stole some ballot boxes and destroyed others.
2005 Dec 2, Israeli officials
said Palestinians have allowed up to 15 militants wanted by Israel
to return to the Gaza Strip, violating a U.S.-brokered agreement
that was to have let Israel monitor who enters the area from Egypt.
2005 Dec 4, Israeli aircraft
fired missiles at an abandoned building and a rocket launching
ground in the northern Gaza Strip in the first aerial attack on Gaza
in more than a month.
2005 Dec 5, A Palestinian
suicide bomber blew himself up among shoppers waiting to enter a
mall in the Israeli town of Netanya, killing at least 5 people and
wounding more than 30 others.
2005 Dec 6, Israel clamped an
open-ended closure on the West Bank and Gaza, banning virtually all
Palestinians from Israel, and arrested 15 Palestinian militants in a
first response to the suicide bombing that killed five Israelis
outside a shopping mall.
2005 Dec 7, An Israeli aircraft
fired a missile at a car carrying Palestinian militants, killing at
least one militant and wounding 10 others.
2005 Dec 8, An Israeli
airstrike in the northern Gaza Strip killed two Palestinian
militants and a Palestinian stabbing attack killed an Israeli in the
West Bank in a new spasm of violence.
2005 Dec 13, Masked Palestinian
security forces have arrested dozens of Islamic Jihad activists in a
series of overnight raids across the West Bank in recent days.
However, the raids netted only low-level operatives, and some
suspect the goal is to appease the United States and Israel rather
than crush the militant group.
2005 Dec 14, Israel’s the
Defense Ministry said it has approved construction of hundreds of
new homes in West Bank settlements, confirming what would be a
violation of the U.S.-backed peace plan.
2005 Dec 14, The Israeli
military fired a missile at a car in northern Gaza it said was
packed with militants about to carry out an attack. Four
Palestinians were killed and four were wounded.
2005 Dec 16, The Hamas militant
group won local elections in the West Bank's largest cities,
according to preliminary results, dealing a harsh blow to the ruling
Fatah party just six weeks ahead of a parliamentary poll.
2005 Dec 17, An explosion in
the southern Gaza Strip killed a militant who fired homemade rockets
at Israel and wounded three other people.
2005 Dec 20, About two dozen
gunmen briefly seized Bethlehem's city hall on Manger Square,
demanding money and jobs in the Palestinian security forces. Worried
clergy temporarily closed the nearby Church of the Nativity for
2005 Dec 22, Israeli troops
shot and killed three Palestinian militants, including Bashar Hanani
(29), the local leader of a small radical faction, during an arrest
raid in the West Bank city of Nablus.
(AP, 12/22/05)(SFC, 12/23/05, p.A15)
2005 Dec 26, Israel said it
will build more than 200 new homes in Jewish West Bank settlements,
a blow to peace efforts despite word that Ariel Sharon's new party
plans a major push for Palestinian statehood if it wins upcoming
2005 Dec 27, The Israeli
military fired a barrage of artillery and missiles at the Gaza
Strip, hitting two offices of the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades and a
bridge the army said was used by militants to reach areas where they
2005 Dec 28, Dozens of masked
Palestinian gunmen took over election offices in the Gaza Strip,
exchanging fire with police and demanding spaces for the ruling
Fatah Party's military wing on a list for Jan. 25 parliamentary
2005 Dec 28, Israeli jets
blasted a Palestinian militant group's base a few miles outside
Beirut, hours after rockets fired from Lebanon hit a northern
Israeli border town.
2005 Dec 29, A Palestinian
suicide bomber trying to enter Israel blew himself at a military
checkpoint set up to foil attackers, killing an Israeli soldier and
two other Palestinians.
2005 Dec 30, Palestinian
policemen angry over the killing of a fellow officer stormed the
Gaza-Egypt border crossing, firing in the air and forcing European
monitors to flee and close the terminal for several hours.
2005 Dec 31, Dozens of
Palestinian gunmen stormed several government offices in Gaza City
and briefly took the Interior Ministry to demand jobs.
2005 Dec 31, A British aid
worker and her parents were whisked out of Gaza after being released
by Palestinian gunmen who had abducted them two days earlier.
2005 Dec 31, Two Palestinians
were killed in Israel's first deadly airstrike in a Gaza border area
it recently put off-limits, just as a truce that has drastically
reduced violence between the two sides formally ended.
2006 Jan 1, Palestinian
security forces stormed a building where an Italian hostage was
being held, freeing the man after a shootout with his kidnappers.
2006 Jan 2, A car exploded in
northern Gaza after nightfall, killing at least one Palestinian.
Witnesses said an Israeli aircraft was overhead.
2006 Jan 2, An Israeli
intelligence report said Palestinians have smuggled anti-aircraft
missiles into the Gaza Strip along with tons of other military
hardware since Israel withdrew in September.
2006 Jan 4, Palestinian
militants angry at the jailing of their leader stole two bulldozers
and smashed through the border wall between Gaza and Egypt.
2006 Jan 8, The Islamic
militant group Hamas launched a TV station in the Gaza Strip as part
of its expansion into Palestinian politics.
2006 Jan 9, Israel permitted
Palestinian politicians to campaign in disputed Jerusalem, reversing
an initial ban and clearing an obstacle to holding Palestinian
parliament elections on Jan. 25.
2006 Jan 12, A Palestinian
militant blew himself up and two other Palestinians were killed in a
gunbattle with Israeli troops during an arrest raid in the West Bank
town of Jenin.
2006 Jan 15, Israel’s acting PM
Ehud Olmert faced his first major test when he led his Cabinet in a
unanimous decision to let Palestinians vote in Jerusalem later this
2006 Jan 16, Israeli police
seized buildings and rooftops in a Jewish settler enclave in Hebron,
restoring order after three days of riots sparked by plans to evict
Israeli squatters from an abandoned Palestinian market.
2006 Jan 16, The Palestinian
film "Paradise Now," which explores the lives of a pair of suicide
bombers, won the Golden Globe for best foreign film. "Brokeback
Mountain" won four Golden Globes, including best motion picture
drama; "Lost" won best dramatic television series while "Desperate
Housewives" won for best musical or comedy series.
(AP, 1/17/06)(AP, 1/16/07)
2006 Jan 18, Former PM Shimon
Peres said Israel would be ready to open negotiations with the
Palestinians on a permanent peace accord after Israeli elections on
2006 Jan 19, A Palestinian
suicide bomber blew himself up at a Tel Aviv fast-food stand,
killing himself and wounding 15 people.
2006 Jan 21, Palestinian
security forces cast ballots for parliamentary candidates in the
official start of this week's Palestinian elections.
2006 Jan 22, An Israeli
aircraft fired at three Palestinian gunmen trying to infiltrate
Israel from the Gaza Strip, killing one man and wounding the other
2006 Jan 24, Palestinian gunmen
in Nablus linked to the ruling Fatah movement killed Abu Ahmed
Hassouna (44), one of their party leaders, increasing tensions on
the eve of parliamentary balloting.
2006 Jan 25, Palestinians cast
ballots in their first parliamentary election in a decade. Hamas won
a huge majority in parliamentary elections as Palestinian voters
rejected the longtime rule of the Fatah Party, throwing the future
of Mideast peacemaking into question. Hamas counted up to 6
leaderships: notional chief Khaled Meshal in exile in Damascus;
Ismail Haniyeh and other heavyweights in the Gaza Strip; members in
the West Bank; convicted prisoners in Israeli jails; unconvicted
prisoners detained in Israeli military jails; and heads of the armed
(AP, 1/26/06)(Econ, 6/17/06, p.51)
2006 Jan 26, Hamas leader
Mahmoud Zahar said he was ready to maintain a cease-fire with Israel
forged in February 2005 if Israel does likewise, but that the
Islamic group will respond to attacks. Hamas supporters raised their
flag over the Palestinian parliament and rushed into the building
amid clashes with Fatah loyalists.
2006 Jan 26, President Bush
said that Hamas cannot be a partner for Middle East peacemaking
without renouncing violence, and he reiterated that the United
States will not deal with Palestinian leaders who do not recognize
Israel's right to exist.
2006 Jan 27, Palestinian leader
Mahmoud Abbas asked Hamas to form a new government after his
vanquished Fatah Party rejected a role in the Cabinet and Israel
ruled out peace talks. In the wake of Hamas' triumph in Palestinian
parliamentary elections, thousands of outraged Fatah supporters
burned cars and fired in the air across the Gaza Strip.
(AP, 1/27/06)(AP, 1/27/07)
2006 Jan 28, Fatah activists
marched to Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas' compound, police
briefly stormed the parliament building in Gaza and security forces
clashed with Hamas gunmen as the long-ruling party lashed out in
anger for its devastating election loss.
2006 Jan 30, European Union
foreign ministers called on Hamas to recognize the state of Israel,
renounce violence and disarm. “It is the view of the Quartet (UN,
EU, American and Russia) that all members of a future Palestinian
government must be committed to nonviolence, recognition of Israel,
and acceptance of previous agreements and obligations, including the
Roadmap. We urge both parties to respect their existing agreements,
including on movement and access."
2006 Jan 31, Israeli troops
killed two Islamic Jihad militants, including Nidal Abu Saada, the
group's top leader in the West Bank, during a shootout that erupted
during an arrest raid.
2006 Jan 31, Saudi Arabia and
Jordan pressed the Islamic militant group Hamas to moderate its
stand on Israel and to entice the defeated Fatah party into a deal
to share power.
2006 Feb 1, Two top Egyptian
officials called on Hamas to recognize Israel, disarm and honor past
peace deals, the latest sign Arab governments are pushing the
militant group to moderate after its surprise election victory.
2006 Feb 1, Israeli forces
completed the evacuation of the Amona West Bank settlement outpost,
ending a violent operation in which dozens of people were injured in
clashes between police and Jewish settlers.
2006 Feb 1, Israel said it
froze this month's transfer of $45 million in tax rebates and
customs payments to the Palestinian Authority while it reviews its
options following the Hamas victory in last week's parliamentary
election. A senior Palestinian official said Saudi Arabia and Qatar
pledged Wednesday to transfer millions to ease the crisis.
2006 Feb 2, Armed militants,
angered by a cartoon drawing of the Prophet Muhammad published in
European media, surrounded EU offices in Gaza and threatened to
kidnap foreigners as outrage over the caricatures spread across the
Islamic world. A fatwa was issued by Yussuf al-Qaradawi, a
Brotherhood sheikh with his own program on al-Jazeera. Other radical
groups joined the fray. Although there is no Quranic injunction
against images, Islam in its early years came into contact with a
version of Christianity that was militantly iconoclastic and some
Muslim theologians issued fatwas against any depiction of the
(AP, 2/2/06)(WSJ, 2/8/06, p.A16)
2006 Feb 3, A study by the
Israeli Research Institute for Economic and Social Affairs
determined that more than $14 billion has been spent on West Bank
settlements since capturing the territory in 1967.
2006 Feb 4, A Palestinian man
stabbed five people on a minibus in central Israel, killing one
woman before passengers subdued him.
2006 Feb 4, Rage against
caricatures of Islam's revered prophet poured out across the Muslim
world. Aggrieved believers in Syria called for executions, stormed,
European buildings and torched the Danish and Norwegian embassies in
Damascus. In Gaza Palestinians marched through the streets, storming
European buildings and burning German and Danish flags.
(AP, 2/4/06)(AP, 2/4/07)
2006 Feb 5, Israeli aircraft
fired three missiles at a building used by militants in Gaza City,
killing three people and wounding five.
2006 Feb 5, Israel agreed to
make a crucial payment of $54 million in tax and customs revenues to
the Palestinians, but officials said future transfers will be halted
once Hamas militants form the next Palestinian government.
2006 Feb 6, Israeli forces
fired a missile at a car in the northern Gaza Strip after nightfall
killing two Palestinian militants, including a man described as a
2006 Feb 8, Hundreds of
Palestinians attacked an international observer mission in Hebron,
throwing stones and smashing windows as dozens of foreigners were
2006 Feb 8, Khaled Batch, a
leader of the militant Islamic Jihad group, said the group rejects
the idea of a long-term truce with Israel and will not join a
Hamas-led government. Islamic Jihad, which is believed to be funded,
in part, by Iran, boycotted last month's Palestinian parliament
2006 Feb 8, A dispute over the
fate of an ancient Muslim cemetery in Jerusalem threatened to ignite
tensions as workers removed skeletons from the site despite Muslim
pleas for the work to end. Israeli developers and archaeologists
were removing the tombs to make room for the Los Angeles-based Simon
Wiesenthal Center to build a multi-million-dollar Museum of
Tolerance, dedicated in part to promoting understanding among
2006 Feb 9, Palestinian
prosecutors froze bank accounts and seized assets of dozens of
suspects in a widening corruption probe of senior government
officials believed to have stolen hundreds of millions of dollars in
2006 Feb 9, Two masked gunmen
shot out the tires of a diplomatic vehicle and kidnapped Egypt's
military attache to the Palestinian Authority, in a brazen daylight
abduction just outside the heavily guarded Egyptian mission in Gaza
2006 Feb 9, Russian President
Vladimir Putin invited leaders of Hamas to Moscow, saying his
country does not see the Palestinian group as a terrorist
2006 Feb 13, The outgoing
Palestinian parliament passed legislation giving Palestinian leader
Mahmoud Abbas the power to appoint a court that could veto
legislation passed by the new Hamas-led parliament to be sworn in
2006 Feb 14, The NY Times
reported that the US and Israel are considering a campaign to starve
the Palestinian Authority of cash so Palestinians would grow
disillusioned with their incoming militant Hamas rulers and return
ousted Fatah moderates to power.
2006 Feb 18, Palestinian leader
Mahmoud Abbas asked Hamas to form the next Palestinian government,
but demanded that the Islamic militant group recognize existing
peace deals and fall in line with his moderate policies, including
negotiations with Israel.
2006 Feb 18, Hamas legislator
Abdel Aziz Duaik, a geography professor from the West Bank, was
elected speaker of the new Palestinian parliament.
2006 Feb 19, Ismail Haniyeh
(46), a Gaza lawmaker seen as a leader of Hamas' pragmatic wing, was
nominated to be Palestinian prime minister.
2006 Feb 19, Israel's Cabinet
approved an immediate freeze on the transfer of hundreds of millions
of dollars in tax money to the Palestinians in its first response to
the takeover of the Palestinian parliament by the militant group
2006 Feb 19, Amr Moussa, the
head of the Arab League, said that members would meet this week to
hammer out a plan for sending millions of dollars a month to the
Palestinian Authority, despite US attempts to stop the flow of money
to the new Hamas-led government.
2006 Feb 19, An Israeli
aircraft attacked two Palestinians laying a bomb near the
Gaza-Israel border fence. Palestinians said two militants were
2006 Feb 20, Hamas began
coalition talks to form the Palestinians' first government led by
Islamic militants after winning the nod from moderate Palestinian
leader Mahmoud Abbas.
2006 Feb 21, Hamas presented
its choice for Palestinian prime minister. Ismail Haniyeh (43), a
pragmatic former university administrator, and the Islamic militant
group reached out to other factions, including Fatah, to join a
broad-based Cabinet that might stand a chance of gaining
2006 Feb 22, Iran offered to
help finance a Palestinian Authority run by the Hamas militant
group, state radio said in a report that brought a quick warning
from Israel that it would do all it could legally to stop the
Palestinians from receiving the money.
2006 Feb 23, Israeli troops
killed five Palestinians, including three fugitive gunmen, and
seriously wounded a sixth man during an arrest sweep in the Balata
refugee camp. The sweep, which began Feb 20, left a total of 8
Palestinians dead and over 50 injured.
2006 Feb 24, Israel's air force
fired a missile at a group of Palestinian militants firing rockets
at Israeli targets.
2006 Feb 25, A senior US
diplomat said the US will continue to give humanitarian aid to ease
the plight of the Palestinians despite militant group Hamas's
victory in elections.
2006 Feb 27, Israel said it
will not hold peace talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas
because he is powerless to enforce agreements while the Islamic
militant group Hamas controls his government.
2006 Feb 27, The EU agreed to
grant $145 million in urgent aid to the Palestinians before a
government led by the Islamic militant group Hamas takes power, a
move aimed at preventing a financial collapse that could add to the
chaos in the Middle East.
2006 Mar 1, Palestinian leaders
returned some $30 million of $46 million that the US donated
directly to the government and will send back the rest before the
militant Hamas organization takes over. The current government, led
by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' moderate Fatah Party, agreed
under US pressure to return about $46 million in unspent direct
donations. The Palestinian Authority gets about $1 billion of its
annual $1.9 billion budget from overseas donors, with European
nations the largest contributors.
2006 Mar 1, An explosion in a
car in Gaza City killed rocket maker Khaled Dahdouh (45), Islamic
Jihad's top military commander in the Gaza Strip. The Israeli
military, which carries out pinpointed attacks against militants in
the coastal strip, said it was not involved. Palestinian militants
shot and killed a Jewish settler traveling on a road near the
settlement of Tapuah.
2006 Mar 2, Palestinian leader
Mahmoud Abbas said in a published interview that the al-Qaida terror
network has infiltrated the Gaza Strip and West Bank.
2006 Mar 2, South Africa joined
a growing list of countries inviting Hamas leaders for talks,
raising Israeli concerns that the international front against the
Islamic militants is crumbling.
2006 Mar 3, Khaled Mashaal,
Hamas' political leader, rejected any discussion about the militant
group's refusal to recognize Israel, dealing a setback to Moscow's
efforts to persuade it to soften its stance.
2006 Mar 3, Israeli troops shot
and killed a Palestinian teenager and wounded a second person during
an early morning raid in the West Bank city of Nablus.
2006 Mar 6, Hamas lawmakers in
Palestine voted to revoke decisions made by the Fatah-led parliament
at its last meeting in February, including more power for Pres.
(WSJ, 3/7/06, p.A1)
2006 Mar 6, Israeli aircraft
blew up a truck carrying Islamic Jihad militants, killing two of
them and three bystanders, including two children. The Israeli
military confirmed it attacked the truck, saying the target was one
of the dead men, Islamic Jihad operative Moner Sukar, who had
carried out rocket attacks against Israel.
2006 Mar 7, The World Bank
announced a $42 million grant to the Palestinian Authority, which
was plunged into a financial crisis by a drop in revenues after the
Islamic militant group Hamas won Palestinian parliament elections in
2006 Mar 10, The EU threatened
to cut off aid to a Hamas-led Palestinian government "unless it
seeks peace by peaceful means," its strongest signal to the new
2006 Mar 14, Israel’s acting PM
Ehud Olmert pledged to annex the Ariel Jewish settlement deep in the
West Bank, a message aimed at appeasing settlers alarmed by his
plans to withdraw from large parts of the West Bank over the next
2006 Mar 14, Israeli forces
driving bulldozers and firing tank shells and missiles burst into a
Palestinian prison and removed dozens of inmates in a raid targeting
prisoners convicted of killing an Israeli Cabinet minister.
Palestinian gunmen kidnapped an American teacher at a university in
the West Bank following the raid by Israeli forces. A UN aid agency
and the International Committee of the Red Cross said they were
temporarily pulling all foreign staff out of the West Bank and Gaza,
after gunmen kidnapped nine foreigners in just a few hours.
(AP, 3/14/06)(Econ, 3/18/06, p.49)
2006 Mar 15, Palestinian
militants released the last four foreigners they had seized a day
earlier to protest an Israeli military raid on a West Bank prison.
Meanwhile, Palestinian PM Mahmoud Abbas called the raid an
2006 Mar 16, Israeli troops
surrounded two houses in the West Bank town of Jenin, setting off a
fierce gunbattle with Palestinian militants that left one Israeli
soldier dead and forced the surrender of five wanted men.
2006 Mar 16, The World Bank
warned that the Palestinian economy will be devastated if Israel and
the international community follow through on threats to cut off
financial assistance once Hamas assumes power.
2006 Mar 18, Hamas said it has
formed a government two weeks before a deadline but apparently
without coalition partners that might have softened the Islamic
militant group's image.
2006 Mar 20, Palestinian gunmen
from the ousted Fatah Party stormed government buildings, briefly
took over a power plant and blocked a vital road in the Gaza Strip,
injecting more chaos into the volatile area as Hamas militants
readied to take power.
2006 Mar 21, Israel reopened
the Gaza Strip's main cargo crossing to alleviate a food shortage in
2006 Mar 21, Israel indicted
two West Bank Palestinians on charges of belonging to al-Qaida and
plotting to carry out a double bombing for the group in Jerusalem,
the first time Palestinians have been formally linked to the terror
2006 Mar 22, Israeli troops
raided the Aqwar Jaba West Bank refugee camp, killing a wanted
Palestinian militant and forcing two others to surrender.
2006 Mar 26, Hamas pressed Arab
leaders gathering for a summit in Sudan to triple their financial
support to Palestinians and provide it fast, saying its government
will need around $170 million a month, mostly for salaries.
2006 Mar 28, The Palestinian
parliament overwhelming approved the new Hamas Cabinet, setting the
stage for the new administration to take office later this week.
2006 Mar 29, Hamas formally
took power, and the newly installed prime minister pledged to
cooperate with President Mahmoud Abbas, head of the defeated Fatah
party. The bush administration and Canada cut all official ties as
the new government was sworn in.
(AP, 3/29/06)(SFC, 3/30/06, p.A12)
2006 Mar 30, A Palestinian
militant killed four Israelis in a suicide bombing in the West Bank,
weeks after being released from a Palestinian prison.
2006 Mar 30, The EU, Russia,
the UN and the US warned the Hamas-led Palestinian government that
it must recognize Israel and seek peace talks if it wants to be
guaranteed continued aid.
2006 Mar 31, Abu Yousef Abu
Quka, a top commander of a small militant Palestinian group, was
killed when his car mysteriously exploded in flames. A shootout
between rival Palestinian factions erupted shortly after the blast.
2006 Apr 4, Israeli warplanes
fired three missiles into the presidential compound of Palestinian
leader Mahmoud Abbas, wounding 2 people and leaving deep craters in
2006 Apr 5, PM Ismail Haniyeh
said the new Hamas-led government is broke and missed the April 1
monthly pay date for tens of thousands of Palestinian public
2006 Apr 6, Palestinian PM
Ismail Haniya said his Hamas-led government would study any Israeli
offer for negotiations following an unprecedented peace overture to
2006 Apr 7, The EU said it has
cut off direct aid payments to the Hamas-led Palestinian government
because of its refusal to renounce violence and recognize Israel.
2006 Apr 7, Israeli troops shot
and killed a Palestinian man during an overnight arrest raid in the
West Bank city of Nablus.
2006 Apr 7, Israeli missiles
slammed into a car in Gaza City, killing two members of a
Palestinian rocket squad in the 2nd deadly airstrike since the
Islamic militant group Hamas assumed power last week. An Israeli
airstrike killed six Palestinian militants and wounded five at a
militant training camp in central Gaza.
(AP, 4/8/06)(SFC, 4/8/06, p.A7)
2006 Apr 9, Israel's security
Cabinet recommended that the government cut all ties with the
Hamas-led Palestinian Authority, including Palestinian President
Mahmoud Abbas, and declare it a "hostile entity." Israeli artillery
fire killed a Palestinian police officer and wounded 16 people in
Gaza, as Israel escalated its retaliation for militant rocket
strikes and put pressure on the new Hamas-led government that
refuses to stop the attacks.
2006 Apr 10, EU foreign
ministers endorsed a freeze of aid to the Palestinian government but
said they would seek alternative ways of providing money for
2006 Apr 10, Israel suspended
formal security ties with the Palestinians in a bid to further
isolate the new Hamas government one day after declaring it a
2006 Apr 10, Hadil Ghaben (8)
was killed when 2 Israeli shells blew huge holes in a concrete block
house in Beit Lahiya in the northern Gaza Strip. The girl's mother
and seven siblings were hurt in the attack.
2006 Apr 10, Lebanon arrested 9
Lebanese and Palestinians suspected of plotting the assassination of
(WSJ, 4/11/06, p.A1)
2006 Apr 11, The UN said it has
ended its policy of unrestricted political contacts with the
Palestinians and will now assess every request for political talks
with the new Hamas-run government.
2006 Apr 12, The US Treasury
Department said "transactions with the Palestinian Authority by US
persons are prohibited, unless licensed." It said the decision was
based on "existing terrorism sanctions."
2006 Apr 12, The Israeli army
killed to Al Aqsa infiltrators trying to enter from Gaza.
(WSJ, 4/13/06, p.A1)
2006 Apr 15, Palestinian police
sealed off a main road and briefly stormed a government building in
the central Gaza town of Khan Younis, angered by the Hamas-led
government's failure to pay them.
2006 Apr 16, State-run
television reported that Iran will give the financially strapped
Palestinian Authority $50 million in aid.
2006 Apr 17, Israeli soldiers
holed up in a home in Nablus opened fire on stone-throwing
protesters outside the building, wounding two people, including a
13-year-old boy. Sami Hammad, a Palestinian suicide bomber, blew
himself up outside a fast-food restaurant in Tel Aviv during the
Passover holiday, killing 9 other people and wounding at least 49 in
the deadliest Palestinian attack in more than a year. Islamic Jihad
claimed responsibility. Daniel Wultz (16) of Florida was among 11
people killed in the restaurant attack. In 2012 an Israeli advocacy
group won a $323 million judgement in US court against Iran and
Syria for supporting Palestinian militants involved in the attack.
(AP, 4/17/06)(SFC, 4/18/06, p.A1)(Econ, 4/22/06,
p.47)(SFC, 5/16/12, p.A2)
2006 Apr 17, Qatar said it
would give the Palestinian government $50 million in aid to help
make up for a shortfall after the US and the EU cut off funding.
2006 Apr 18, Israel decided to
revoke the Jerusalem residency rights of four Hamas lawmakers, a
response to a suicide bombing that killed nine civilians in a Tel
Aviv restaurant. Israeli aircraft fired missiles at a metal workshop
in Gaza City.
2006 Apr 18, Jordan accused
Hamas activists of smuggling missiles and other weapons into the
kingdom and said it was canceling a planned visit of the Palestinian
foreign minister, the second diplomatic snub for the Hamas-led
government in a week.
2006 Apr 21, Palestinian
President Mahmoud Abbas blocked Hamas' plans to set up a shadow
security force, which was to be made up of militants and to be
headed by the No. 2 on Israel's wanted list.
2006 Apr 21, A senior military
commander said Israel is actively preparing to reoccupy the Gaza
Strip and a powerful lawmaker said the entire Palestinian Cabinet
could be targeted for assassination after the appointment of a
wanted militant to head a new security force.
2006 Apr 23, The militant Hamas
group and the rival Fatah Party agreed to work together to restore
calm following violent clashes and mass protests across the
Palestinian areas over their struggle for control over security
2006 Apr 23, Israeli forces
fired on a car of alleged militants in Bethlehem killing 2 people.
(WSJ, 4/24/06, p.A1)
2006 Apr 27, Israeli aircraft
fired missiles at two cars in Gaza packed with rockets, killing one
Islamic Jihad militant and critically wounding another.
2006 Apr 28, A senior Israeli
military official said Palestinian militants have smuggled dozens of
Katyusha rockets into the Gaza Strip, potentially threatening towns
well inside Israel.
2006 May 1, Israeli soldiers
shot and killed a Palestinian woman and wounded her two daughters
when they fired on a West Bank house that an Islamic Jihad militant
was hiding in.
2006 May 2, An explosion
destroyed a building inside a Palestinian national security compound
in the northern Gaza Strip, killing two police officers and wounding
2006 May 5, An Israeli air
strike killed 5 members of a group with close ties to the ruling
Hamas movement in a Gaza City neighborhood training ground for
2006 May 6, Teachers at five
schools in the West Bank city of Hebron went on strike, demanding
their overdue paychecks in the first sign of unrest by public
employees. Hundreds of government workers, most of them supporters
of Abbas' moderate Fatah faction, also protested in the West Bank
city of Nablus.
2006 May 7, Israeli police
armed with batons evicted dozens of Jewish squatters from a
Palestinian home in West Bank city of Hebron, in an important test
for Israel's new government and its plans to uproot tens of
thousands of settlers.
2006 May 8, In Gaza rival
gunmen from Hamas and Fatah fought with assault rifles and missiles,
killing 3 militants in the bloodiest internal fighting since Hamas
came to power six weeks ago.
2006 May 9, Renewed clashes
between Hamas and Fatah militants wounded nine Palestinians,
including five children, raising fears that Palestinian territories
could erupt in a much wider conflagration.
2006 May 9, The United States
bowed to pressure from its allies and agreed to support a new
program to temporarily funnel additional aid directly to the
2006 May 10, Palestinian
President Mahmoud Abbas said senior members of the rival Hamas and
Fatah factions had forged a joint platform, including acceptance of
a Palestinian state alongside Israel.
2006 May 10, Israel said it
will give the Palestinians until the end of the year to prove they
are willing to negotiate a final peace deal, and will unilaterally
set its final borders by 2008 if they don't. Israeli and Palestinian
officials said the Israeli company that provides fuel to the
Palestinian areas is cutting off supplies due to growing debts.
Israel said it was willing to release millions of dollars in funds
it has withheld from the Palestinians and was considering easing
restrictions on the transport of goods between Israel and the Gaza
(AP, 5/10/06)(AP, 5/11/06)
2006 May 12, A Palestinian was
killed in a large Israeli raid in the West Bank city of Nablus.
2006 May 14, Israeli troops
raided a village in the West Bank, killing 5 Palestinians, including
a militant Israel blamed for several suicide bombings that have
killed dozens of Israelis.
2006 May 15, The Palestine
Liberation Organization reopened its Beirut office, closed since the
1982 Israeli invasion of Lebanon.
2006 May 16, Shooting attacks
in the Gaza Strip left one Hamas member dead and two others wounded.
2006 May 17, The Palestinians'
defiant Hamas-led government sent a 3000-man force into the streets
of Gaza, disregarding President Mahmoud Abbas' order banning the
creation of the security body and raising the stakes in their
deepening power struggle.
(AP, 5/17/06)(WSJ, 5/18/06, p.A1)
2006 May 18, Thousands of
police loyal to moderate Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas marched
in a show of force, a day after the Hamas-led government deployed
3,000 heavily armed militants in a daring challenge.
2006 May 19, A gun battle
erupted between the new Hamas security force and rival Fatah forces
in Gaza City, police officials said. Two police officers were
2006 May 20, A bomb blast
seriously wounded Tareq Abu Rajab, the Palestinian intelligence
chief, at his headquarters in what security officials called an
assassination attempt against a key ally of Palestinian President
Mahmoud Abbas. One bodyguard was killed.
2006 May 20, In Gaza City an
Israeli missile killed Mohammed Dadouh, the top military commander
of the militant group Islamic Jihad. A 2nd missile killed civilians:
3 generations of the Amen family, a grandmother, mother and son were
killed, and a 4-year-old daughter and uncle were paralyzed. The
Israeli Defense Ministry later decided to pay the Amen family’s
medical expenses as "special humanitarian treatment."
2006 May 21, The Israeli
Cabinet approved the transfer of $11 million worth of medicine and
health supplies to the Palestinians to help ease the deteriorating
humanitarian conditions in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Officials
said that Israel has approved plans to expand four Jewish
settlements in the West Bank, a practice the United States has
opposed in the past.
2006 May 22, Hamas militiamen
and Palestinian police traded heavy fire near Gaza City's parliament
building, killing the driver of the Jordanian ambassador and
wounding six people in the worst internal fighting in recent weeks.
2006 May 23, Ibrahim Hamed
(41), a top Hamas military commander, surrendered in Ramallah after
Israeli troops surrounded his hideout and threatened to demolish it
with him inside. He was linked by Israel to attacks that killed 78
people, including five Americans.
2006 May 24, Fierce gunbattles
broke out between Israeli troops and Palestinians in the heart of
the West Bank city of Ramallah, killing two Palestinians and
2006 May 25, A gunfight between
a Palestinian security force and a Hamas militia killed one police
officer and wounded four others in the latest outbreak of internal
2006 May 26, The Hamas-led
government withdrew a controversial 3,000-member private militia
from the streets of Gaza, saying it wanted to reduce friction with
the rival Fatah movement.
2006 May 26, In Lebanon
security officials said a car bomb killed Mahmoud Majzoub (41), a
leader of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and his brother Nidal (39).
Islamic Jihad vowed retaliation. The Iran-backed militant group had
persisted in attacking Israel while other major factions adhered to
a cease-fire. Islamic Jihad is led by Ramadan Shallah, a Palestinian
from Gaza who now lives in exile in Syria. It considers the 1979
Iranian Revolution to be the beginning of a new era for the Muslim
world and wants to turn all of Israel, the West Bank and Gaza into
an Islamic state. It rejects compromise with Israel.
2006 May 27, The Hamas-led
government sent its private militia back into the streets of Gaza, a
day after withdrawing the force to help calm an increasingly bloody
standoff with forces loyal to President Mahmoud Abbas.
2006 May 28, Lebanese
guerrillas fired a barrage of rockets into northern Israel, wounding
an Israeli soldier at a military base. Israel destroyed most of the
military positions of Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas along its
northern border. Rocket and artillery exchanges killed two
guerrillas in Lebanon and wounded two Israeli soldiers, two Lebanese
civilians and six militants.
(AP, 5/28/06)(AP, 5/29/06)
2006 May 30, Israel launched
its first ground military operation inside the Gaza Strip since it
pulled out of the region nearly a year ago, killing three members of
a Palestinian rocket squad and a policeman in a fierce battle.
2006 May 31, Palestinian
militants fired homemade rockets at an Israeli town near the Gaza
Strip, and Israeli media reported that one landed near the home of
Israel's defense minister.
2006 Jun 1, Several thousand
police officers fired into the air and smashed windows of the
Palestinian parliament building, raising fears of new unrest in Gaza
after the Hamas-led government said it still cannot pay most of its
2006 Jun 2, Israel has begun
laying the foundations for Maskiot, a new Jewish settlement deep in
the West Bank, breaking a promise to Washington while strengthening
its hold on a stretch of desert it wants to keep as it draws its
2006 Jun 4, The Hamas-led
Palestinian government rejected a deadline to accept a proposal that
implicitly recognizes Israel, saying President Mahmoud Abbas' plan
for a referendum on the matter is illegal. Members of a new, unarmed
security force loyal to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas deployed
in Jenin in a move that residents feared could provoke clashes with
(AP, 6/4/06)(Reuters, 6/4/06)
2006 Jun 5, Hamas militants
stormed a Palestinian TV broadcast facility in the southern Gaza
Strip, kicking workers out of the building and destroying equipment
in a shooting rampage. A large explosion ripped through a house in
northern Gaza, killing a member of the Hamas militant group and
wounding two other people, including his 8-year-old son.
2006 Jun 6, Palestinian
President Mahmoud Abbas gave the governing Hamas party on three more
days to accept a document that implicitly recognizes Israel,
threatening to bring the issue to a national referendum.
2006 Jun 7, Palestine’s
Hamas-led government agreed to withdraw a controversial private
militia from public areas of Gaza in an agreement with the rival
Fatah movement aimed at halting weeks of bloody infighting. A border
clash with Israeli soldiers left 3 Palestinians dead.
(AP, 6/7/06)(WSJ, 6/8/06, p.A1)
2006 Jun 8, The Hamas-led
government's 3,000-member private militia showed no signs of
withdrawing from Gaza's streets despite a deal with the rival Fatah
movement to remove it from public areas.
2006 Jun 8, The Israeli
military struck a PRC training camp in the southern Gaza town of
Rafah. Abu Samhadana (43), Hamas government's top security chief,
was killed when four missiles struck. 3 other militants were also
killed and 10 wounded. Palestinians fired 2 rockets into Israel
hitting a building in Sderot.
2006 Jun 9, Palestinians fired
rockets into Israel and vowed to avenge Israel's assassination of
Abu Samhadana, the Hamas government's top security chief. Israeli
artillery fired shells at targets in the northern Gaza Strip. 8
civilians, including 5 children, died and over 30 people were
wounded at a beachside picnic. The Israeli government issued a
statement of regret and launched an investigation [see June 13]. A
separate Israeli strike killed 3 people in the northern Gaza Strip.
(SFC, 6/10/06, p.A3)(AP, 6/11/06)
2006 Jun 10, The ruling Hamas
group fired a barrage of homemade rockets at Israel, hours after
calling off a truce with Israel in anger over an artillery attack
that killed seven civilians at a beachside picnic in the Gaza Strip.
2006 Jun 11, Palestinian
militants fired about 10 rockets at Israel from the Gaza Strip,
critically injuring an Israeli and nearly hitting a college in the
southern Israel town of Sderot. In return Israeli aircraft struck a
rocket-launching cell in the northern Gaza Strip, killing two
militants from the Palestinians' ruling Hamas party.
2006 Jun 12, Hundreds of
Palestinian security men loyal to President Mahmoud Abbas went on a
rampage against the Hamas-led government, riddling the parliament
building and Cabinet offices with bullets before setting them ablaze
in retaliation for an attack by Hamas gunmen in the Gaza Strip.
2006 Jun 13, Israeli PM Ehud
Olmert said he had given the go ahead for a shipment of weapons to
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, whose loyalists are engaged in
bitter infighting with the militant Islamic Hamas. A failed Israeli
airstrike targeting a key figure in Palestinian rocket attacks
killed 9 people, including two children and three medical workers
who rushed to the scene of an initial blast. 2 of the dead were
members of the Islamic Jihad. An Israeli investigation into what
caused an explosion on a Gaza beach that killed eight Palestinians
said that the blast was most likely caused by a mine planted by
Hamas militants against Israeli naval commandos and not an Israeli
(AP, 6/13/06)(AP, 6/14/06)
2006 Jun 14, Dozens of
Palestinian civil servants stormed a parliamentary session to demand
long-overdue salaries, attacking Hamas lawmakers and forcing the
parliament speaker to flee the building. Foreign Minister Mahmoud
Zahar, who has been seeking to raise money for the financially
strapped government, returned to the Gaza Strip with luggage
containing $20 million in cash from Muslim nations. A Hamas militant
was shot and killed outside his home in the Gaza town of Khan Younis
after Hamas gunmen shot a security commander loyal to Palestinian
President Mahmoud Abbas.
(AP, 6/14/06)(AP, 6/15/06)
2006 Jun 15, The Israeli
Supreme Court ruled that Israel must move part of its barrier meant
to keep Palestinian attackers out because it causes hardships to
nearby West Bank residents. Palestinian militants fired five rockets
at southern Israel, shortly after officials said Israeli threats had
cowered the Hamas-led government into stopping the attacks. A Hamas
government minister returned to the Gaza Strip with $2 million in
his luggage for his money-starved government.
2006 Jun 16, EU leaders agreed
to channel aid to cash-starved Palestinians for health care,
utilities and social services while still maintaining a funding
freeze on the Hamas-led government.
2006 Jun 18, Thousands of
Palestinian government workers who have been living without salaries
for nearly four months received food packets from the UN.
2006 Jun 19, Israel's defense
minister has ordered a review of the route of Israel's separation
barrier to better reflect Palestinian concerns, a decision that
could have significant implications for Israel's future borders.
2006 Jun 20, In Gaza City
Mohammed Roka (5), Samia el-Sharif (5), and Bilal Al-hassi (16) were
killed by an Israeli missile that hit a group of children, but
didn't kill the militants in the targeted car. After the air attack
went awry, Israel defended its pursuit of militants, but said it
would "continue to take every precaution to keep civilians out of
2006 Jun 23, Palestinian
militants in the Gaza Strip fired three homemade rockets into
Israel, hours after the Israeli prime minister pledged to push
forward with airstrikes against the militants despite a recent
string of civilian casualties.
2006 Jun 24, Israeli troops
briefly entered the Gaza Strip before dawn and arrested two Hamas
militants, one of their first incursions into the
Palestinian-controlled area since last summer's withdrawal.
2006 Jun 25, Hamas militants
infiltrated southern Israel through a tunnel from the Gaza Strip and
attacked a tank with bombs and grenades, killing two crew members
and kidnapping a third. Gilad Shalit (19), an Israeli corporal, was
kidnapped. Israeli military officials said seven or eight militants
crossed under a border fence through a tunnel that extended 300
yards inside Israel. Soldiers shot dead three gunmen. 3 groups
claimed responsibility: the Islamic Army, the Popular Resistance
Committees (PRC) and the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the military
wing of Hamas.
(AP, 6/25/06)(Econ, 7/1/06, p.41)
2006 Jun 26, Israel massed
troops along the Gaza Strip border in preparation for what PM Ehud
Olmert said would be a "broad and ongoing" operation against
Palestinian militants following the abduction of an Israeli soldier.
2006 Jun 27, The rival Hamas
and Fatah movements agreed on a plan implicitly recognizing Israel,
after weeks of acrimonious negotiations aiming to lift crippling
international aid sanctions. A Palestinian militant leader said a
captured Israeli soldier was being held in a "secure place," and he
claimed that his group also seized a Jewish settler in the West
Bank. A massive explosion demolished a car traveling near the
residence of President Mahmoud Abbas, killing an unknown number of
people inside. The blast scattered debris and body parts up to 200
yards away. The Israeli army said it was not involved in the blast.
2006 Jun 28, Israeli tanks and
troops entered southern Gaza in the early morning and planes
attacked three bridges and knocked out electricity and water
supplies for most of the 1.3 million residents of the Gaza Strip. An
Israeli Cabinet minister accused the Hamas leader in Syria of
ordering the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier in the Gaza Strip and
said he is a target for assassination. A Palestinian militant group
threatened to kill an abducted Jewish settler if Israel doesn't stop
its raid on the Gaza Strip.
2006 Jun 29, Israeli troops
rounded up 27 Palestinian ministers and lawmakers from the ruling
Hamas party, including the deputy prime minister, while forging
ahead with a military campaign in Gaza meant to win the release of
an Israeli soldier held by Hamas gunmen. Palestinian militants
detonated a land mine near the border with Egypt, blowing open a
large hole in a wall near the border. Israeli aircraft fired on a
car carrying suspected Palestinian militants in Gaza City. One
person was wounded. A missing 62-year-old man that Palestinian
militants claimed to have kidnapped was found dead, apparently of
natural causes. A Palestinian militant group said it killed an
18-year-old Israeli settler kidnapped earlier in the West Bank.
Pro-Palestinian hackers shut down hundreds of Israeli Web sites as
Israeli troops invaded southern Gaza after the abduction of an
(AP, 6/29/06)(SFC, 6/29/06, p.A1)
2006 Jun 30, An Israeli
airstrike hit a car driving down a main road in Gaza City, and two
people were injured.
2006 Jul 1, Palestinian
militants holding an Israeli soldier issued a new set of demands,
calling for the release of 1,000 prisoners and a halt to Israel's
military offensive in Gaza. But Israel rejected them.
2006 Jul 2, Israeli aircraft
sent missiles tearing through the office of Palestinian PM Ismail
Haniyeh in an unmistakable message to his ruling Hamas group to free
an Israeli soldier.
2006 Jul 3, Palestinian
militants holding an Israeli soldier gave Israel less than 24 hours
to start releasing 1,500 Palestinian prisoners and implied that he
would be killed if it did not comply, but Israel said it would not
2006 Jul 4, PM Ehud Olmert
ignored a deadline to begin releasing Palestinian prisoners and
instead issued a veiled threat against Syria, vowing to strike
"those who sponsor" the militants in the Gaza Strip who seized a
young Israeli soldier.
2006 Jul 4, Palestinian
militants hit an Israeli city with a rocket from Gaza for the first
time, causing no casualties but drawing a pledge of harsh
retaliation from Israel while it was already in the midst of a
2006 Jul 5, Israeli leaders
authorized troops to move into residential areas of the Gaza Strip
as they increase pressure on militants holding an Israeli soldier
and look to create a security zone to prevent Palestinians from
firing rockets into Israel.
2006 Jul 6, Israeli forces took
over the remains of three abandoned Jewish settlements in the
northern Gaza Strip and entered a nearby Palestinian town, creating
a temporary buffer zone to prevent Palestinian militants from firing
rockets at Israel. At least 21 Palestinians and one Israeli soldier
were killed in the fighting.
(AP, 7/6/06)(SFC, 7/7/06, p.A3)
2006 Jul 7, Israel launched an
airstrike in the northern Gaza Strip. Witnesses said three
Palestinians were killed. The Israeli military said the attack on
the town of Beit Lahiya targeted a group of militants. Palestinians
said 32 people had died in days of Gaza fighting.
(AP, 7/7/06)(WSJ, 7/8/06, p.A1)
2006 Jul 8, The Hamas-led
Palestinian government called for a cease-fire in its violent
two-week standoff with Israel but stopped short of offering to
release an Israeli soldier held by Hamas militants. Israeli Prime
Minister Ehud Olmert rejected the proposal by Palestinian Prime
Minister Ismail Haniyeh. Olmert will not agree to a truce until
Hamas releases the soldier. Israeli tanks and troops clashed with
militants in eastern Gaza.
2006 Jul 9, Top officials said
Israel will push forward with its offensive in the Gaza Strip until
Palestinian militants release a captured Israeli soldier and halt
their rocket attacks.
2006 Jul 10, Israeli aircraft
fired missiles at a car in southern Gaza, killing two Islamic Jihad
militants. Israeli PM Olmert rebuffed criticism of Gaza tactics as 8
(AP, 7/10/06)(WSJ, 7/11/06, p.A1)
2006 Jul 11, President Mahmoud
Abbas' office said it had received $50 million from the Arab League,
the most international aid Palestinians have gotten since the
Islamic militant group Hamas won legislative elections.
2006 Jul 11, Israeli leaders
ordered new incursions into the Gaza Strip after the Hamas leader
said he would not free an Israeli soldier captured by Palestinian
2006 Jul 12, Israel killed 18
Palestinians in Gaza including nine members of one family in an air
strike that destroyed a residential building where the army said top
Hamas commanders were meeting.
2006 Jul 12, Acting on behalf
of Arab nations, Qatar circulated a revised draft UN Security
Council resolution demanding Israel end its offensive in the Gaza
Strip and release the Palestinian officials it has arrested.
2006 Jul 13, An Israeli
warplane bombed the Palestinian Foreign Ministry, collapsing part of
the structure and causing widespread damage in the area.
2006 Jul 15, Israeli aircraft
fired at least one missile at a house in Gaza City. Palestinian
rescue workers said two Palestinians were killed and many others
wounded. Since the offensive began in Gaza, 86 Palestinians have
been killed, many of them gunmen.
2006 Jul 15, Arab foreign
ministers held an emergency summit in Cairo over Israel's expanding
assault on Lebanon, the worst Israeli attack on its neighbor in 24
2006 Jul 17, Israel bombed the
Palestinian Foreign Ministry building in Gaza City, pushing ahead
with its 3-week offensive in Gaza.
2006 Jul 18, Egypt and Israel
reopened the Rafah border crossing for the first time in three
weeks, triggering a rush to the border by thousands of Palestinians
who had been waiting in Egypt.
2006 Jul 19, Israeli forces
killed six Palestinians after tanks moved into a refugee camp in
central Gaza under cover of machine gun fire.
2006 Jul 20, Israeli forces
killed 3 people and wounded six in the Gaza Strip. The army dropped
leaflets on towns and villages warning that homes hiding weapons
would be attacked.
2006 Jul 21, A Hamas activist
and three relatives were killed in an explosion at his home in Gaza
City, hospital officials said. Palestinians said the house was hit
by an Israeli tank shell.
2006 Jul 23, Palestinian
militants in Gaza fired three rockets at Israel, despite reports
that they had agreed to halt such attacks.
2006 Jul 24, Israeli artillery
shelled a town in the Gaza Strip used by Palestinian militants to
fire rockets, and hospital officials said three Palestinians were
killed and eight were wounded.
2006 Jul 26, Israeli strikes
killed 23 people in the Gaza Strip, including 16 militants and a
mother and her two young daughters, in the deadliest day of fighting
since Israel withdrew from the coastal strip last year.
2006 Jul 27, The Israeli air
force fired missiles at a target in eastern Gaza City, wounding 15
people, at least one of them critically. 5 Palestinians were killed
including a woman (75) and a child. A Palestinian was shot and
killed in Jerusalem after he attacked a police patrol. The severely
burned body of man, thought to be Israeli, was found in the West
(AP, 7/27/06)(SFC, 7/28/06, p.A14)
2006 Jul 28, Israeli troops
withdrew from northern Gaza after a bloody two-day sweep that killed
2006 Jul 29, Israeli tanks
pushed back into the Gaza Strip before dawn, a day after ending a
bloody, 3-day sweep that killed 30 Palestinians. Israeli troops
killed 2 militants including Hani Awijan (29), a leader of the
radical Islamic Jihad’s militant wing in Nablus, in a West Bank
(AP, 7/29/06)(AP, 7/30/06)
2006 Aug 1, Israel's air force
fired missiles into northern Gaza, killing a 14-year-old boy and
wounding four others near Beit Hanoun.
2006 Aug 3, Israeli troops
raided southern Gaza, killing at least eight Palestinians, including
four militants and an 8-year-old boy.
2006 Aug 4, Israel began
pulling tanks out of southern Gaza after a two-day incursion.
Israeli troops conducted house-to-house searches in the southern
Gaza Strip and killed three Palestinians with tanks and air strikes.
2006 Aug 5, Israel pressed
ahead with its incursion into the southern Gaza Strip as airstrikes
killed 5 Palestinians, including a mother and her 2 children. Tanks
rolled to the edge of Rafah.
2006 Aug 6, Israeli forces
arrested the speaker of the Palestinian parliament at his house in
the West Bank, and pressed their monthlong offensive in Gaza against
2006 Aug 12, Thousands of
people gathered across from the White House, even though President
Bush was out of town, to condemn US and Israeli policies in the
Middle East. In SF thousands of protesters decried US Mideast policy
and Israel’s military actions in Lebanon and Palestine. A smaller
group demonstrated on behalf of Israel.
(SSFC, 8/13/06, p.B1)(AP, 8/12/07)
2006 Aug 14, In Gaza American
reporter Steve Centanni (60) and New Zealand cameraman Olaf Wiig
(36) were seized by masked gunmen near the headquarters of the
Palestinian security services. An Israeli airstrike destroyed a
house in the Gaza Strip, injuring at least eight people. The
military said an Islamic Jihad command center was targeted but
Palestinians said the building was empty.
(AP, 8/14/06)(AP, 8/15/06)
2006 Aug 16, Palestinian gunmen
from the rival Hamas and Fatah militias clashed in southern Gaza,
killing a 14-year old boy in the crossfire and injuring four others.
2006 Aug 18, Israeli soldiers
killed 3 Palestinian gunmen and wounded 2 others in confrontations
in Gaza and the occupied West Bank.
(WSJ, 8/19/06, p.A1)
2006 Aug 19, Israeli soldiers
in Ramallah arrested Nasser Shaer, the Palestinian deputy prime
minister. He was the highest-ranking Hamas official rounded up in a
seven-week-old crackdown against the ruling party.
2006 Aug 20, Israeli troops
detained Mahmoud al-Ramahi, secretary-general of the Hamas
parliament, pushing forward with a crackdown on the Islamic militant
2006 Aug 22, Israeli troops
shot and killed three militants from the Islamic Jihad group near
the Israel-Gaza border, as soldiers conducted house-to-house
searches and made arrests elsewhere in the coast strip.
2006 Aug 23, A previously
unknown Palestinian group released the first video of two kidnapped
Fox News journalists and demanded that Muslim prisoners in US jails
be released within 72 hours in exchange for the men. Correspondent
Steve Centanni and cameraman Olaf Wiig were later freed.
(AP, 8/23/06)(AP, 8/23/07)
2006 Aug 24, Israeli forces
crossed into the Gaza Strip in a raid that captured a local Hamas
militant leader and left his brother dead near a Gaza border town.
2006 Aug 25, In Jordan top
leaders of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party gave
their leader the go-ahead to begin forming a unity government with
the militant Hamas in an effort to end internal feuding and
2006 Aug 25, Israeli aircraft
attacked two buildings in the Gaza Strip, wounding at least nine
2006 Aug 26, In the West Bank,
Israeli troops and Palestinian gunmen traded heavy fire during a
standoff at a fugitives' hideout and doctors said a 16-year-old
Palestinian was killed. Twenty Palestinians were wounded in the
clashes in the West Bank city of Nablus.
2006 Aug 27, Israeli aircraft
fired two missiles at an armored car belonging to the Reuters news
agency, wounding five people, including two cameramen. Two Hamas
militants were killed in separate airstrikes.
2006 Aug 27, Militants freed
Steve Centanni and cameraman Olaf Wiig, two Fox News journalists in
the Gaza Strip, ending a nearly two week hostage drama.
2006 Aug 28, Palestinian
municipal workers responsible for garbage collection, water
treatment, and sewage processing went on strike in Gaza City and two
other southern towns.
2006 Aug 28, An Israeli
airstrike on central Gaza killed 4 Palestinian militants.
2006 Aug 30, Israeli troops
launched airstrikes on the outskirts of Gaza City and exchanged
gunfire with Palestinian militants, killing six people.
2006 Aug 31, Israeli soldiers
searching for tunnels and explosives withdrew from the outskirts of
Gaza City, ending a five-day operation that Palestinians said left
20 people dead and heavily damaged houses, streets and farmlands.
Palestinian militants fired five homemade rockets into Israel,
defying the calls by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to halt the
2006 Sep 1, World donors
pledged $500 million in aid for Palestinians, including $55 million
for a UN emergency appeal for humanitarian help. Carin Jamtin,
Sweden's aid minister and host of the donors' conference held in the
Swedish capital, said a total of $114 million of the money pledged
will go toward humanitarian aid, with the rest going to rebuilding
infrastructure and other projects.
2006 Sep 2, Unpaid teachers
shut down thousands of schools across the West Bank and Gaza Strip,
the first day of the school year, in a major challenge to the Hamas
2006 Sep 5, Palestinian
security officers went on the rampage in Gaza City to demand back
pay from the cash-strapped Hamas-led government. Israel pressed
ahead with its offensive against Hamas militants, killing five with
airstrikes in the Rafah refugee camp.
(AP, 9/5/06)(AP, 9/6/06)
2006 Sep 6, Unpaid employees in
the Palestinian prime minister's office joined a widespread strike
that is challenging the survival of the Hamas-led government. Sinn
Fein leader Gerry Adams met with a Hamas legislator in the West Bank
and advised Israel and the Palestinians to solve their problems
using the Northern Ireland formula, negotiations.
2006 Sep 9, The 10-week Israeli
military operation, code named Summer Rains, left 230 Gazans dead,
including over 60 children. It had no noticeable impact on militant
(Econ, 9/9/06, p.47)
2006 Sep 11, Palestinian
President Mahmoud Abbas and PM Ismail Haniyeh agreed that their
moderate Fatah and militant Hamas parties would form a coalition
2006 Sep 12, An Israeli
military court ordered the release of 18 imprisoned Hamas lawmakers,
including three Cabinet ministers, and raised questions about the
army's case. A spokesman for the outgoing Hamas-led administration
said the group is prepared to back peace efforts with Israel as part
of the new coalition government being formed by the Palestinians.
Hamas militants killed an Israeli soldier during a gunbattle in the
2006 Sep 13, The Palestinian
Cabinet resigned to clear the way for a new unity government, and
President Mahmoud Abbas said he plans to send a delegation to the UN
to try to revive a Mideast peace plan.
2006 Sep 15, Palestinian gunmen
opened fire on a car in Gaza City carrying Brig. Gen. Jad Tayeh, a
top Palestinian security officer, in a drive-by shooting that killed
Tayeh and four of his bodyguards.
2006 Sep 16, Leaders across the
Muslim world demanded Pope Benedict XVI apologize for his remarks on
Islam and jihad. The Vatican said Pope Benedict XVI "sincerely"
regretted offending Muslims with his reference to an obscure
medieval text characterizing some of the teachings of Islam's
founder as "evil and inhuman," but the statement stopped short of
the apology demanded by Islamic leaders. Two West Bank Christian
churches were hit by firebombs, and a group claiming responsibility
said it was protesting Pope Benedict XVI's remarks about Islam.
(AP, 9/16/06)(AP, 9/16/07)
2006 Sep 18, Palestine’s PM
Ismail Haniyeh's bodyguards opened fire outside the parliament
building to disperse a crowd of protesters angry over the
government's failure to end a growing economic crisis in the Gaza
2006 Sep 18, Israel said it
will consider freeing Palestinian prisoners and releasing millions
of dollars in tax rebates to Palestinians if their government
moderates its hardline views. Israel charged three Hezbollah members
arrested in Lebanon during the recent war with murder for
involvement in deadly attacks on soldiers.
2006 Sep 20, Pres. Bush met
with Palestinian leader Abbas in a bid to restart Mideast peace
(WSJ, 9/21/06, p.A1)
2006 Sep 20, Israeli forces
raided the West Bank cities of Nablus and Jenin, destroying five
foreign exchange depots and a bank and taking funds the army said
were earmarked for terrorism. Palestinian militants in the Gaza
Strip fired two rockets at an Israeli town, wounding a 15-year-old
boy and another person.
2006 Sep 21, Israeli forces
killed at least 5 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip as gunmen fired
rockets into Israel.
(SFC, 9/22/06, p.A13)
2006 Sep 22, Palestinian PM
Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas said he will not head a government that
recognizes Israel, striking a potential blow to President Mahmoud
Abbas' attempts to create a national unity government.
2006 Sep 26, Palestinian
militants fired at least two rockets from the Gaza Strip into
southern Israel, wounding at least one person.
2006 Sep 27, An Israeli court
released the Palestinian deputy prime minister, the highest ranking
Hamas official to be freed following a crackdown on the Islamic
militant group. But the court temporarily banned him from going to
his government office in the city of Ramallah. Israeli airstrikes on
a house in the southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah killed a
14-year-old girl and wounded seven other people.
2006 Sep 29, Israeli soldiers
killed two Palestinians in the northern Gaza Strip. Tens of
thousands of Hamas supporters marched in the Gaza Strip to show
their backing for the militant group, even as its efforts to form a
national unity government appeared stalled.
2006 Sep 30, Thousands of
government employees and security officials filled the streets of
Gaza, burning tires, blocking roads and firing in the air to protest
delays and complications in receiving their long-awaited salaries.
2006 Oct 1, Palestinian
militiamen from the ruling Hamas opened fire on government workers
protesting their unpaid salaries, touching off gunbattles with
security forces loyal to President Mahmoud Abbas. Seven people were
killed in the violence.
2006 Oct 2, In the Gaza town of
Rafah gunbattles between Fatah and Hamas left 2 people dead and 14
(SFC, 10/3/06, p.A3)
2006 Oct 3, Gunmen linked to
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement threatened to
assassinate leaders of the rival Hamas group, heightening tensions
from three days of fighting that has killed 10 Palestinians.
2006 Oct 4, Masked men killed a
local Hamas political activist as he set out for morning prayers
before dawn in the northern West Bank.
2006 Oct 6, Tens of thousands
of Palestinians rallied in a Gaza Strip soccer stadium in a massive
show of support for the ruling Hamas group and its beleaguered
government. PM Ismail Haniyeh told supporters Hamas will not
recognize Israel or give in to international pressure that has
crippled the Palestinian government.
2006 Oct 8, Israeli troops shot
and killed Osama Talad (21), a Palestinian militant, during a fierce
gunbattle in the Balata West Bank refugee camp.
2006 Oct 10, Palestine’s
militant Hamas group rejected key elements of a Qatari proposal to
forge a power-sharing government with the rival Fatah group that
would recognize Israel's right to exist and force militants to
2006 Oct 10, Israeli soldiers
shot and killed a Palestinian militant who infiltrated from the Gaza
Strip into southern Israel wearing a bomb belt.
2006 Oct 11, Israeli forces
killed Abdullah Mansour (31), a militant in the Al Aqsa Martyrs'
Brigades, in the course of an overnight arrest raid.
2006 Oct 12, An Israeli drone
fired two missiles at a crowd of Palestinians in a pre-dawn in the
Gaza Strip, killing at least 3 Hamas militants and 3 bystanders
including a father and his 13-year-old son. An Israeli airstrike
targeting the home of Ashraf Farwana, a senior Hamas militant,
killed his brother and a 2-year-old girl.
(AP, 10/12/06)(SFC, 10/13/06, p.A17)
2006 Oct 13, Israeli forces
killed at least four people in a series of attacks throughout the
Gaza Strip. The deaths brought to 13 the number of Palestinians
killed by the military in Gaza since the army launched its latest
ground incursion early on Oct 12.
2006 Oct 14, Israeli troops
killed six Palestinian gunmen in airstrikes in the Gaza Strip and
set up a makeshift detention center just outside the territory.
2006 Oct 17, Israeli troops
shot and killed three Palestinians, including a 16-year-old
stone-thrower, in the West Bank town of Qabatiyeh.
2006 Oct 18, Israeli tanks and
infantry took up positions on the Egypt-Gaza border, killing two
Palestinian gunmen as the army broadened its search for arms
2006 Oct 20, A Jewish settler
watchdog group said more than 40 percent of unauthorized West Bank
outposts are built on private Palestinian land, adding that there
are no signs the Israeli government is taking steps to tear them
2006 Oct 21, Members of the
Palestinian security forces fired in the air in Gaza City's main
shopping district and burned tires near President Mahmoud Abbas'
home to press demands for payment of salaries.
2006 Oct 22, Palestinian
security forces blocked main Gaza Strip intersections, burning tires
and snarling traffic to protest the Hamas-led government's inability
to pay their salaries.
2006 Oct 23, Israeli troops
shot and killed seven Palestinians, including a militant who led a
2006 Oct 24, Palestinian gunmen
kidnapped Emilio Morenatti (37), an Associated Press photographer in
the Gaza Strip, grabbing him as he walked out of his apartment and
whisking him away in their vehicle. Morenatti was freed the next
(AP, 10/24/06)(AP, 10/25/06)
2006 Oct 26, Israeli forces
shot and killed two Palestinians in exchanges of gunfire in the Gaza
2006 Oct 27, Israeli army raids
in the northern West Bank killed 3 Palestinians.
2006 Oct 30, Palestinian gunmen
abducted a Spanish aid worker in the Gaza Strip. Roberto Vila (34)
was released after a few hours.
2006 Nov 1, Israeli troops,
backed by tanks and helicopter gunships, killed at least six
Palestinian militants. The raid left 9 Palestinians and a soldier
(AP, 11/1/06)(WSJ, 11/2/06, p.A1)
2006 Nov 2, Israeli helicopter
gunships, tanks and ground troops tightened their grip on Beit
Hanoun, a northern Gaza town they overran a day before. 9
Palestinians were killed in Israel's biggest push in months to stop
militant rocket fire.
(AP, 11/2/06)(SFC, 11/3/06, p.A22)(WSJ, 11/3/06,
2006 Nov 3, Hundreds of
Palestinian women in robes and headscarves streamed into a Gaza
combat zone to help free gunmen besieged by Israeli troops at a
mosque. Two women who came under fire were killed and at least 10
wounded, but some gunmen managed to escape. The 3-day Israeli
offensive killed 35 Palestinians.
(AP, 11/4/06)(WSJ, 11/4/06, p.A1)
2006 Nov 5, Israel’s PM Ehud
Olmert pledged to press ahead with Israel's offensive in the Gaza
Strip until the army significantly decreases Palestinian rocket fire
2006 Nov 6, A female suicide
bomber approached Israeli troops in the northern Gaza Strip and blew
herself up. One soldier was lightly wounded in the blast.
2006 Nov 7, Israeli tanks fired
two shells at the home of the Hamas lawmaker who organized a women's
protest that allowed militants to escape from a northern Gaza mosque
under Israeli siege. Israeli forces ended a bloody weeklong
operation in the Gaza town of Beit Hanoun, leaving behind a swath of
destroyed homes, uprooted trees and streets muddied with sewage
water from pipes destroyed by tanks and bulldozers.
2006 Nov 8, Israeli tank shells
crashed into a residential neighborhood north of the town of Beit
Hanoun, killing at least 18 people including eight children in their
sleep. Israeli forces attacked a group of Palestinian militants near
the West Bank town of Jenin, killing four and a civilian. Hamas'
exiled leader, Khaled Mashaal, says a 2005 truce with Israel is
finished and appealed to all Palestinian factions to resume attacks.
2006 Nov 10, Hamas leader
Ismail Haniyeh said he would step down as Palestinian prime minister
if that would persuade the West to lift debilitating economic
2006 Nov 10, Israel's gay
community braved vehement opposition from religious fundamentalists
and held a large rally in Jerusalem, complete with live rock music,
dancing and declarations of pride. A group of gay Palestinian
Americans canceled a planned pride march in East Jerusalem after one
of them was beaten unconscious by a man from the Waqf Muslim
(AP, 11/10/06)(SFC, 11/11/06, p.A3)
2006 Nov 11, The US vetoed a UN
Security Council draft resolution that sought to condemn an Israeli
military offensive in the Gaza Strip and demand Israeli troops pull
out of the territory.
2006 Nov 11, Palestinian
students filled schools that had been empty for months, happily
greeting friends as classes resumed after a 70-day teachers' strike
that interrupted studies across the West Bank and Gaza.
2006 Nov 12, Palestinian
foreign minister Mahmud Zahar told fellow ministers at an Arab
League emergency meeting in Cairo that the costs of rebuilding the
north Gaza town of Beit Hanun after deadly Israeli shelling amounts
to 50 million dollars. Arab countries decided to lift the financial
blockade on Palestinians in response to a US veto on a UN Security
Council draft resolution condemning Israel's military offensive in
the Gaza Strip.
2006 Nov 13, A senior Hamas
official confirmed that the militant Palestinian group and the Fatah
faction have agreed on naming Mohammed Shabir to head the next
Palestinian unity government.
2006 Nov 13, UN
Secretary-General Kofi Annan said that any effort to stop growing
violence between Islamic and Western societies must include an end
to the Arab-Israeli conflict.
2006 Nov 15, Two Palestinian
lawmakers from the Islamist group Hamas crossed the Egyptian border
into Gaza with more than $4 million in cash, bypassing a Western ban
on bank transfers to the Palestinian Authority. A Palestinian rocket
fired from Gaza exploded near the home of Israel's defense minister,
killing one woman and raising the prospect of a new Israeli military
offensive against militant rocket squads.
(Reuters, 11/15/06)(AP, 11/15/06)
2006 Nov 16, Spain, France and
Italy unveiled a five-point Middle East peace initiative, calling
Israeli-Palestinian violence intolerable and saying that Europe must
take a lead role in ending the conflict.
2006 Nov 17, The UN General
Assembly called for an end to Israeli military operations in the
Gaza Strip, overwhelmingly passing a resolution in an emergency
special session the Israeli ambassador blasted as a "farce" and a
2006 Nov 18, Avigdor Lieberman,
Israel's new deputy prime minister, said Israel should ignore
moderate Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, wipe out the Hamas
leadership and walk away from the U.S.-backed "road map" peace plan.
2006 Nov 19, An Israeli
aircraft fired a missile at a car traveling in Gaza City, wounding 6
people, including two Hamas militants. Militants from the ruling
Islamic group Hamas fired two rockets from the Gaza Strip at the
Israeli town of Sderot. Israel canceled airstrikes on the houses of
Gaza militants after Palestinians formed human shields around them.
(AP, 11/19/06)(WSJ, 11/20/06, p.A1)
2006 Nov 21, The Israeli
military launched a three-pronged offensive in the northern Gaza
Strip, killing a top Hamas commander in its latest operation against
Palestinian rocket squads. An elderly Palestinian woman died in a
gunbattle between troops and militants. Two Italian aid workers were
kidnapped in the Gaza Strip. Both were released within 24 hours.
(AP, 11/21/06)(AP, 11/22/06)
2006 Nov 22, Israeli ground
troops, tanks and armored vehicles advanced on two northern Gaza
towns in pursuit of Palestinian rocket squads, besieging a
well-known Hamas lawmaker's house and engaging militants in
2006 Nov 23, Israeli troops
went after Palestinian militants in Gaza as rockets slammed into
southern Israel, but a planned meeting between a Hamas leader and
Egyptian mediators raised hopes the violence could be contained. A
64-year-old Palestinian grandmother blew herself up near Israeli
troops sweeping through northern Gaza, and eight other Palestinians
were killed in a day of clashes and rocket fire.
2006 Nov 24, PM Ismail Haniyeh
of Hamas said that Palestinian factions had agreed to halt rocket
fire if Israel reciprocates by stopping its military offensives in
the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Israel rejected the offer, saying it
would respond positively only to a total truce.
2006 Nov 25, Israel and the
Palestinians agreed to a cease-fire to end a five-month Israeli
military offensive in the Gaza Strip and the firing of rockets by
Palestinian militants into the Jewish state. Hamas' leader,
Damascus-based supreme leader Khaled Mashaal, said his group was
willing to give peace negotiations with Israel six months to reach
an agreement for a Palestinian state in Gaza and the West Bank, but
threatened a new uprising if the talks fail.
(AP, 11/25/06) (AP, 11/25/07)
2006 Nov 26, Israeli troops
withdrew from the Gaza Strip as an unexpected truce took hold, but
two major Palestinian militant groups, saying they had no intention
of stopping their attacks, fired volleys of homemade rockets into
2006 Nov 27, The first
privately owned English-language daily, the Palestine Times, was
launched in the West Bank and Gaza, with its editors aiming to
provide news about the region to English speakers abroad.
2006 Nov 27, Israeli PM Ehud
Olmert, seeking to build on a shaky cease-fire with the
Palestinians, offered to reduce checkpoints, release frozen funds,
and free prisoners in exchange for a serious push for peace by the
2006 Nov 28, Jordan's King
Abdullah II called for renewed efforts to settle the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a speech, but he warned that his
country would not accept a deal that causes an influx of
2006 Dec 1, Palestinian
President Mahmoud Abbas convened the PLO's top decision-making body
to map out a strategy after declaring that talks to form a more
moderate government with ruling Hamas militants had collapsed.
2006 Dec 2, Hamas rejected
demands by PLO leaders that its government resign over the failure
to form a moderate coalition acceptable to the West, a sign of an
intensifying power struggle between Islamic militants and moderate
President Mahmoud Abbas.
2006 Dec 4, The Israeli army
killed a Palestinian and arrested 17 militants in raids across the
West Bank, despite a decision by the military to scale back such
operations in order to bolster a shaky truce with the Palestinians
in the Gaza Strip.
2006 Dec 8, Palestinian PM
Ismail Haniyeh told thousands of Iranians that his Hamas-led
government will never recognize Israel and will continue to fight
for the "liberation of Jerusalem."
2006 Dec 9, Palestinian
President Mahmoud Abbas said he would dismiss the parliament and
call early elections to end a political impasse with Hamas, but left
open the possibility of a compromise with the Islamic militant
2006 Dec 11, Palestinian gunmen
killed three young sons of a senior Palestinian intelligence
officer, pumping dozens of bullets into their car as it passed
through a street crowded with schoolchildren in an apparent botched
assassination attempt that could ignite widespread factional
2006 Dec 11, UN officials said
Israel has blocked a UN fact-finding mission to the Gaza Strip that
was to be led by Nobel Laureate Desmond Tutu. Israeli Foreign
Ministry spokesman Mark Regev said that no final decision has been
2006 Dec 11, Iran promised $250
million to Palestine’s Hamas-led government.
(WSJ, 12/12/06, p.A1)
2006 Dec 12, Hamas gunmen fired
on demonstrators from the rival Fatah movement, wounding four people
and intensifying fears of a new wave of Palestinian infighting.
2006 Dec 13, Palestinian gunmen
forced a Hamas commander to his knees and shot him to death outside
the courthouse where he worked as an Islamic judge, escalating
factional tensions in the Gaza Strip. Palestinian PM Ismail Haniyeh
cut short his trip to Sudan.
2006 Dec 13, Israel's Supreme
Court ruled that some Palestinians injured by the Israeli military
may sue the state for compensation, a decision hailed as
groundbreaking by an Arab civil rights group but condemned by
right-wing Israeli lawmakers as damaging to the country's security.
2006 Dec 14, Israel ordered the
Rafah crossing closed to keep PM Haniyeh from bringing in an
estimated $35 million he had collected abroad to help alleviate the
Palestinian financial crisis. Israeli officials said Haniyeh could
return to Gaza without the money, which it said was to be used for
terror attacks. Haniyeh left the funds in Egypt. When Haniyeh
finally crossed, unidentified men began firing toward him. One of
his bodyguards was killed and his son and 26 others were wounded.
Fatah-allied Palestinian security officers arrested a Hamas-linked
militant in connection with the killing of a security chief's young
children. Palestinian militants fired a rocket into Israel at dawn.
(AP, 12/14/06)(AP, 12/15/06)
2006 Dec 15, Gunmen allied with
Hamas and Fatah clashed at a West Bank mosque and in Gaza Strip
2006 Dec 15, The UN General
Assembly voted overwhelmingly to establish an office to register
Palestinian damage claims stemming from Israel's construction of a
barrier in the West Bank.
2006 Dec 16, Palestinian
President Mahmoud Abbas called for new presidential and
parliamentary elections, a dramatic challenge to ruling Hamas
militants that threatens to touch off a civil war.
2006 Dec 17, Gunmen attacked
the convoy of the Palestinian foreign minister and raided a training
base for an elite security forces unit, stepping up factional
violence over a decision by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to
end nine months of Hamas leadership and call early elections. A
19-year-old woman and a Palestinian security officer were killed in
the chaos. Earlier in the day dozens of gunmen raided a training
camp of Abbas' Presidential Guard near the president's residence,
killing a member of the elite force.
2006 Dec 18, Palestinian
President Mahmoud Abbas said he is pushing ahead with early
elections, despite factional fighting that intensified after his
initial call for a poll. He also appealed for international help in
restarting peace talks with Israel.
2006 Dec 19, Israeli Prime
Minister Ehud Olmert made a surprise visit to Jordan for talks with
King Abdullah II on ways to revive Mideast peacemaking. A wanted
Palestinian militant was killed and two others were arrested by
Israeli forces in the West Bank city of Nablus. Gunbattles raged in
the streets of Gaza City between the Hamas and Fatah movements,
killing at least four people in factional fighting that shredded a
shaky truce. At least 18 people were wounded, including five
children caught in the crossfire.
2006 Dec 20, Ayman al-Zawahri,
the deputy leader of al-Qaida, criticized both sides of the
Palestinian power struggle in a video, calling the Palestinian
president "America's man" but also lashing out at the Islamic group
Hamas. Hamas gunmen killed two Palestinian policemen loyal to the
rival Fatah movement, hours after the sides agreed to a new
cease-fire meant to end more than a week of factional fighting.
2006 Dec 22, The office of
President Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah blocked five major Hamas
appointments to senior government positions. Ferocious gunbattles
broke out between Hamas and Fatah militants in the Gaza Strip and
West Bank. A Hamas militiaman injured in violence that touched off
the Gaza City shootout died of his wounds.
2006 Dec 23, Israeli PM Ehud
Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas held the first
Israeli-Palestinian summit in 22 months. Israel agreed to release
$100 million in frozen funds to Palestinian Pres. Mahmoud Abbas and
to ease West Bank travel restrictions.
(SSFC, 12/24/06, p.A21)(AP, 12/23/07)
2006 Dec 23, Assailants fired
on the car of a senior Palestinian security official, wounding him,
a bodyguard and a girl in intensifying factional fighting in the
2006 Dec 27, Israel decided to
resume pinpoint attacks against Palestinian rocket-launching cells
in Gaza, jeopardizing what is already a shaky, month-old truce with
2006 Dec 28, Israeli security
officials said Egypt has sent a large shipment of weapons through
Israeli territory to shore up forces loyal to the embattled
Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, an extraordinary show of
support by both countries for his efforts to renew peacemaking with
2006 Rashid Khalidi authored
“The Iron Cage: The Story of the Palestinian Struggle for
(Econ, 11/25/06, p.86)
2006 Meir Margalit authored
“Discrimination in the Heart of the Holy City," an account of the
differences between the Israeli and Palestinian sides of Jerusalem.
(Econ, 4/15/06, p.27)
2007 Jan 1, A photographer for
the French news agency Agence France Presse was kidnapped in Gaza
City just before sundown.
2007 Jan 4, Israeli troops and
Palestinian gunmen exchanged heavy fire in downtown Ramallah after
undercover Israeli forces tried to arrest fugitives in the city's
vegetable market. Four Palestinians were killed and 20 wounded.
Pres. Abbas demanded $5 million in compensation for the damage to
shops and cars in Ramallah. Fatah Col. Mohammed Ghayeb and six of
his bodyguards were killed in factional fighting in the Gaza Strip.
(AP, 1/4/07)(AP, 1/5/07)
2007 Jan 4, Overshadowed by an
Israeli raid into the Palestinian territories, a summit between
Israel and Egypt achieved little in reviving the long-stalled
Mideast peace process, highlighting instead the disagreements
between Israel and its Arab neighbors.
2007 Jan 5, In Gaza cleric Adel
Nasar was shot by men in a car after he delivered a sermon warning
that God would punish those responsible for seven killings the
2007 Jan 5, In Gaza Adel Nasar,
an anti-Hamas cleric, was shot by men in a car after he delivered a
sermon warning that God would punish those responsible for seven
killings the previous day.
(AP, 1/5/07)(WSJ, 1/6/07, p.A1)
2007 Jan 7, Tens of thousands
of Fatah supporters packed Gaza's main soccer stadium in a show of
strength to boost the movement in its increasingly violent struggle
against the Islamic militant group Hamas.
2007 Jan 8, Fatah gunmen
released the deputy mayor of Nablus unharmed, two days after
kidnapping him. Fatah militants torched stores of Hamas supporters
in Ramallah and shot at the house of a top Hamas official. Agence
France-Presse expressed gratitude for the release of a photographer
who had been held hostage by Palestinian militants in the Gaza
2007 Jan 10, Khaled Meshaal,
the leader of Hamas, said Hamas acknowledges the existence of Israel
but formal recognition by the group will only be considered when a
Palestinian state has been created.
2007 Jan 15, The Israeli
government published plans to build 44 homes in Israel's largest
West Bank settlement, violating a pledge to the US as Secretary of
State Condoleezza Rice was in the region on a peace-seeking mission.
2007 Jan 16, In Israel Abir
Aramin, a 10-year-old Palestinian girl, was hit by a rubber-coated
bullet as she stood some distance from a demonstration. She died two
days later in a Jerusalem hospital. In 2010 a Jerusalem court
decided in a ruling that the Israeli state was responsible for the
death of the girl. In 2011 an Israeli court ordered the government
to pay $432,000 to the family of Abir.
2007 Jan 19, Israel said it had
paid $100 million in frozen tax funds to the Palestinians and
rescinded a contentious decision for a new West Bank settlement,
strengthening the hand of moderate President Mahmoud Abbas ahead of
crucial weekend talks in Damascus with his Hamas rivals.
2007 Jan 21, Islamic Jihad
militants launched homemade rockets into Israel from the Gaza Strip
in retaliation for Israel's continuing military operations against
their group in the West Bank.
2007 Jan 23, Dozens of masked
gunmen claiming to be members of al-Qaida stormed an empty Gaza
Strip beach resort and blew up a reception hall, saying they were
sending a message to an ally of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
2007 Jan 26, Hamas gunmen
stormed the home of a militant from the rival Fatah movement,
sparking a deadly gunbattle and capping a day of factional violence
across the Gaza Strip that killed 16 people, including a 2-year-old
2007 Jan 27, Gunmen armed with
mortars and grenades fought in several areas of Gaza City, killing
two men on the third straight day of factional clashes linked to the
power struggle over the Palestinian government.
2007 Jan 28, Hamas and Fatah
gunmen battled each other in the streets in an increasingly bloody
power struggle that left more than two dozen Palestinians dead over
the weekend. Palestinian gunmen shot dead a member of a Hamas police
force and a senior Fatah intelligence official was abducted in Gaza
as Saudi Arabia called for talks to end the spiraling violence.
(AP, 1/28/07)(AFP, 1/28/07)
2007 Jan 29, A Palestinian
suicide bomber attacked a bakery in Eilat, a southern Israeli resort
town, killing three people and himself. The Palestinian who blew
himself up was unemployed, despondent over the death of his baby
daughter and driven to avenge his best friend's killing by Israeli
troops. Hamas and Fatah gunmen battled each other across the Gaza
Strip, attacking security compounds, knocking out an electrical
transformer and kidnapping several local commanders in some of the
most extensive factional fighting in recent weeks.
2007 Jan 30, Palestinian PM
Ismail Haniyeh appealed to all Palestinians to prevent a resurgence
in the internal violence that killed 36 people in recent days as a
tenuous cease-fire took hold in the Gaza Strip. Gunmen killed a
Hamas militant, but the cease-fire seemed to hold.
(AP, 1/30/07)(WSJ, 1/31/07, p.A1)
2007 Feb 1, Palestinian gunmen
opened fire at Hamas officials in separate attacks, marring efforts
to shore up a truce that brought relative quiet to Gaza after days
of deadly factional violence.
2007 Feb 1, Israeli troops
killed two Palestinian gunmen in an exchange of fire in Nablus.
2007 Feb 2, Fatah fighters
stormed a Hamas-affiliated university for the second time, hours
before the two political factions grappling for control of the
Palestinian government said they had agreed on a new cease-fire.
Fifteen people, including four children, were killed in renewed
fighting before the announcement.
2007 Feb 3, Fatah and Hamas
clashed at Cabinet ministries, universities and security
headquarters in defiance of a truce that was to have calmed the
seething Gaza Strip.
2007 Feb 4, Hamas gunmen
attacked bases of Fatah-allied troops with mortars and
rocket-propelled grenades, part of a four-day campaign by the
Islamic militants to weaken the security forces loyal to Palestinian
President Mahmoud Abbas.
2007 Feb 7, In Saudi Arabia
rival Palestinian leaders began open-ended talks in Mecca optimistic
that they could reach an agreement to end their bloody street
battles and resume the peace process with Israel.
2007 Feb 8, Welding equipment
touched off an explosion at a West Bank gas station, killing at
least eight people and wounded 17.
2007 Feb 8, A Fatah official in
Saudi Arabia said that rival Palestinian factions had reached an
agreement on how to divide up Cabinet posts in a power-sharing
2007 Feb 9, Gazans rejoiced in
the streets to celebrate a Hamas-Fatah power-sharing deal they hope
will avert civil war, but Palestinian officials preached patience,
saying implementing the agreement would be a challenge.
2007 Feb 9, Israeli police
stormed the grounds of Islam's third-holiest shrine, firing stun
grenades and tear gas to disperse thousands of Muslim worshippers
who hurled stones, bottles and trash in an eruption of outrage over
Israeli renovation nearby.
2007 Feb 15, Palestine’s PM
Ismail Haniyeh and his government resigned and President Mahmoud
Abbas of Fatah appointed him to form the new team, based on last
week's agreement in the Muslim holy city of Mecca to split power
between the two rivals.
2007 Feb 18, Israel and the US
agreed ahead of a three-way meeting with the Palestinians to shun
any new Palestinian government that does not renounce violence,
recognize Israel and accept existing peace agreements.
2007 Feb 21, Security officials
said Egyptian border and security authorities had arrested 23
Palestinians and Egyptians in the Sinai region, including one who
was wearing an explosives belt and had crossed from Gaza to Egypt in
an underground tunnel.
2007 Feb 21, Israeli troops
fatally shot a West Bank leader of the Islamic Jihad militant group
who was involved in an attempted bombing near Tel Aviv. 93.6 RAM FM
began broadcasting 20 independent news bulletins a day from studios
in Jerusalem and the West Bank to a target audience of half a
million English-speakers on both sides of the divide in the Holy
(AFP, 2/20/07)(AP, 2/21/07)
2007 Feb 23-2007 Feb 24, In
Gaza City Mohammed Ghelban, a 28-year-old commander from Hamas'
military wing, was killed in a drive-by shooting outside his home. A
22-year-old man from a Fatah family, Hazem Karouah, was killed
several hours later, as was 75-year-old Ismail Sabah, who was caught
in the cross-fire.
2007 Feb 24, Palestinian
President Mahmoud Abbas ended his European tour without persuading
any country to end crippling economic sanctions based on his
power-sharing deal with the rival Islamic militant Hamas.
2007 Feb 25, Dozens of Israeli
jeeps and armored vehicles poured into Nablus overnight, placing
large areas of the city under curfew and conducting house-to-house
arrest raids in one of the largest West Bank military operations in
2007 Feb 26, Israeli troops
sealed off the center of Nablus' old city with cement blocks and
trash containers, and searched apartments for seven Palestinian
fugitives whose names the army broadcast over local TV and radio
2007 Feb 27, The Israeli army
pulled its troops and armored vehicles out of the West Bank city of
Nablus after a three-day operation targeting Palestinians militants.
2007 Feb 28, Israeli troops
shot and killed three Palestinian militants in the West Bank town of
Jenin and raided the nearby city of Nablus for the second time this
week, placing tens of thousands of people under curfew.
2007 Mar 5, A daylong gunbattle
between rival Palestinian factions raged in the streets of Gaza City
as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and PM Ismail Haniyeh again
failed to agree on the formation of a unity government.
2007 Mar 7, Israeli troops
raided the Palestinian military headquarters in Ramallah and
arrested 18 fugitives who had sought shelter there.
2007 Mar 8, Palestinians
desperate to cross into Egypt from Gaza surged toward a border
terminal, throwing stones as security personnel fired their weapons
to maintain control. Seven people were injured.
2007 Mar 10, The Hamas-run
Education Ministry rescinded its decision to pull an anthology of
Palestinian folk tales from school libraries and destroy copies,
reportedly over mild sexual innuendo, following a widespread public
2007 Mar 11, Palestinian gunmen
from Hamas and Fatah exchanged fire in the Gaza Strip, killing a
local militia leader and wounding seven people.
2007 Mar 12, In Gaza four
masked gunmen abducted Alan Johnston, a BBC journalist. He was later
reported to be held by the Dughmush clan and was released after
(AP, 3/13/07)(WSJ, 1/3/07, p.A14)(AP, 3/12/08)
2007 Mar 13, A Hamas military
commander was killed in a shootout with Fatah gunmen shortly before
the leaders of the two groups met to try to bridge their differences
over a power-sharing deal.
2007 Mar 14, Israeli and
Palestinian envoys said that improving the economy can revive the
peace process as they got to work on a Japanese initiative to create
jobs in the West Bank.
2007 Mar 15, The rival Hamas
and Fatah movements formed a long-elusive unity government, hoping
to end bloody infighting and lead the Palestinians out of yearlong
international isolation. Israel immediately said that it would not
deal with the new government.
2007 Mar 16, Israeli leaders
criticized the new Palestinian unity government, charging that the
Hamas-Fatah coalition did not meet international conditions,
including recognizing the Jewish state's right to exist. Three
masked Palestinian gunmen opened fire on a vehicle carrying the
chief of the UN refugee mission in Gaza and tried to kidnap him. A
Fatah intelligence official was killed in a nearby ambush.
(AP, 3/16/07)(WSJ, 3/17/07, p.A1)
2007 Mar 17, The new
Hamas-Fatah coalition won overwhelming parliamentary approval,
clearing a final formal hurdle before taking on the challenge of
persuading a skeptical world to end a crippling yearlong boycott of
the Palestinian government. Fatah counted 6 ministers, Hamas had 12,
and 7 more went to independents and small, centrist parties.
(AP, 3/16/07)(Econ, 3/24/07, p.51)
2007 Mar 19, Hamas militants
claimed responsibility for a shooting that wounded an Israeli
civilian near the border with the Gaza Strip.
2007 Mar 19, In northern
Lebanon rival Palestinian factions clashed in a refugee camp,
shaking the camp with explosions and wounding at least two gunmen.
2007 Mar 20, A US diplomat met
with the Palestinian finance minister, the first American contact
with the new Palestinian government and a sign of a break in policy
between Israel and its closest ally.
2007 Mar 21, The EU and the UN
eased their diplomatic boycott of the Palestinian government,
holding talks with non-Hamas ministers.
2007 Mar 25, UN
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, declaring the atmosphere "not fully
ripe," shunned officials from the Islamic militant Hamas group. Ban
Ki-Moon toured a Palestinian refugee camp and a stretch of Israel's
separation barrier in the West Bank, and said the visit strengthened
his resolve to work for Mideast peace.
2007 Mar 26, Israel welcomed
the idea of a regional peace summit and Saudi Arabia suggesting it
would consider changes in a dormant peace initiative to make it more
acceptable to Israel.
2007 Mar 27, In Palestine’s
northern Gaza Strip an earth embankment around a cesspool collapsed,
spewing a river of sewage and mud that killed four people.
2007 Mar 27, US Secretary of
State Condoleezza Rice said Israeli and Palestinian leaders have
agreed to meet every two weeks to discuss day-to-day issues, in a
quickening diplomatic pace that eventually could spur talks on a
final peace settlement.
2007 Mar 28, Unidentified
gunmen shot at a Hamas militant leader and his family during a car
chase through Gaza City, injuring five people, including bystanders
and a child.
2007 Mar 28, A small group of
Arab lesbians quietly defied Islamist protesters and a social taboo
to gather at a rare public conference in Haifa, Israeli. It was
organized by Aswat, an organization for Arab lesbians with members
in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
2007 Mar 29, Arab leaders at
their summit in Riyadh agreed on a call for Israel to accept their
land-for-peace offer and open direct negotiations with the Arabs.
Unlike past summits that at times saw overt feuds break out, the
gathering of Arab kings, emirs and presidents showed unusual public
unity as it revived the peace offer, which they first made in 2002
only to meet rejection from Israel.
2007 Mar 31, EU foreign
ministers backed an Arab peace initiative and agreed to engage with
ministers of the new Palestinian national unity government who are
not members of the Islamist Hamas movement.
2007 Apr 1, Palestinian
journalists announced a three-day strike in protest at what they
called their government's inadequate response to the suspected
kidnap of a British journalist.
2007 Apr 1, Israeli PM Ehud
Olmert invited Arab leaders to attend a peace conference to discuss
their ideas for reaching Mideast peace. The Israeli army sealed off
the West Bank ahead of the weeklong Passover holiday, restricting
the movement of Palestinians into Israel. In her first Mideast trip
as EU president, German Chancellor Angela Merkel offered Europe's
help in bringing Israel and the Palestinians back to the negotiating
table, trying to build on a new burst of international efforts to
restart peace talks.
(AP, 4/1/07)(AP, 4/2/07)
2007 Apr 2, Palestinian
journalists began a three-day strike to protest the kidnapping of
British Broadcasting Corp. correspondent Alan Johnston, the
longest-held reporter ever abducted in the Gaza Strip.
2007 Apr 2, Saudi Arabia
signaled it is unlikely to accept an Israeli invitation to a
regional peace conference, saying that Israel must first stop
mistreating Palestinians and move to withdraw from Arab lands.
2007 Apr 4, A Palestinian
gunman was killed in an exchange of fire with Israeli troops in an
area where militants frequently fire rockets toward Israel.
2007 Apr 5, A British diplomat
met with Palestinian PM Ismail Haniyeh to push for the release of a
kidnapped BBC journalist, the first direct meeting between a
European Union diplomat and a Hamas official of the Palestinians'
new coalition government.
2007 Apr 7, An Israeli
helicopter launched an airstrike along the Gaza Strip's border with
Israel, killing a Palestinian militant and wounding two others.
2007 Apr 8, A Palestinian
attacker stabbed and wounded two Israeli police officers at a
checkpoint outside a Hebron shrine that has been a flashpoint for
violence in the past.
2007 Apr 10, Israeli
authorities said they had arrested 19 Palestinian militants in March
for planning to set off a huge car bomb in Tel Aviv over the Jewish
holiday of Passover.
2007 Apr 13, Five European
countries and the European Commission signed an accord on under
which they will give 5.2 million dollars for administrative reforms
within the Palestinian presidency.
2007 Apr 15, Three explosions
hit Gaza City, damaging two Internet cafes and a Christian
bookstore. Palestinian security officials have said they suspect a
secret "vice squad" of Muslim militants.
2007 Apr 15, Israeli and
Palestinian leaders discussed the outlines of Palestinian statehood
for the first time in six years, taking a modest step toward
breaking the long paralysis in peacemaking.
2007 Apr 16, A World Bank study
said that Palestinian industry is "bound to fail" unless Israel
lifts tight restrictions on trade and movement of people and goods
in the Palestinian territories. , The Palestinian information
minister said China and Switzerland said they will deal with the new
Palestinian unity government made up of the moderate Fatah movement
and the Islamic militant Hamas group.
2007 Apr 16, Thousands of BBC
staff across Britain held a silent vigil to remember its kidnapped
Gaza correspondent Alan Johnston after a Palestinian group said it
had killed him. Johnston was snatched at gunpoint on March 12 as he
returned to his Gaza City home. Johnston was not killed and was
freed on July 4.
(AFP, 4/16/07)(AP, 7/5/07)
2007 Apr 17, Israel's Shin Bet
security agency said that it has broken up an Iranian plot to
recruit Israelis of Iranian origin as spies, part of what it says is
a burgeoning Iranian intelligence operation against the Jewish
state. Israeli troops shot and killed a Palestinian militant near
Jenin. Four Israelis were shot and wounded as they were driving near
the West Bank Jewish settlement of Naaleh.
2007 Apr 19, Israeli Knesset
speaker Dalia Yitzik arrived in Jordan, the second Israeli official
to visit the Arab kingdom this week for talks on ways to revive
2007 Apr 21, Israeli troops
killed four Palestinians in clashes in the West Bank, including
three militants who died when troops opened fire at their vehicle. A
Palestinian policeman was killed when he climbed on the roof of his
home during an Israeli arrest operation in the village of Kafr Dan.
Palestinian officials said a 17-year-old girl, identified as Bushra
Wahash, was shot by Israeli gunfire as she peered out the window of
her home in the Jenin refugee camp. Palestinian militants in Gaza
fired three homemade rockets into southern Israel. One of the
rockets scored a direct hit on a house in the Israeli border town of
Sderot, causing no injuries. Minutes later, an Israeli aircraft
fired a missile at a Palestinian car near the rocket launch site. A
37-year-old man in the car was killed and a second occupant was
2007 Apr 22, Israeli troops
killed two Palestinian militants, including a top bombmaker, during
an arrest raid. The Islamic militant group Hamas called for new
attacks on Israel after eight Palestinians were killed in a surge of
fighting over the weekend.
2007 Apr 24, The armed wing of
Hamas fired a barrage of rockets and mortar shells from Gaza toward
Israel on its independence day, and said they considered it the end
of a five-month truce with Israel.
(AP, 4/24/07)(WSJ, 4/25/07, p.A1)
2007 Apr 25, Israel’s PM Ehud
Olmert authorized the army to carry out limited operations against
militants in the Gaza Strip, but ruled out a large-scale ground
offensive in response to a new round of Hamas rocket attacks.
2007 Apr 29, Saudi Arabia's
King Abdullah held an unannounced meeting with Palestinian President
Mahmoud Abbas to discuss the recent escalation in
Israeli-Palestinian tensions. Saudi Arabia banned the sale of
concentrated fertilizer, a favorite component of homemade terrorist
(AP, 4/30/07)(Econ, 5/5/07, p.60)
2007 Apr 30, Hundreds of
protesters briefly pushed into the Palestinian education ministry as
Fatah-allied teachers in the West Bank went on strike to press for
the payment of overdue salaries. Angry Palestinian demonstrators
stormed the Egyptian embassy in Gaza City, demanding that Egypt
release five Palestinians held in Cairo jails.
(AP, 5/1/07)(AP, 4/30/07)
2007 May 6, Palestinian
militants opened fire near a children's festival at a UN-operated
elementary school in the southern Gaza Strip, killing a bodyguard of
a local Fatah leader and wounding seven other people. Palestinian
militants shot and seriously injured an Israeli motorist who was
driving west of the West Bank city of Ramallah.
2007 May 9, The Palestinian
information minister said Hamas militants have suspended a TV
program that featured a Mickey Mouse lookalike urging Palestinian
children to fight Israel and work for global Islamic domination.
Hamas militants in Palestine had enlisted a figure bearing a strong
resemblance to Mickey Mouse to broadcast their message of Islamic
domination and armed resistance to their most impressionable
audience, children. The show was broadcast as usual two days after
the Palestinian information minister said it would be suspended.
(AP, 5/9/07)(AP, 5/11/07)
2007 May 10, A Palestinian
woman in the seventh month of her pregnancy lost her unborn baby
when she was caught in crossfire between Israeli troops and
2007 May 13, Fighting between
Palestinian faction of Hamas and Fatah left 4 people dead in the
(SFC, 5/14/07, p.A7)
2007 May 14, The Palestinian
interior minister resigned, accusing Hamas and Fatah leaders of
thwarting his efforts to halt new violence that is threatening the
survival of the Palestinian coalition government.
2007 May 15, Hamas gunmen
ambushed rival Fatah forces near a key crossing along the Israeli
border, killing eight people in the deadliest battle yet in three
days of factional fighting.
2007 May 16, An Israeli
helicopter launched missiles at a Hamas command center in the
southern Gaza Strip, killing at least four people, after Hamas fired
rocket barrages into Israel in an apparent attempt to draw Israel
into increasingly violent Palestinian infighting. At least 19 people
were killed in factional fighting between Fatah and Hamas.
(AP, 5/16/07)(SFC, 5/17/07, p.A12)
2007 May 17, Israeli aircraft
struck a Hamas command center, a trailer housing bodyguards and two
vehicles, citing the firing by militants of more than 50 rockets at
the Israeli border town of Sderot over three days.
2007 May 18, Israel pounded
more Hamas targets with airstrikes for a 2nd day, killing four
Palestinians. 10 people have died with dozens wounded as it stepped
deeper into fighting between the Islamic militants and the rival
Fatah fighters of President Mahmoud Abbas.
2007 May 19, In Gaza
negotiators from the rival Hamas and Fatah movements reached a new
2007 May 20, Israeli Vice
Premier Shimon Peres said his government would offer a
counterproposal to an Arab peace initiative to resolve the conflict
with Palestinians. Israeli warplanes fired missiles into a car
carrying Hamas militants and a load of weapons, killing 3 people,
and also demolished arms factories of 2 Palestinian militant groups.
2007 May 20, Lebanese tanks
pounded a militant group's headquarters in a Palestinian refugee
camp near Tripoli after the northern city's worst clashes in two
decades killed 13 soldiers and 17 militants. The raid that triggered
the clashes was part of a police search for suspects in a bank
robbery a day earlier in Amyoun, a town southeast of Tripoli. Gunmen
made off with $125,000 in cash in the robbery.
2007 May 21, Israel pushed
ahead with its campaign against Palestinian rocket squads, pounding
the Gaza Strip with new airstrikes that killed five militants. A
rocket from Gaza killed an Israeli woman.
(AP, 5/21/07)(WSJ, 5/22/07, p.A1)
2007 May 21, Lebanese troops
pounded a Palestinian refugee camp with artillery and tank fire for
a second day, raising huge palls of smoke as they battled a militant
group suspected of ties to al-Qaida in the worst eruption of
violence since the end of the 1975-90 civil war.
2007 May 21, Norway said it
would make its first transfer of direct aid to the Palestinians' new
government, more than two months after the Nordic country broke with
most Western nations by recognizing the Hamas-led coalition.
2007 May 22, Israeli aircraft
struck two camps used by the Islamic militant group Hamas, a day
after a Palestinian rocket attack killed an Israeli woman. Officials
suggested even Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas
could be a target.
2007 May 22, In Lebanon a
convoy of UN relief supplies was hit in renewed fighting as it tried
to enter the Palestinian refugee camp of Nahr el-Bared.
2007 May 23, In Lebanon
hundreds of Palestinian civilians carrying their belongings in
plastic bags trickled out of a besieged refugee camp, taking
advantage of a truce in fighting that mostly held overnight.
2007 May 24, Israeli troops in
the West Bank rounded up a Palestinian Cabinet minister and 32 other
Hamas leaders in the West Bank before dawn, pressing forward with an
offensive against the Islamic militant group.
2007 May 24, In Lebanon
sporadic gunfire erupted inside the Nahr el-Bared refugee camp where
Islamic militants are holed up after refusing an ultimatum by
Lebanon's defense minister to surrender or face a military
onslaught. Lebanon's leader vowed to uproot the fighters. The family
of Shaker Youssef al-Absi, the Palestinian who heads the shadowy
militant group blamed for this week's violence in Lebanon, said he
is not a terrorist but a nationalist who seeks an end to Israel's
occupation of Palestinian lands.
2007 May 26, Israel fired
missiles at five Hamas targets minutes apart, killing five people
just hours after Gaza militants floated the idea of halting rocket
fire on Israeli border towns if the 10-day-old air campaign ends. In
the West Bank, Israeli troops arrested Cabinet minister Wasfi
Kabaha, confiscating his computer and many of his documents. Also in
the West Bank, Palestinian police ambushed Adbel Razik (26), the
leader of the violent Fatah offshoot the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades,
as he emerged from his home. A grenade blew up in his hand, and he
later died of his wounds.
2007 May 27, PM Ehud Olmert
promised more attacks on the Hamas militant group after a
Palestinian rocket attack killed an Israeli man in southern Israel.
2007 May 30, A group of
internationally renowned Israeli authors and university presidents
demanded that Israel grant Palestinian students from the Gaza Strip
free movement to superior universities in the West Bank.
2007 Jun 1, Alan Johnston, a
British reporter kidnapped in the Gaza Strip nearly three months,
ago appeared in a videotape posted on an Islamic militant Web site,
saying his captors had treated him well, denouncing Israel, and
criticizing British and US Mideast policy.
2007 Jun 1, The Swords of
Truth, an Islamic group, threatened to behead female TV broadcasters
if they don't wear strict Islamic dress, frightening reporters and
signaling a further shift toward extremism in the Gaza Strip.
2007 Jun 1, Israeli troops shot
and killed two 13-year-old Palestinians near the Gaza-Israel border
fence, saying they were crawling toward the barrier in a "suspicious
manner." The boys had told their families they were going to the
2007 Jun 2, The Lebanese air
force joined tanks and artillery in pounding Islamic militant
hideouts on the second day of an intensifying offensive to uproot
al-Qaida-inspired gunmen barricaded in a Palestinian refugee camp.
2007 Jun 3, Hamas militants
wounded four Israeli soldiers in a mortar attack on a base near the
Gaza Strip, shortly after Israel's PM Ehud Olmert vowed to press
ahead with military operations against Palestinian gunmen.
2007 Jun 3, Heavy gunfire rang
out from inside a bombed out Palestinian refugee camp as the
Lebanese army pounded Islamic militants holed up inside during the
third day of a military offensive aimed at crushing the
2007 Jun 4, Violence sparked by
a two-week old confrontation between the Lebanese army and al-Qaida
inspired militants spread to a second Palestinian refugee camp in
the southern part of the country, killing two soldiers.
2007 Jun 6, A Palestinian
security force fanned out in two neighborhoods of the Ein el-Hilweh
refugee camp in southern Lebanon to prevent further clashes between
Islamic militants and Lebanese troops. Maj. Gen. Khaled Aref, a
senior Fatah commander based in Ein el-Hilweh, said on Lebanese
Broadcasting Corp. television that about 20 Fatah Islam fighters had
surrendered to his group in besieged Nahr el-Bared.
2007 Jun 7, A battle between
gunmen from Hamas and Fatah in the Gaza Strip left one Fatah man
dead before daybreak.
2007 Jun 8, Lebanese troops
battled al-Qaida-inspired militants in a Palestinian refugee camp
where violence has raged for three weeks. The clashes in northern
Lebanon came hours after a bombing in a Christian town northeast of
Beirut killed at least one man.
2007 Jun 9, Palestinian gunmen
from Gaza broke through Israel's border fortifications and battled
Israeli troops near an army post. Israeli Army Radio said troops
killed one of the raiders. Medics at a northern Gaza Strip hospital
walked off their jobs for a few hours to protest the kidnapping and
shooting of a doctor by Palestinian militants, the first physician
targeted in months of deadly infighting.
2007 Jun 9, Lebanon's army
pounded Islamic militants hiding in a Palestinian refugee camp in
renewed heavy clashes following a few days of intermittent fighting.
2007 Jun 10, Israeli aircraft
fired on militant targets in Gaza City in predawn airstrikes, hours
after Palestinian gunmen breached Israel's heavily fortified Gaza
border and tried to capture an Israeli soldier. Rival Palestinian
forces clashed in Gaza. 2 militants were killed after being thrown
out of high-rise buildings.
(AP, 6/10/07)(SFC, 6/11/07, p.A7)
2007 Jun 11, Fighting between
Palestinian factions left 12 people dead.
(SFC, 6/12/07, p.A16)(WSJ, 6/12/07, p.A1)
2007 Jun 12, A rocket-propelled
grenade hit the home of the Hamas prime minister, while his fighters
captured several positions from the rival Fatah movement and
threatened to step up the offensive. Palestinian President Mahmoud
Abbas accused his Hamas rivals of staging a coup and called for a
2007 Jun 12, An official said
Japan has agreed to offer direct aid to the Palestinian Authority,
but will send it to president Mahmud Abbas and not Hamas militants.
2007 Jun 13, Fierce battles
over key security positions spread to central Gaza, with Hamas
fighters wresting control of the coastal strip's main north-south
road, and putting themselves in position to cut off reinforcements
to beleaguered Fatah forces. At least 20 Palestinians died across
(AP, 6/13/07)(SFC, 6/14/07, p.A3)
2007 Jun 14, Palestinian
President Mahmoud Abbas declared an emergency after the Hamas
militant group effectively took control of the Gaza Strip. Hamas
fighters overran one of the rival Fatah movement's most important
security installations in the Gaza Strip. Witnesses said the victors
dragged vanquished gunmen into the street and shot them to death
execution-style. 14 fighters and civilians were killed and 80
wounded in the battle for the Preventive Security complex, bringing
the day's death toll to 25 by mid-afternoon. Witnesses, Fatah
officials and a doctor reported gangland-style killings of the
defeated fighters. Palestinian security officials said an Israeli
tank shell killed six people, including five children, in the
southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah. The clashes in Gaza left an
estimated 116 people dead and over 500 wounded.
(AP, 6/15/07)(WSJ, 6/19/07, p.A1)(AP, 6/14/08)
2007 Jun 15, Palestinian
President Mahmoud Abbas appointed Fayyad to replace Ismail Haniyeh,
who was fired after his Hamas group violently took control of the
Gaza Strip. On its first day of full rule in Gaza, the Islamic
militant Hamas granted amnesty to Fatah leaders, signaling that it
seeks conciliation with the defeated forces of moderate Palestinian
President Mahmoud Abbas.
2007 Jun 16, The US
strengthened its offer of support for President Mahmoud Abbas,
telling him an international aid embargo against the Palestinians
would end as soon as he forms a new government without Hamas.
2007 Jun 17, Palestinian
President Mahmoud Abbas swore in an emergency Cabinet and outlawed
the militia forces of the Islamic Hamas movement, deepening the
violent rupture in Palestinian society.
2007 Jun 18, Gunmen and Israeli
soldiers exchanged fire at the Erez crossing between Israel and
Gaza, killing at least one Palestinian and wounding 15.
2007 Jun 19, Former Israeli PM
Ehud Barak took over as defense minister. Hundreds of terrified
Gazans fleeing Hamas rule were trapped at a main crossing with
Israel, hoping to gain permission to pass through Israeli territory
to sanctuary in the West Bank.
2007 Jun 19, A Lebanese soldier
was killed in clashes with al-Qaida-inspired militants in a
Palestinian refugee camp in northern Lebanon.
2007 Jun 20, Israeli tanks
entered southern Gaza, and four people, including at least two
militants, were killed in an exchange of fire. Israel fired missiles
at two rocket launchers in northern Gaza in the first attack since
Hamas militants took control. Israel also let in a few seriously ill
Palestinians who had been holed up for days at a fetid border
crossing. In the West Bank, two Palestinian militants were killed in
a shootout with Israeli troops during an arrest raid near Jenin.
2007 Jun 24, The Israeli
Cabinet approved the release of frozen tax funds to Palestinian
President Mahmoud Abbas, in a step to bolster the moderate leader in
his standoff against the Islamic militant group Hamas.
2007 Jun 25, Israel's PM Ehud
Olmert promised to free 250 Palestinian prisoners and to improve
life in the West Bank in an attempt to boost Palestinian President
Mahmoud Abbas after Hamas' takeover in Gaza. Olmert made the pledges
at a summit in this Egyptian Red Sea resort with Abbas and the
leaders of Egypt and Jordan. Hamas militants posted an audio message
from an Israeli soldier captured a year ago at an army base near the
Gaza Strip, the first sign of life from the young serviceman since
he was seized. In a new video kidnapped British journalist Alan
Johnston appeared with what he says are explosives strapped to his
body and warned that his captors intend to set them off if rescuers
attempt to free him by force.
(AP, 6/25/07)(AP, 6/26/07)
2007 Jun 25, Ayman al-Zawahri,
Al-Qaida's deputy leader, called on Muslims around the world to back
Hamas with weapons, money and attacks on US and Israeli interests in
a Web audiotape, urging the Palestinian militant group to unite with
al-Qaida's "holy warriors" after its takeover of Gaza.
2007 Jun 26, In Jerusalem
international Mideast negotiators searched for ways to revive peace
talks after Hamas' takeover of the Gaza Strip. US officials said
they were expected to name outgoing British PM Tony Blair as a
2007 Jun 27, Israeli attacks in
the Gaza Strip killed 10 Palestinians, including a 12-year-old boy.
2007 Jun 28, Salam Fayyad, the
new Palestinian PM, delivered a stern warning to hundreds of Islamic
preachers, including Hamas supporters: He won't tolerate calls for
violence delivered from mosque pulpits and plans to collect
2007 Jun 28, Israeli President
Moshe Katzav agreed to resign under an unexpected plea bargain that
included no jail time for sex crimes, ending a year-long
investigation. Israeli troops imposed a curfew on downtown Nablus
and clashed with Fatah militants as the army's activities moved from
Gaza to the West Bank.
2007 Jun 29, In Gaza City a
Mickey Mouse look-alike who preached Islamic domination on a
Hamas-affiliated children's television program was beaten to death
in the show's final episode by an actor posing as an Israeli
official trying to buy his land.
(AP, 6/29/07)(SFC, 6/30/07, p.A9)
2007 Jun 30, An Israeli air
strike killed 3 Palestinian militants in Gaza, including an Islamic
Jihad commander long sought by Israel for involvement in rocket
shootings at the Jewish state.
2007 Jun, Gaza’s 1.5 million
Palestinians lived in an area about the size of Wichita, Kansas.
(WSJ, 6/19/07, p.A1)
2007 Jul 1, Israel transferred
millions of dollars worth of tax funds to the new Palestinian
government, allowing it to pay its workers in full for the first
time in a year, while skipping the ones who work for the Islamic
Hamas in Gaza.
2007 Jul 2, Hamas arrested the
spokesman of a shadowy group holding British reporter Alan Johnston,
a move that could give it a bargaining chip to secure the Briton's
2007 Jul 4, Palestinian gunmen
released Alan Johnston, a British journalist, who had been kidnapped
March 12. The powerful Dughmush clan got to keep its weapons in
return for giving Johnston up.
(AP, 7/5/07)(Econ, 7/7/07, p.46)
2007 Jul 5, Israeli troops
crossed into the Gaza Strip and engaged Hamas militants in a fierce
gunbattle that drew in Israeli aircraft, tanks and bulldozers. 11
militants were killed. A cameraman for Hamas TV, who lay wounded on
the ground, came under more fire during a clash with Israeli troops.
The shooting was captured on film and broadcast on al-Jazeera
satellite television. Imad Ghanem had to have both legs amputated as
a result of his injuries. Israel repatriated 4 Jordanian
infiltrators who were serving life sentences in Israeli prisons for
killing Israeli soldiers.
(AP, 7/5/07)(AP, 7/6/07)(AP, 7/7/07)
2007 Jul 6, Israeli forces
pulled out of the Gaza Strip. Their military incursion left 11
Palestinian militants dead and pushed Gaza's rival factions together
in urging their people to fight back.
2007 Jul 11, Hamas boycotted
the opening of the Palestinian parliament's new term, effectively
allowing President Mahmoud Abbas to keep his moderate emergency
Cabinet in power.
2007 Jul 12, Israeli forces
moved into the Gaza Strip in a hunt for weapons and wanted
militants, sparking a fierce battle with Hamas militants that killed
one Israeli soldier.
2007 Jul 12, The Lebanese army
pounded a Palestinian refugee camp with artillery fire, but the
military denied reports that the action was part of a final assault
on the al-Qaida-inspired Islamic militants barricaded inside.
2007 Jul 13, Some 4,000
Palestinians remained stuck on the Egyptian side of the border with
trouble finding food and shelter, shortages they blamed on local
authorities who are indifferent to their plight.
2007 Jul 13, In north Lebanon
Islamic militants fired back volleys of rockets at the Lebanese army
as troops pounded the remaining suspected hideouts of the Fatah
Islam fighters holed up in a Palestinian refugee camp.
2007 Jul 14, Palestinian PM
Salam Fayyad resigned as head of an emergency government and was
immediately appointed to lead an interim Cabinet.
2007 Jul 15, Mahmoud Darwish,
the world's most recognized Palestinian poet, delivered a stinging
tirade against Palestinian infighting in his first public appearance
in decades in the Israeli city of Haifa. Scores of Fatah militiamen
signed pledges to renounce violence against Israel and turned in
their weapons. Shimon Peres was inaugurated as Israel’s new
(AP, 7/16/07)(SFC, 7/16/07, p.A14)
2007 Jul 16, In northern
Lebanon fierce fighting erupted at a besieged Palestinian refugee
camp as army troops pounded the remaining hideouts of
al-Qaida-inspired militants holed up inside with artillery and tank
2007 Jul 16, Pres. Bush said he
would call Israel, the Palestinians and others in the region to a
peace conference and urged Arabs to send Cabinet-level officials to
a Fall meeting to be led by Sec. of State Condoleeza Rice.
(SFC, 7/17/07, p.A7)(AP, 7/16/08)
2007 Jul 17, Libya's foreign
minister said the death sentences for five Bulgarian nurses and a
Palestinian doctor accused of infecting hundreds of Libyan children
with HIV have been commuted to life in prison. The ruling came after
the families of the children each received $1 million and agreed to
drop their demand for the execution of the six.
2007 Jul 19, About 2,000 people
protested at the border terminal between Egypt and the Gaza Strip,
demanding the crossing be opened to allow thousands of Palestinians
trapped in Egypt to return.
2007 Jul 20, Israel released
more than 250 Palestinian prisoners, aiming to bolster embattled
President Mahmoud Abbas in his power struggle with the Islamic
militants of Hamas.
2007 Jul 22, Israeli troops
operating in the northern Gaza Strip shot and killed two Hamas
gunmen. An Israeli airstrike killed two Palestinian militants in the
northern Gaza Strip after they fired rockets at a nearby Israeli
(AP, 7/22/07)(AP, 7/23/07)
2007 Jul 22, in northern
Lebanon 3 Lebanese soldiers were killed in sporadic fighting with
al-Qaida-inspired Islamic militants barricaded in a Palestinian
2007 Jul 23, Foreign Minister
Peter MacKay said Canada will give the new Palestinian government
C$8 million ($7.6 million) in direct aid and more could follow now
that Hamas is no longer in the government.
2007 Jul 23, Former British
Prime Minister Tony Blair, in his new capacity as a Mideast envoy,
opened his mission to help Palestinians build solid foundations for
their future state.
2007 Jul 24, Mohammed Radad
(20), was shot by Fatah-allied gunmen, when students aligned with
the rival groups clashes on the campus of An Najah University in
Nablus. Radad died from his wounds on July 27.
2007 Jul 24, Five Bulgarian
nurses and a Palestinian doctor, sentenced to life in prison in
Libya for allegedly infecting children with HIV, came home to
Bulgaria and were greeted with tears and hugs, and a presidential
pardon that allowed them to walk free after 8 1/2 years behind bars.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy said Qatar mediated the release and
hinted the Gulf country may have had a broader role in resolving the
2007 Jul 25, The foreign
ministers of Egypt and Jordan, delegated by the 22-member Arab
League, began a historic visit to Israel to formally present an Arab
peace plan, saying they were extending "a hand of peace" on behalf
of the region.
(AP, 7/25/07)(Econ, 7/28/07, p.48)
2007 Jul 25, Lebanese army
troops unleashed barrages of artillery and tank shells at Islamic
militants in a Palestinian refugee camp in northern Lebanon.
2007 Jul 26, An Israeli
airstrike targeting a car south of Gaza City killed 3 Islamic Jihad
militants. Israeli forces also killed a Hamas militant during a
military operation in the southern Gaza Strip. In the West Bank
Israeli troops struck and seriously injured a Palestinian who tried
to stab a soldier. The man's family said he later died of his
2007 Jul 27, The Israeli army
suspended an officer and five soldiers involved in wounding a
Palestinian man July 26 in the southern West Bank and put all of
their unit's operational duties on hold.
2007 Jul 28, Palestinian
officials said Israel has agreed to allow at least 627 Palestinians
who have been stranded in Egypt for weeks to pass into the Gaza
2007 Jul 30, An Israeli
parliamentary committee voted unanimously to revoke the privileges
of disgraced former president Moshe Katsav, who signed a plea
bargain in June admitting he sexually harassed several female
employees. An Israeli aircraft attacked a car carrying Palestinian
militants, wounding two members of Islamic Jihad and the Gaza
commander of the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades.
2007 Jul 30, Egyptian police
clashed with Bedouins protesting a government order to demolish
their houses along the Palestinian Gaza Strip's border, leaving
dozens injured. Egyptian media have reported a government plan to
force the Bedouins from a 500-foot-wide band of land along the
border to prevent traffickers from digging tunnels used to smuggle
weapons and people into Gaza.
2007 Aug 4, Two Palestinians
were killed and six wounded in an Israeli air strike on two vehicles
near the southern Gaza Strip's border with Egypt.
2007 Aug 6, Ehud Olmert became
the first Israeli PM to visit a Palestinian town since the outbreak
of fighting seven years ago, meeting under heavy guard with
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to talk about the creation of a
2007 Aug 7, A large explosion
in northern Gaza killed an 8-year-old boy and his 6-year-old sister
and injured five other children. Witnesses said a group of children
stumbled upon a homemade rocket or a mortar shell and began playing
with it. The device exploded, injuring all seven children, two of
whom died later of their wounds.
2007 Aug 7, Israeli police,
using sledgehammers, chain saws and power clippers, stormed a
building in the biblical city of Hebron and dragged out hundreds of
Jewish settlers who had holed up there illegally.
2007 Aug 8, Israeli soldiers
shot and killed three Palestinian militants near Israel's border
with the Gaza Strip in two separate incidents.
2007 Aug 11, Hamas militiamen
detained 32 Fatah supporters across Gaza, half of them after
breaking up a bachelor's party and beating guests with clubs and
2007 Aug 13, Hamas militiamen
beat protesters with clubs and rifle butts to try to stop a
demonstration by political opponents in the Gaza Strip, but hundreds
chanting "We want freedom" defied the ban.
2007 Aug 14, Benjamin Netanyahu
won elections as leader of Israel's hardline Likud Party. Israeli
troops and aircraft attacked Islamic militants in the southern Gaza
Strip. Four fighters and two civilians died in the clashes and 26
people were wounded. Separately, two security officers for Gaza's
Hamas rulers were reported killed in fierce fighting with the
powerful Palestinian Doghmush clan.
(AP, 8/14/07)(AP, 8/15/07)
2007 Aug 15, Japan's foreign
minister launched plans for a joint Israeli-Palestinian industrial
park in the West Bank that he said would promote peace in the region
2007 Aug 19, Israel opened a
crossing with the Gaza Strip to let in fuel shipments, but tens of
thousands of homes remained without electricity because fuel for a
major Gaza power company hadn't arrived. The EU cut off vital
funding to a Gaza power plant, forcing it to shut down the last of
its generators and darken tens of thousands of Palestinian homes.
Palestinian Information Minister Riad Maliki said the EU ceased
payment "because Hamas took over the electric company and started
collecting the revenues and taking them to its pocket."
(AP, 8/19/07)(AP, 8/20/07)
2007 Aug 21, The Israeli army
said ground forces fired at gunmen who approached the Israel-Gaza
border fence. The Islamic Jihad group said three militants on a
mission against Israel were killed. Palestinians fired three rockets
into Israel including one that hit an empty kindergarten in the town
of Sderot near Gaza. Israeli troops targeted two figures spotted
near a rocket launcher in an area of northern Gaza where a rocket
had been fired into Israel earlier. The fire killed a 10-year-old
and a 12-year-old who were members of the same extended family. The
army said Palestinian rocket teams have been known to send young
children to retrieve rocket launchers after firing.
2007 Aug 21, The EU said it
will resume vital fuel aid to the Gaza Strip's electric company,
money the bloc suspended because of suspicions that Gaza's Hamas
rulers were diverting revenues.
2007 Aug 22, Israeli aircraft
killed one Hamas militant and wounded three others in an airstrike
in Gaza City.
2007 Aug 24, Hamas security
agents clashed with supporters of the rival Fatah movement, firing
into the air and beating journalists covering a demonstration
against the Islamic militant group's rule in the Gaza Strip.
2007 Aug 24, A deal was reached
with Islamic extremists holed up in a Palestinian refugee camp in
northern Lebanon to allow their families to leave the besieged area.
The UN Security Council voted unanimously to keep peacekeepers in
Lebanon for another 12 months.
(AP, 8/24/07)(AP, 8/24/07)
2007 Aug 25, Two Palestinian
militants infiltrated Israel from the Gaza Strip, attacking an
Israeli military position before soldiers tracked them down and
killed them. Militants detonated a bomb near the border fence in
southern Gaza, lightly wounding four soldiers. Militants also fired
several mortars into southern Israel, causing no injuries.
2007 Aug 26, The moderate
Palestinian government began implementing the closure of 103
institutions in the West Bank and Gaza in an apparent crackdown
against the Islamic Hamas.
2007 Aug 27, Israel’s Haaretz
newspaper reported that security officials fear Hamas' exiled
leadership in Syria is working to renew suicide attacks against
Israel in an effort to derail peace efforts by Israel and
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Israeli intelligence assessed
that Islamic Hamas militants have smuggled 40 tons of weapons into
the Gaza Strip since the group wrested control of the territory in
2007 Aug 28, Israeli PM Ehud
Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas tackled the major
issues dividing the two sides at their meeting, final borders,
Jerusalem and Palestinian refugees.
2007 Aug 29, The three cousins,
10-year-old Mahmoud Ghazal, 10-year-old Sara Ghazal and 12-year-old
Yehiya Ghazal, were killed when Israeli troops combating Palestinian
rocket squads spotted figures moving near rocket launchers in
northern Gaza and ordered a strike.
2007 Aug 31, In Gaza a protest
of Hamas rule by Fatah supporters turned violent when Hamas men
began forcefully dispersing the crowd, firing in the air and beating
demonstrators and reporters. Five people were wounded in the
clashes, including two French journalists.
2007 Sep 1, Hamas gunmen opened
fire on their own supporters, killing a teenager at a protest on the
Gaza-Egypt border, as tens of thousands of flag-waving Hamas
supporters gathered at the Rafah border crossing with Egypt to
demand it be reopened.
2007 Sep 2, In Lebanon the last
militant stronghold of a Palestinian refugee camp devastated by more
than 3 months of fighting fell to the army. The army killed 39
militants and captured at least 15 others as they tried to break out
of the Nahr el-Bared camp. 5 soldiers were killed in the 2-day
fight, raising to 158 the number of troops killed in the conflict
that began May 20. The dead also included over 20 civilians and over
(AP, 9/2/07)(SFC, 9/3/07, p.A13)
2007 Sep 6, Israeli troops
backed by tanks and bulldozers crossed into southern Gaza to strike
at Palestinian militants and 10 militants were killed. Palestinian
militants said fighters in a pickup truck and jeep crashed through a
fence on the Gaza-Israel border and attacked an Israeli army post.
2007 Sep 7, Hamas security
forces armed with rifles and clubs beat Fatah supporters trying to
hold street prayers to protest the Islamic group's rule in Gaza.
Hamas men also assaulted at least seven Palestinian journalists and
2007 Sep 10, Israeli PM Ehud
Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met in Jerusalem to
discuss guidelines for resuming peace negotiations.
2007 Sep 11, A Palestinian
rocket exploded in an Israeli army base, wounding more than 40
soldiers as they slept in their tents and drawing calls for a major
military operation against militants launching rockets from the Gaza
2007 Sep 13, The Jewish New
Year of 5768 began and marked a year of agricultural sabbatical,
known in Hebrew as "shmita." The commandment requires Jewish farmers
in Israel to let their fields rest every seventh year, just as Jews
are required to rest every seventh day. Israeli aircraft fired a
missile at a car in a Gaza refugee camp, injuring two members of the
violent Islamic Jihad group.
2007 Sep 16, Israeli fire
killed two Palestinians in separate incidents in the West Bank,
including a militant.
2007 Sep 19, Israel's Security
Cabinet declared the Gaza Strip an "enemy entity" in order to cut
off power and fuel supplies to the coastal strip.
2007 Sep 23, The Israeli
Cabinet voted overwhelmingly to release 90 Palestinian prisoners in
an effort to shore up the moderate Palestinian president, Mahmoud
Abbas, in his power struggle with Islamic Hamas militants.
2007 Sep 25, Haidar Abdel Shafi
(88), medical doctor and founding member of the Palestine Liberation
organization (PLO), died at his home in Gaza City. He had founded
and directed the Gaza branch of the Red Crescent.
2007 Sep 25, Israel's largest
bank said it was severing its last remaining ties with Palestinian
banks in Gaza, following the Israeli government's declaration of the
coastal strip as an "enemy entity."
2007 Sep 26, An Israeli missile
strike targeted a jeep carrying members of the Army of Islam. Five
passengers were killed, the Army of Islam said. The Israeli military
said the jeep was carrying rockets ready for use. In northern Gaza,
Israeli tanks and bulldozers briefly entered the town of Beit
Hanoun, following rocket fire from the area. At one point, a tank
shell was fired toward a group of people between two houses, killing
four and wounding 25.
2007 Sep 27, Israeli forces
killed two Gaza militants in a missile strike.
2007 Sep 30, Scores of
Palestinian militants who had been stranded in Egypt since Hamas
seized Gaza in June returned to the territory.
2007 Oct 1, Dozens of freed
Palestinian prisoners kissed the ground at this West Bank checkpoint
after Israel released them in a gesture to President Mahmoud Abbas
ahead of a US-sponsored Mideast peace conference. Israeli troops
killed two Hamas militants in Gaza in a gunbattle.
2007 Oct 2, Israel completed
the release of 86 Palestinian prisoners and soldiers briefly opened
fire as family members rushed toward the prisoners at the Erez
crossing in the Gaza Strip. 2 people were wounded. A blast in Gaza
killed four people, including three Fatah activists and a bystander.
Hamas accused Fatah of having tried to attack the security compound,
saying explosives in the car apparently blew up prematurely.
(SFC, 10/3/07, p.A12)(AP, 10/3/07)(WSJ, 10/3/07,
2007 Oct 7, Rami Khader Ayyad
(32), a prominent Palestinian Christian activist, was found dead on
a Gaza City street, sending a shudder of fear through a tiny
Christian community feeling increasingly insecure since the Islamic
Hamas seized control last summer. He bore a visible gunshot wound to
the head and was also stabbed numerous times. Ayyad had been missing
since the previous afternoon.
2007 Oct 8, Sudan said it will
host hundreds of Palestinian refugees who have been stranded in
terrible conditions on Iraq's border with Syria and Jordan.
2007 Oct 17, A clash between
Hamas security forces and members of a large Gaza clan affiliated
with the rival Fatah party left four people dead.
2007 Oct 17,
Israeli troops killed a Hamas gunman in a battle in southern
2007 Oct 18,
Palestinian surveyors fanned out across Gaza and the West
Bank, counting homes and people in the first census in a decade, a
rare joint endeavor of bitter rivals Hamas and Fatah.
2007 Oct 19, A parliamentarian
said that 61 of 120 Israeli lawmakers have signed a petition against
any attempt by PM Ehud Olmert to transfer parts of Jerusalem to the
2007 Oct 20,
In Gaza City Hamas police and a clan allied with the rival
Fatah movement traded fire killing a young man and a boy on the 4th
day of heavy internal fighting.
(SSFC, 10/21/07, p.A3)
2007 Oct 22,
About 1,000 Palestinian prisoners rioted at an Israeli desert
prison, attacking guards, torching the tents where they are housed
and leaving 30 people injured.
2007 Oct 23, Israel killed a
top Gaza militant with a missile strike on his car prompting threats
of more rocket attacks on Israeli border towns. A Palestinian
prisoner who was wounded in rioting at an Israeli desert prison
died, prompting Palestinian threats of revenge and accusations that
the man was abused by Israeli authorities.
(AP, 10/23/07)(WSJ, 10/24/07, p.A1)
2007 Oct 24, Officials said
Israeli military experts have formulated a plan to gradually cut off
power to the Gaza Strip in response to ongoing rocket fire from the
2007 Oct 26, Israeli PM Ehud
Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas began talks in
Jerusalem as part of efforts to work out a joint statement ahead of
a US-sponsored Mideast peace conference this fall.
2007 Oct 28, Israel began
cutting vital fuel shipments to the Gaza Strip, following through on
a promise to step up pressure on the area's Hamas rulers in response
to months of Palestinian rocket attacks.
2007 Oct 30,
Israeli aircraft hit a Hamas-run police station in the
southern Gaza city of Khan Younis, killing at least four people.
2007 Nov 1, The Israel’
military announced that its forces operating in the Gaza Strip this
week had uncovered and destroyed seven tunnels used by Palestinian
militants to smuggle arms and people.
2007 Nov 5, Palestinian police
attacked militants in the Balata refugee camp, home to 22,000
people, one of 19 in the West Bank.
(SFC, 11/6/07, p.A17)
2007 Nov 7, The watchdog group
Peace Now said Israel is enlarging 88 of its 122 West Bank
settlements despite an agreement to halt the spread of Jewish
communities in Palestinian territory.
(SFC, 11/8/07, p.A11)
2007 Nov 12, Hamas security
forces opened fire at a rally by the rival Fatah movement
commemorating Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat. 7 people were killed
and 85 wounded in the bloodiest day of intra-Palestinian fighting
since Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip in June.
(AP, 11/12/07)(AP, 11/13/07)
2007 Nov 15, Palestinian
President Mahmoud Abbas called for the overthrow of Gaza's Islamic
Hamas rulers. Hundreds of Palestinian business people and
professionals, led by an influential billionaire, launched a new
political movement, reflecting growing disillusionment with
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party.
2007 Nov 16, Thousands of Hamas
loyalists protested outside Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's
Gaza City home, warning that violence would erupt if he makes
concessions to Israel in a US-sponsored peace conference.
2007 Nov 17, It was reported
that generic Viagra, made in India, was a popular item in Gaza,
selling for 75 cents a tablet.
(Econ, 11/17/07, p.56)
2007 Nov 19, The Israeli
Cabinet approved the release of 441 Palestinian prisoners in a
gesture to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, but stopped short of
US demands to halt West Bank settlement construction before a
crucial Mideast conference.
2007 Nov 19, International
Mideast envoy Tony Blair announced four economic projects designed
to create thousands of jobs for Palestinians and bolster peace
efforts with Israel.
2007 Nov 20, Israel’s PM Olmert
met with Egypt’s Pres. Mubarek and said a peace deal with the
Palestinians can be signed within a year.
(WSJ, 11/21/07, p.A1)
2007 Nov 25, An army spokesman
and Palestinian medics said Israeli troops killed two armed
Palestinians in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip overnight.
2007 Nov 26, An Israeli
aircraft pounded a squad of militants and Israeli border guards shot
two Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.
2007 Nov 27, Tens of thousands
of people in the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip rallied against the Mideast
peace conference under way in the US, while the group's top leader
in Gaza insisted the summit is "doomed to failure."
2007 Nov 27, Pres. Bush
declared that the time is right to relaunch Mideast peace talks to
create a Palestinian state because "a battle is under way for the
future" of the troubled region, in remarks prepared for the start of
the US-arranged Annapolis Mideast peace conference. Delegations from
46 countries and int’l. organizations attended the conference.
Israeli PM Olmert and Palestine’s Pres. Abbas agreed to launch
formal talks on Dec 12 and committed to negotiating a peace treaty
by the end of 2008.
(AP, 11/27/07)(SFC, 11/27/07, p.A15)(WSJ,
2007 Nov 28, Palestinian police
loyal to President Mahmoud Abbas fired shots in the air and beat
protesters with sticks during the funeral of a man killed during a
protest against this week's US-hosted Mideast peace summit. At least
26 people were wounded, one critically.
2007 Nov 28, A day after an
international Mideast peace conference in Annapolis, Md., President
Bush told the leaders of Israel and the Palestinian territories he
was personally committed to their mission of peace.
2007 Dec 1, An Israeli
airstrike killed five Hamas members, prompting threats by Gaza
militants to fire longer-range rockets at Israeli border towns.
2007 Dec 2, Hamas officials
shut down the Gaza census office, saying the surveyors had violated
an agreement to share their data with Hamas as it is collected.
2007 Dec 3, Palestinian
President Mahmoud Abbas closed 92 charities linked to Hamas, as part
of a West Bank crackdown on Islamic militants.
(WSJ, 12/4/07, p.A1)
2007 Dec 3, Egypt opened its
border crossing with Gaza to let in Palestinian religious pilgrims
headed for Saudi Arabia, the first time Palestinians have been
allowed to enter Egyptian territory since Hamas militants seized
Gaza in June.
2007 Dec 3, Israel released 429
Palestinian prisoners in a gesture meant to strengthen moderate
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
2007 Dec 4, Israel said it is
seeking bids to build more than 300 new homes in a disputed east
Jerusalem neighborhood, drawing Palestinian condemnations that the
move is undermining the newly revived peace talks.
2007 Dec 5, Two Palestinian
militants were killed by Israeli tank fire in northern Gaza. Lt.
Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi said Israel's army has completed plans for a
large offensive in the Gaza Strip and is only waiting for government
approval for the action.
2007 Dec 11, Israeli tanks and
bulldozers backed by attack aircraft moved into the southern Gaza
Strip, killing four militants in the widest operation in the
territory since Islamic Hamas forces wrested control in June.
2007 Dec 12, The renewal of
peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians got off to a rocky
start, with the Palestinians criticizing Israel for a construction
project planned in disputed east Jerusalem, and Israel complaining
about continued rocket fire from the Gaza Strip.
2007 Dec 12, Palestinian
pedestrians gawked at the unusual sight of female police officers
directing traffic in Ramallah, the first batch of women to venture
into a job traditionally reserved for men in the West Bank.
2007 Dec 14, Hamas gunmen burst
into the home of Omar Al-Ghoul, a top Fatah official in Gaza, and
arrested him. He was the most senior Fatah politician to be detained
since Hamas forces overtook the territory in June. In the West Bank,
Abbas' security forces arrested 26 Hamas supporters. 3 people were
killed in a mysterious explosion at a Fatah-organized funeral in
2007 Dec 15, Hamas marked the
20th anniversary of its founding with a huge rally in Gaza City.
Hamas was founded in Gaza after the outbreak of the first
Palestinian uprising against Israeli occupation.
2007 Dec 17, Defense officials
said Israel will allow the Palestinians to set up a new cell phone
network, part of warming relations between the sides. The world
rallied to the support of the embattled Palestinian government, and
the co-chairman of a donors' conference said he was confident they
could meet a $5.6 billion target in aid.
2007 Dec 18, Israeli aircraft
launched an assault on the radical Islamic Jihad organization in
Gaza, killing the group's overall commander and nine other militants
in three fiery strikes. A fourth attack on a security post in
southern Gaza killed two Hamas militants.
2007 Dec 19, A Hamas official
confirmed that Gaza's embattled Hamas leaders are seeking a
cease-fire after months of Israeli attacks and sanctions, going so
far as to make an unprecedented appeal through the Israeli media.
2007 Dec 20, Israeli troops
killed at least 6 Gaza militants, a day after rejecting an
unofficial truce offer from the besieged Hamas rulers of the coastal
(AP, 12/20/07)(SFC, 12/21/07, p.A18)(WSJ,
2007 Dec 21, Israeli
Infrastructure Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer said that PM Ehud
Olmert may consider talks with Hamas on a long-term cease-fire. A
Hamas militant was killed in a clash with Israeli troops near the
2007 Dec 23, A Cabinet minister
said Israel has plans to build an additional 740 apartments in
disputed east Jerusalem and the West Bank in 2008, enraging
Palestinians who say such construction undermines nascent peace
2007 Dec 25, In Egypt dozens of
Palestinian security men affiliated to Fatah staged a mass break-out
from the camp where they have been held in Rafah. Egyptian police
were able to recapture 40 of them, transferring them to police
stations in the coastal town of Arish.
2007 Dec 26, Israeli Defense
Minister Ehud Barak visited Egypt to discuss Israeli allegations
that Egypt was doing too little to prevent arms smuggling to the
Islamist movement Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Egypt rejected Israeli
complaints about weapons smuggling into Gaza.
2007 Dec 27, Israeli PM Ehud
Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas held their first
summit since they agreed last month to renew peace talks, seeking to
resolve a dispute over planned Israeli construction in east
2007 Dec 28, Unknown assailants
fatally shot two Israeli settlers hiking in the West Bank. The
attack followed an Israeli operation overnight in which troops
killed a bodyguard for the Palestinians' chief negotiator.
2007 Dec 29, Palestinian PM
Salam Fayyad said his security forces had arrested a number of
suspects in the killings of two off-duty Israeli soldiers in the
West Bank and had given Israeli authorities weapons taken from the
dead men by their attackers.
2007 Dec 31, Palestinian
pilgrims broke windows and burned mattresses and blankets in
temporary camps to protest Egypt's refusal to let them return to
Gaza through a crossing controlled by Hamas. A Palestinian woman
(67) died of a heart attack when she was caught amid scuffles. The
standoff over the pilgrims began Dec 29, when some 3,060
Palestinians returning from the hajj in Saudi Arabia arrived by
ferry at the Egyptian Red Sea port of Nuweiba in southern Sinai,
heading back to Gaza.
2007 Dec 31, The number of
people killed in Israeli-Palestinian violence dropped dramatically
this year. A report from an Israeli human rights group said Israeli
forces killed 373 Palestinians during 2007, a 45 percent drop from
the previous year. Palestinians killed 13 Israelis in the same
(SFC, 12/31/07, p.A3)
2007 Akiva Eldar and Idith
Zertal authored “Lords of the Land: The War for Israel’s Settlements
in the Occupied Territories 1967-2007."
(Econ, 10/13/07, p.97)
2007 Sari Nusseibeh, president
of Al Quds Univ. in Jerusalem, authored “Once Upon a Country: A
(SSFC, 4/8/07, p.M1)
2007 Bernard Rougier’s
“Everyday Jihad: The Rise of Militant Islam Among Palestinians in
Lebanon" was published in English. The French version (Le Jihad au
quotidien) was initially published in 2004.
(WSJ, 6/26/07, p.D5)
2007 Raja Shehadeh authored
“Palestinian Walks: Forays into a Vanishing Landscape," which told
of 6 walks taken between 1978 and 2006. It was first published in
Britain and in 2008 came out in the US.
(Econ, 6/14/08, p.101)
2007 Israel built some 2,600
new housing units this year, most of them inside its security fence
on Palestinian land.
(Econ, 9/6/08, p.58)
2008 Jan 1, Gaza's ruling Hamas
militant group launched a new crackdown on the rival Fatah movement,
arresting dozens of activists and barring public gatherings after
Fatah anniversary celebrations sparked deadly violence. Fighting
stretched into a second day, leaving a total of eight dead and 60
2008 Jan 2, Egypt allowed more
than 2,000 Palestinian pilgrims to enter the Gaza Strip, drawing a
fierce rebuke from Israel, which had tried to prevent top members of
the militant Hamas from returning home.
2008 Jan 3, Israeli tanks and
warplanes attacked a series of targets throughout the Gaza Strip. 9
people were killed including 3 civilians with over 30 Palestinians
wounded. The attack had intensified following a Katyusha rocket
strike 10½ miles into Israel. The Israeli military uncovered an arms
cache in Nablus that contained explosives, military equipment and
material for manufacturing rockets.
(AP, 1/3/08)(SFC, 1/4/08, p.A16)(SSFC, 1/6/08,
2008 Jan 4, Israeli troops on a
night mission in the Gaza Strip killed two Hamas gunmen in the early
hours as Israel responded to Palestinian rocket fire with strikes
against militants that left 11 dead in 24 hours.
2008 Jan 5, The Israeli army
wound up a large 3-day operation in Nablus saying they had
discovered another explosives laboratory there.
(SSFC, 1/6/08, p.A18)
2008 Jan 6, The head of Gaza's
energy authority said Palestinians in Gaza will be forced to live
without electricity eight hours a day, beginning today, because
Israel has sharply reduced fuel supplies to the territory's only
2008 Jan 9, The Israeli
military fired at Palestinian militants in Gaza, killing three
people, after a rocket hit a house in a battered Israeli border town
just as President Bush, with an entourage of some 800 people, began
his Mideast peace mission. Bush, seeking to pull Israel and the
Palestinians toward serious negotiations, said that despite ongoing
land squabbles and fears of violence he has high hopes that a
Mideast peace pact can be achieved before he leaves office at the
end of the year.
(AP, 1/9/08)(Econ, 1/5/08, p.39)
2008 Jan 10, In the West Bank
President Bush predicted that a Mideast peace treaty would be
completed by the time he leaves office. Bush named Lt. Gen. William
Fraser III of the US Air Force to oversee compliance with a
US-backed peace plan.
2008 Jan 12, Gunmen smashed
windows, burned buses and looted computers belonging to a private
American school in Gaza before dawn, an attack officials believed
was linked to President Bush's visit to the West Bank earlier this
2008 Jan 15, Israeli tanks and
helicopters raided Gaza, killing the son of the territory's most
powerful leader and 16 other Palestinians in the bloodiest day of
fighting since Hamas seized the coastal strip in June.
2008 Jan 16, In Israel a
hawkish faction in PM Ehud Olmert's coalition pulled out of the
government, weakening him at a time when he needs broad support to
reach a peace deal with the Palestinians by the end of the year.
Israeli forces evacuated two makeshift settlement outposts in the
West Bank. Israeli aircraft targeting Palestinian rocket squads hit
a wrong vehicle killing a boy (12), along with his father and uncle.
(AP, 1/16/08)(SFC, 1/17/08, p.A10)
2008 Jan 16, Pres. Bush visited
Egypt. Stalled reforms and bitterness over the jailing of hundreds
of dissidents haunted his visit. Bush promised to stay engaged in
pulling Israelis and Palestinians toward a peace pact by the end of
2008 Jan 17, Militants in
Hamas-ruled Gaza bombarded southern Israel with rockets and Israel
pounded back with air and ground fire pushing peace efforts to the
sidelines. Israeli rockets killed at least 5 Palestinians including
2 militants and 3 civilians.
(AP, 1/17/08)(SFC, 1/18/08, p.A10)
2008 Jan 18, Defense officials
said Israel has closed all border crossings into Gaza, cutting off
food and humanitarian supplies to the coastal strip in a bid to
pressure its Hamas rulers to stop a barrage of rocket attacks on
2008 Jan 19, Israeli air
strikes killed two Hamas militants in Gaza, a day after Israel
sealed the territory and bombed an empty Hamas government ministry
in an intensifying campaign to halt rocket fire on Israeli border
2008 Jan 20, Gaza's power plant
shut down late in the day after an Israeli border closure blocked
the entry of fuel that powers it. This plunged Gaza City into
darkness, and gas stations and many bakeries stopped operating.
Health officials warned that hospital generators were running out of
fuel. 5 rockets were fired into Israel, down from 53 in the two
(AP, 1/20/08)(AP, 1/21/08)
2008 Jan 22, Israel eased a
5-day blockade of Gaza for a day, allowing in shipments of fuel and
medicine. But tensions erupted over Egypt's closure of its Gaza
border, with Palestinian protesters breaking through the crossing
and clashing with Egyptian guards.
(AP, 1/22/08)(WSJ, 1/23/08, p.A1)
2008 Jan 23, Tens of thousands
of Palestinians on foot and on donkey carts poured into Egypt from
Gaza after masked gunmen used land mines to blast down a seven-mile
barrier dividing the border town of Rafah.
2008 Jan 24, Two Palestinians
infiltrated a religious seminary and attacked students in a West
Bank settlement before being shot dead. Palestinian gunmen killed an
Israeli police officer near Jerusalem.
2008 Jan 24, A top Israeli
defense official said that Israel wants to relinquish all
responsibility for the Gaza Strip, including the supply of
electricity and water, now that the territory's southern border with
Egypt has been opened.
2008 Jan 25, Egyptian guards
with riot shields formed human chains along the Egypt-Gaza border,
but were unable to stop hundreds of Palestinians from rushing into
Egypt after a bulldozer wrecked another section of fence along the
2008 Jan 26, Egyptian riot
police and armored vehicles restricted Gaza motorists to a small
border area of Egypt, in the second attempt in two days to restore
control over the chaotic frontier breached by Hamas militants. At
least 36 Egyptian security personnel have been hospitalized,
including some in critical condition, due to border incidents with
2008 Jan 26, George Habash
(81), former PLO leader, died in Jordan. His radical PLO faction
gained notoriety after the simultaneous hijackings of four Western
airliners in 1970 and the seizure of an Air France flight to
2008 Jan 27, Egyptian forces
brandishing electrified batons stopped Gaza cars from crossing the
breached border and tightened security at checkpoints to try to
confine Palestinians who moved freely into Egypt for a fifth
2008 Jan 28, Egyptian security
forces and Hamas militants strung barbed wire across one of the
openings in the Egypt-Gaza border, a sign that a days-long breaching
of the frontier may be nearing an end.
2008 Jan 29, Cars and trucks
traveled freely across the border from Gaza to Egypt for a seventh
day. Egyptians living near the breached border with Gaza warned that
chaos was brewing and demanded the crisis be resolved.
2008 Feb 1, Hundreds of Hamas
supporters protested on the breached Gaza-Egypt border to demand it
remain open, while Egyptian troops poured cement and laid down metal
spikes in a new attempt to halt the influx of Gazans.
2008 Feb 2, Hamas agreed to
Egyptian calls to control the flow of Palestinians through the
breached Gaza border and expects Egypt to seal remaining gaps in the
2008 Feb 3, Egyptian troops
closed the last breach in Egypt's border with the Gaza Strip, ending
11 days of free movement for Palestinian residents of the blockaded
2008 Feb 4, In Israel a suicide
bomber blew himself up in Dimona, the southern town that houses
Israel's secretive nuclear reactor. An Israeli woman (73) was killed
and 7 other people wounded. Police killed a 2nd attacker before he
had a chance to detonate his explosives belt. An Israeli response
killed 9 armed Hamas men.
(AP, 2/4/08)(Econ, 2/9/08, p.54)
2008 Feb 4, Egyptian forces and
Palestinian gunmen exchanged fire at the Gaza-Egypt border, killing
one person and wounding 59 others a day after Cairo closed the
breached frontier with the Hamas-run enclave.
2008 Feb 5, An Israeli
airstrike in response to Qassam rockets killed at least 8 Hamas
police officers near Khan Yunis. A barrage of rockets followed and
battered Sderot less than a half mile from the Gaza fence, seriously
wounding a woman just before the arrival of President Shimon Peres.
(AP, 2/5/08)(SFC, 2/6/08, p.A7)
2008 Feb 6, Israel launched
airstrikes against militants firing rockets from the Gaza Strip on
and vowed to maintain a war "on all fronts" until the territory's
Hamas rulers halt attacks.
2008 Feb 7, Israeli ground
forces backed by warplanes exchanged fire with Hamas gunmen in the
northern Gaza Strip, killing a teacher and six militants in
escalating violence that is hobbling peace efforts.
2008 Feb 8, Palestinian
militants launched nearly 20 rockets at Israel hours after Israel
began cutting electricity to the Gaza Strip in an attempt to halt
2008 Feb 9, An 8-year-old boy
lost his leg in a rocket attack on Sderot, one of the 11 rockets
fired at southern Israel. Four Israeli airstrikes after the attack
killed a Gaza gunman and targeted weapons-making operations of the
Islamic militant Hamas group.
2008 Feb 9, The population in
Gaza was about 1.5 million people.
(Econ, 2/9/08, p.54)
2008 Feb 12, Israel said it
plans to build 1,000 homes in East Jerusalem, angering Palestinians
who said the move undermines efforts for a peace deal.
(WSJ, 2/13/08, p.A1)
2008 Feb 15, In Gaza City a
powerful blast went off in the house of Ayman Atallah Fayed, a
senior Islamic Jihad activist, killing him, his wife, three sons and
2008 Feb 17, Israeli troops
backed by aircraft and tanks clashed with Palestinian militants
firing mortars and machine guns near Gaza's former international
airport, killing three gunmen and a civilian. Later a Palestinian
rocket struck a house in the southern Israeli town of Sderot,
shortly after the UN's humanitarian chief condemned the rocket fire
and urged Gaza's Hamas rulers to end the attacks.
2008 Feb 22, Majed Barghouti
(44), a Hamas preacher, died in the custody of the Palestinian
intelligence service. The next day his family alleged that he had
been tortured by interrogators from the rival Fatah faction.
2008 Feb 23, An Israeli army
missile strike killed 3 Palestinians in the northern Gaza Strip.
Militants from Gaza had fired 4 mortar shells at Israel earlier in
(SSFC, 2/24/08, p.A8)
2008 Feb 26, Israel's highest
court upheld a much-criticized plea bargain that allowed former
President Moshe Katsav to avoid rape charges and a possible prison
term. Israeli troops seized the facilities of a Hamas-affiliated
charity in the West Bank city of Hebron, saying it funneled money to
the Islamic group's militant activities and recruited members to its
2008 Feb 27, A Palestinian
rocket struck a college campus in southern Israel, killing one
person and injuring a second. The Hamas militant group said it had
fired more than 20 rockets into southern Israel, including eight at
Sderot, the town near Gaza where the deadly strike took place. The
rocket barrage came hours after an Israeli airstrike killed five
Hamas militants earlier in the day. Late in the day Israeli aircraft
attacked the empty office of Gaza's Hamas prime minister and the
nearby Interior Ministry building. Palestinians said the blasts
killed a baby and wounded two dozen people in the surrounding area.
(AP, 2/27/08)(AP, 2/27/08)
2008 Feb 28, Israeli aircraft
struck a series of targets throughout the Gaza Strip, killing 15
Palestinians, including 5 boys. Palestinian rocket fire continued
throughout the day, lightly wounding two people. Hamza al-Haya, the
son of hardline Hamas lawmaker Khalil al-Haya, was among those
killed. Hamas said he had commanded a rocket-launching squad in
(AP, 2/28/08)(SFC, 2/29/08, p.A10)
2008 Mar 1, Palestinians called
off peace talks with Israel after 33 Gazans, at least half of them
civilians, were killed in violence that escalated sharply during the
day. The death toll climbed as Israeli troops, backed by tanks and
aircraft, went after Palestinian militants who fired 40 rockets and
mortars at southern Israeli communities near Gaza. A total of 54
Palestinians, roughly half of them civilians, were killed in
fighting, the highest single-day death toll in more than seven years
of violence. Two Israeli soldiers also were killed.
(AP, 3/1/08)(AP, 3/2/08)
2008 Mar 2, Israeli aircraft
sent missiles slamming into the office of the prime minister of
Hamas-ruled Gaza before dawn, pressing forward with an offensive
that has killed nearly 70 Palestinians in two days of fighting. A
21-month-old girl was among the dead in new violence. The Israeli
onslaught failed to stop rockets from battering southern Israel. 9
were fired at southern Israel by midday, including one that struck a
house in Sderot.
2008 Mar 3, Israeli ground
troops pulled out of northern Gaza before daybreak, following the
first extended sweep in an offensive against Palestinian rocket
squads that has left more than 100 dead and led the Palestinian
president to call off peace talks.
2008 Mar 4, Israel said it
would return to Hamas-ruled Gaza if necessary as it mounted new
airstrikes on the Palestinian territory after militants fired more
rockets at a nearby Israeli town. Palestinian President Mahmoud
Abbas declared that peace is his first choice in the Mideast and
visiting Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice exhorted Israel to
"spare innocent life" in the latest upsurge in fighting in
Hamas-ruled Gaza. Palestinians fired three rockets at Israel. About
25 Israeli armored vehicles rumbled into southern Gaza and clashed
with militants after nightfall. A 1-month-old baby was killed in the
crossfire. A local Islamic Jihad leader was killed and 8 militants
and 3 civilians were wounded.
(AP, 3/4/08)(AP, 3/5/08)
2008 Mar 5, Visiting Secretary
of State Condoleezza Rice persuaded Palestinians to return to peace
talks. President Mahmoud Abbas said he will resume peace talks with
Israel, backing off a threat to boycott negotiations until Israel
reaches a truce with Hamas militants in Gaza.
2008 Mar 6, Palestinian
militants ambushed an Israeli army jeep on the border with Gaza,
killing one soldier and wounding three. Deputies of Egypt's
intelligence chief Omar Suleiman met with officials from the Islamic
militant Hamas and the smaller Islamic Jihad in the Egyptian Sinai
city of el-Arish to persuade Hamas to accept a truce that would halt
2008 Mar 6, A gunman
infiltrated a Jewish seminary in Jerusalem and opened fire in a
library, killing 8 students and wounding dozens before an Israeli
army officer nearby shot the gunman dead. In Gaza, the Islamic
militant Hamas praised the attack.
(AP, 3/6/08)(AP, 3/7/08)
2008 Mar 7, An official said
Egypt is building a 13-foot high concrete and rock wall interspersed
with watch towers along its narrow boundary with the Gaza Strip to
prevent Hamas militants from breaching the border.
2008 Mar 9, An Israeli
Construction Ministry official said PM Ehud Olmert has approved new
construction in a West Bank settlement outside Jerusalem. An Israeli
soldier wounded by Gaza militants in a border ambush on Mar 6 died
of his wounds. The news immediately drew Palestinian condemnation.
2008 Mar 10, Israeli PM Ehud
Olmert has instructed the army to halt airstrikes and raids into the
Gaza Strip in response to a recent drop in rocket fire from the
2008 Mar 11, Palestinian
militants in Gaza launched a rocket at the Israeli city of Ashkelon,
causing no injuries but threatening to upset a recent period of
2008 Mar 12, Gaza's Hamas prime
minister publicly set his conditions for a cease-fire with Israel to
end the fighting that has killed dozens in recent weeks. Ismail
Haniyeh demanded an end to Israeli military activity in the
Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, a lifting of Israeli economic sanctions and
the opening of Gaza's borders. Hours later Israeli forces killed 4
Palestinian militants in the West Bank. Israeli troops riding in a
taxi van pulled up behind the militants' parked Daihatsu and began
(AP, 3/12/08)(WSJ, 3/13/08, p.A1)(AP, 4/1/08)
2008 Mar 13, The militant
Islamic Jihad group in Gaza fired more than a dozen rockets at
southern Israel after Israeli undercover forces killed one of its
West Bank leaders, shattering a recent lull in Gaza fighting.
2008 Mar 13, Chile said it has
agreed to receive 117 Palestine refugees from Iraq who have spent
months living in tents along the desert border with Syria.
2008 Mar 14, The Bush
administration's Mideast envoy pushed Israel and the Palestinians to
speed up peace negotiations at the first meeting the US has attended
since talks resumed nearly four months ago.
2008 Mar 20, Palestinian
militants accidentally set off a large blast at a Hamas training
base in the central Gaza Strip, killing 2 members of the violent
Islamic group and wounding another.
2008 Mar 20, Israeli defense
officials announced they've worked out a tentative deal for Egypt to
become the main electricity supplier to the Gaza Strip.
2008 Mar 24, Al-Qaida deputy
leader Ayman al-Zawahri called on Muslims in a new audiotape to
strike Jewish and American targets in revenge for Israel's recent
offensive in the Gaza Strip.
2008 Mar 26, The Israeli
military captured Omar Jabar, the mastermind of the March 2002
bombing in Netanya, the deadliest suicide bombing of the Palestinian
2008 Mar 28, Palestinian medics
say a Palestinian man was killed by Israeli army fire as he
approached Gaza's border fence with Israel. The Israeli military
said the man was armed and hurled a grenade at forces close to the
2008 Mar 30, Israel pledged to
remove 50 West Bank roadblocks as part of a package to improve
everyday life for Palestinians after US Sec. of State Rice met with
Israel's defense minister, Ehud Barak, and Palestinian PM Salam
2008 Mar 31, Jerusalem's city
hall has announced a plan to construct 600 new apartments in the
Pisgat Zeev neighborhood of east Jerusalem.
2008 Apr 4, In the West Bank 12
members of the members of the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades fled the
Palestinian-run Jneid Prison in Nablus, complaining that guards had
pummeled them with clubs following a fight among the detainees.
2008 Apr 6, A Palestinian boy
(8) was killed by shrapnel in an explosion in the central Gaza
Strip. The source of the shrapnel was not identified.
(SFC, 4/7/08, p.A3)
2008 Apr 7, Israeli Prime
Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas resumed
face-to-face negotiations, trying to push forward peace efforts
after nearly two months marred by heavy Gaza Strip violence and new
Israeli plans to expand settlements.
2008 Apr 8, In Palestine’s
Hamas threatened to burst across the Israeli border to end Israel's
blockade of Gaza if Egypt and Israel do not lift their blockade.
(AP, 4/9/08)(WSJ, 4/9/08, p.A1)
2008 Apr 9, Palestinian
militants crossed into southern Israel and killed two Israeli
civilians in a surprise attack before fleeing back to the Gaza
Strip. At least one of the militants who attacked the Israeli
terminal delivering fuel to the Gaza Strip was killed. Israel sent
tanks, troops and aircraft into the Palestinian territory after the
raid, killing at least 8 Palestinians, including 3 civilians, and
warned that more reprisals could be coming.
(AP, 4/9/08)(AP, 4/10/08)
2008 Apr 10, Israel cut off all
fuel supplies to Gaza's 1.4 million residents, one day after
militants killed 2 civilians at a fuel terminal.
2008 Apr 11, Israeli forces
launched air strikes and a ground raid in the Gaza Strip, trading
fire with gunmen in clashes that killed 8 Palestinians including a
2008 Apr 13, Palestinian
medical officials said 3 people died in an explosion in a house in
the Gaza Strip. They said the blast likely resulted from the
accidental detonation of explosives.
2008 Apr 14, An Israeli
airstrike hit a vehicle in northern Gaza, fatally wounding Ibrahim
Abu Olba (42), a senior Palestinian militant. Former President Jimmy
Carter deplored Palestinian militant attacks on Israel as a
"despicable crime" as he toured Sderot, a rocket-battered town.
(AP, 4/14/08)(AP, 4/15/08)
2008 Apr 15, Israel said it
will resume some crucial fuel shipments to the Gaza Strip. Defense
officials confirmed that Israel will let Jewish settlers build new
houses in existing West Bank settlements if they remove unauthorized
settlement outposts. An Israeli aircraft fired a missile at a
motorcycle in northern Gaza, killing Mohammed Ghausain, an Islamic
2008 Apr 15, Former US Pres.
Jimmy Carter visited the West Bank and laid a wreath at the grave of
Yasser Arafat. Carter was criticized by Israel and Washington for
his plans to meet with Hamas leaders in Syria.
(SFC, 4/16/08, p.A8)
2008 Apr 16, Palestinian
militants ambushed an Israeli ground force in northern Gaza, killing
three soldiers. The army responded with an airstrike and identified
hitting militants in the Bureij area. Fadel Shana (23) a cameraman
with the Reuters news agency, was struck, along with two bystanders,
as he filmed Israeli tank movements in the distance during the
bloodiest day in Gaza in more than a month. He had been in the area
to film the aftermath of a deadly Israeli airstrike that killed 12
Palestinians, including five children aged 12-15.
2008 Apr 16, Palestinian
militants ambushed an Israeli ground force in northern Gaza, killing
three soldiers. The army responded with an airstrike and identified
hitting militants in the Bureij area. Fadel Shana (23) a cameraman
with the Reuters news agency, was struck, along with two bystanders,
as he filmed Israeli tank movements in the distance during the
bloodiest day in Gaza in more than a month. He had been in the area
to film the aftermath of a deadly Israeli airstrike that killed 12
Palestinians, including five children aged 12-15. Israeli airstrikes
left at least 19 Palestinians dead.
(AP, 4/17/08)(SFC, 4/17/08, p.A9)
2008 Apr 17, In Egypt former
President Carter met with a Hamas delegation from Gaza, part of a
series of talks with the Islamic militant group that has drawn sharp
criticism from US and Israeli officials. Carter said he urged Hamas
leaders from the Gaza Strip to stop militants from firing rockets
into southern Israel.
(AP, 4/17/08)(AP, 4/18/08)
2008 Apr 18,
The Israeli government revealed plans to build 100 homes in
two Jewish settlements, one of them deep in the West Bank, in
violation of its pledge to freeze settlement expansion. The Al Aqsa
Martyrs' Brigades said Hani Al-Kabi, a leader of the group in the
Balata refugee camp, was killed by Israeli troops during a raid in
2008 Apr 19,
Hamas militants drove two cars laden with explosives to an
Israeli border crossing with Gaza under the cover of morning fog and
detonated one. 4 militants were killed in the huge blasts and
exchanges of fire with at least 13 Israeli soldiers wounded. Israel
killed 5 Hamas militants in a series of airstrikes after the group
detonated the explosives.
(AFP, 4/19/08)(AP, 4/20/08)
2008 Apr 20,
Israeli airstrikes killed 2 more Hamas militants one day after
the group detonated two jeeps packed with hundreds of kilograms of
explosives on the Gaza border.
2008 Apr 20,
A group of Palestinian refugees stranded on the Iraq-Syria
border since 2006 flew to Chile under a resettlement plan sponsored
by the Catholic Church in the South American country and the UN
agency for refugees.
2008 Apr 21, Israeli military
forces killed three Palestinian militants who were trying to
infiltrate into Israel from Gaza. Former President Carter said that
Hamas, the Islamic militant group that has called for the
destruction of Israel, is prepared to accept the right of the Jewish
state to "live as a neighbor next door in peace." Hamas said it
would accept a Palestinian state with pre-1967 borders.
(AP, 4/21/08)(WSJ, 4/21/08, p.A1)
2008 Apr 22,
Senior representatives said Hamas has softened its position
and is willing to accept a cease-fire in just the Gaza Strip,
dropping a demand that the truce immediately include the West Bank.
2008 Apr 23, A threatened
shutdown of the Gaza Strip's only power plant was averted after
Israel agreed to pump in about 260,000 gallons of diesel fuel,
enough to run the plant for at least 3 days. An Israeli airstrike
killed a Palestinian civilian near the town of Beit Hanoun.
(AP, 4/23/08)(AP, 4/24/08)
2008 Apr 24, An Israeli
airstrike in Gaza wounded three militants and tanks were moving
toward the area. Hamas proposed a six-month cease-fire with Israel,
saying it will stop firing rockets out of Gaza if the Jewish state
simultaneously lifts its blockade of the coastal strip.
(AP, 4/24/08)(AFP, 4/24/08)
2008 Apr 25, A Palestinian
militant shot and killed two Israeli security guards at a factory
along the divide between Israel and the West Bank. The attacker was
lightly wounded in an exchange of gunfire but managed to escape.
2008 Apr 26, Israeli forces
entered a northern Gaza town and seized a local Hamas leader from
his home amid heavy fighting with Palestinian gunmen. The wanted
man's 14-year-old daughter was killed in the clashes.
2008 Apr 28, An Israeli tank
shell slammed into a tiny Gaza Strip home during a skirmish with
gunmen, killing a Palestinian woman and four of her children as they
prepared to sit down for breakfast. A militant and an unidentified
man were also killed in fighting in Beit Hanoun, a northern border
town frequently used by militants to fire rockets and mortars at
2008 Apr 30, In Egypt state
news agency MENA said Palestinian factions meeting in Cairo for
talks with Egyptian security officials have agreed to an Egyptian
proposal for a truce with Israel starting in the Gaza Strip.
2008 May 2, A UN official said
rising prices and funding shortages have forced the UN to stop
providing emergency food aid to more than 13 percent of the 750,000
Palestinian refugees it feeds in Gaza.
2008 May 9, Mortar shells fired
by militant Hamas killed an Israeli man in an Israeli communal farm
near Gaza. Israel fired missiles at two Hamas police station in
retaliation and killed five Hamas members.
2008 May 10, The main border
crossing between the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip and Egypt was
temporarily opened under a deal between the Islamist group and
2008 May 10, Hamas fired
rockets at southern Israel, hitting a house and a Jewish seminary
just hours after five Hamas policemen were killed in Israeli air
2008 May 11, A member of the
militant group Hamas was killed in an explosion along Gaza's fence
2008 May 12, Israel’s police
raided Jerusalem’s city hall and seized documents as part of the
corruption probe of PM Ehud Olmert. A rocket fired by Palestinian
militants killed a 75-year-old Israeli woman, just as an Egyptian
mediator was winding up truce talks in Israel.
(AP, 5/12/08)(AP, 5/13/08)
2008 May 14, In Israel
President Bush said that 60 years of Israel's existence is cause for
optimism for democratic change throughout the Middle East, opening a
trip divided between ceremonial duties and a new push for
Israeli-Palestinian peace. A rocket fired from Gaza exploded in a
shopping center in Ashkelon, southern Israeli, wounding at least 14
2008 May 16, Osama bin Laden
said in a new audio recording that al-Qaida will continue its holy
war against Israel and its allies until it liberates Palestine.
2008 May 18, Osama bin Laden
released a new message denouncing Arab leaders for sacrificing the
Palestinians and saying the head of the Shiite militant group
Hezbollah did not really have the strength to take on Israel.
2008 May 20, Israeli aircraft
launched at least three strikes on Palestinians, killing a boy (13),
a Hamas fighter and an unidentified man. The first raid aircraft
fired on the northeastern Gaza Strip at a group of Palestinians
launching rockets. The 2nd aircraft fired at Palestinians who were
planting explosives along the fence in central Gaza.
2008 May 22, A Palestinian
suicide bomber detonated a truck loaded with explosives as he tried
to ram a crucial crossing between the Gaza Strip and Israel. There
were no casualties besides the bomber.
2008 May 22, A US government
agency signed a political risk insurance deal with a Palestinian
firm to help guarantee investments in the West Bank as part of an
international effort to develop the beleaguered local economy.
2008 May 23, Clashes between
Israeli troops and Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip left five
2008 May 23, Japan allocated
$54 million in emergency grants to the UN to help Afghanistan,
Africa and Palestinian refugees cope with the ongoing food crisis.
2008 May 24, Israeli forces
attacked two groups of Palestinian militants firing mortar shells in
the northern Gaza Strip, wounding 4 Hamas gunmen.
(SSFC, 5/25/08, p.A4)
2008 May 26, David Mumford of
Brown University said he would donate his $33,333 portion of the
prestigious Israeli mathematics Wolf Prize, to a Palestinian
university and an Israeli group that tries to ease Israeli travel
restrictions on Palestinian students.
2008 May 28, An Israeli
airstrike in southern Gaza Strip killed two Hamas gunmen during a
military operation. The airstrike also wounded four militants who
were firing mortars at Israeli forces.
2008 May 30, Palestinian
doctors said Israel troops opened fire and wounded 7 Palestinians in
a demonstration at a crossing into Israel.
2008 May 31, An explosion in
the Gaza Strip house of Nader Abu Shaban, a Hamas militant, killed
him and wounded 16 of his relatives and neighbors.
2008 May 31, An Egyptian police
official said boxes of ammunition, rocket-propelled grenades and
anti-aircraft missiles have been found in a mountain in the northern
Sinai peninsula. He said the weapons were to be smuggled into the
neighboring Gaza Strip.
2008 Jun 1, Israel freed Nasim
Nisr (39), a convicted Hezbollah spy, and the militant group turned
over the remains of Israeli soldiers killed in the 2006 war in
2008 Jun 4, The Israeli army
says it has closed the Gaza fuel crossing after an errant rocket
fired by militants wounded a Palestinian worker at the terminal.
2008 Jun 5, An Israeli missile
aimed at a group of Palestinian militants struck a house and killed
a girl (6), hours after an Israeli was killed by a Hamas mortar
barrage fired from the area.
2008 Jun 6, An Israeli
airstrike in Beit Lahiya targeted a Hamas base. One fighter was
killed during an Israeli army operation in the central Gaza Strip.
2008 Jun 7, An Israeli tank
killed a militant near Gaza City. Hamas confirmed the man was a
member of the group and said two of his comrades were wounded. The
Israeli military said the gunman was planting a bomb along the
2008 Jun 9, Israeli officials
said they have transferred millions of dollars in delayed tax
revenue to the Palestinian authority, money that will help pay
thousands of workers who have not received their May wages.
2008 Jun 10, Gaza militants
bombarded southern Israel with 20 mortar rounds in the space of an
hour midday, provoking Israeli ground strikes that killed 3
militants from the territory's ruling Hamas group.
2008 Jun 11, The Israeli
military said soldiers opened fire at militants launching rockets
into Israel. Palestinian officials said a 6-year-old girl was killed
by Israeli tank fire in Gaza.
2008 Jun 12, A blast flattened
the house of a militant commander in the Gaza Strip, killing four
people, wounding 40 and burying an unknown number of others. Israel
denied involvement. Hamas said the blast was caused by an Israeli
airstrike and responded with a heavy barrage of rockets and mortar
shells into southern Israel, wounding an Israeli woman. Earlier in
the day Israeli troops killed two Palestinian militants in a clash
in northern Gaza.
2008 Jun 13, Israel confirmed
plans to build 1,300 more apartments in east Jerusalem, immediately
drawing the ire of Palestinians who accused it of sabotaging already
rocky peace efforts. Hamas claimed responsibility for a house
explosion a day earlier in northern Gaza that killed seven
Palestinians, one of them an infant girl.
2008 Jun 16, Israeli troops in
southern Gaza killed three Palestinian gunmen as they planted
explosives along the Gaza-Israel border. Separately an Israeli
airstrike injured three Hamas militants, one of them critically.
2008 Jun 17, Egypt's
state-owned news agency said Israel and Hamas have agreed on a truce
to begin June 19.
2008 Jun 18, Israel and Hamas
pledged to start a cease-fire June 19 in a bid to end a year of
fighting that has killed more than 400 Palestinians and seven
Israelis. The deal came as Israel also urged Lebanon to open peace
2008 Jun 19, Guns went quiet as
a six-month truce between Israel and Gaza Strip militants took
effect, but there was widespread skepticism about its ability to
2008 Jun 22, Israel increased
the trickle of badly needed goods flowing into the Gaza Strip, in
the latest stage of a four-day-old truce with Hamas militants.
2008 Jun 23, In Jerusalem
French President Nicolas Sarkozy said there could be no Mideast
peace unless Israel drops its refusal to cede sovereignty over parts
of Jerusalem claimed by the Palestinians, challenging one of
Israel's most emotionally held positions.
2008 Jun 24, Three Palestinian
rockets hit southern Israel and PM Ehud Olmert's office says the
cease-fire that took effect last week has been broken. Islamic Jihad
militants in the Gaza Strip said they carried out the attack to
avenge an Israeli military raid that killed one of their fighters in
the West Bank. Israeli troops killed two Palestinians in the West
Bank raid. The militant group Hamas said it remains committed to a
cease-fire with Israel, but will not act as Israel's "police force"
in confronting militants who breach the truce. An Israeli police
officer fatally shot himself in the head at an airport farewell
ceremony for French President Nicolas Sarkozy. The officer was
identified as Raed Ghanem, a member of the minority Druse community.
(AP, 6/24/08)(AP, 6/25/08)
2008 Jun 24, Countries at a
one-day conference in Berlin agreed to commit more than $240 million
to help strengthen the Palestinian Authority's police force and
court system. The funding being sought was for the Palestinian
Authority-controlled West Bank, which does not control the Gaza
2008 Jun 26, Gaza militants
fired a rocket into southern Israel, causing no injuries but
undermining a shaky, week-old truce meant to halt a violent cycle of
attacks and harsh Israeli reprisals. The Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades,
a violent group linked to the rival Fatah movement, claimed
responsibility for the attack saying "the truce must include the
West Bank and all sorts of aggression must stop."
2008 Jun 27, Israel refused to
fully open crossings with the Gaza Strip and Palestinian militants
attacked Israel with mortars, further testing an already fragile
truce. Israeli soldiers shot dead Mohammed Alameh (17), a West Bank
teenager who threw Molotov cocktails at an army patrol.
(AP, 6/27/08)(AP, 6/28/08)
2008 Jul 1, Israel closed its
cargo crossings with the Gaza Strip after accusing Palestinian
militants of firing a rocket at southern Israel in violation of a
shaky truce. The Israeli military said its radar detected a rocket
launched from Gaza the previous evening that struck near the
communal farm of Mefalsim.
2008 Jul 2, In Israel Hussam
Dwayat (30), a Palestinian man from Arab east Jerusalem plowed, an
enormous construction vehicle into cars, buses and pedestrians on a
busy street, killing at least 3 people and wounding at least 45
before he was shot dead by security officers. Palestinian witnesses
said an angry crowd in the Gaza Strip has stormed a border crossing
with Egypt throwing rocks at Egyptian troops.
2008 Jul 2, Japan and Middle
Eastern leaders agreed on a project to bring thousands of badly
needed jobs to the West Bank, voicing hope it would lay the
groundwork for a Palestinian state.
2008 Jul 6, Israel re-opened
its border crossings with the Gaza Strip after closing them because
of Palestinian rocket fire.
2008 Jul 7, Israeli troops in
jeeps swooped down on the West Bank town of Nablus, shutting down a
girls' school, a medical center and two other facilities of a
Hamas-affiliated charity. Palestinian militants fired a mortar shell
at a border crossing with the Gaza Strip. Israel's military said it
had begun digging up the bodies of Lebanese fighters after the
government struck a deal with Hezbollah guerrillas to swap five
living prisoners and dozens of bodies for two Israeli soldiers
captured in 2006.
2008 Jul 7, Israeli Lt. Col.
Omri Borberg was caught on video holding the arm of Ashraf Abu
Rahmeh while he was shot in the foot with a rubber-coated bullet in
the West Bank village of Naalin. On Jan 27, 2011, an Israeli
military court sentenced two soldiers, convicted in the close-range
shooting of a bound and blindfolded Palestinian man, but spared them
2008 Jul 8, The Israeli
military said Gaza militants fired a mortar shell into Israel in
another violation of a shaky truce.
2008 Jul 9, An Israel-Hamas
truce has boiled down to a simple trade-off: For a day of calm,
Israel adds five truckloads of cows and 200 tons of cement to the
barest basics it ships to Gaza, but rocket fire from the territory
reseals the border for a day.
2008 Jul 10, Israeli troops
shot and killed a teenage Palestinian militant along the country's
border with Gaza. Soldiers thought he was armed but, after
inspecting the body, found that he was not. In the fourth day of
operations in the city of Nablus, Israel closed a clinic and TV
station, and raided a mosque.
2008 Jul 10, A Palestinian
health official said a tunnel used to smuggle goods across the
Gaza-Egypt border has collapsed, killing two Palestinians.
2008 Jul 11, Israeli police
revealed stinging new allegations against PM Ehud Olmert, accusing
him of pocketing tens of thousands of dollars by deceiving multiple
sources into paying for the same trips abroad. Israeli troops killed
a Palestinian gunman who opened fire in the early morning on an
Israeli civilian driving in the West Bank.
(AP, 7/11/08)(AP, 7/12/08)
2008 Jul 15, Israel's Cabinet
overwhelmingly approved an emotionally charged deal to trade a
Lebanese militant convicted of killing three people for two Israeli
soldiers captured by Hezbollah guerrillas and believed to be dead.
Israeli troops arrested three Hamas council members in a dawn raid
on the West Bank city of Nablus. Witnesses and residents said a
total of 12 Hamas members were arrested.
2008 Jul 20, In Israel British
PM Gordon Brown, on his first official visit as prime minister, said
that economic development was key to bringing peace to the Middle
East. Brown demanded that Israel cease settlement construction and
promised more money to jump-start the battered Palestinian economy.
2008 Jul 22, Palestinian rammed
a construction truck into three cars and a bus near the Jerusalem
hotel where Barack Obama is supposed to stay, injuring four people
before an Israeli civilian shot and killed the attacker.
2008 Jul 23, US Presidential
hopeful Barack Obama donned a Jewish skullcap at Israel's Holocaust
memorial and vowed to preserve America's close ties with Israel in a
dramatic visit to the Holy Land in which he also promised the
Palestinians to push vigorously to win them a state.
2008 Jul 24, An Israeli
official said a key committee has approved construction of the first
new Jewish settlement in the West Bank in a decade. The news
infuriated Palestinians, who said the decision could cripple peace
2008 Jul 25, A bomb exploded
outside a Gaza City cafe and another went off outside the home of a
Hamas lawmaker. One person was killed. A mysterious beachside blast
killed 3 Hamas members and a 6-year-old girl. 2 more Hamas activists
died the next day.
(AP, 7/25/08)(AP, 7/26/08)
2008 Jul 26, Hamas security
arrested dozens of supporters of the rival Fatah group, hurled
grenades at the home of a Fatah leader and set up checkpoints across
Gaza following the previous day’s beachside blast that killed five
Hamas members and a 6-year-old girl. Masked Hamas gunmen nabbed
Sawah Abu Saif (42), a Palestinian cameraman for German TV, from his
Gaza home, during a mass weekend roundup of alleged activists of the
rival Fatah movement. He was tortured and released on July 31.
(AP, 7/26/08)(AP, 7/31/08)
2008 Jul 29, A huge blast
rocked a training base run by the Islamic militant Hamas in southern
Gaza, injuring at least five members of the group.
2008 Jul 29, Israeli gunfire
killed a 10-year-old Palestinian boy during a confrontation between
troops and stone-throwers in a West Bank village.
2008 Jul 31, Palestinian
President Mahmoud Abbas ordered the release of all Hamas activists
detained in recent days by his security forces.
2008 Aug 1, Hamas forces seized
about 15 leaders of Fatah in Gaza, upping the stakes in a week of
tit-for-tat arrests between the bitter Palestinian rivals. Fatah
said more than 200 of its men have been seized over the past week.
Five Palestinians died and 18 were wounded in a smuggling tunnel
under the Gaza-Egypt border after Egyptian troops blew up the
(AP, 8/1/08)(AP, 8/2/08)
2008 Aug 2, Hamas security
forces battled fighters in a tribal stronghold where they say
suspects in a deadly bombing last week were hiding. Two Hamas police
officers were killed and 35 people wounded. Some 180 Fatah
supporters fled into Israel from a deadly Hamas crackdown.
(AP, 8/2/08)(AP, 8/3/08)
2008 Aug 3, Israeli and
Palestinian officials said most of the 180 Fatah supporters, who had
fled into Israel, would be sent back into the Gaza Strip.
2008 Aug 4, Israel's defense
minister said a group of around 150 Fatah fighters who fled to
Israel from the Gaza Strip will be allowed to relocate to the West
Bank because they face "immediate danger" from Gaza's Hamas rulers.
2008 Aug 6, Israel released
five Palestinian teenagers from jail as part of a prisoner exchange
agreement made with Lebanon's Hezbollah militia last month.
2008 Aug 9, Mahmoud Darwish
(67), a Palestinian poet, died, died in Houston, Texas. His poetry
eloquently told of his people's experiences of exile, occupation and
infighting. His 1973 work “Journal of an Ordinary Grief" was
translated to English in 2010.
(AP, 8/10/08)(Econ, 8/23/08, p.75)(Econ,
2008 Aug 17, Israel's Cabinet
approved the release of some 200 Palestinian prisoners as a goodwill
gesture to the government of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
2008 Aug 19, A Palestinian
rocket attack on southern Israel violated a truce and led Israel to
close its cargo crossings with the Gaza Strip.
2008 Aug 23, Two boats carrying
dozens of international activists sailed into the Gaza Strip in
defiance of an Israeli blockade, receiving a jubilant welcome from
thousands of Palestinians. Israel said it would permit the boats to
dock in Gaza after determining the activists did not pose a security
threat. The group delivered a symbolic shipment of hearing aids and
2008 Aug 25, Israel freed
nearly 200 jailed Palestinians, including a militant mastermind from
the 1970s, in a goodwill gesture just hours before US Secretary of
State Condoleezza Rice was to begin her latest peace mission to the
2008 Aug 26, Israel ordered the
Gaza Strip's border crossings closed after militants violated a
cease-fire by launching two rockets the previous evening, bringing
to 46 the number of rockets launched by militants since the truce
2008 Aug 30, Egypt opened its
Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip, allowing more than 2,500
people to leave the Hamas-controlled territory and about 1,000 to
enter in a goodwill gesture before the holy Muslim month of Ramadan
(AP, 8/30/08)(Reuters, 8/31/08)
2008 Aug 31, Palestinian
President Mahmoud Abbas rejected Israel's idea of an interim peace
agreement at a summit, insisting on an all-or-nothing approach that
virtually ruled out an accord by a January target date.
2008 Sep 4, Middle East envoy
Tony Blair toured a Palestinian aluminum factory in Beit Iba and was
told it runs at one-third capacity because of Israeli import
restrictions. He promised he'll take it up with Israeli authorities.
2008 Sep 5, An Israeli defense
official said Israel has allowed Palestinian security forces in the
West Bank to receive a shipment of about 1,000 Kalashnikov rifles
and tens of thousands of bullets in a step aimed at bolstering the
moderate Palestinian government there. The weapons shipment reached
the Palestinians through Jordan about one week ago.
2008 Sep 5, Palestinian
President Mahmoud Abbas pledged to try to reach a final status peace
agreement with Israel by the end of the year, but he admitted the
goal, set by US President George W. Bush, might not be achieved.
2008 Sep 13, A Palestinian
stabbed a 9-year-old Israeli boy in a West Bank settlement outpost,
setting off clashes that left injured six Palestinians. Israeli
troops fatally shot Hassan Hmeid (16), a Palestinian teenager
during a clash near Bethlehem. Witnesses said the troops opened fire
when a patrol entered Tekoa and were pelted with a hail of stones
thrown by local young people.
2008 Sep 16, Hamas police
waged a fierce gunbattle against members of a heavily armed
Palestinian clan in a crowded neighborhood, leaving three clan
members and one policeman dead.
2008 Sep 20, A Palestinian was
shot and killed by Israeli soldiers who said they saw him light a
firebomb near a Jewish settlement. Suhayeb Saleh was later
identified by his parents, who said he was 14 years old. Egypt
opened its Gaza border terminal to allow passage of students and
medical patients for 2 days.
2008 Sep 22, A driver plowed a
BMW into a group of soldiers at a busy intersection near Jerusalem's
Old City, injuring 13 of them before he was shot to death. The
driver was a Palestinian resident of east Jerusalem who apparently
2008 Sep 23, The bodies of 2
Palestinian smugglers were pulled from a tunnel that collapsed along
the Gaza-Egypt border. 3 more bodies were removed the next day. The
five were bringing contraband goods from Egypt into Gaza when an
explosion collapsed the tunnel. Three smugglers survived and were
arrested on the Egyptian side.
2008 Sep, Israel’s Prime
Minister Ehud Olmert offered to swap Israeli near the Gaza Strip and
West Bank in exchange for settlement blocs in the West Bank. The
Palestinians did not respond to the proposal, submitted at a time
when Olmert's ability to negotiate a peace deal was compromised by
corruption allegations that eventually forced him to step down.
Talks broke down after Israel's war against Gaza militants and never
2008 Oct 8, It was reported
that Gaza's smugglers have gone legit. Owners of the scores of
tunnels running under the Gaza-Egypt border have registered with the
Hamas authorities, pledged to pay workers' compensation and hooked
up their operations to the electricity network.
2008 Oct 13, Israel shut down
entry from the West Bank during the 7-day Sukkot holiday. The order
bars almost all West Bank Palestinians from entering Israel until
2008 Oct 14, The Hamas
government announced that it will not permit thousands of striking
teachers to return to their jobs, further heightening tensions with
its political rivals in the West Bank. Despite the August 24 strike,
Hamas kept schools running and hired some 2,200 new teachers and
2008 Oct 14, The Israeli
military troops in the West Bank shot a Palestinian as he prepared
to lob a blazing Molotov cocktail into a Jewish settlement north of
Jerusalem. Troops found another 10 firebombs at the scene ready to
2008 Oct 16, Israeli troops
shot and killed a Palestinian man in Kufr Malek, a village near
Ramallah. An army patrol spotted three men carrying firebombs and
troops shot one man after the trio ignored warning shots. The other
two escaped. A Palestinian man died in a Ramallah hospital a day
after being shot by troops in the nearby Jelazoun refugee camp.
2008 Oct 20, Palestinian Pres.
Abbas published remarks saying Israel has failed to protect
Palestinians against attacks by Israeli settlers during the olive
2008 Oct 23, Mohammed Albaden,
a Palestinian assailant, stabbed two Israelis in an east Jerusalem
neighborhood, killing an 86-year-old man and wounding a police
officer in what authorities called a "terror incident."
2008 Oct 25, Nearly 600 newly
trained Palestinian troops took up positions in Hebron. In the Gaza
Strip, three Palestinians were killed when a smuggling tunnel
linking Gaza to Egypt collapsed. In the West Bank, a 23-year-old
Palestinian was seriously wounded by Israeli army fire during a
clash in the refugee camp of Fara.
2008 Oct 26, The Palestinian
national team hosted an international match for the first time, in
the West Bank's only regulation-size stadium. Located in a West Bank
suburb of Jerusalem. The game against Jordan ended in a 1-1 tie.
2008 Oct 29, A boat carrying 27
activists and humanitarian supplies sailed into the Gaza Strip,
defying an Israeli naval blockade to call attention to Israeli
sanctions on the Hamas-controlled territory. The passengers included
Mairead Corrigan Maguire, who won the 1976 Nobel Peace Prize for her
work with Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland.
2008 Oct 30, Palestinian
militants in the Gaza Strip fired a rocket into southern Israel in
violation of a 4-month-old truce, but the strike did not cause any
injuries or damage. The Israeli Defense Ministry responded by
snapping shut cargo crossings into Gaza until further notice.
2008 Oct 30, Scientists
reported that 1 in 17 men living on the coasts of North Africa and
southern Europe may have a Phoenician direct male line ancestor.
Evidence was based on Y-chromosomes collected in Cyprus, Malta,
Morocco, the West Bank, Syria and Tunisia.
(SFC, 10/31/08, p.A14)
2008 Oct 31, Israeli settlers
clashed with Israeli police and Palestinians in the West Bank town
of Hebron following the overnight demolition of an unauthorized
settler outpost. Israelis from across the political spectrum slammed
a decision to air the first-ever television interview with Yigal
Amir (43), the extremist Jew who assassinated PM Yitzhak Rabin in
(AP, 10/31/08)(AFP, 10/31/08)
2008 Nov 4, A World Bank
delegation launched a sewage project, long delayed by the standoff
between Israel and Hamas, in the Gaza Strip to prevent raw sewage
from spilling into residential areas.
2008 Nov 5, Hamas militants
pounded southern Israel with a barrage of rockets, hours after
Israeli forces killed six gunmen. The clashes began the previous
evening after Israeli forces burst into Gaza to destroy what the
army said was a tunnel being dug near the border to abduct Israeli
troops. The Israeli military said 35 rockets were fired. Late the
same day Israel launched another airstrike, killing a Palestinian
militant in northern Gaza. The army said it was targeting a rocket
launcher, whom the Islamic Jihad group identified as its own. The
group had fired two rockets at the Israeli border town of Sderot and
one of its leaders, Khader Habib, declared the truce over.
(AP, 11/5/08)(AP, 11/6/08)
2008 Nov 7, Palestinian
militants in the Gaza Strip fired at least 3 rockets at southern
Israel, fraying a five-month truce that has been tested sorely this
week. There were no injuries.
2008 Nov 8, A group of European
lawmakers sailed from Cyprus into Gaza, defying an internationally
backed blockade of the Hamas-run territory with activists promising
to send more visitors and goods to end the coastal strip's
2008 Nov 9, Israel and the
Palestinians pledged to continue peace talks that President Bush
launched last year even though a possible deal won't be reached
until after he leaves office.
2008 Nov 12, Israeli troops and
Palestinian militants fought with missiles and mortars along the
Gaza-Israel border, raising new concerns that an increasingly shaky
five-month-old truce might collapse. Four Hamas militants were
killed in the exchange, and the Hamas military wing said it would
2008 Nov 13, Gaza militants
fired a new barrage of rockets and mortars at Israeli border areas,
prompting Israel to bar planned food and fuel shipments to
Palestinian civilians hurt by the unraveling of a five-month-old
2008 Nov 14, Palestinian
militants attacked Ashkelon in southern Israel with rocket fire.
They also unleashed rockets at nearby Sderot, where rescue services
said one person was lightly wounded by shrapnel. The barrages
followed an earlier strike by Israeli aircraft targeting militants
firing rockets in northern Gaza. Israel kept the crossings into Gaza
sealed for a tenth straight day, forcing the UN to suspend its food
aid distribution to 750,000 Gaza residents.
2008 Nov 15, Gazans seeking
food aid walked away empty-handed from locked United Nations
distribution centers after a strict Israeli border closure depleted
UN food reserves.
2008 Nov 16, Israeli leaders
made a secret journey to neighboring Jordan, listening to pleas from
King Abdullah II to avert a large-scale military operation in the
Gaza Strip. An Israeli airstrike killed 4 Palestinian militants as
they were firing mortars at Israel from the Gaza Strip, just hours
after another group of militants struck Israel in a separate rocket
(AP, 11/16/08)(AP, 11/20/08)
2008 Nov 18, Israeli tanks
forged into the southern Gaza Strip, drawing mortar fire from
Palestinian militants and intensifying violence that has chipped
away at a tenuous cease-fire. Israeli seamen boarded a Palestinian
fishing boat and arrested one of Gaza's foreign supporters and five
Palestinian fishermen. The foreigner was identified as Andrew Muncie
2008 Nov 20, Jewish settlers in
Hebron spray-painted graffiti on a mosque slurring the Prophet
Muhammad and defaced a Muslim cemetery, Israeli military officials
said, threatening to worsen tensions in this volatile West Bank
2008 Nov 24, The US government
won a terrorism conviction against Texas-based Holy Land, what had
been the nation's largest Muslim charity, and five of its leaders
for funneling millions of dollars to the Palestinian militant group
Hamas. Holy Land supporters accused the government of politicizing
the case as part of its war on terrorism, while attorneys for the
foundation said Holy Land's mission was philanthropy and providing
aid to the Middle East.
2008 Nov 24, Gazans crowded
into banks to withdraw money amid a worsening currency shortage
resulting from Israeli sanctions.
(WSJ, 11/25/08, p.A1)
2008 Nov 26, The UN and other
aid agencies appealed to the international community to send $462
million in emergency assistance to address what they said is a
humanitarian crisis in the Palestinian territories.
2008 Nov 28, A Palestinian was
killed in a clash with Israeli forces in southern Gaza. A mortar
attack on an Israeli army base injured eight Israeli soldiers. The
next day the Islamic militant group Hamas claimed responsibility.
(AP, 11/28/08)(AP, 11/29/08)
2008 Dec 1, The Israeli navy
turned away a Libyan ship heading to Gaza with 3,000 tons of
humanitarian aid, ending the most high-profile effort yet to break a
blockade of the Hamas-ruled territory.
2008 Dec 4, Rioting by Jewish
settlers spread in the West Bank after Israeli soldiers forcibly
removed about 250 extremists from a disputed house in the center of
Hebron. Banks in the Gaza Strip shut down to count their dwindling
cash. Israel lifted a four-week-old ban on international journalists
entering the Gaza Strip.
2008 Dec 5, Israeli defense
officials reinstated a ban on international journalists entering the
Gaza Strip, despite protests from the heads of major news
organizations and an appeal to the country's Supreme Court.
2008 Dec 6, Palestinians packed
into cars to leave the West Bank city of Nablus after Israel eased
restrictions on residents leaving the town in vehicles for the first
time in six years.
2008 Dec 9, Israel reopened its
crossings with Gaza to shipments of humanitarian aid and fuel.
International journalists were also being allowed in.
2008 Dec 10, Israel agreed to
allow the delivery of cash to banks in the Gaza Strip to ease a cash
crunch that has badly hobbled the economy of the blockaded
2008 Dec 12, The chief
Palestinian negotiators said Israel proposed to annex 6.8 percent of
the West Bank and to take in a few thousand refugees under a peace
deal, but it has not revealed its position on the most contentious
issue, the future of Jerusalem.
2008 Dec 14, In Gaza City an
estimated 300,000 supporters of Hamas gathered to mark 21 years
since the organization’s founding. Israel closed its crossing with
Gaza to journalist in response to rocket fire over the weekend.
(SFC, 12/15/08, p.A14)
2008 Dec 15, Israel released
224 Palestinian prisoners in a gesture to moderate Palestinian
President Mahmoud Abbas, and jubilant detainees waving Palestinian
flags jumped on the roof of one of the buses carrying them to
2008 Dec 16, Israeli troops
killed Jihad Nawhda (23), a wanted Palestinian militant in the West
Bank, and the Islamic Jihad group retaliated with rocket fire from
the Gaza Strip.
2008 Dec 17, Gaza militants
fired nine rockets at Israel just two days before militants say a
truce along the Gaza border is to expire. The rockets were fired by
three small militant groups and caused no injuries. Israel says
there's no expiration date.
2008 Dec 18, Hamas declared a
formal end to a 6-month ceasefire with Israel.
(SFC, 12/19/08, p.A4)
2008 Dec 20, An Israeli air
strike against a Gaza rocket squad killed a Palestinian militant,
the first death since Hamas militants formally declared an end to a
six-month truce with Israel.
2008 Dec 21, Barrages of
rockets fired from Gaza hit Israeli towns and the Israeli air force
responded with a missile strike as violence surged following the
official expiration of a shaky truce with Hamas.
2008 Dec 23, Israeli forces
killed three Hamas militants on the Gaza border.
2008 Dec 24, Palestinian
militants in the Gaza Strip bombarded southern Israel with dozens of
mortars and rockets, sowing panic and despair there and burdening
diplomatic efforts to revive an expired truce. Hamas said two of its
fighters have been killed in a blast in the southern Gaza Strip.
2008 Dec 25, Israel moved
closer to invading Gaza, saying it had wrapped up preparations for a
broad offensive after Palestinian militants fired about 100 rockets
and mortar shells across the border in two days.
2008 Dec 26, Israel reopened
its border with Gaza to allow deliveries of humanitarian aid,
despite continued rocket and mortar fire from the coastal strip and
growing expectations of a large-scale Israeli military campaign
against Palestinian militants. A rocket fired by Palestinian
militants fell short and killed 2 schoolgirls in the northern Gaza
(AP, 12/26/08)(SFC, 12/27/08, p.A5)
2008 Dec 27, Israel began
“Operation Cast Lead" as its warplanes retaliating for rocket fire
from the Gaza Strip pounded dozens of security compounds across the
Hamas-ruled territory in waves of airstrikes, killing nearly 200
people and wounding 270 others in the single bloodiest day of
fighting in years. Gaza militants fired 30 rockets and mortars after
the air offensive began. A missile hit the town of Netivot, killing
an Israeli man and wounding four people.
(AP, 12/27/08)(Econ, 1/10/09, p.24)
2008 Dec 27-2009 Jan 21, In
Egypt security forces arrested at least 860 activists of the Muslim
Brotherhood as public demonstrations mounted during the Israeli
assault on Gaza.
(Econ, 1/17/09, p.48)
2008 Dec 28, Israeli warplanes
pressing one of Israel's deadliest assaults ever on Palestinian
militants dropped bombs and missiles on a top security installation,
smuggling tunnels and dozens of other targets across Hamas-ruled
Gaza. Some 280 Palestinians died in the first 24 hours of the
campaign against Gaza rocket squads. Prisoners fled Gaza's central
prison after it was damaged by an Israeli airstrike. 17 of them were
later numbered among 32 dead in extra-judicial killings by Hamas.
(AP, 12/28/08)(AP, 2/14/09)
2008 Dec 28, The UN Security
Council has issued a statement expressing serious concern at the
escalating violence in Gaza and is calling on Israel and the
Palestinians to immediately halt all military activities.
2008 Dec 29, Israel obliterated
symbols of Hamas power on the third day of what the defense minister
described as a "war to the bitter end," striking next to the Hamas
premier's home, and devastating a security compound and a university
building. The three-day death toll rose to at least 315, with some
1,400 wounded. One medium-range rocket fired at the Israeli city of
Ashkelon killed an Arab construction worker and wounded several
others. Egypt opened its borders to Gaza and allowed trucks loaded
with humanitarian aid to enter the Rafah terminal. A Palestinian
stabbed and wounded four Israelis in a West Bank settlement before
he was shot and wounded.
2008 Dec 29, UN
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon demanded an immediate cease-fire in
Gaza and urged Mideast and world leaders to do more to help end the
Israeli-Hamas conflict and promote political dialogue.
2008 Dec 30, Palestinian
militants, armed with deadlier missiles than ever before, kept up
rocket assaults against Israel, despite relentless air attacks
against Gaza's Hamas rulers and unwelcome word from Egypt that it
would not bail them out. More than 370 Palestinians have died since
the Israeli air onslaught against Gaza's Islamic Hamas rulers began
on Dec 27.
2008 Dec 31, Israel rejected
international pressure for a two-day cease-fire with Hamas and sent
warplanes to demolish smuggling tunnels that are the lifeline of
Gaza's Islamic rulers. Gaza officials said the five days of
airstrikes have killed 390, including 200 uniformed members of Hamas
2008 Dec 31, The UN Security
Council held an emergency meeting on an Arab request for a binding
and enforceable resolution condemning Israel and halting its
military attacks on Gaza. The US immediately called the draft
resolution circulated by Libya on behalf of the 22-member Arab
League "unacceptable" and "unbalanced" and because it makes no
mention of halting the Hamas rocket attacks that led to the Israeli
2008 Dec-2009 Jan, In 2009
Human Rights Watch issued a report saying 6 missile strikes in Gaza
by Israeli drones killed 29 civilians, including 8 children, during
(SFC, 7/1/09, p.A3)
2008 Raja Shehadeh authored
“Palestinian Walks," a “highly original consideration of the
Palestinian-Israeli issue structured around a series of vigorous,
attentive hikes through the occupied territories."
(Econ, 8/14/10, p.69)(http://tinyurl.com/26lulh5)
2009 Jan 1, Israel
assassinated Nizar Rayan (52), a Hamas strongman, in its first
assault on the top leadership of Gaza's rulers, escalating a
crushing aerial offensive even as it declared it was ready to launch
a ground invasion. The aerial strike also killed 12 other people
including two of Rayan's four wives and four of his 12 children.
Officials said more than 400 Gazans have been killed and some 1,700
have been wounded. The UN said the death toll included more than 60
civilians, 34 of them children. Three Israeli civilians and one
soldier have also died in rocket attacks from Gaza.
2009 Jan 2, Israel bombed a
mosque it claimed was used to store weapons and destroyed homes of
more than a dozen Hamas operatives, but under international
pressure, the government allowed hundreds of Palestinians with
foreign passports to leave besieged Gaza. Thus far more than 400
Gazans have been killed and some 1,700 have been wounded. Three
Israeli civilians and one soldier have also died in the rocket
2009 Jan 3, Israeli warplanes,
gunboats and artillery units bombarded more than 40 Hamas targets,
including weapons storage facilities, training centers and leaders'
homes. Palestinian medical officials said an Israeli airstrike on a
mosque in the Gaza Strip killed 10 people and wounded dozens in the
northern town of Beit Lahiya.
2009 Jan 3, The United States
blocked approval of a UN Security Council statement calling for an
immediate cease-fire between Israel and Gaza's Hamas rulers.
2009 Jan 4, Israeli ground
troops and tanks cut swaths through the Gaza Strip, cutting the
coastal territory into two and surrounding its biggest city as the
new phase of a devastating offensive against Hamas militants gained
momentum. Gaza officials said at least 31 civilians were killed in
the onslaught. Israel reported one soldier was killed by mortar
fire. The new deaths brought the death toll in the Gaza Strip to
more than 500 since Dec 27. At least 45 missiles fell on southern
Israel, wounding five people. 2 women waving white flags were killed
in the Juher a-Dik neighborhood in Gaza City. The incident occurred
when the Abu Hajaj family evacuated their home after it was hit by a
tank shell. On Aug 12, 2012, an infantry sergeant, who was initially
charged with manslaughter for the deaths of the 2 women, was
convicted in a military court of illegal weapons use as part of a
plea deal and will serve 45 days in prison.
(AP, 1/4/09)(AP, 1/5/09)(AP, 6/16/10)(AP,
2009 Jan 5, Israel consolidated
its hold on parts of the Gaza Strip, seizing high-rise buildings on
the outskirts of the territory's biggest city as a stream of world
leaders headed for the region to press for a truce. About 12
Palestinian children were killed. The 10th day of fighting put the
Palestinian death toll at an estimated 550. 3 Israeli soldiers were
killed and 24 others wounded by friendly fire. Gaza health officials
said an Israeli airstrike outside a United Nations school in the
Gaza Strip killed 39 people, many of them children. An Israeli
missile struck a building in Zeitoun where Palestinians had been
herded. At least 30 people were killed. 4 members of the Haji
family, including their three-year-old daughter, were killed and
another nine people were injured when an Israeli tank opened fire on
them in the Zeitun area, despite the fact that they were holding a
white flag. In 2011 Israel's military advocate general closed an
investigation into the white flag incident due to lack of evidence.
(AP, 1/5/09)(SFC, 1/6/09, p.A3)(AP,
1/11/09)(Econ, 1/17/09, p.49)(AFP, 4/12/11)
2009 Jan 5, Israeli forces
directly targeted the house of Wa’el Fares Hamdi al-Samouni, and its
vicinity, killing 21 persons and injuring many others. Between
January 4-7, 27 members of the Samouni family were killed, including
11 children and 6 women, and 35 others were injured. On May 2, 2012,
the Israeli military said it has closed its investigation into the
shelling deaths of 21 members of a single Palestinian family and
would not file any charges.
2009 Jan 6, A cease-fire
initiative to halt the increasingly bloody Israeli offensive in
Hamas-ruled Gaza won support from Palestinian President Mahmoud
Abbas. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called on rival sides to
follow up on the proposal. A Hamas rocket hit Gedera, 20 miles from
Tel Aviv, the farthest one has reached to date.
(AP, 1/6/09)(AP, 1/7/09)(Econ, 1/10/09, p.24)
2009 Jan 6, Venezuela ordered
Israel's ambassador expelled from the country in protest over the
Israeli military offensive in the Gaza Strip.
2009 Jan 7, Israel
ordered a three-hour pause in its Gaza offensive to allow food and
fuel to reach besieged Palestinians, and said it welcomed a
cease-fire proposal as long as Hamas halts rockets and weapons
smuggling. About 300 of the more than 670 Palestinians killed so far
were civilians. French President Nicolas Sarkozy said that Israel
and the Palestinian Authority have accepted an Egyptian-French plan
2009 Jan 8, Israeli
representatives arrived in Cairo for Egyptian-brokered talks on a
cease-fire proposal after the UN Security Council failed to agree on
action to end the crisis in Gaza.
2009 Jan 8, The UN halted aid
deliveries to the besieged Gaza Strip, citing Israeli attacks on a
UN truck that killed 2 Palestinian workers. For a 2nd straight day,
Israel suspended its Gaza military operation for three hours to
allow in humanitarian supplies. Israel killed at least 11 people,
including three who were fleeing their homes, raising the death toll
from its 13-day offensive to 699 Palestinians. 11 Israelis have died
since the offensive began. Militants in Lebanon fired at least three
rockets into Israel. UN figures said as many as 257 children have
been killed and 1,080 wounded, about a third of the total casualties
since Dec. 27.
(AP, 1/8/09)(SFC, 1/9/09, p.A3)
2009 Jan 9, Israeli jets and
helicopters bombarded Gaza and Hamas responded with a barrage of
rockets on at least two cities as both sides defied a UN call for an
immediate cease-fire. By the afternoon 22 Palestinians had been
killed, pushing the death toll to 776 and in the two-week-old
2009 Jan 10, Israeli forces
pounded rocket-launching sites and smuggling tunnels in Gaza and
planes dropped leaflets warning of an escalation in attacks, as
Palestinian militants fired at least 10 more rockets at Israel. The
Israeli military said more than 15 militants were killed in
overnight fighting. An Israeli tank shell killed nine people in a
garden outside a home in the northern Gaza town of Jebaliya. In
Cairo, Egypt, Palestinian Authority Pres. Mahmoud Abbas urged both
Israel and Hamas to agree to an Egypt-brokered truce. Syria-based
Palestinian militant groups including Hamas rejected the idea of
deploying international observers or troops in Gaza.
2009 Jan 11, Israeli troops
made their deepest advance into the Gaza Strip's most heavily
populated area, encountering increasingly fierce resistance from
Islamic Hamas fighters as they warned civilians to stay clear of the
battle zone. Human Rights Watch said that Israel's military has
fired artillery shells with the incendiary agent white phosphorus
into Gaza and a doctor there said the chemical was suspected in the
case of 10 burn victims who had skin peeling off their faces and
2009 Jan 11, An estimated 2,500
Lebanese and Palestinians protested peacefully in downtown Beirut
against Israel's offensive in the Gaza Strip, as hundreds of
demonstrators in neighboring Syria shouted insults at the both the
Jewish state and Arab leaders.
2009 Jan 12, Israeli warplanes
pounded the homes of Hamas leaders and ground troops edged closer to
the Gaza Strip's densely populated urban center, as Israel weighed a
decision to escalate its devastating offensive. Militants managed to
fire off at least four rockets. Gaza officials said the offensive
has killed some 870 Palestinians.
2009 Jan 13, Israeli ground
troops closed in on downtown Gaza City, battling Palestinian
militants in the streets of a densely populated neighborhood,
destroying dozens of homes and sending terrified residents running
for cover as gunfire and explosions echoed in the distance. Some 15
rockets and mortar shells were fired toward Israel, causing no
injuries. Egyptian mediators pushed the militant Palestinian Hamas
group to accept a truce proposal for the embattled Gaza Strip in
talks. The UN secretary-general headed to the region to join the
multitrack diplomatic efforts for a cease-fire in Israel’s 18-day
offensive, in which more than 900 Palestinians have been killed,
half of them civilians.
2009 Jan 14, Al-Qaida chief
Osama bin Laden urged Muslims to launch a jihad against Israel and
condemned Arab governments as allies of the Jewish state in a new
message aimed at harnessing anger in the Mideast over the Gaza
2009 Jan 14, Guerrillas in
Lebanon rocketed northern Israel for the second time in a week,
drawing Israeli artillery fire and threatening to drag the Jewish
state into a second front as diplomatic efforts to broker a truce in
Gaza intensified. Gaza health ministry official Dr. Moaiya Hassanain
said the offensive has killed 1,000 Palestinians, about half of them
civilians, including 300 children. The Israeli navy intercepted an
Iranian ship loaded with medicine, food and clothing destined for
Gaza and forced the vessel to Egypt instead. Palestinian surveyors
estimated that Israel's fierce assault on Gaza's Hamas rulers has
destroyed at least $1.4 billion worth of buildings, roads, pipes,
power lines and other infrastructure.
2009 Jan 14, Venezuela and
Bolivia broke off diplomatic relations with Israel to protest its
military offensive in Gaza.
2009 Jan 15, Israel shelled the
UN headquarters in the Gaza Strip, engulfing the compound and the
main warehouse in fire and destroying thousands of pounds of food
and humanitarian supplies intended for Palestinian refugees.
Fighting killed at least 70 people including 2 top Hamas leaders,
Said Siam (49), the minister of the interior, and deputy Salah Abu
Sharah. Gaza medical officials said 1,100 Palestinians have been
killed since Israel's offensive started Dec. 27. Israeli soldiers
used a Palestinian child, later identified as Majd R, as a human
shield by forcing him to check for booby traps. In 2010 two Israeli
soldiers were convicted of using the child as a human shield. They
received suspended sentences and demotions.
(AP, 1/15/09)(SFC, 1/16/09, p.A2)(AP,
2009 Jan 16, Israel said it was
close to winding up its offensive against Hamas, and diplomats in
Washington said the US will provide assurances on ending weapons
smuggling into Gaza as part of a cease-fire. More than 1,100
Palestinians have been killed since the war began on Dec. 27,
including 346 children. Khaled Mashaal, Hamas' political chief,
rejected Israeli conditions for a Gaza cease-fire and demanded an
immediate opening of the besieged territory's borders. Dr. Ezzeldeen
Abu al-Aish (Izzeldin Abuelaish) told Channel 10 that his house in
the northern Gaza strip town of Jebalia had been hit by Israeli
shells and his daughters, ages 22, 15 and 14, were killed along with
a neighbor girl. In 2011 Dr. Abuelaish authored “I Shall Not Hate: A
Gaza Doctor’s Journey on the Road to Peace and Human Dignity.
(AP, 1/16/09)(AP, 2/5/09)(Econ, 2/26/11, p.91)
2009 Jan 16, Mauritania and
Qatar suspended contacts with Israel to protest the Gaza bloodshed
at an Arab summit that deepened the divisions between pro-US Arab
nations and their rivals in the Middle East.
2009 Jan 17, Israel bombarded
dozens of Hamas targets hours before a government vote on an
Egyptian brokered cease-fire, prompting Egypt to demand an immediate
halt to the 3-week-old Gaza offensive.
2009 Jan 18, Militants in
Hamas-ruled Gaza agreed to a weeklong cease-fire with Israel, after
three weeks of violence that Palestinian medics say has killed more
than 1,200 people, about half of them civilians. The announcement
came about 12 hours after Israel declared its own unilateral
ceasefire. On March 19 a final tally of Palestinians killed in
Israel's recent war on Gaza's Hamas rulers was reported to be 1,417,
including 926 civilians. A Palestinian human rights groups published
the names, ages and other information about the dead on its Web
(AP, 1/18/09)(AP, 3/19/09)
2009 Jan 19, Israeli officials
said they hope to pull all its troops out of the Gaza Strip by the
time Barack Obama is inaugurated as president of the United States
on Jan 20. This was the last full day of fighting as Hamas fired 19
rockets into Israel. About 1,300 Palestinians and 13 Israelis died
in the offensive, which started Dec. 27.
(AP, 1/19/09)(Econ, 1/24/09, p.53)(AP, 2/11/09)
2009 Jan 19, The Saudi king
said his country will donate $1 billion to help rebuild the Gaza
Strip after the devastating Israeli offensive and told Israel that
an Arab initiative offering peace will not remain on the table
forever. The Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency cut its benchmark lending
rate a half point to 2%, and its deposit rate by three-quarters
point to .75%.
(AP, 1/19/09)(WSJ, 1/20/08, p.A11)
2009 Jan 20, In Gaza UN chief
Ban Ki-moon voiced sorrow and frustration over the suffering of
civilians during Israel’s 3-week war on Hamas rulers. Ismail Radwan,
a Hamas legislator, celebrated the blood battles as proof of Hamas
strength and defiance.
(SFC, 1/21/09, p.A21)
2009 Jan 20, In Kuwait the
deeply divided Arab League failed to come up with a plan to
reconstruct the devastated Gaza Strip and could not agree on whether
to back Egyptian peace efforts to end the crisis.
2009 Jan 21, The last Israeli
troops left the Gaza Strip before dawn, as Israel dispatched its
foreign minister to Europe in a bid to rally international support
to end arms smuggling into the Hamas-ruled territory. The
Palestinian Center for Human Rights released a final tally, saying
1,284 Gazans were killed and 4,336 wounded, the vast majority
civilians. Israel's military said it will investigate charges that
its forces used phosphorous shells in a way that burned civilians
during the fighting in Gaza. Hamas officials conceded that they are
executing Palestinians suspected of collaborating with Israel during
the 3-week invasion. Fatah officials said at least 19 of its members
have been executed and more brutally tortured. On Sep 9, 2009, the
Israeli rights group B'Tselem published figures it said were
compiled in months of research, including visits to families of
victims. It said 1,387 Gazans were killed, including 773 civilians
(including 252 children younger than 16) and 330 combatants. 13
Israelis also died, including 4 civilians.
(AP, 1/21/09)(SFC, 1/22/09, p.A3)(AP, 9/9/09)
2009 Jan 22, Hundreds of
workers toiled in southern Gaza to repair dozens of tunnels dug
under tents or fake greenhouses while smugglers brought in food and
fuel just days after Israel ended a barrage of bombs and missiles
aimed at cutting off the supply route from Egypt.
2009 Jan 22, Israel said it is
lifting restrictions on foreign journalists entering the Gaza Strip,
a ban that had drawn strong criticism from news media.
2009 Jan 22, Pres. Obama named
George Mitchell as envoy to the Mideast and Richard Holbrook as
envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan.
(WSJ, 1/23/09, p.A1)
2009 Jan 27, Palestinian
militants detonated a bomb that killed an Israeli soldier patrolling
near Gaza and Israel responded with an airstrike. Not long after the
bombing, a 27-year-old Gaza farmer was killed by Israeli gunfire
along the border several miles away. An Israeli airstrike wounded 2
men, at least one of whom was a Hamas gunman. Israel closed its
crossings into Gaza to humanitarian aid traffic after briefly
(AP, 1/27/09)(SFC, 1/28/09, p.A2)
2009 Jan 28, Israeli warplanes
struck Gaza smuggling tunnels and a weapons factory. There were no
reports of casualties. George Mitchell, Pres. Obama's new Mideast
envoy, said a long-term Gaza truce must be based on an end to
weapons smuggling to Hamas and the re-opening of the territory's
(AP, 1/28/09)(AP, 1/29/09)
2009 Jan 29, George Mitchell,
President Barack Obama's Mideast envoy, turned his attention to the
Western-backed Palestinian government in the West Bank. Palestinians
fired a rocket into Israel, and residents of the south Gaza town of
Khan Younis said an Israeli airstrike there wounded an unidentified
man on a motorcycle and five passers-by, among them children walking
home from school. Senior officials in the Islamic group Hamas
indicated a willingness to negotiate a deal for a long-term truce
with Israel as long as the borders of Gaza are opened to the rest of
2009 Jan 29, The UN launched an
emergency appeal for $613 million to help Palestinians recover from
Israel's three weeks of military operations in Gaza.
2009 Jan 29, At the economic
forum in Davos, Switzerland, Israel’s Pres. Peres (85) traded
accusations with Turkey’s PM Erdogan, who declared: “You kill
people," and criticized Israel’s blockade of Gaza. Erdogan stalked
off stage after being cut short during the exchange.
(SFC, 1/30/09, p.A4)(WSJ, 1/30/09, p.A1)
2009 Jan 29, The ship
Monchegorsk arrived in Cyprus. It was examined twice after it
arrived under suspicion of ferrying weapons from Iran to Hamas
fighters in Gaza, and detained. The US military had stopped the ship
last month in the Red Sea, and said it found artillery shells and
other arms on board. But it could not legally detain the ship, which
continued to Port Said, Egypt, and then to Cyprus.
2009 Jan 30, In Gaza City some
5,000 people rallied as Hamas lawmaker Khalil al-Hayeh emerged from
hiding and declared victory in the 23-day Israeli offensive in Gaza.
(SFC, 1/31/09, p.A5)
2009 Jan 30, An Israeli rights
group said it to use a database detailing the complicity of Israel's
government in widespread illegal construction in West Bank
settlements to help Palestinians file lawsuits over their lost land.
2009 Jan 31, Palestinian
militants fired a rocket from Gaza that exploded close to the
southern Israeli town of Ashkelon without causing any damages or
2009 Jan 31, Security sources
said Egypt has begun installing cameras and motion sensors along its
border with the Gaza Strip to try to combat smuggling to the
2009 Jan, In northeast Sudan
Israel carried out an attack in which at least 30 people were
killed, to stop weapons being transported to Gaza during its
offensive against Hamas. Reports from Sudan quoted a lone survivor
of the attack as saying two planes flew over the convoy then came
back and shot up the "four or five" trucks. Israeli aircraft or
drones destroyed 23 lorries carrying Iranian arms destined for
(Reuters, 3/27/09)(Econ, 4/4/09, p.50)
2009 Feb 1, Gaza militants
launched at least 10 rockets and mortar shells into southern Israel,
drawing a threat of "disproportionate" retaliation from Israel's
prime minister and further straining a cease-fire that ended
Israel's Gaza offensive. Israeli warplanes bombed the area where
Hamas smuggles in weapons from Egypt.
(AP, 2/1/09)(WSJ, 2/2/09, p.A10)
2009 Feb 2, A missile from an
Israeli aircraft struck a car traveling in the southern Gaza Strip,
killing a Palestinian militant and further straining a truce with
the territory's Hamas rulers. Defense Minister Ehud Barak proposed
linking Gaza with the West Bank by digging a tunnel through Israeli
(AP, 2/2/09)(WSJ, 2/3/09, p.A1)
2009 Feb 3, Hamas policemen
broke into an aid warehouse in Gaza City and confiscated 3,500
blankets and more than 4,000 food parcels meant for 500 families
after UN officials refused to voluntarily hand it over to the
Hamas-run Ministry of Social Affairs. Ahmad Kurd, the Hamas Minister
of Social Affairs countered that the U.N. had been handing out
relief to groups tied to Hamas' opponents.
2009 Feb 3, A medium-range
rocket from Gaza landed in the Israeli city of Ashkelon. Hamas said
it is ready to commit to a yearlong cease-fire with Israel in
exchange for a full opening of Gaza's border crossings, ahead of a
new round of talks with Egyptian mediators in Cairo.
2009 Feb 5, The Israeli navy
intercepted a ship delivering 60 tons of supplies to the Gaza Strip
from Lebanon in the latest bid to defy Israel's blockade of the
2009 Feb 6, The UN agency for
Palestinian refugees suspended aid to Gaza, accusing the Hamas
rulers of stealing a delivery of humanitarian supplies for the 2nd
time in a week. Jamil Shaqqura (51) died in a hospital of wounds
from beating and torture, a week after he was picked for
interrogation by Hamas' internal security.
(SFC, 2/709, p.A3)(AP, 2/14/09)
2009 Feb 7, In Gaza Hasan
al-Hijazi, who was shot by three masked men. Hamas later issued a
statement calling the killing a "mistake."
2009 Feb 8, Two rockets fired
by Palestinian militants struck southern Israel, violating an
informal truce even as Israel and Gaza's Hamas rulers appeared to
hurry closer to a long-term cease-fire deal two days before Israeli
2009 Feb 9, A Palestinian
fighter died in a clash with Israeli troops and Israeli aircraft
attacked two targets in Gaza as mediators tried to broker a
long-term cease-fire a day before Israel holds national elections.
2009 Feb 12, Hamas deputy
leader Moussa Abu Marzouk told Egypt's official MENA news agency
that the Islamic militant group has agreed to an 18-month truce with
2009 Feb 12, An Egyptian
security official said police have arrested 40 suspected smugglers
and seized goods in a new crackdown on smuggling into the Hamas-run
Gaza Strip in a crackdown that started last weekend.
2009 Feb 13, Two rockets fired
by Gaza militants hit near a communal farm and the town of Sderot.
An Israeli airstrike on Gaza killed one man and critically wounded
another. The men were riding a motorcycle near the town of Khan
Younis when they were hit by fire from an Israeli drone.
2009 Feb 16, Officials said
Israel has taken control of a large chunk of land near a prominent
West Bank settlement, paving the way for the possible construction
of 2,500 settlement homes, in a new challenge to Mideast
2009 Feb 17, The UN said
unexploded Israeli bombs under Hamas guard has been stolen.
(WSJ, 2/18/09, p.A1)
2009 Feb 18, Israel set a
series of tough conditions for accepting a proposed cease-fire with
Hamas, saying there would be no deal, and no open borders for Gaza,
until the Islamic militant group releases a captured Israeli
soldier. Israeli planes attacked smuggling tunnels around the
Gaza-Egypt border and a disused Hamas security base near the town of
2009 Feb 19, US Sen. John Kerry
as well as 2 other congressional Democrats came to the Gaza Strip,
the highest-level visit by a US official since the Hamas militant
group seized power in the territory nearly two years ago. Kerry said
he was in Gaza to view the aftermath of Israel's recent military
offensive against Hamas.
(AP, 2/19/09)(SFC, 2/20/09, p.A6)
2009 Feb 22, The bodies of four
people were found in a smuggling tunnel under the Gaza-Egypt border,
a day after another body was discovered in the area. Border
officials said about 1,000 university students and holders of
foreign residency permits were eligible to cross, and by
mid-afternoon, about 600 people had made the trip.
2009 Feb 23, A government
official said US aid for the Gaza Strip's reconstruction will likely
top $900 million, as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton prepared to
make her first Mideast trip as America's top diplomat.
2009 Feb 25, Militants in Gaza
launched rockets at southern Israel and Israeli planes attacked
smuggling tunnels as a stable truce between the two sides remained
elusive. Palestinian PM Salam Fayyad said he is seeking $2.8 billion
in foreign aid for rebuilding Gaza Strip. The rival Palestinian
groups Hamas and Fatah agreed to release each other's loyalists from
detention, seeking to lower tensions during reconciliation talks.
2009 Feb 28, Two rockets fired
from Gaza crashed into southern Israel, one into a school that was
closed for the weekend in the coastal city of Ashkelon and another
into an open field.
2009 Mar 1, Tony Blair paid his
first visit to the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip as envoy of international
peace brokers and said reconstruction aid after Israel's offensive
would not have a lasting effect without peace. Israel’s PM Ehud
Olmert threatened painful retaliation against Gaza militants for
rockets still hitting Israel, six weeks after its military halted an
offensive that was supposed to have stopped them for good.
(Reuters, 3/1/09)(AP, 3/1/09)
2009 Mar 2, At a donor’s
conference in Egypt Palestinian Pres. Mahmoud Abbas, seeking to
shore up his position against rival Hamas, asked international
donors to funnel millions of dollars through his government to
rebuild the devastated Gaza Strip. The gathering aimed to raise at
least $2.8 billion from 80 donor nations and international
2009 Mar 4, The Israeli
military aircraft fired upon three smuggling tunnels along the
Gaza-Egypt border. An Israeli missile strike in northern Gaza killed
Khaled Shalan, described as a senior Islamic Jihad commander.
(AP, 3/4/09)(SFC, 3/6/09, p.A3)
2009 Mar 5, Israeli airstrikes
killed 3 gunmen close to the border after they fired an anti-tank
missile at Israeli forces. In Jerusalem Mari al-Radeideh (26), a
Palestinian driver, rammed a construction vehicle into a bus and
police car on a highway, wounding two officers before he was shot
dead, the latest in a string of attacks by militants using heavy
machinery against Israeli targets.
(AP, 3/5/09)(SFC, 3/6/09, p.A3)
2009 Mar 7, Palestinian PM
Salam Fayyad submitted his resignation, a move that could help pave
the way for an elusive power-sharing deal between Palestinian
moderates and militants.
2009 Mar 10, In Egypt rival
Palestinian factions opened talks aimed at coming up with a
power-sharing agreement, hearing a call to forget their contentious
and sometimes bloody past.
2009 Mar 12, The Islamic
militant group Hamas made a rare criticism of Palestinian rocket
fire on Israel, saying now is the wrong time as truce talks
2009 Mar 13, Tristan Anderson
(38) of Oakland, Calif., was wounded in the West Bank village of
Naalin, during a protest against Israel's separation barrier. He
remained in serious condition after undergoing surgery.
2009 Mar 15, Two Israeli police
officers were shot and killed while traveling near the Jewish
settlement of Massua in the West Bank. A few days later the Martyrs
of Imad Mughniyeh said it was behind the shooting. The group is
named after an assassinated Hezbollah mastermind. Israeli and
Palestinian security officials said there is no such group. They
believe rogue militants have used the fake name as cover to evade
(SFC, 3/16/09, p.A2)(AP, 3/16/09)(AP, 3/17/09)
2009 Mar 17, Egyptian security
officials caught 2 Hamas officials returning to Gaza with nearly
$850,000 stuffed into candy tins.
(SFC, 3/18/09, p.A2)
2009 Mar 18, Egypt opened its
border crossing with the Gaza Strip for the second time in two
months to allow medical aid and Palestinians to enter the coastal
2009 Mar 23, In southern
Lebanon an explosion killed Kamal Madhat (55), a senior Fatah
official, and three of his bodyguards as they were leaving a
Palestinian refugee camp.
2009 Mar 25, Incoming Israeli
PM Benjamin Netanyahu said his government would be a "partner for
peace with the Palestinians," softening his rhetoric a day after the
centrist Labor Party joined his coalition in exchange for vaguely
worded promises to pursue negotiations.
2009 Mar 29, A senior Israeli
defense official said Palestinian militants have smuggled nearly 70
tons of explosives and bomb-making materials and other weapons into
Gaza since Israel ended an offensive meant to choke off the arms
2009 Mar 31, Israel’s
parliament approved Benjamin Netanyahu as prime minister. His
Cabinet of 29 ministers was a among the largest in Israel’s history.
Israeli forces attacked a group of Palestinian militants along the
Gaza-Israel border, killing two gunmen and wounding three others in
one of the worst flare-ups of violence since Israel ended its
offensive in the territory more than two months ago.
(SFC, 4/1/09, p.A5)(AP, 3/31/09)
2009 Apr 1, Avigdor Lieberman,
Israel’s new foreign minister, said Israel will not abide by
commitments made to pursue Palestinian statehood at the 2007
Annapolis Peace Summit.
(WSJ, 4/2/09, p.A1)
2009 Apr 2, A Palestinian
militant went on a rampage in the Bat Ayin Jewish settlement in the
West Bank, killing an Israeli boy (13) with a pickax and wounding
another boy (7) before fleeing the area. On April 14 Israeli
authorities detained suspect Moussa Tayet (26).
(AP, 4/2/09)(AP, 4/26/09)
2009 Apr 3, The UN appointed
Richard Goldstone, former chief prosecutor for war crimes in
Yugoslavia and Rwanda, to lead a mission to investigate alleged war
crimes committed by Israel in the Gaza Strip.
(SFC, 4/4/09, p.A2)
2009 Apr 4, In southern Israel
a woman opened fire on a police station Beersheba before officers
shot back and killed her, in an apparent Palestinian militant
attack. Israeli forces shot and killed two militants who were
approaching the Gaza border. Elsewhere in Gaza, militants fired at
least two mortar shells toward Israel. There were no reports of
2009 Apr 5, In Iraq Palestinian
President Mahmoud Abbas won assurances that Iraqi leaders will
protect Palestinians living in Iraq, including thousands stranded in
desert refugee camps, during his first visit to the country since
the US-led invasion of 2003. Two roadside bombs in Fallujah killed
one officer and wounded three other people. Someone threw a grenade
at a police patrol in Samarra, killing one policeman and wounding
four. 8 people, including seven policemen, were wounded by a bomb
that blasted their patrol in the northern oil city of Kirkuk.
2009 Apr 7, Israeli police
fatally shot a Palestinian motorist as he tried to run over officers
guarding the demolition of the home of a militant who killed three
Israelis with a construction vehicle in July.
2009 Apr 8, Stone-throwing
Israeli settlers and Palestinian villagers clashed near the site of
an ax attack last week that killed a Jewish teenager, leaving at
least 8 Palestinians wounded.
2009 Apr 12, Israel's new PM
Netanyahu spoke to the Palestinian Pres. Abbas on Easter for the
first time since taking office, telling him that he seeks close
cooperation to drive peace efforts forward.
2009 Apr 13, An unmanned
Palestinian fishing boat laden with hundreds of pounds of explosives
blew up off the coast of Gaza in what the Israeli military said was
an attempt to attack a naval patrol in the area.
2009 Apr 15, Egyptian police
detained three teenage Palestinian men on suspicion of crossing
illegally into Egypt and also found explosives near the border with
2009 Apr 17, A Palestinian
wielding a knife was shot and killed by Jewish settlers after he
tried to attack residents of a West Bank settlement. Israeli troops
killed a Palestinian during a protest against Israel's separation
barrier. The military said protesters threw stones and other objects
at security forces during a West Bank demonstration in town of
Bilin. Abu Rahmeh (31) was killed when he was hit in the chest by a
tear gas canister. On March 31, 2010, the Israeli military said it
closed an investigation after determining the canister was not
intentionally aimed at Abu Rahmeh.
(AP, 4/17/09)(AP, 4/1/10)
2009 Apr 18, A Palestinian teen
(16) was fatally shot by Israeli troops after throwing firebombs at
the gate of the Beit El Jewish settlement in the West Bank. A
Palestinian man drove his Mercedes into two Israeli policemen
checking motorists at a checkpoint outside Jerusalem. The driver was
arrested after he told police he targeted the officers. Officials
announced that the border crossing between Gaza and Egypt would be
open over the weekend to let medical patients leave the blockaded
2009 Apr 20, New York-based
Human Rights Watch said gunmen with suspected links to Hamas
security forces in the Gaza Strip killed at least 32 Palestinians
and wounded dozens in attacks on political opponents and alleged
informers during and after Israel's recent war in the coastal
territory. The report said 18 Palestinians were killed by Hamas
during the three-week war, which ended Jan. 18, and 14 others were
2009 Apr 22, A group of
Norwegian lawyers filed a complaint accusing 10 Israelis of war
crimes in Gaza under the country's new universal jurisdiction law.
2009 Apr 24, Jewish settlers,
Israeli troops and Palestinian villagers clashed with guns, rocks
and tear gas, leaving five Palestinians hospitalized.
2009 Apr 24, Jordan's king
recorded an interview urging President Barack Obama to take a more
forceful role in the peace process between Israelis and
Palestinians, warning of a new Mideast war if there is no
significant progress in the next 18 months.
2009 Apr 27, Palestinian
officials established formal ties with Venezuela and opened a
diplomatic mission in the South American country.
2009 Apr 29, Youssef Magied
al-Molqui, one of the 4 Palestinians who hijacked the Achille Lauro
cruise ship and killed an American passenger in 1985, left prison in
Palermo, Sicily, after more than 23 years in jail. Ibrahim Fatayer
Abdelatif, another convicted Achille Lauro hijacker, was released
2009 May 1, A UN agency urged
Israel to freeze demolitions of Arab homes in east Jerusalem, citing
a growing housing crisis in the part of the city the Palestinians
claim as their future capital.
2009 May 2, An Israeli
airstrike against smuggling tunnels on the Gaza-Egypt border killed
2009 May 5, Israeli authorities
arrested two Palestinians who tried to sell a looted 1,900-year-old
papyrus document in Hebrew worth millions of dollars.
2009 May 5, The leaders of Iran
and Syria reaffirmed their support for Palestinian resistance, a
defiant message to the US and its Mideast allies who are uneasy over
Washington's efforts to forge closer ties with the hard-line
government in Tehran.
2009 May 5, The UN chief
accused Israel of lying about attacks on United Nations schools and
other facilities during the Gaza military campaign, including one
reported to have killed more than 40 people, and formally demanded
2009 May 11, Pope Benedict XVI
confronted the dark history of his native Germany on the first day
of his visit to Israel, shaking the hands of six Holocaust survivors
and saying victims of the genocide "lost their lives but they will
never lose their names." He also called for the establishment of an
independent Palestinian homeland, a stance that could put him at
odds with his hosts on a trip aimed at improving ties between the
Vatican and Jews.
2009 May 13, Standing in
Bethlehem, Pope Benedict XVI told Palestinians he understands their
suffering and offered the Vatican's strongest and most symbolic
public backing yet for an independent Palestinian homeland.
2009 May 14, Jordan's king
pressed Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu to immediately commit to the
establishment of a Palestinian state, as he pursues a sweeping
resolution of the Muslim world's conflicts with Israel.
2009 May 14, Pope Benedict XVI
greeted tens of thousands of adoring followers in Nazareth with a
message of reconciliation, urging Christians and Muslims to overcome
recent strife and "reject the destructive power of hatred and
2009 May 15, In Israel Pope
Benedict XVI ended his pilgrimage to the Holy Land with his
strongest call yet for the creation of a Palestinian state and
telling the faithful at the site of Jesus' crucifixion that peace is
2009 May 21, Israeli security
forces demolished a minor Jewish settlement outpost in the West
Bank, three days after President Barack Obama told visiting Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he must halt settlement activity.
2009 May 22, Israeli troops
crossed into Gaza and killed two Palestinian militants who were
planting a bomb along the border fence before dawn.
2009 May 28, Israel defied a
surprisingly blunt US demand that it freeze all building in West
Bank Jewish settlements, saying it will press ahead with
construction. Since 1967, Israel has built 121 West Bank
settlements, now home to around 300,000 Israelis. An additional
180,000 live in Jewish neighborhoods in east Jerusalem, which, like
the West Bank, was captured by Israel in the 1967 Middle East war.
(AP, 5/28/09)(AP, 6/23/09)
2009 May 31, Palestinian forces
stormed a Hamas hideout in Qalqilya in the northern West Bank,
setting off a fierce battle that left six dead in the bloodiest
factional violence since the Palestinian president launched a
crackdown on the Islamic militant group two years ago.
(AP, 5/31/09)(Econ, 6/6/09, p.46)
2009 Jun 1, Israel's PM
Netanyahu dismissed the US demand for a settlement freeze as
unreasonable, moving closer to a collision with the Obama
administration, while mobs of Jewish settlers attacked Palestinian
laborers and burned West Bank fields. Israeli settlers waged court
battles to evict dozens of Palestinians from homes in an East
Jerusalem neighborhood, a move threatening to widen Israel's rift
with US President Barack Obama over settlements.
(AP, 6/1/09)(Reuters, 6/1/09)
2009 Jun 2, In Israel detained
a Jewish man for shooting to death a Palestinian in Jerusalem and
wounding another Jewish man.
2009 Jun 3, Israel dismantled a
military checkpoint that had significantly impeded Palestinian
travel in the West Bank in an apparent goodwill gesture a day before
President Barack Obama's much-anticipated address to the Muslim and
2009 Jun 4, Palestinian police
killed two Hamas militants after the men opened fire at security
forces who had surrounded their underground hideout in Qalqiliya.
One officer was also killed in the operation, part of an
intensifying crackdown on Islamic militants in this West Bank town.
2009 Jun 5, President
Barack Obama toured a World War II concentration camp in Germany
after prodding the international community to redouble efforts
toward separate Israeli and Palestinian states in hopes of resolving
a conflict fueled by the Jewish nation's post-Holocaust creation.
2009 Jun 5, Israeli officials
said they will not heed President Barack Obama's powerful appeal to
halt all settlement activity on lands the Palestinians claim for a
future state, a position that looks sure to cause a policy clash
with its most powerful ally. Israeli troops killed a Palestinian man
during a demonstration against the construction of the West Bank
separation barrier. Yussef Aqil Srour (35) died from a chest wound
that appeared to have been caused by live fire. Witnesses said
troops fired tear gas, rubber bullets and possibly live rounds at
rock-throwing demonstrators in the village of Naalin.
2009 Jun 8, Gaza militants
equipped with explosives-laden horses approached the Israeli border,
igniting a battle that left four gunmen dead.
2009 Jun 14, Israel’s PM
Netanyahu said that he would accept a Palestinian state, but
attached conditions such as having no army that the Palestinians
(AP, 6/15/09)(SFC, 6/15/09, p.A3)
2009 Jun 16, A Palestinian
military tribunal in a security compound in the West Bank town of
Jenin sentenced Taghreed, her last name was not released, to a life
term of hard labor. The woman (22) said she became an informer for
Israel to earn money that would get her out of prostitution.
2009 Jun 22, In Italy Khaled
Hussein (73), a Palestinian man who helped plan the 1985 hijacking
of the Achille Lauro cruise ship, died of a heart attack in a jail
(SFC, 6/23/09, p.A2)
2009 Jun 23, Abdel Aziz Duaik,
the most senior Hamas leader being held by Israel, was freed after
serving the bulk of his three-year sentence.
2009 Jun 25, Israeli and
Palestinian defense officials said Israel has granted US-trained
Palestinian security forces greater autonomy in four major West Bank
cities. Bowing to pressure from Washington Israeli officials said
the army would now reduce its presence in Qalqilya, Bethlehem,
Jericho and Ramallah.
2009 Jun 26, The Quartet of
Mideast negotiators called on Israel to freeze all settlement
activity and to lift its blockade on the Gaza Strip. The US, Russia,
UN and EU met on the sidelines of a meeting of the Group of Eight
foreign ministers, who made a similar call for Mideast peace.
2009 Jun 29, Israeli court
documents indicated the government has approved construction of 50
new housing units in a West Bank settlement to absorb settlers who
are to be evicted from a nearby unauthorized outpost.
2009 Jun 30, The Israeli navy
ordered a small ferry carrying medical supplies and foreign peace
activists trying to break a blockade of Gaza to turn back. The
Israeli navy intercepted the ship and forced it to sail to the
Israeli port of Ashdod.
2009 Jul 2, Amnesty
International accused Israel and Palestinian militants of war crimes
in the most comprehensive report on the recent Gaza war. Both sides
rejected the findings.
2009 Jul 6, Israel deported
Cynthia McKinney, a former US congresswoman, Mairead Corrigan
Maguire, a Nobel peace prize laureate, and other activists who were
arrested and jailed after trying to break the naval blockade of the
Gaza Strip. The Israeli navy seized their boat last week as it tried
to sail with medical supplies from Cyprus to Gaza.
2009 Jul 19, Palestinian
authorities allowed Al-Jazeera to resume operations in the West
Bank, four days after banning the Arab satellite station over the
airing of a claim linking President Mahmoud Abbas to the death of
his legendary predecessor, Yasser Arafat.
2009 Jul 20, A Palestinian
official said more than 30 Israeli settlers, some of them on
horseback, set fire to fields and olive trees and stoned Palestinian
cars during a rampage in the West Bank. Two Palestinians were
2009 Jul 22, Israel’s education
minister said the Israeli government will remove references to what
Palestinians call the "catastrophe" of Israel's creation from
textbooks for Arab schoolchildren. The reference to "al-naqba," the
Arabic word catastrophe as Palestinians call their defeat and exile
in the war over Israel's 1948 creation, was controversially inserted
by a dovish education minister for the first time in 2007.
2009 Jul 24, The United States
transferred $200 million to the Palestinian government to help ease
a growing budget deficit.
2009 Jul 26, Gaza's top judge
said that he has ordered female lawyers to wear Muslim headscarves
when they appear in court, the latest sign that the Islamic militant
group is increasingly imposing its strict interpretation of Islamic
law on residents of the coastal strip.
2009 Aug 3, The Palestinian
Fatah movement published a new platform saying it will keep pursuing
peace talks but reserves the right to resist Israeli occupation.
2009 Aug 4, Palestinian
President Mahmoud Abbas launched his Fatah movement's first
conference in two decades with a call for his people to limit their
resistance to Israel to marches and protests and not to abandon
peace talks despite years of setbacks. The 3-day general assembly’s
main task was to elect a new central committee.
(AP, 8/4/09)(Econ, 8/8/09, p.42)
2009 Aug 8, Palestinian
President Mahmoud Abbas was named head of his Fatah movements at his
party's first conference in two decades, strengthening the hand of
the Western-backed leader in his bid to revive peace talks with
2009 Aug 9, Gaza militants
launched mortar shells at a border crossing between Gaza and Israel
just as Palestinian patients were being transferred into Israel for
2009 Aug 10, Israeli warplanes
bombed a smuggling tunnel along the Gaza-Egypt border in response to
Palestinian rocket and mortar fire, in a brief flare-up of violence
at a time of relative quiet in the volatile Palestinian territory.
2009 Aug 11, The Palestinian
Fatah movement ended a 4-day conference. Pres. Abbas was unanimously
re-elected as party head and a group of younger leaders were elected
to its top council, bolstering its credentials as the West's best
hope for Mideast peace. Also elected were Marwan Barghouti (50), a
firebrand militant leader now jailed by Israel and seen as a likely
future president, and Jibril Rajoub (56), a former aide to the late
Yasser Arafat who led several crackdowns against Hamas.
(AP, 8/11/09)(Econ, 8/15/09, p.41)
2009 Aug 14, In the southern
Gaza town of Rafah on the Egyptian border fighting broke out when
Hamas security men surrounded a mosque where about 100 members of
Jund Ansar Allah, or the Soldiers of the Companions of God, were
holed up. Abdel-Latif Moussa, the leader of the group, defied Gaza's
Hamas rulers by declaring in a prayer sermon that the territory was
an Islamic emirate. 11 homemade rockets were launched from Gaza into
Egypt. Only five of the rockets detonated, injuring a young girl.
2009 Aug 15, In the Gaza Strip
Abdel-Latif Moussa, the leader of an al-Qaida-inspired group, blew
himself up during a shootout with Hamas security forces, ending
hours of violence sparked by a rebellious sermon at a Salafist
mosque near the Egyptian border. A total of 24 people, including six
Hamas police officers and an 11-year-old girl, were killed and 150
2009 Aug 24, Israeli soldiers
fired on a group of suspicious Palestinians across the border in
northern Gaza. 3 Palestinians were wounded. 2 mortar shells were
later fired from Gaza slightly wounding one soldier.
(SFC, 8/25/09, p.A2)
2009 Aug 25, An Israeli air
strike on a smuggling tunnel between the Gaza Strip and Egypt killed
three Palestinians and wounded seven.
2009 Aug 31, Egyptian police
found the entrances to four tunnels and two tons of explosives
hidden near the border with Gaza. A day earlier they had thwarted an
attempt to smuggle 500 kg (1,100 lb) of explosives into Gaza.
2009 Sep 1, Mohammed Nayef (14)
one of three Palestinians who hurled Molotov cocktails at a guard
post near a Jewish settlement in the West Bank, died of gunshot
shots from Israeli troops inflicted the previous evening. The Hamas
militant group said two of its fighters have been killed in the Gaza
2009 Sep 4, Arab League chief
Amr Moussa, speaking in Italy, said any Israeli offer for a
settlement freeze that doesn't include east Jerusalem is
unacceptable and "will suspend the peace process." Aides of Israel’s
PM said Benjamin Netanyahu will approve hundreds of new housing
units in West Bank settlements before slowing settlement
construction, in an apparent snub of Washington's public demand for
a total settlement freeze.
2009 Sep 7, Israel officially
approved the construction of hundreds of new homes in the West Bank,
deepening an already unprecedented rift with the US over Israeli
settlement expansion. Israel PM Netanyahu vanished from public view
in Israel for most of the day. His office said he had visited a
secret security facility. It was later confirmed that he had made a
secret trip to Russia, which included a meeting with the
Russia’s Pres. Dmitry Medvedev.
(AP, 9/7/09)(AP, 9/20/09)
2009 Sep 15, Israeli and
Palestinian activists presented the most detailed vision yet of what
a peace deal could look like. It included more than 400 pages
crammed with maps, timetables for troop withdrawals and even a list
of weapons a non-militarized Palestine would be barred from having.
The UN Goldstone Commission accused Israel of having deliberately
committed war crimes during its 3-week attack on Gaza in January.
(AP, 9/15/09)(Econ, 9/19/09, p.14)
2009 Sep 16, Israel rejected UN
calls to open an independent inquiry into its conduct in last
winter's Gaza Strip war and said it would launch a diplomatic
offensive to block any attempt to bring its soldiers before an
international war crimes tribunal. The Goldstone Commission report
had concluded that Israel committed actions amounting to war crimes
during its December incursion into Gaza.
(AP, 9/16/09)(SSFC, 9/20/09, p.A20)
2009 Sep 20, An Israeli border
patrol fired at Palestinian militants planting a bomb at the Gaza
border fence. 2 men were killed and 3 wounded.
(SFC, 9/21/09, p.A2)
2009 Sep 23, Israel's foreign
minister said that the summit of Israeli, US and Palestinian leaders
proved Israel could successfully fend off international pressure to
freeze West Bank settlement construction.
2009 Sep 25, An Israeli
airstrike killed 3 members of the Palestinian Jihad movement who
were allegedly on their way to fire rockets into Israel.
(SFC, 9/26/09, p.A2)
2009 Sep 27, Israeli police
used stun grenades to disperse Palestinian rioters at a volatile
Jerusalem site holy to Jews and Muslims. The compound is home to the
gold-capped Dome of the Rock and the Al Aqsa mosque, and Muslims see
it as their religion's third-holiest site after the Saudi Arabian
holy cities of Mecca and Medina. The site has been under Israeli
control since 1967, but is administered by a Muslim religious body
known as the Waqf.
2009 Oct 1, A Palestinian
decision to suspend the campaign for war crimes prosecutions was
first reported as the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva was
considering a vote on the Goldstone report. With the Palestinians
out of the picture, Arab and Muslim supporters followed suit, and
the vote was deferred to March. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas
faced growing outrage at home over his decision to withdraw support
for the UN report.
2009 Oct 2, Hamas militants
traded a two-minute video showing an apparently unharmed Sgt. Gilad
Schalit, a captured Israeli soldier, for 19 Palestinian women held
in Israeli jails, the first tangible step toward defusing a key
flashpoint in Israeli-Palestinian hostilities.
2009 Oct 3, The Israeli army
carried out airstrikes on a weapons workshop east of Gaza City and
two weapons smuggling tunnels under the Gaza-Egypt border. The
strikes were in response to one mortar shell and one rocket fired at
Israel from Gaza the day before.
2009 Oct 6, The Hamas
government banned motorcycle riders from carrying women on the back
seat, the latest in the militants' virtue campaign in Gaza.
2009 Oct 6, Israeli police
mobilized reinforcements from across the country to secure volatile
Jerusalem, deploying thousands of officers on city streets for fears
that two days of clashes with Palestinian protesters would escalate.
2009 Oct 7, Yasser Abed Rabbo,
Palestinian adviser to Pres. Abbas, said the Palestinian leadership
made a mistake by suspending action on a UN report on Gaza war
crimes, the first such acknowledgment after days of protests in the
West Bank and Gaza. In an apparent attempt at damage control, Abbas'
government is now backing a request by Libya to convene the UN
Security Council for an emergency session on the report.
2009 Oct 13, Palestinian
President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah party accepted Egypt's plan for
separate signings of a reconciliation deal with Hamas after the
Islamist group balked at attending a unity ceremony.
2009 Oct 13, A rocket fired by
Palestinian militants hit southern Israel.
2009 Oct 14, Israeli military
aircraft struck two smuggling tunnels along the Gaza Strip border in
response to a rocket fired by Palestinian militants the previous
day. Gaza health officials said four people were slightly injured in
2009 Oct 15, The Syrian-based
leadership of the militant Palestinian Hamas said it has rejected an
Egyptian-mediated proposal to reconcile with the rival Fatah group.
Hamas and seven other Damascus-based Palestinian factions issued a
joint statement saying the reconciliation plan must be revised to
include a reference to the Palestinian right to resist Israeli
2009 Oct 16, The UN Human
Rights Council voted to endorse a Gaza war crimes report and send it
to the Security Council, possibly setting up international
prosecution of Israelis and Palestinians accused of war crimes.
2009 Oct 25, Israeli forces
stormed Jerusalem's holiest shrine, firing stun grenades to disperse
hundreds of stone-throwing Palestinian protesters in a fresh
eruption of violence at the most volatile spot in the country.
2009 Oct 27, Amnesty
International issued a report accusing Israel of pumping
disproportionate amounts of drinking water from the Mountain Aquifer
it controls in the West Bank, depriving local Palestinians of their
2009 Oct 31, US Secretary of
State Hillary Rodham Clinton met with Palestinian President Mahmoud
Abbas and aides in the Gulf emirate of Abu Dhabi before flying to
Israel, where she is expected to meet senior Israeli officials in a
push to restart peace negotiations. A senior Palestinian official
said the Palestinians are unlikely to resume negotiations if Israel
does not halt Jewish settlement building. After the talks Clinton
called for an unconditional resumption of peace talks and welcomed
Israel's offer for a slowdown in settlement activity.
(AP, 10/31/09)(AP, 11/1/09)
2009 Nov 1, The Palestinians
accused US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton of undermining
progress toward Mideast peace talks after she praised Israel for
offering to curb some Jewish settlement construction.
2009 Nov 3, Maj. Gen. Amos
Yadlin, Israel’s military intelligence chief, said Hamas militants
in Gaza have successfully test-fired an Iranian rocket able to reach
Israel's largest urban center. He said the rocket could fly 37 miles
(60km), and strike metropolitan Tel Aviv.
2009 Nov 5, Palestinian
President Mahmoud Abbas pushed Mideast peace prospects into unknown
territory, announcing he doesn't want another term and opening the
way to a succession battle that could play into the hands of his
rival, the militant Hamas.
2009 Nov 13, Israeli troops
killed a Palestinian man along the Gaza Strip border, but the
circumstances of the incident were unclear.
2009 Nov 16, The Palestinians
asked the European Union to support their plan to ask the UN to
recognize an independent Palestinian state without Israeli consent.
2009 Nov 17, The European Union
joined the US in discouraging Palestinian intentions to seek
international recognition of an independent state, urging instead a
return to stalled peace talks with Israel.
2009 Nov 17, Israel moved to
approve a plan to build 900 more housing units in a Jewish
neighborhood in the part of Jerusalem claimed by Palestinians,
drawing harsh criticism from the United States.
2009 Nov 18, The Gaza-based
Waad charity, headed by the interior minister of the militant Hamas
group, offered $1.4 million to any Arab citizen of Israel who
abducts an Israeli soldier.
2009 Nov 19, Israeli aircraft
struck a weapons-manufacturing facility and two smuggling tunnels in
the southern Gaza Strip, in response to recent rocket attacks on
2009 Nov 21, Hamas announced
that it has reached an agreement with other militant groups in Gaza
to stop firing rockets at southern Israeli towns to prevent
2009 Nov 22, Israeli aircraft
attacked two suspected weapons-making factories and a smuggling
tunnel in the Gaza Strip in what the military said was retaliation
for Palestinian rocket fire into southern Israel.
2009 Nov 24, Israel carried out
three airstrikes in the Gaza Strip, targeting a
weapons-manufacturing facility and weapons smuggling tunnels. They
came in response to two rockets Palestinian militants fired at
southern Israel from Gaza a day earlier. Gaza's Islamic Hamas rulers
reported that two of the group's militants were killed when a rocket
they were handling blew up prematurely.
2009 Nov 25, Israeli PM
Benjamin Netanyahu proposed a 10-month freeze on West Bank
settlement construction in what he says is an attempt to jumpstart
Mideast peace talks. The freeze would not include east Jerusalem,
the area of the holy city claimed by the Palestinians for a future
2009 Nov 27, The Israel air
force attacked a group of Palestinian militants in northern Gaza as
they were about to fire rockets at Israel. Palestinian medics said 4
militants were wounded. The Israeli military said one member of the
squad was killed.
(SFC, 11/28/09, p.A2)
2009 Nov 27, Venezuela’s
President Chavez said he plans to open an embassy in Palestinian
territories and upgrade its ties to ambassadorial level, to support
Palestinians in their struggle against Israel.
2009 Dec 1, Israel sternly
warned the EU against recognizing east Jerusalem as the Palestinian
capital, saying such a move would damage Europe's credibility as a
Mideast mediator. Sweden, the current EU president, was floating an
initiative to recognize east Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital.
2009 Dec 6, The Palestinian
Authority signed an agreement with the World Bank and other donors
for $64 million to help it prepare for statehood.
2009 Dec 8, The Palestinians
announced a boycott of Israeli products made in the West Bank,
stepping up their campaign against Israeli settlements.
2009 Dec 8, EU nations agreed
that Jerusalem should be the capital of both Israel and a future
Palestinian state, assuaging Israeli anger over earlier mention of
east Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital. An earlier proposal by
the Swedish EU presidency, to explicitly support the idea of east
Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state, was dropped
by the foreign ministers.
2009 Dec 10, Egyptian security
officials said a project is under way along the Gaza border to stem
smuggling into the Palestinian territory through underground
tunnels. A border guard with Hamas' Gaza rulers said the Egyptians
are digging during the day and putting sheets of metal into the
trenches at night.
2009 Dec 10, Abdullah Abu
Rahmeh (38), a teacher and leader of the most persistent Palestinian
protest movement against Israel's West Bank separation barrier, was
arrested by Israeli troops in a pre-dawn raid.
2009 Dec 11, Assailants in the
West Bank vandalized a Palestinian mosque, burning prayer carpets
and holy books, and leaving behind Hebrew graffiti indicating the
rampage was the work of settlers angry over Israel's plans to curb
2009 Dec 12, A Palestinian man
made homeless by last winter's Gaza war was the first to receive a
UN-funded mud brick home, with UN aid officials saying they're
reverting to ancient building techniques because Israel won't allow
concrete and other construction materials into blockaded Gaza. A
Palestinian farmer was killed when he was caught in the crossfire of
a shootout between militants and Israeli soldiers in the Hamas-run
(AP, 12/12/09)(AFP, 12/12/09)
2009 Dec 14, Tens of thousands
of Hamas supporters thronged downtown Gaza City to mark the 22nd
anniversary of the group's founding. Hamas PM Ismail Haniya told
tens of thousands of Hamas supporters his group remains committed to
the elimination of Israel.
(AP, 12/14/09)(AFP, 12/14/09)
2009 Dec 15, Israel’s PM
Benjamin Netanyahu rejected the issuing in Britain of an arrest
warrant against Israel's former foreign minister Tzipi Livni for
alleged war crimes. She was targeted by Palestinians for her role in
last winter's brutal offensive against Hamas in Gaza, when she was
2009 Dec 19-2009 Dec 20, In
Israel parts of a 2000 interview were broadcast on Channel 2 TV over
the weekend describing how forensic pathologists in the 1990s
harvested organs from dead bodies, including Palestinians, without
permission of their families. The Israeli military confirmed that
the practice took place and said it had stopped in 2000.
2009 Dec 22, Egypt confirmed it
is engaged in construction along its border with Gaza but said it is
not building what some reports have said is a steel wall to block
2009 Dec 24, About 200 Israeli
teenagers soon to be drafted sent a letter to Israel's defense
minister, saying they won't enforce any military orders to dismantle
settlements in the West Bank because that violates Jewish law. An
Israeli settler was shot dead when Palestinian gunmen opened fire on
his vehicle in the West Bank.
(AP, 12/24/09)(AFP, 12/24/09)
2009 Dec 27, In Lebanon
Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah called on Egypt to stop
building a steel wall along the Gaza border that could obstruct
tunnels which provide a lifeline for the blockaded enclave.
2009 Dec 28, Israel said that
it will build nearly 700 new apartments in east Jerusalem, drawing
tough criticism from both the Palestinians and the United States,
which denounced the plan as an obstacle to peacemaking.
2009 Dec 30, It was reported
that Israel's Supreme Court has ordered the military to let
Palestinians travel on the part of Route 443 that runs through the
West Bank, which was closed in 2002. The court gave the military
five months to implement the ruling.
2009 Dec 31, Hundreds of
demonstrators rallied on opposite sides of an Israeli-Gaza border
crossing to protest the blockade of the seaside territory imposed by
Egypt and Israel. Gaza's Hamas parliament approved a government
budget of $540 million for 2010, suggesting that a tight border
blockade isn't stopping the cash flow to the Islamic militants. The
Hamas government has about 32,000 people on its payroll, including
civil servants and members of the security forces. About $30 million
of the budget would go to Arab residents of Jerusalem and Islamic
sites in the city.
(AP, 12/31/09)(AP, 1/2/10)
2009 Avi Shlaim authored
“Israel and Palestine: Reappraisals, Revisions, Refutations."
(Econ, 9/26/09, p.98)