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1.4.07 Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas meets with visiting German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Ramallah, West Bank. He reiterated his request that the European Union end its embargo against the Palestinian government.

2.4.07 During a visit to an Israeli base in northern Gaza, Israeli Defense Minister Amir Peretz says that Israel will not allow the continued strengthening and arming of Hamas and other militant organizations in the Gaza Strip.

2.4.07 Palestinian journalists begin 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. Johnston, 44, was kidnapped by masked gunmen as he returned to his apartment in Gaza City on March 12. The BBC journalist was released July 4. He was handed over by his captors, "The Army of Islam," to Hamas officials.

2.4.07 United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urges the international community to be patient in order to give the new Palestinian unity government time to coordinate positions and hopefully recognize Israel and renounce violence.

3.4.07 Saudi Arabia says that Israel must first accept the Arab Peace Initiative before it would agree to any direct talks with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Olmert had called for a summit with the Saudis in order to discuss the peace process, following the Arab League's decision to re-launch a 2002 peace initiative that calls for an Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 boundaries and a just and agreed solution to the refugee problem.

8.4.07 Hizbullah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah vows that Hizbullah will keep its weapons until a strong Lebanese army capable of defending the country against Israeli attacks is established.

10.4.07 PM Olmert rejects the list of prisoners Hamas wants released in exchange for kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit. The list that Hamas has sent to Israel includes 17 security prisoners - men and women - who are Israeli citizens. Also on the list are prisoners who received life sentences before the Oslo Accords, most of whom have already served 20 years or more.

13.4.07 During its annual delegate's meeting, the British National Union of Journalists (NUJ) passed a resolution, in a vote of 66 to 54, calling for sanctions and for a boycott of Israeli products. The resolution condemned Israel for "the savage pre-planned attack on Lebanon" and the "slaughter of civilians in Gaza." The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) condemned the measure and called it "highly politicized and blatantly biased."

15.4.07 PM Olmert meets with President Abbas at Olmert's Jerusalem residence. Following the meeting, diplomatic sources said Israel supports the implementation of the Dayton Plan for the training and arming of the Palestinian Presidential Guard, loyal to President Abbas. Lieutenant-General Keith Dayton, the U.S. security coordinator to the Palestinian Authority (PA), had procured a $59-million budget for two main objectives. The first of these is reinforcement of the Presidential Guard with additional weapons, ammunition, equipment, training and funds. The second is to secure the Palestinian side of the Karni crossing, which is the lifeline of the economy in the Gaza Strip.

16.4.07 Several thousand Palestinians gathered outside the Red Cross office in Gaza to call for the release of Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli prisons, ahead of the Palestinians' annual Prisoners Day on April 17. According to Israeli human rights group B'Tselem, there are currently 9,250 Palestinians in Israeli jails.

16.4.07 A World Bank study focusing on the investment climate in the West Bank and Gaza concludes 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 study also stated that Palestinian producers must move to higher-value goods and look beyond Israel to new markets in Europe and the Arab world.

17.4.07 During a meeting with representatives of Medical Aid for the Third World (MATW) Belgium's Defense Minister André Flahaut says that he would act to extract payment from Israel for the removal of cluster bomb fragments that the Israeli forces fired into Lebanese territory during the Second Lebanon War.

19.4.07 According to Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal, Arab foreign ministers have asked Egypt and Jordan to contact the Israeli government to try to persuade it to accept the Arab Peace Initiative. The U.S. reacted coolly, calling for greater Arab dialogue with Israel.

22.4.07 The Islamic militant group Hamas calls for new attacks on Israel after nine Palestinians were killed in a surge of fighting in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

22.4.07 Israeli Arab Balad Party Chair MK Azmi Bishara resigns from the Knesset, submitting his resignation at the Israel embassy in Cairo. Bishara was quoted as saying in Egypt that he was considering staying abroad because he feared a long-term jail sentence and an end to his political career.

23.4.07 The Central Bureau of Statistics indicates that Israel will celebrate its 59th Independence Day with a population of 7,150,000. When the state was founded in 1948, there were 806,000 residents. A third of those still live in the country. Since last Independence Day, 148,000 babies were born in Israel.

25.4.07 The Israel Defense Forces issue a statement saying that border police troops had evacuated all the activists who had remained in the former northern West Bank settlement of Homesh following a protest march the day before. Some 100 demonstrators were forced to spend the night at the site after the forces prevented the arrival of the buses the settlers had called. Homesh was evacuated during the withdrawal from Gaza and three other West Bank settlements almost two years ago.

25.4.07 The Israeli ministerial committee on the disengagement approves a budget increase of over NIS500 million to provide for Gaza Strip evacuees in areas that were neglected in the original Evacuation-Compensation Law.

30.4.07 In an interview with the Palestinian daily al-Ayyam, Hamas leader Khaled Meshal said the continuation of the Western economic embargo of the Palestinian government and military actions by Israel would "give notice to a huge explosion that would not only affect the Palestinians but also the entire region, especially the Zionist entity." Western powers imposed severe sanctions on the PA after Hamas came to power in March 2006.

1.5.07 In an interview with The Associated Press, former CIA Director George Tenet says the U.S. needs to revitalize the Palestinian-Israeli peace effort and do a better job of leveraging its own diplomatic and economic strength to offset Iran's growing influence in the Middle East.

2.5.07 The Bush administration is reported to have presented to PM Olmert and President Abbas in late April an eight-month timetable setting dates for when Israeli and Palestinian leaders would complete steps meant to bolster prospects for peace talks. The U.S. timeline includes specific dates for when Washington envisages Israel letting Palestinian bus and truck convoys travel between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, a demand that has raised some Israeli objections. Dates were set for when President Abbas would step up deployment of his forces and take specific measures to begin curbing rocket fire by militants.

6.5.07 A report released by two human rights organizations, B'Tselem and HaMoked: Center for the Defence of the Individual, charged that the Shin Bet security service is employing "irregular" interrogation methods including physical pressure and torture, despite High Court rulings barring such practices.

6.5.07 Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah denies Israeli charges that former MK Azmi Bishara helped the Lebanese group aim rockets at targets in Israel during last year's Second Lebanon War, saying, "All that is said about his ties to Hizbullah and providing information to Hizbullah is absolutely not true."

7.5.07 At a meeting with German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier in Jerusalem, PM Olmert says he took a positive view of developments in the Arab world, led by Saudi Arabia and other moderate Arab states. Olmert stressed that Israel was adamant about rejecting the right of return as reflected in the Arab Peace Initiative.

9.5.07 In its report, the World Bank says the limitations imposed on Palestinians' movement by Israel prevent their access to about 50% of the West Bank, and prevents any likelihood that the Palestinian economy can grow and emerge from crisis. The report noted that the number of physical barriers, including checkpoints, roadblocks and gates in the West Bank continued to rise.

12.5.07 In a letter to the defense minister, Gush Shalom (the Israeli Peace Bloc) protests the new policy whereby army roadblocks in the North Dead Sea region completely deny West Bank Palestinians' access to the Dead Sea shore. The Dead Sea region is an inseparable part of the West Bank, occupied in 1967, and that in the Oslo Agreement Israel took the specific obligation to let Palestinians have access to the Dead Sea.

13.5.07 Army Radio reports the ambassadors to Israel of EU states will absent themselves from the May 16 celebrations to mark 40 years since the reunification of Jerusalem. According to the report, the envoy from Germany declined the invitation in the name of all EU states due to a dispute over the status of East Jerusalem as part of the Israeli capital.

13.5.07 The Association for Civil Rights in Israel and B'Tselem issue a report indicating that Palestinians abandoned more than 1,000 homes and at least 1,829 businesses in the center of Hebron due to pressure from the Israel Defense Forces, the police and Jewish settlers. Many of them fled during the second intifada, beginning in September 2000. The report claimed that a "policy of separation on a national basis" is being imposed in Hebron.

14.5.07 Two Fateh men are killed and at least 10 other Palestinians wounded as clashes between Hamas and Fateh continued, despite a truce agreement meant to end the deadliest outbreak of factional fighting since the sides agreed to form a unity government in February.

15.5.07 A group of Israeli Arab intellectuals call on Israel to recognize its responsibility for the Nakba ("The Catastrophe," the Palestinians' term for what happened to them after 1948) and to act to implement the Palestinian refugees' right of return and establishment of a Palestinian state. "The Haifa Declaration" urged Israel to become a democratic state that upholds "national equality" between Jews and Arabs.

16.5.07 Hamas gunmen storm the home of Fateh security chief Rashid Abu Shbak, burning his house and killing at least four bodyguards inside.

16.5.07 Clashes between Hamas and Fateh in the Gaza Strip result in the death of 10 members of Fateh, five Hamas members and two civilians.

16.5.07 In talks with senior diplomatic officials, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak expresses great concern over the increasing strength of Hamas, declaring that the organization will never sign a peace agreement with Israel.

20.5.07 Israel kills three Hamas militants in one of six pre-dawn air force strikes in Gaza. Palestinians reported that a 16-year-old who was passing through the area was also killed in the attack.

20.5.07 The Israeli Air Force bombs the Gaza home of Hamas parliamentarian Khalil al-Haya. He was injured; eight others, including seven members of his family, were killed and 13 others wounded.

21.5.07 An Israeli woman is killed in a Qassam rocket attack on the Negev town of Sderot. A rocket hit the woman's vehicle near a bakery at a mall.

22.5.07 Israeli Defense Minister Peretz calls for increased international pressure on Hamas to halt the Qassam rocket fire. Deputy Defense Minister Ephraim Sneh hinted that Israel could target Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas as part of its measures to counter the Qassam rocket fire.

23.5.07 In its annual global human rights report, Amnesty International accuses Israel and Hizbullah of committing war crimes during the Second Lebanon War last summer, saying both were guilty of indiscriminate attacks on civilian areas.

24.5.07 Israeli troops arrest 33 senior Hamas officials, including legislators, mayors and one cabinet minister. The raid was the latest strike against the Islamic militant group in the wake of Hamas rocket fire from Gaza on Israeli towns.

30.5.07 Representatives of Britain's University and College Union (UCU) approve, by a 158 to 99 vote, an academic boycott of Israel, protesting Israel's policy on the Palestinians. The resolution requires lecturers not to cooperate with Israeli institutions. It also mandates efforts to prevent European Union research funds from going to Israeli academic institutions.

4.6.07 Israeli Vice Premier Shimon Peres rejects a special Amnesty International report which urged Israel to dismantle the separation wall, declaring that suicide bombings had been curtailed almost entirely since the wall was erected. In a report timed to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the 1967 Six Day War, Amnesty also called for Israel to dismantle West Bank settlements and roadblocks, for the Palestinians to end attacks on Israeli civilians and for the international community to monitor both sides.

7.6.07 A Fateh member is killed by Hamas militants in a gun battle in the southern Gaza Strip. Nine others were wounded, including three children.

7.6.07 Avraham Burg, former Knesset speaker and former head of the Jewish Agency, says "to define the State of Israel as a Jewish state is the key to its end. A Jewish state is explosive. It's dynamite." In an interview in Haaretz Weekend Magazine, he said he was in favor of abrogating the Law of Return and called on everyone who can to obtain a foreign passport.

8.6.07 The U.S. administration opposes a renewal of Israeli-Syrian negotiations and believes efforts should be focused on the Palestinian track, State Department Deputy Spokesman Tom Casey tells a media briefing.

10.6.07 One Hamas and two Fateh members are killed in Gaza clashes between the factions. Of the 39 Palestinians wounded, at least 9 were in critical condition.

11.6.07 Dutch Foreign Minister Maxime Verhagen visits Israel bringing the message to PM Olmert that the Hague wishes to play a more central role in resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

11.6.07 PM Haniyeh calls on gunmen to pull back from streets and rooftops to allow about 24,000 Gaza 12th-grade students to start their final exams.

13.6.07 Human Rights Watch condemns Hamas and Fateh for committing "serious violations of international humanitarian law, in some cases amounting to war crimes" in violence in Gaza in recent days.

13.6.07 The UN Middle East envoy who left his post last month said, in a confidential end-of-mission report, that the UN policy in the region had failed because it was subservient to U.S. and Israeli interests. Alvaro de Soto poured scorn on the Middle East Quartet, comprised of the U.S., Russia, EU and UN, and suggested the world body should pull out.

13.6.07 Eight Fateh men are killed as Hamas continues its offensive in the Gaza Strip. Hamas gunmen attacked positions controlled by security forces loyal to President Abbas of Fateh throughout central Gaza.

14.6.07 Hamas gunmen bombarded the Preventive Security compound belonging to Fateh in Gaza City, seeking to complete their conquest of the Strip after four days of bloody fighting.

18.6.07 Israeli Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann says that refugees seeking to escape Hamas' conquest of Gaza should be allowed to pass through Israel into the West Bank.

18.6.07 Advisors to President Abbas said he intends to ask Israel for a number of steps to strengthen his Fateh movement in both the West Bank and Gaza, among them a release of a large number of Palestinian prisoners, first and foremost Fateh-Tanzim leader Marwan Barghouthi.

19.6.07 Israeli Environment Minister Gideon Ezra, a former senior Shin Bet official calls for the release of Fateh-Tanzim leader Barghouthi in order to support President Abbas. Tourism Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch opposed the release of Barghouthi, calling him a "despicable murderer who murdered and was sentenced to dozens of life sentences."

19.6.07 U.S. President George W. Bush announces, following his meeting with PM Olmert in Washington, that the U.S. will increase its military assistance to Israel and sign a new agreement securing American aid to the country for the next decade. This year, Israel will receive $2.4 billion in military aid from the U.S.

20.6.07 Israel evacuates to Egypt dozens of Gaza residents fleeing Hamas, who had spent days at a Gaza border terminal. The passengers crossed into Egypt under a deal struck with Cairo.

20.6.07 An Israeli soldier is wounded and three Palestinian gunmen are killed as Israeli troops entered the southern Gaza Strip.

20.6.07 UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon joins Western nations in criticizing the world body's own Human Rights Council for "picking on Israel" as part of an agreement on its working rules. The EU, Canada and the U.S. have already attacked the deal reached in Geneva, under which Israel's actions would become a permanent item on the Human Rights Council's agenda.

25.6.07 The father of the abducted Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit says he was skeptical of Hamas' motives for releasing an audio tape containing a recorded message from his son - the first sign of life since the terror organization kidnapped the soldier one year ago from an Israeli post outside the Gaza Strip.

27.6.07 At least six Palestinians are killed and two Israeli soldiers wounded in two separate Israeli operations in the Gaza Strip.

29.6.07 Two Qassam rockets are fired at the western Negev from the Gaza Strip. No injuries were reported. One of the rockets caused damage to a shipping container when it fell adjacent to a factory.

30.6.07 Seven Palestinians, including four militants, are killed in two separate Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip. A third strike on the strip left four Palestinians wounded.

During this period, in the occupied Palestinian territories, 113 Palestinians were killed by Israeli security forces, 19 under the age of 18. Within the Green Line, two Israeli civilians were killed by Palestinians.

Above figures from B'Tselem

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