DevMode
Chronology of Events: July 1, 2008 to October 1, 2008
2.7.08 An angry crowd of Palestinians from the Gaza Strip try to storm the Rafah border crossing with Egypt, throwing rocks at Egyptian troops. Egypt repelled the crowd with water cannons and no one made it across the border. Egypt has kept the crossing sealed since Hamas militants seized control of Gaza in June 2007.

2.7.08 A Palestinian from East Jerusalem plows a bulldozer into a passenger bus on Jaffa Street, killing three people and wounding 30 others. Israeli police shot and killed the driver of the bulldozer.

6.7.08 Syria complains in a report handed to a United Nations fact-finding committee comprised of ambassadors from Senegal, Sri Lanka and Malaysia about a series of Israeli wrongdoings in the Golan Heights, including burying nuclear waste and discriminating against the region's Druze residents.

9.7.08 Israeli forces raid City Hall in Nablus confiscating five computers as part of a crackdown on Hamas' civil and social infrastructure in the West Bank. The forces also raided six mosques and seized five buses belonging to schools affiliated with Hamas.

9.7.08 In its report marking the fourth anniversary of the advisory opinion given by the International Court of Justice in the Hague holding that building the separation wall in the West Bank breached international law, B'Tselem states that the separation wall has not been moved in any of the sections that were nullified by the Israeli High Court of Justice. The High Court nullified three sections on grounds that the harm to Palestinians was disproportionate and ordered the state to move the wall.

10.7.08 Israeli troops kill an unarmed Palestinian on the border with the Gaza Strip. The death is the first since an Egyptian-brokered ceasefire between Israel and Hamas went into effect on June 19, 2008.

10.7.08 Israeli troops raid several Palestinian charity organizations and a medical clinic and close down a local television station linked to Hamas in Nablus.

10.7.08 Two Palestinians are killed in the collapse of a tunnel under the Gaza-Egypt border. Five people were pulled out of the tunnel alive. The tunnel was used for smuggling drugs and fuel into Gaza.

16.7.08 The remains of Israeli soldiers Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, who were abducted by Hizbullah guerillas in a cross-border raid two years ago, are handed over to Israel as part of a prisoner exchange under the auspices of the International Committee of the Red Cross. In return, Israel transferred the bodies of 199 Lebanese and Palestinian militants to Lebanon. In addition, Israel transferred four Hizbullah guerillas seized during the 2006 conflict and Samir Kuntar, who had been in an Israeli jail since 1979 for the deaths of four Israelis.

21.7.08 Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter urges Israel to release Hamas politicians in an effort to achieve a breakthrough in the negotiations over the release of Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier, was captured by Palestinian militants in June 2006 and has been held in the Gaza Strip.

22.7.08 Israeli President Shimon Peres hosts Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (Abu Mazen) in the first meeting between Israeli and Palestinian heads of state to be held in the president's residence in Jerusalem.

22.7.08 A Palestinian driver of a construction vehicle smashes into a bus and overturns a car in central Jerusalem before being shot dead by a civilian and a police officer. Twenty-four Israeli civilians were injured, one seriously.

22.7.08 According to Israel Radio, Israel is planning to build 20 new housing units in the West Bank settlement of Maskiot. Half a year ago, Israel agreed to the United States' request to hold off on plans to build 180 new homes in the settlement, as part of a general freeze on Israeli construction in the West Bank. Earlier, the Jerusalem District Planning and Construction Committee approved the construction of 1,800 new housing units in Har Homa and Pisgat Ze'ev, two neighborhoods on the Palestinian side of the Green Line.

23.7.08 U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama meets with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, President Shimon Peres and opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem. He meets with Palestinian President Abbas and Prime Minister Salam Fayyad in Ramallah.

27.7.08 Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak hosts President Abbas for talks on regional issues, including a deal to release abducted Israeli soldier Shalit.

28.7.08 Security forces loyal to President Abbas' Fateh faction arrest dozens of Hamas activists, including university lecturers, in the West Bank. Tensions between the factions spiked after a June 25 bombing in the Gaza Strip killed five Hamas militants and a girl.

28.7.08 Ambassador Imad Mustafa, Damascus' envoy to the U.S., says that Syria is interested in securing a peace agreement with Israel that would see a normalization of ties and an end to the longstanding state of war between the two countries.

29.7.08 Peace Now files a petition with the High Court of Justice demanding that the head of the General Command explain why the Golani Brigade's Mitkanim base in the West Bank houses residents of the Hebron Jewish Community. The base, near the Abraham Avinu neighborhood in Hebron, includes six trailers enjoying all the services offered by the military facility. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) responded that the residential allotment was approved by the relevant authorities, but the High Court had called on the state to remove the settlement.

3.8.08 Israel returns to Gaza 32 members of a group of 150 Fateh-linked men who fled clashes with Hamas on August 2. Israel sent them back after President Abbas and PM Fayyad withdrew a request to Defense Minister Barak to allow the Gazans entry into Israel and then to transfer them to the West Bank. The infighting with Hamas left nine people dead and more than 80 wounded.

4.8.08 According to a report from the Israeli branch of Physicians for Human Rights, the Shin Bet security service has been trying to coerce ill Palestinians to become informants in exchange for medical treatment. The Palestinians quoted in the report said that the pressure began after Hamas seized power in the Gaza Strip in June 2007.

4.8.08 Israel offers to help Egypt build a technologically advanced wall on the Gaza Strip border. Since the border between Egypt and the Gaza Strip was breached in January, the Egyptians have made only rudimentary repairs and they fear another breach. The Egyptians objected to Israeli involvement in the building of the wall, for fear of internal criticism.

6.8.08 Israel releases five Palestinian prisoners as part of a deal with Hizbullah that brought the remains of two Israeli soldiers home in mid-July. None of the released Palestinians was involved in deadly attacks against Israelis.

9.8.08 Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish dies after heart surgery in Texas. He was buried in Ramallah next to the Palace of Culture.

10.8.08 Ahmad Qurei', who heads the Palestinian negotiating team in U.S.-brokered talks with Israel, tells Fateh party loyalists that a two-state solution could be achieved only if Israel meets demands to withdraw from all Palestinian territories captured in 1967.

17.8.08 Israel approves the release of 200 Palestinian prisoners as a goodwill gesture to President Abbas. Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri called for Hamas prisoners to be included among the 200 prisoners. He said freeing only those from President Abbas' Fateh faction would be "an attempt to strengthen the Palestinians' internal divisions."

20.8.08 The Indian Cabinet Committee on Security gives the go-ahead for two mega-deals with Israeli defense industries in India. The committee approved a $1.5 billion Israel Aerospace Industries project to develop and upgrade the Barak surface-to-air missile.

23.8.08 Hamas leader Ismail Haniyyeh welcomes two boats that sailed from Cyprus for the Gaza Strip in efforts to break the Israeli-imposed blockade on the Palestinian territory, saying that the arrival of the boats signaled the end of the siege. In the two boats were 46 activists from 14 countries belonging to the international group Free Gaza, including one Israeli: Prof. Jeff Halper of the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD).

24.8.08 Despite its plan to halt boats bearing left-wing activists on their way to Gaza, Israel decided to permit the boats to reach Gaza in order to avoid a public relations disaster.

25.8.08 U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice arrives in the region for talks on the peace process.

25.8.08 Israel releases 199 Palestinian prisoners in the West Bank as a gesture of goodwill to President Abbas, who was to welcome them at a formal ceremony in his Muqata' headquarters in Ramallah. Abbas asserted that there would not be peace with Israel until all Palestinian prisoners were freed.

31.8.08 Before a meeting between PM Olmert and President Abbas in Jerusalem, Shas Chairman Eli Yishai says that Olmert has no legal or public authority to make a deal with the Palestinians, and certainly not to decide the fate of Jerusalem.

31.8.08 Israeli Foreign Ministry Director-General Aharon Abramovitz sends a message to Hamas during a meeting in Cairo with Egyptian Intelligence Chief, Omar Suleiman, and Egyptian Foreign Minister, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, asking it to retract its demand that Israel free more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the release of Israeli soldier Shalit.

1.9.08 B'Tselem requests Attorney-General Menachem Mazuz to stop the illegal firing of rubber-coated steel bullets in the West Bank, which have killed two Palestinians and injured more since the beginning of the year. It also called for the prosecution of both soldiers and police officers who violate the Open-Fire Regulations and of commanders who condone the trigger-happy attitude.

2.9.08 Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says that indirect negotiations with Israel have brought about the possibility of peace, though the two countries still have quite a way to go towards that goal.

4.9.08 According to the French daily Le Monde, French President Nicolas Sarkozy hands Syrian President al-Assad a handwritten letter from the father of abducted Israeli soldier Shalit. Sarkozy will request that al-Assad pass the letter, which Noam Shalit has addressed to his son, onto Hamas political bureau chief Khaled Mash'al.

6.9.08 During a meeting in Cairo, President Abbas tells his Egyptian counterpart Mubarak that the chances of reaching a peace agreement with Israel by the end of 2008 look slim. He added that the November 2007 Annapolis conference created high hopes for peace, but "despite the significant efforts each side has made, there is no certainty we can strike a deal by the end of the year because very little time is left."

8.9.08 Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal voices his exasperation over continuing internal violence between rival Palestinian factions Fateh and Hamas, urging the 22-state Arab League to take action. At the opening ceremony of the Arab League meeting in Cairo, Faisal said, "It's about time that the Arab countries take a solid and decisive stance against those who shed Palestinian blood and deepen Palestinian division."

11.9.08 A report issued by B'Tselem states that Jewish settlers in the West Bank have taken possession of tens of thousands of acres of land, some of it privately owned by Palestinians. The report added that some settlements had appropriated land up to two-and-a-half times greater than their own designated area, either by fencing it off or by intimidation.

13.9.08 Hamas political bureau chief Khaled Mash'al says that his group supported reconciliation with the rival Fateh faction provided there was no external pressure and all issues were discussed.

14.9.08 The U.S. Department of Defense announces it will sell the Israel Air Force (IAF) 1,000 new smart bombs, rumored to significantly enhance the IAF's military capabilities. The $77-million shipment, which includes launches and appurtenances, will allow the IAF to hit many more bunkers than currently possible.

15.9.08 Speaking at a meeting of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee, PM Olmert says that the price of an agreement with the Palestinians would "move us very close" to an exchange of equal amounts of territory, and that this must be stated "honestly and courageously." The alternative to an agreement is a bi-national state, an ideal he said that the "ever-growing segments of the international community are adopting."

16.9.08 PM Olmert meets President Abbas in Jerusalem. A Palestinian official said Abbas and Olmert would continue to meet for peace talks as long as Olmert remained in office.

17.9.08 A World Bank report says that Palestinians are becoming more dependent on foreign aid, mainly due to a sluggish economy stifled by continued Israeli restrictions on trade and movement. The report was prepared for a meeting of key donor country representatives during the UN General Assembly in New York.

22.9.08 A 19-year-old Palestinian from East Jerusalem plows his car into a crowd of Israelis at a busy Jerusalem intersection. Seventeen people were wounded before the driver was shot dead. According to the Palestinian's family, the attacker did not have a driver's license and that the incident was the result of a traffic accident.

23.9.08 Five Palestinians reportedly are killed and four others wounded when Egyptian forces blow up two tunnels beneath the Egyptian-Gaza border to curb the smuggling of goods into the Gaza Strip.

24.9.08 The Shin Bet security service says that the West Bank separation wall is fueling attacks by East Jerusalem Arabs who feel isolated from fellow Palestinians and are increasingly likely to lash out independently.

24.9.08 The foreign ministers of Arab nations say they will ask for an urgent UN Security Council session to discuss Israeli settlement activity on land the Palestinians want for a future state.

29.9.08 In an interview with the daily Yedioth Aharonoth, PM Olmert says that Israel would have to withdraw from the West Bank (with slight mutual border rectifications), East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights if it is serious about making peace with the Palestinians and Syria. He added that as a hard-line politician for decades, he had not been prepared to look at reality in all of its depth.


During this period, in the occupied Palestinian territories, nine Palestinians were killed by Israeli security forces, four under the age of 18. One Israeli security forces personnel was killed by Palestinians. Within the Green Line, two Palestinians were killed by Israeli security forces. Three Israeli civilians were killed by Palestinians.

Above figures from B'Tselem


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