1.1.04 According to Israeli TV's Channel 2, a road to the West Tapuah settlement in the West Bank is to be opened despite Israeli government announcements that the settlement will be evacuated. The report said the road will cost $225,000.

1.1.04 Israeli forces raid Nablus. In one week, 14 residents are killed and more than 150 are wounded. On January 5, Nablus governor Mahmoud Aloul appeals to the world to "intervene and save Nablus," waThe Jewish settlement rning of a grave humanitarian crisis.

2.1.04 Palestinian, Israeli and foreign women, part of the Women for Peace group, meet at the Notre Dame Hotel in Jerusalem to voice support for the Palestinian people under Israeli occupation. They reaffirm that the only way to peace is through dialogue not violence or the separation barrier.

3.1.04 An Israeli peace activist is shot and injured by Israeli forces, and 28 foreign peace activists are arrested near the town of Zawiya, near Nablus, while protesting the construction of the separation barrier in the area.

3.1.04 According to Haaretz, Palestinian Finance Minister Salaam Fayyad threatens to resign from his post to protest delays in implementing reforms in the Palestinian National Authority (PNA).

4.1.04 A would-be suicide bomber from Nablus dies when his explosives belt detonates prematurely near Jinsafout village.

4.1.04 Eighteen people, including foreign peace activists are injured by IDF soldiers in Badras, Ramallah, while protesting the construction of the separation barrier.

4.1.04 Five houses are demolished in Qarara, in the Gaza Strip, and another in Khan Younis.

5.1.04 Maher Jaber, 27, dies after being run over by a Jewish settler near the Qalandya Checkpoint.

5.1.04 According to a report in Haaretz, the separation barrier is scheduled for completion by the end of 2005. When it is finished, 200 square kilometers of West Bank land will effectively be annexed to Israel.

7.1.04 Two Fateh activists are killed in Nablus, while a member of the Izzedin al-Qassam Brigades, Hamas' military wing, is killed in Tulkarem.

11.1.04 In an open letter to the international press, 42 former French soldiers who refused to serve in the French army during the colonization of Algeria express their support for Israeli soldiers who refuse to serve in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

13.1.04 One Israeli is killed and three are wounded when their car is shot at near the settlement of Talmon outside Ramallah. The shooting is claimed by the Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades.

14.1.04 Four Israelis are killed at the Erez crossing into Gaza by a 21-year-old female suicide bomber. Hamas and the Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades claim joint responsibility. As a result, Israel announces its intention to return to its assassination policy.

14.1.04 According to Yedioth Ahronot, a wealthy Jewish American has donated $8 million to the Wailing Wall Legacy Fund, which controls the maintenance of the Western Wall, for a project to continue excavations under the Aqsa Mosque compound.

14.1.04 Foreigners entering Israel are now required to obtain a special permit from the Israeli authorities to enter Palestinian areas.

14.1.04 According to Israeli radio, an EC delegation is due to arrive in the country to investigate the use of European aid to the PNA, at Israeli insistence. Sources from the Israeli police and security services claim to have proof that European money is being used in part to fund Palestinian military operations.

16.1.04 Professors from Palestinian, Jordanian and Israeli universities participate in a scientific conference on health and the environment at the Dead Sea. The aim is to establish a five-year joint research program in conjunction with experts from the Helmholtz Association.

17.1.04 Around 400 rabbis from the US and Europe sign a petition addressed to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon calling on him to halt the policy of house demolitions in the Palestinian territories. Rabbi Arik Asherman, executive director of Rabbis for Human Rights, is standing trial for impeding the work of a police officer when he tried to confront house demolitions last April and May.

19.1.04 The Israeli army demolishes an "illegal" Israeli settlement outpost near the West Bank settlement of Tapuah. Hours later, Israeli settlers return and build a makeshift synagogue at the site.

19.1.04 Israeli Chief of Staff Moshe Ya'alon announces that Hamas founder and spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmad Yassin is now a legitimate target for assassination.

20.1.04 At a press conference in Cairo, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak urges Israel to pursue negotiations with Syria. "Reaching a settlement on the Syrian track will help to reach a settlement on the Palestinian track," he says. He also criticizes Sharon for his "impossible" conditions for opening dialogue with the Palestinians.

21.1.04 According to Haaretz, the Israeli finance ministry is opposing a proposal by a Holocaust property committee to look into the return of properties of Nazi victims for fear that this will bring the issue of Palestinian refugee properties to the fore.

22.1.04 The Israeli general prosecutor requests that the courts extend the solitary confinement of West Bank Fateh Secretary and PLC member Marwan Barghouthi for an additional six months. Prosecutors claim Barghouthi "poses a threat to the security of Israel."

28.1.04 According to Maariv, Arab countries, led by Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan, are preparing a new Arab initiative to activate the political process and strengthen the Israeli peace camp. The new initiative is expected to include a "creative" solution to the right of return.

3.2.04 Geneva Accords architect Yossi Beilin attacks Sharon's plan to evacuate the settlements in Gaza saying "unilateral solutions should be a final resort only when we realize there is no chance for an agreement, and not a first step that will prevent solutions to problems like refugees and Jerusalem."

5.2.04 A member of the Palestinian National Resistance Brigades, the armed wing of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, is killed in a shootout with an Israeli army convoy escorting settlers through Gaza.

5.2.04 Members of the British Parliament's Select Committee on International Development call on PM Tony Blair to consider "economic pressure on Israel to ease movement restrictions, which are crippling the Palestinian economy and causing soaring poverty."

5.2.04 Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) representative to the UN, Nasser al-Qidwa, accuses UN employees of leaking documents relevant to the legal case against the separation barrier to Israel. Al-Qidwa also says Israel stole important documents as he traveled from Ben Gurion Airport to The Hague. Israel calls al-Qidwa's accusations "absurd."

7.2.04 An Israeli helicopter gunship assassinates Islamic Jihad activist Aziz Mahmoud al-Shami in an attack that also kills an 11-year-old boy and injures 10 bystanders.

8.2.04 Jordan's King Abdallah appeals for an international coalition to use "some heavy-handedness to push Israelis and Palestinians toward peace", including the "active leadership" of the U.S.
8.2.04 The Jewish settlement group Elad announces it has taken over 16 homes in Silwan, Jerusalem, and has settled Jewish families in them. This brings the number of settlement takeovers in Silwan to 50, including homes, schools and archeological sites.

9.2.04 According to Israeli media reports, the U.S. has let it be known that, while it will not oppose the evacuation of Gaza Strip settlements, it will not allow Israel to expand West Bank settlements concurrently.

11.2.04 Israeli Labor leader Shimon Peres says he discussed the issue of "weapons smuggling tunnels" on a recent trip to Egypt and argued that a solution might lie with a better agreement between Israel and Egypt.

11.2.04 Israeli troops kill 14 Palestinians and wound more than 25 in an exchange of fire in a neighborhood at the eastern edge of Gaza City.

11.2.04 Fifteen Palestinians are killed and 80 are wounded in one of the worst Israeli incursions in Gaza.

16.2.04 Washington says it will oppose any annexation of West Bank land for the construction of the separation barrier and will also not consent to any transfer of Gaza settlers to West Bank settlements, should there be an Israeli withdrawal.

16.2.04 The outgoing head of the Temporary International Presence (TIP) in Hebron says Israeli settler and army activity in the city is causing an irreversible "cleansing" of the Palestinian population. Jan Christensen adds it is a miracle any Palestinians remain in the city center, in view of the constant harassment by Israeli settlers and a draconian curfew imposed by the Israeli army.

17.2.04 Israel decides to boycott the International Court of Justice (ICJ) hearings in The Hague over the legality of the separation barrier, maintaining that the ICJ has no jurisdiction to rule on the legality of the barrier.

18.2.04 The U.S. sends a delegation, including State Department envoy William Burns and White House representatives Steve Hadley and Elliot Abrams, to Israel to discuss Sharon's proposed "disengagement plan" with Israeli officials.

18.2.04 According to Haaretz, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) says the separation barrier, in its current form, is a violation of international humanitarian law. ICRC says the illegality stems from the fact that it deviates from the Green Line into occupied territory.

19.2.04 Israeli army Colonel Shani Provender tells a group of reporters visiting the northern parts of the separation barrier that whether the ICJ condemns the wall or not, it will be built.

22.2.04 A member of the Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades blows himself up in an Israeli bus in West Jerusalem killing eight Israelis and injuring 62.

23.2.04 Assistant to the South African Foreign Minister Azeez Bahed says in his country's speech before the ICJ that the separation barrier will destroy the peace process and any prospects for a two-state solution.

23.2.04 After meeting U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell in Washington, former Israeli PM Shimon Peres says, "Israel has no moral claim to the land in the West Bank and Gaza, and we must give up all the territories. If you keep 10 percent of the land, you keep 100 percent of the conflict."

23.2.04 Israeli authorities refuse to allow seven ambulances given to the Palestinians by Saudi Arabia to cross at the Rafah border, claiming they are equipped with material that could be employed for uses other than their declared purpose.

24.2.04 In an interview with Yedioth Ahronot, Sharon says, "The government of Abu Ala' (Ahmad Qurei') is a government of murder and lies. With such a government, it is impossible to reach any agreement."

25.2.04 Israeli troops enter Ramallah and raid three branches of two banks, seizing an estimated $9 million from accounts the Israeli authorities claim are used to "fund terrorism". The move is described as "mafia-esque" by Palestinian PM Ahmad Qurei'. Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz orders the Israeli government coordinator in the Occupied Territories to draw up plans to use the confiscated money for "humanitarian purposes," including improving infrastructure at checkpoints.

25.2.04 An annual U.S. human rights report issued by the State Department says Israel uses "excessive force" against Palestinians in the Occupied Territories. The report says Israeli troops impede medical assistance to Palestinian civilians at roadblocks, and it is critical of Israeli house demolitions and the strict curfews and closures imposed on civilians. But it also criticizes the PNA, whose performance "remained poor" and was guilty of "numerous abuses."

26.2.04 Danish Foreign Minister Per Stig Moeller is prohibited by Israeli army soldiers and Shin Bet personnel from getting out of his car and walking through Abu Dis, Jerusalem.

26.2.04 Two unarmed Palestinians are shot and killed in Biddo village, near Jerusalem, by Israelis during a peaceful demonstration against the separation barrier. Another dies of a heart attack, apparently after inhaling tear gas while 70 people are injured, two by live bullets.

26.2.04 An Israeli soldier at the Erez crossing into Gaza is killed in a shootout with two members of the Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades. His assailants are also shot dead.

27.2.04 A settler couple is killed on a bypass road near Hebron in an attack claimed by the Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

28.2.04 Three Islamic Jihad activists are assassinated in Gaza City when Israeli F16s fire three missiles at their car.

29.2.04 Two Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades members are shot and killed by Israeli troops in the Balata Refugee Camp in Nablus.

3.3.04 An Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades member is shot and killed in Tulkarem by Israeli troops. Local hospital sources say they found cigarette burns on the man's stomach.

3.3.04 According to the Israeli Bureau of Statistics, the construction of new housing units in Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza increased by 35 percent in 2003. The bureau says 1,850 new housing units were built in Palestinian territories in this one-year span.

3.3.04 Three members of the Hamas military wing, the Izzedin al-Qassam Brigades, are assassinated by an Israeli helicopter strike on their car south of Gaza City.

4.3.04 An Israeli tank shell kills a 14-year-old during an incursion into Rafah, Gaza.

4.3.04 Israeli police say they have arrested a Jewish cell in Haifa that has been planning and executing attacks against Arab citizens over the past three years.

6.3.04 A joint operation by Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades at the Erez crossing leaves two Palestinian border guards dead when one of three cars to be used in the operation explodes near the Palestinian checkpoint. One of the remaining jeeps explodes halfway between the Palestinian and Israeli checkpoint, while the third car succeeds in making its way to the Israeli side, where two gunmen are shot dead by Israeli soldiers.

7.3.04 Israeli tanks and armored personnel carriers invade the two refugee camps in the Gaza Strip, leaving 14 people dead and 83 injured. Head of the Israeli joint-chiefs-of-staff, Moshe Ya'alon, says the operation was intended to arrest wanted activists.

8.3.04 An Israeli incursion into Salfeet, Nablus, leaves one Palestinian dead and four injured.

8.3.04 During a presentation to European parliament members and peace activists in Belgium and France, a group of Israeli refuseniks and peace activists says Israel's claim that it is the only democracy in the Middle East is a farce.

9.3.04 During an Israeli incursion into Jenin, 22-year-old Dalal Ala' Sabbagh is killed by a stray bullet while sitting between her two children.

10.3.04 Five Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades activists are assassinated in Jenin.

10.3.04 A number of Israeli economic attaches in European countries complain of what they call a "tacit trade boycott" by certain countries, including the Scandinavian countries, Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany. The group states that much of the European media portrays Israel negatively and that some parties prefer not to do business with Israelis.

11.3.04 Israeli government sources say the Israeli army will not destroy evacuated settlements in the Gaza Strip. The Israeli leadership prefers to hand the settlements over to international organizations until their fate is decided.

14.3.04 Two Gazan teenagers carry out a double suicide bombing at the Ashdod port, killing l0 Isaelis. Sharon cancels a scheduled meeting with his Palestinian counterpart Ahmad Qurei' and all bilateral Israeli-Palestinian meetings.

14.3.04 Jewish settlers from the Asfar settlement in the Hebron area confiscate 60 dunums of agricultural land from residents of Yatta. When residents protest, the settlers threaten to shoot them.

16.3.04 Two Islamic Jihad activists are assassinated when Israeli Apache helicopters fire missiles in Gaza City.

17.3.04 Four Palestinians are killed in incursions and raids into Gaza and Rafah. Several homes are also damaged.

17.3.04 During an incursion into the southern Gaza Strip, Israeli army missiles completely destroy the Aqsa University College of Education building.

18.3.04 In its report, UNRWA states that the Israeli army destroyed 31 homes in Rafah in over a 24-hour period during their incursion into the city. The report adds that 165 people were made homeless by the demolitions, as were 77 others whose homes were partially damaged.

22.3.04 Israel assassinates Sheikh Ahmad Yassin, firing three missiles from Israeli helicopters in Gaza. Two of his companions and six passersby are also killed.

22.3.04 As a result of Yassin's assassination, Mubarak cancels a planned visit of Egyptian parliamentarians to Israel to mark the 25th anniversary of the peace treaty between the two countries.

22.3.04 A Palestinian stabs three Israeli passengers on a Tel Aviv bus before escaping. On the same day, an ax-wielding Palestinian injures three Israelis outside a military base near Tel Aviv but is arrested.

23.3.04 Abdel Aziz Rantisi is made Gaza Hamas leader at a meeting of members of the Islamic Resistance Movement.

23.3.04 After Yassin's assassination, Ya'alon says Palestinian President Yasser Arafat and Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah understand "that their turn is drawing near."

23.3.04 A Palestinian is killed.after trying to infiltrate the Jewish settlement of Morag in Gaza.

During this period, in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, 152 Palestinians were killed by Israeli security forces, 29 under the age of 18. Three Israeli civilians and four Israeli security forces personnel were killed by Palestinians. Within the Green Line, 29 Israeli civilians and one Israeli security forces personnel were killed by Palestinians.

Above figures from B'Tselem