5.10.03 Israeli warplanes attack an alleged Islamic Jihad "terrorist training camp" in Syrian territory north of Damascus. On October 6, Syria calls for a meeting of the UN Security Council to condemn the raid, which European and Arab governments criticized for threatening to drag the entire region into war.
5.10.03 Palestinian President Yasser Arafat issues a decree declaring a state of emergency and names Ahmad Qurei' as prime minister of an emergency cabinet. Such a cabinet can legislate without parliament's approval.
5.10.03 Palestinian and foreign volunteers gather in Arafat's headquarters in Ramallah to act as human shields. They vow to prevent Israel from implementing an earlier decision to "remove" Arafat, which, according to some Israeli officials, includes killing him. "Arafat has become a living obstacle to peace. It is imperative that we get rid of him," Israeli Science Minister Eliezer Sandberg tells Reuters.
7.10.03 At Arafat's headquarters in Ramallah, Qurei' and six of his eight-member cabinet are sworn in.
8.10.03 According to Yedioth Ahronot, around 200 Israeli academics sign a petition in support of the Israeli pilots refusing to serve in the occupied Palestinian territories. The petition states that, "the elected government has no right to destroy the country's army," and says the undersigned support the pilots who "had the courage to refuse to participate in the oppression and killing of another people."
8.10.03 According to Haaretz, the Israeli government has issued tenders for the construction of 1,364 housing units in Israeli settlements in the West Bank since the beginning of this year. All the housing units are to fall west of the separation barrier being constructed between the Green Line and the rest of the West Bank, mainly in Ariel, Ma'aleh Adumim and Efrat.
9.10.03 Ahmad Safadi, 18, from the Aqsa Martyrs Brigades blows himself up near the military liaison office in Tulkarem, killing himself and injuring two Israeli soldiers and a Palestinian bystander.
10.10.03 Israeli tanks and Apache helicopters raid Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip, killing eight people and demolishing 120 homes.
11.10.03 Thousands of Gaza families demonstrate against the closing of Islamic Society bank accounts by the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) following US pressure. The demonstrators demand an end to the US campaign against Islamic charitable societies, which give assistance to needy Palestinian families.
14.10.03 The US vetoes a UN Security Council resolution calling for the separation barrier to be considered a violation of international law that "must be ceased and reversed." Palestinian UN representative Nasser Qidwa says they will now take the resolution to the General Assembly, where the US has no veto.
14.10.03 Israeli authorities announce they will deport 18 Palestinian administrative detainees to Gaza, claiming they were "involved in terror." Of the 18, eight are Hamas activists and five are from Islamic Jihad.
14.10.03 Israeli forces re-enter Rafah, backed by attack helicopters and tanks, to demolish seven houses. Six Palestinians are moderately injured. Peter Hansen, head of the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), says about 1,500 people have been left homeless in recent house demolitions in Rafah.
15.10.03 Four Americans in a diplomatic convoy are killed when a roadside bomb rips their official US vehicle to pieces near the Erez crossing point in the Gaza Strip. This is the first time Americans have been directly targeted.
18.10.03 Four Palestinians are killed in an incursion into Rafah and nine homes are demolished in the Barazil and Salam quarters.
19.10.03 Seven people are injured, including two children, when Israeli F-16s shell an area close to the home of Islamic Jihad leader Abdallah Shami, who escapes unharmed.
19.10.03 Three Israeli soldiers are killed in an ambush near Ein Yabroud, north of Ramallah, close to the Jewish settlement of Ofra. The Aqsa Martyrs Brigades claims responsibility, saying it is in retaliation for Israeli crimes committed in the West Bank and Gaza.
20.10.03 Israeli air forces launch five attacks in Gaza, killing 14 people and wounding 100.
21.10.03 Israeli troops enter Ramallah and neighboring al-Bireh, where they are met by stone-throwing youths. One Palestinian is killed, 18 are injured and a number are arrested.
21.10.03 In a letter to the Israeli attorney general, National Religious Party MK Shalom Ya'alom calls Israelis who participated in the Geneva Accord traitors, and demands the death penalty or a life sentence be handed down to them.
23.10.03 In a meeting of the European Parliament, members decide on a non-binding resolution for both the Israeli government and the PNA, which would ensure they continue with the peace process and work toward implementing the road map.
24.10.03 Three soldiers are killed when two Palestinian gunmen infiltrate the Netzarim settlement in Gaza.
26.10.03 An activist from the Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, Fateh's military wing, kills one settler and injures three others when he attacks a settler convoy at the Gush Katif junction in Gaza before being killed by Israeli soldiers.
26.10.03 During the weekly Israeli cabinet meeting, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon says Israel will do everything possible to prevent the progression of the Geneva Accord, scheduled to be signed in Switzerland on November 4.
26.10.03 Moderate ministers in the Israeli government call for the evacuation of the Netzarim settlement in Gaza after Israeli Justice Minister Tommy Lapid questions the logic behind employing an entire army unit for the protection of 60 families.
27.10.03 The Israeli Defense Ministry grants "permanent settlement" status to five illegal outposts in the West Bank.
28.10.03 The International Solidarity Movement (ISM) says in a statement that a group of young Israeli settlers from Izhar settlement attacked foreign and Israeli ISM and Rabbis for Human Rights (RHR) activists who were helping Palestinian farmers pick olives from their groves near Nablus.
29.10.03 According to the Israeli movement Peace Now, the Israeli Infrastructure Ministry has called for tenders to build 323 new housing units in West Bank settlements. The movement says 143 units will be allocated to the Karneh Shamron settlement in the north and 180 units to Givat Ze'ev, north of Jerusalem.
2.11.03 Palestinian head of preventive security Jibril Rajoub meets for talks with Israeli intelligence chief Avi Dichter.
2.11.03 The Israeli Government Press Office announces new regulations on giving journalists press accreditation. Journalists must now pay a fee to receive a press card, have signatures on their application notarized and undergo checks by the Shin Bet security service.
4.11.03 Fourteen Palestinian youths and a Swedish woman are wounded in clashes during an IDF incursion into Nablus.
5.11.03 According to Haaretz, Israeli soldiers receive new rules of engagement whereby soldiers stationed near the Israeli settlement of Netzarim in Gaza can shoot to kill if they spot a Palestinian observing Israeli army activity through binoculars.
5.11.03 The Israeli army demands an additional NIS 20 million from the Finance Ministry to fortify Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territories. The plan is to expand settlements by transforming a strip hundreds of meters wide around each settlement into a security zone, which Palestinians will be banned from entering.
6.11.03 A 38-year-old woman from Nablus is killed while peering out her window at nearby Israeli soldiers.
9.11.03 According to Israel Radio, soldier Zafreer Goldberg is discharged from the Israeli army after protesting against the new shoot-to-kill regulations introduced in Netzarim settlement in Gaza.
9.11.03 As part of the "National and International Day Against the Apartheid Wall in Palestine," called for by the Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign, several demonstrations are held by Palestinians, Israelis and foreigners against the separation barrier in Jenin, Ramallah, Qalqiliya, Tulkarem, Nablus and Salfit. The date marks the anniversary of the demolition of the Berlin Wall.
10.11.03 Twenty houses are demolished in Rafah.
10.11.03 Former Norwegian PM Kare Willoch calls for the demolition of the Israeli separation barrier during a demonstration in Oslo, calling it a "wall of shame."
12.11.03 Two Palestinians are killed by the IDF, one in Gaza and the other in Jenin.
12.11.03 Israeli Deputy Defense Minister Ze'ev Boim calls on the central district commander and security and police officers to stop Jewish settlers uprooting and burning olive trees that belong to Palestinian residents of the West Bank. Boim makes his request during a Knesset session in which he demands that the perpetrators be caught and brought to justice.
12.11.03 The Israeli Broadcasting Authority announces it will not permit the transmission of a radio advertisement informing the Israeli public about the Geneva Accord. The announcement is to tell Israelis that copies of the initiative will be mailed to every household in Israel from November 16.
13.11.03 Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz presents a plan to US Secretary of State Colin Powell to create 120,000 jobs for Palestinians by building 10 industrial zones (like the one at Erez in Gaza) along the border between Israel and the West Bank. He tells Powell the Israeli security services believe that improving the economic conditions of the Palestinians will weaken movements like Hamas and reduce the motivation to carry out suicide bombings.
15.11.03 A 14-year-old Palestinian is killed in Beit Foureek, Nablus.
16.11.03 In an Israeli incursion into Rafah, one person is killed and five houses are destroyed.
16.11.03 Pope John Paul II criticizes Israel's barrier around the West Bank, on the eve of Sharon's visit to Italy. The Pontiff says the Middle East does not need walls, but bridges.
17.11.03 Egyptian Intelligence Chief Omar Suleiman meets with Arafat and Qurei' in Ramallah to discuss how to achieve a cease-fire. It was decided to hold a conference in Cairo to which all the Palestinian factions will be invited.
17.11.03 A 19-year-old is killed in the Tulkarem refugee camp during an Israeli incursion.
18.11.03 During his meeting with Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom, US Secretary of State Colin Powell criticizes Israel for its continued settlement construction in Palestinian lands and for failing to dismantle settlement outposts.
27.11.03 In an interview with America's National Public Radio, Colin Powell says US involvement on the Palestinian-Israeli track will resume as soon as prime ministers Sharon and Qurei' meet.
28.11.03 Palestinian Foreign Minister Nabil Sha'ath, Labor Minister Ghassan Khatib and former security minister Mohammad Dahlan, as well as Likud parliamentary caucus chairman Gideon Saar, opposition Labor Party Knesset members Dalia Itzik and Danny Yatom and Ahmad Tibi of the Hadash faction, participate in a seminar in Madrid.
28.11.03 Talks are held in London between, among others, Sharon's son, Likud MK Omri Sharon and Palestinian national security adviser Jibril Rajoub.
30.11.03 In an Israeli military court, two Palestinians convicted of masterminding a series of suicide bombings in 2002, are sentenced to 36 consecutive life terms.
1.12.03 The official launch of the Geneva Accord, negotiated by a Palestinian and an Israeli team headed by former minister of information Yasser Abed Rabbo and former Israeli justice minister Yossi Beilin takes place in Switzerland. Although the accord has received support from a variety of quarters, including prominent political figures, no government officially supports it.
1.12.03 Israeli troops and armored divisions enter Ramallah and neighboring al-Bireh in an incursion that kills five Palestinians, and injures 21. More than 30 are arrested and one house is demolished.
2.12.03 Under the auspices of the EU and in the presence of Italian Deputy PM Gianfraco Fini and European Commission Vice-President Loyola de Palacio, the PNA and Israel sign an "historic agreement" in Rome on energy co-operation. The framework aims to create the basis for an energy dialogue between Israel and the PNA by identifying and promoting interconnection projects of common interest to be integrated into the Euro-Mediterranean Energy Partnership.
3.12.03 EU foreign ministers express their concern over the course of the separation barrier at their annual meeting in Napoli, Italy, and deplore the deteriorating living conditions in the occupied Palestinian territories. The ministers welcomes the Geneva Accord, and urge Israel not to hinder EU aid to the Palestinian territories.
4.12.03 Talks are held in Cairo between 12 Palestinian factions aimed at reaching an agreement on a cease-fire with Israel and giving full authority to the PNA to conduct peace negotiations and sign an agreement with Israel. Neither goal is achieved.
4.12.03 Israeli authorities deport 12 Palestinian detainees from the West Bank to the Gaza Strip.
4.12.03 Israel releases a public tender for 13 plots of land to build new houses in the West Bank settlement of Ariel.
6.12.03 In an interview with the German magazine Der Spiegel, Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmad Yassin calls the Geneva Accords "worse than Oslo" because it relinquishes the right of return.
7.12.03 During a meeting of the Israeli cabinet, Sharon says Israel will never withdraw from Hebron, after Israeli deputy PM and industry and trade minister Ehud Olmert's calls for a withdrawal from most Palestinian areas. Sharon says Jews will always live in Hebron because it is the "home of our forefathers."
8.12.03 In a Reuters interview, Hamas spokesperson Mousa Abu Marzouq says Hamas would consider an offer from Israel on a truce where civilians are excluded as targets. "I challenge the Zionist enemy to accept this," he adds.
8.12.03 The UN General Assembly votes in favor of transferring the issue of the separation barrier to the International Court of Justice in the Hague for an advisory opinion on its legality.
9.12.03 According to the Land Defense Committee, under the protection of the Israeli army, settlers from the Hagai settlement in Hebron seize 10 dunums of land from the neighboring village of al-Rihiyye.
11.12.03 Six Palestinians are killed in an Israeli incursion into Rafah. Twenty other people are injured and nine houses are demolished when bulldozers, armored personnel carriers and helicopters enter at dawn.
11.12.03 Israeli Major General Moshe Kaplinsky signs an order prohibiting Israeli citizens from entering certain Palestinian villages in Area B in the West Bank and Jordan Valley. According to Kaplinsky, the order, which will go into effect on December 21, is for "security purposes."
13.12.03 In a briefing to the UN Security Council, UN Middle East envoy Terje Roed-Larsen warns that the failure to relaunch peace talks could set off a terrible explosion. "We have a narrow window of opportunity, one in which the parties need to take positive steps to truly put the peace process back on track," he says.
15.12.03 Israel's ambassador to Germany, Shimon Stein, says the EU should disregard Arafat and show more sympathy toward Israel if it wants to play a more effective role in solving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
15.12.03 Two Palestinians are killed trying to enter Israel to seek work inside the Green Line through the border fence in Gaza.
15.12.03 Israeli bulldozers demolish 19 houses and partially destroy another four in Khan Yunis, Gaza.
15.12.03 A high-level meeting between Palestinian and Israeli officials in the presence of US State Department official David Satterfield and donor organizations intends to pave the way for a meeting between prime ministers Qurei' and Sharon.
16.12.03 A delegation of Egyptian mediators arrives in the Gaza Strip for a fresh round of talks to formulate a cease-fire deal with the Palestinian factions. The Egyptian envoys are to hold separate talks with Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Fateh.
16.12.03 An Israeli military court in Jaffa charges five Israeli soldiers with mutiny because of their refusal to serve in the occupied Palestinian territories. The five soldiers, who have been in jail for a year, say they do not regret their decision and will not retract it. "The occupation is a crime against humanity," the soldiers state during the hearing.
18.12.03 Four Palestinians are killed in the old city of Nablus after engaging in an armed confrontation with Israeli troops. When their ammunition runs out, the men surrender but are then shot.
21.12.03 Three residents of Nablus' Balata refugee camp are killed by raiding Israeli army troops.
21.12.03 Ten Israeli soldiers and three officers from the elite Sayeret Maktal unit in the Israeli army sign a letter to Sharon, announcing they will no longer serve in the occupied Palestinian territories.
21.12.03 Council on Foreign Relations member Steve Cohen meets with several leading members of Hamas in Gaza. Cohen discusses the chances of reaching a cease-fire with Israel.
22.12.03 Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmad Maher is attacked by a small group of protesters during his visit to al-Aqsa Mosque. Before his visit to the mosque, Maher meets with Israeli officials, including Sharon and Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom.
23.12.03 Eight Palestinians are killed in an Israeli army incursion into Rafah. Forty people are injured and 13 homes are demolished in an operation Israel claims is to locate arms-smuggling tunnels.
23.12.03 Three Qassam rockets are fired from the Gaza Strip, landing in the Israeli town of Sderot and injuring an Israeli couple.
24.12.03 According to Israeli Defense Ministry spokesperson Rachel Ashkenazi, 520 kilometers of the separation barrier will have been built by the end of 2004. A 190-kilometer strip will be complete by the end of 2003.
25.12.03 Israeli helicopters fire two missiles at a car in Gaza, killing two Islamic Jihad members and three passersby.
25.12.03 An 18-year-old suicide bomber from Nablus detonates himself, killing four Israelis in Petah Tikva near Tel Aviv.
26.12.03 A 22-year-old Israeli peace activist is seriously injured when Israeli soldiers open fire on a group of Israeli, Palestinian and international anti-fence protesters near the Masha village in the West Bank.
30.12.03 According to the Israeli Interior Ministry, the number of residents in Israeli settlements has risen by 16 percent since Sharon took office in March 2001.
During this period, in the occupied Palestinian territories, 136 Palestinians were killed by Israeli security forces, 35 under the age of 18. Two Israeli civilians and 10 Israeli security forces personnel were killed by Palestinians. Within the Green Line, 22 Israeli civilians and four Israeli security forces personnel were killed by Palestinians.
Above figures from B'Tselem