3.7.03 The Israeli High Court rejects a petition submitted by the Hebron Rehabilitation Committee to halt settlement construction in the archeological site in Tel Rmeideh. The petition was submitted after Israeli authorities issued a permit for the renovation of the Jewish Quarter in Hebron.
5.7.03 Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas meets with Hamas founder and spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmad Yassin at Yassin's home in Gaza. The meeting focuses on several issues, including prisoner releases and continued Israeli violations of the Palestinian cease-fire initiative.
6.7.03 Israeli military authorities accuse 11 Israeli border guards of violence against Palestinians in Hebron and theft of their property. The charges include whipping a Palestinian in Hebron for breaking curfew and stealing from a store in the city.
6.7.03 The Israeli cabinet decides to release 350 detainees, or five percent of the 6,000 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli prisons. PNA officials criticize the move, calling the number "insufficient."
6.7.03 Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz and Palestinian Security Affairs Minister Mohammad Dahlan meet in West Jerusalem to discuss further withdrawals from West Bank towns, after the July 2 withdrawal from Bethlehem. Mofaz says Israel won't implement any new redeployment until the PNA takes firm measures against "terrorist organizations."
7.7.03 In a meeting between Palestinian Minister of Prisoner Affairs Hisham Abdel Raziq and Israeli Justice Minister Yosef (Tommy) Lapid, Abdel Raziq calls the prisoner release criteria "disappointing and unacceptable." Israel says it will not release any prisoner with "blood on his hands" - any Palestinian involved in attacks on Israelis and no one from Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) or the Aqsa Martyrs Brigades. Nor, Israel says, will it release prisoners with Israeli citizenship or residents of East Jerusalem.
7.7.03 A meeting between Palestinian Information Minister Nabil Amr and Israeli Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom takes place to discuss ways to end incitement in the media and school curricula on both sides.
8.7.03 After a heated meeting of the Fateh Revolutionary Council, Palestinian PM Mahmoud Abbas submits his resignation to both the council and the Fateh Central Committee. Reportedly, key Fateh members had criticized the premier over his negotiations with Israel.
8.7.03 A 22-year-old Islamic Jihad activist blows himself up in a Netanya home, killing himself and an elderly Israeli woman. The movement had said it was committed to the truce declared by other Palestinian factions and Jihad leader Nafez Azzam says the operation did not contradict that position.
9.7.03 The European Commission's West Bank and Gaza representative, Jean Breteche, says the EC will launch 40 reconstruction projects in the Palestinian territories. He adds that the commission has been forced to increase its humanitarian and emergency assistance to the Palestinians to avoid the collapse of basic social services.
10.7.03 The first meeting of the new joint security committee is held between Security Affairs Minister Mohammad Dahlan and Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz at the Erez crossing in Gaza. The meeting focuses on the release of Palestinian prisoners, further Israeli withdrawals from West Bank cities, easing measures on Palestinian movement and lifting the siege on Palestinian President Yasser Arafat.
14.7.03 Hamas and Islamic Jihad issue a statement threatening to breach the truce declared last month should the PNA confiscate their weapons. The Islamic movements say PNA security services had announced they would begin to collect arms in Gaza.
14.7.03 British Foreign Minister Jack Straw declines Israeli PM Ariel Sharon's request that Britain drop its policy of dealing with Yasser Arafat and join US and Israel in shunning the Palestinian president. Straw says Britain will continue to deal with Arafat as long as he remains the democratically elected leader of the Palestinians.
15.7.03 The Egyptian intelligence chief and presidential envoy, Omar Suleiman, arrives in Ramallah to smooth out differences among the Palestinian leadership's cadres and to keep the already shaky truce intact.
16.7.03 Norwegian Foreign Minister Jan Petersen rejects Ariel Sharon's request to sever ties with Yasser Arafat. Before meeting with Sharon in his Oslo office, Petersen says his government will continue to meet with Arafat, and that Sharon cannot dictate who the Norwegians can meet.
17.7.03 Palestinian and Israeli parliamentarians agree to form a joint working group to reinforce cooperation between the two legislative councils, at a meeting of the Inter-Parliamentary Union in Geneva.
17.7.03 A Tel Aviv district court upholds the deportation orders of eight members of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM). Four were arrested on July 9 in the Jenin area while camping on land slated for construction of the separation barrier. The other four were arrested on July 10 while removing roadblocks near Nablus.
19.7.03 During an international socialist meeting in Rome, Israeli Labor Party leader Shimon Peres presses the EU to take a unified stance against Hamas and Islamic Jihad. He says the fact the PNA hasn't collected the weapons of those two movements raises doubts about what the period following the three-month truce will be like.
20.7.03 Ariel Sharon meets his Palestinian counterpart Mahmoud Abbas. The two leaders are unable to declare any tangible achievements.
22.7.03 Palestinian Minister for Prisoner Affairs Hisham Abdel Raziq meets the head of Israeli General Security Services (Shin Bet), Avi Dichter. Abdel Raziq describes the meeting as a "failure," but says Israel is considering adding 100 additional prisoners to the original list of 350.
23.7.03 According to the findings of a survey conducted by Peace Now, the majority of settlers in the West Bank and Gaza Strip will accept compensation to leave their settlements.
24.7.03 Palestinian Security Minister Mohammad Dahlan meets with US National Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice and CIA head George Tenet. The Palestinian delegation also meets US Secretary of State Colin Powell, members of Congress and Vice President Dick Cheney.
25.7.03 Mahmoud Abbas meets US President George W. Bush in Washington. Abbas is the first Palestinian leader to visit the Oval Office since the Bush administration took power.
26.7.03 In an interview with Y Net, the online edition of Yedhiot Aharonot, Israeli Justice Minister Yosef (Tommy) Lapid says imprisoned West Bank Fateh Secretary Marwan Barghouthi is one of the Palestinian leaders who may be released in light of the political developments.
27.7.03 The right-wing Israeli Ichul Leumi Party submits a draft law to the Knesset requesting the expulsion of more than 200,000 Palestinians living in East Jerusalem. The left-wing Meretz Party asks the Knesset to reject the draft law, saying it is a call for ethnic cleansing.
27.7.03 Israel announces it will release 540 Palestinian detainees and prisoners - 210 from Fateh, 210 from the Islamist factions and 120 criminal prisoners.
28.7.03 Five ISM activists are injured by rubber bullets and tear gas when a scuffle between the Israeli army and hundreds of Palestinian, Israeli and foreign peace activists breaks out in Aneen, a village close to the Green Line. The volunteers were demonstrating against the Israeli separation barrier going up in the area and were demanding an end to the occupation and the establishment of a Palestinian state.
28.7.03 Former Israeli PM Shimon Peres presents a proposal to place the Old City of Jerusalem under UN supervision, dividing the rest of the city between Israel and the future Palestinian state. Peres says the Old City should be placed under the supervision of a Palestinian and an Israeli mayor. He also proposes that a joint Arab-Israeli police force protect the city. PLO political department head Farouq al-Qaddoumi welcomes Peres' proposal, calling it a "change in the Israeli position."
29.7.03 British Consul General John Jenkins announces that Britain will offer 10 million pounds to the Palestinians, in addition to the five million pounds it offered on the declaration of the Road Map. The amount will be announced during the visit of British Development Minister Hillary Benn to the Palestinian territories.
29.7.03 US President George W Bush meets Ariel Sharon in Washington. During their press conference, Bush links the establishment of a Palestinian state with the halt of "terrorism."
29.7.03 Hamas and Islamic Jihad accuse Israel of 72 violations of the truce declared by Palestinian factions last month. Islamic Jihad leader Mohammad al Hindi listed them as "killings, house demolitions, raids, incursions, confiscation of land and arrests."
30.7.03 In a press conference, British PM Tony Blair expresses his concern over the ongoing construction of the separation barrier. "We have no desire to see a situation where borders are changed on the ground," he says.
31.7.03 The Israel Land Authority announces that the Defense Ministry has approved a tender to build 22 housing units in the Neveh Dekalim settlement in the western Gaza Strip. Israel's Peace Now movement says this proves Ariel Sharon has no intention of withdrawing from Palestinian lands.
3.8.03 Four Israelis are shot and injured on a settlement road near Bethlehem.
3.8.03 Israel's Channel 10 reveals the existence of a secret prison inside the Green Line for Palestinian prisoners, built by the Israeli army and the Shin Bet. According to the report, no family members, attorneys or representatives of the Red Cross are allowed to visit the facility, known as Prison 1391.
5.8.03 Israeli soldiers arrest forty-one foreign and Israeli peace activists protesting the erection of the separation barrier near Qalqilya. The next day 38 of them, including six Israeli peace activists, are released. One Italian is deported.
6.8.03 Four Israeli children's lives are saved after the parents of 11-year-old Qaher Odeh donate their son's organs to an Israeli hospital. A relative says the family wants Israelis and Americans to know that, while the Israeli army is killing Palestinian children, those children are giving life to Israelis.
7.8.03 During a press conference, US Secretary of State Colin Powell says that, while the US understands Israel's desire to build the separation barrier to protect its security, it becomes a problem when it crosses the Green Line into the West Bank.
9.8.03 During a military incursion into Nablus, Israeli troops surround the house of two Hamas activists in Askar refugee camp. The two activists, an Israeli soldier and two bystanders are killed.
10.8.03 Israeli troops invade Jericho, imposing a curfew on most of the city while conducting house-to-house searches. They arrest fourteen members of the Palestinian national security forces are arrested.
11.8.03 Israeli Public Security Minister Tzachi Hanegbi announces that Israelis and tourists will be allowed to visit the Aqsa Mosque complex even if the Islamic Waqf opposes the move. Knesset member Avshalom Vilan of the Meretz Party criticizes the decision, saying Hanegbi is "acting like the neighborhood bully".
12.8.03 A suicide bomber detonates his explosives belt in a shopping center in Rosh Haayin, near Tel Aviv, killing himself and one Israeli and wounding 10 others. A second bombing occurs outside the Ariel settlement, killing one Israeli and wounding three. The Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and Hamas claim responsibility for the attacks.
12.8.03 According to Israeli sources, a new plan is being proposed by right-wing Israeli Housing Minister Efi Eitam to increase the size of loans by NIS 100,000 for Israelis who want to buy houses in settlements in East Jerusalem. Israeli peace activist Uri Avnery says the scheme is proof that Ariel Sharon does not accept the Road Map.
13.8.03 Israel halts the planned release of 69 Palestinian prisoners, due to be freed in what Israel calls a "confidence-building" measure. Most are being held on petty crime charges.
14.8.03 Israel issues an invitation for tenders to build 72 housing units in the Har Homa settlement south of Jerusalem. Peace Now condemns the move, saying it contradicts Israel's commitments to the Road Map.
14.8.03 The US pledges up to US $26 million to the UN Relief and Works Agency's (UNRWA) sixth emergency appeal for the occupied Palestinian territories. UNRWA director Peter Hansen welcomes the pledge, saying it is the largest single donation by any government since the appeal's launch in October 2000.
15.8.03 Israeli troops kill a senior Islamic Jihad leader in Hebron and destroy his house.
17.8.03 Palestinian sources disclose that the Israeli army has been building two military posts in the H1 area of Hebron on the Abu Sneineh hill. The area overlooks settler homes, but the two posts are located inside Palestinian territories as defined by the Hebron Protocol. The Israeli army has designated the area as a "closed military zone."
19.8.03 A suicide bomber detonates himself on a packed bus in Jerusalem's ultra orthodox Jewish neighborhood of Har Nof, killing twenty people and wounding 80. Hamas and Islamic Jihad claim responsibility.
19.8.03 According to a report by the Israeli human rights group B'Tselem, some 43 percent of the Palestinian residents of the three main streets of the Hebron casbah have left their homes since September 2000. The report says Palestinians are leaving because of settler violence and the lack of law enforcement. The report also notes that in the same period more than 2,000 Palestinian businesses have closed, and three schools, previously serving 1,835 students, have been shut down and taken over by the Israeli army.
20.8.03 More than 300 Jewish tourists enter the Aqsa Mosque compound under tight security protection from Israeli police, despite warnings from Sheikh Ikrama Sabri, the Jerusalem mufti and head of the Islamic higher council, that such measures will inflame an already tense situation.
21.8.03 According to Palestinian sources quoted on the Yediot Ahranot website, 15 wanted Palestinians holed up in the presidential headquarters in Ramallah have been evacuated for fear of an Israeli assassination attempt.
21.8.03 Top Hamas leader Ismail Abu Shanab, is killed in Gaza when an apache helicopter fires five missiles at his car. Two bodyguards are also killed and 15 bystanders injured.
21.8.03 Israel reoccupies Nablus, imposing a round-the-clock curfew.
22.8.03 George W Bush calls on Middle East leaders to cut funding to Hamas and consider it a terrorist organization. He announces that the US treasury has frozen the assets of six individual Hamas leaders and five organizations belonging to Hamas.
24.8.03 Yasser Arafat appoints Jibril Rjoub as the PNA's national security adviser. Rjoub says a higher national security council will be formed to supervise and restructure security services, headed by Arafat.
24.8.03 Four Izzidin al-Qassam Brigades members are assassinated in Gaza City by missiles fired from a helicopter.
24.8.03 Palestinian security forces close three tunnels connecting Rafah in Gaza, to Egypt, claiming they are used for arms and drugs smuggling.
25.8.03 Israeli bulldozers begin leveling ground and confiscating strips of land in the Abu Dis area of Jerusalem to prepare for the construction of the separation barrier.
29.8.03 A Palestinian woman's child dies after she is forced to give birth at a checkpoint in the village of Salem, near Nablus. Israeli soldiers had refused to let her cross to go to hospital.
2.9.03 Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz calls for Yasser Arafat to be "expelled." Mofaz tells Israeli army radio that Arafat is a "major obstacle for Mahmoud Abbas and for the whole political process."
4.9.03 Mahmoud Abbas is met at the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) by a crowd of hostile demonstrators, some of whom accuse him and Security Affairs Minister Mohammad Dahlan of collaboratoring with Israel. In his speech to the PLC, Abbas tells the council to either back him or let him go.
5.9.03 A Hamas member, Mohammad Hanbali, and an Israeli soldier are killed during a gun battle in Nablus. Another four soldiers are injured. The apartment block that houses Hanbali's apartment is destroyed by the Israeli army, leaving 28 families homeless.
6.9.03 Mahmoud Abbas hands the PLC his letter of resignation. He says his decision was forced by Israel's intransigence toward its Road Map commitments; the US's unwillingness to pressure Israel; a lack of support for his government's policies; and "dangerous" domestic incitement against his government.
6.9.03 The Israeli army tries to assassinate Hamas spiritual leader Sheikh Ahmad Yassin in Gaza. Thirteen people are wounded in the missile attack.
7.9.03 Yasser Arafat asks PLC Speaker Ahmad Qurei' to assume the post of prime minister. The Fateh Central Committee and the PLO executive committee both accept the nomination.
7.9.03 In a new report, "Israel and the Occupied Territories: Surviving under Siege," the London-based human rights group Amnesty International says the construction of the Israeli separation barrier is deepening the crippling economic impact of Israeli travel restrictions on Palestinians in the occupied territories.
9.9.03 Eight Israeli soldiers are killed near a Tel Aviv hitch-hiking stop for the Israeli army. Thirty others are wounded.
9.9.03 A suicide bomber kills himself and seven Israeli civilians at a café in West Jerusalem. Thirty others are wounded.
10.9.03 Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahhar escapes with light injuries after a missile destroys his house in Gaza. Three people are killed, including his son and bodyguard. His wife is among the 20 wounded.
11.9.03 The Israeli security cabinet agrees "in principle" to expel Yasser Arafat from the Palestinian territories.
11.9.03 The Palestinian leadership decides to unify the security services under the National Security Council. The services include the security, police and intelligence forces.
14.9.03 According to Israeli police, a delegation of Israeli peace activists led by Gush Shalom head Uri Avnery broke the law when they visited President Yasser Arafat in his Ramallah compound. The delegation, which included Arab Knesset members, visited Arafat to support the Palestinian leader and mark the 10th anniversary of the Oslo Accords. Police say the group violated an order issued by the Israeli Central Command two years ago, which forbids Israelis from entering PNA territories.
16.9.03 Israeli troops raid Dura, in the Hebron area, assassinating Islamic Jihad activist Majed Abu Dosh.
16.9.03 National Security adviser Jibril Rjoub offers Israel an "unlimited cease-fire" between armed Palestinians and Israel during an interview with Israeli Army Radio, so the two sides can return to the negotiating table. Israel declines, calling the Palestinian offer "deception" and demanding instead that the PNA crack down on Palestinian armed factions.
17.9.03 Yasser Arafat offers Israel a new truce in a series of interviews on three television stations, after Palestinian officials said Hamas had signaled it might agree to stop attacks on Israelis. Ariel Sharon dismisses the offer, backed by the US which also makes it clear Washington will not support any new government controlled by Arafat.
17.9.03 In his meeting with Norwegian Foreign Minister Jan Petersen, the first foreign cabinet minister to visit Jerusalem since Israel's decision to "remove" Arafat, Ariel Sharon tells Petersen that, while "there are ministers who are calling for [Arafat's] death, I wouldn't use those terms.
19.9.03 The 191-nation UN General Assembly votes 133-4, with 15 abstentions, in an emergency session to adopt a resolution demanding that Israel not oust Yasser Arafat.
21.9.03 According to Israeli television, Jewish settlers have purchased a five-dunam plot of land and a floor to a building near Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem through a foreign broker. The plot of land is located in Area C, which falls under Israeli civilian and security control.
22.9.03 At his 80th birthday gala, former Israeli PM Shimon Peres says Yasser Arafat deserved the Nobel Peace Prize he received jointly with Israeli PM Yitzhak Rabin in 1994. He added that the Israeli government must present a clear vision for peace and work towards it. The event was attended by a number of international figures including former US President Bill Clinton.
22.9.03 US Secretary of State Colin Powell says that prime minister-designate Ahmad Qurei has to demonstrate his independence from Arafat if he wants to make progress with the Road Map.
23.9.03 According to Haaretz, the Israeli government spends at least $560 million a year on subsidies, infrastructure, education and other items for Jewish settlers in the West Bank and Gaza. The figure doesn't include military expenditure in those areas. Successive Israeli governments have refused to disclose how much goes to the settlements. Haaretz says it compiled the figure after three months of research.
23.9.03 In his speech to the General Assembly, George W Bush singles out the "Palestinian leadership" for condemnation, saying it has clung to power by "feeding old hatreds." French President Jacques Chirac says Yasser Arafat cannot be ignored, despite Bush's drive to rally world opinion against the Palestinian president and sideline him as a player in the Middle East peace process.
24.9.03 Israeli troops raid the Yubna refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, killing one Palestinian and destroying 33 homes.
24.9.03 Twenty-seven Israeli air force pilots sign a petition and hand it to the chief of the Israeli Air Force, Dan Halutz, saying they refuse to execute any "immoral" missions in occupied Palestinian lands. The pilots say they oppose the targeting of innocent civilians.
26.9.03 Mahmoud Hamdan from Tabaqa enters a home in the small settlement of Negaot, south of Hebron, killing an Israeli settler and his child. Two more settlers are injured before Israeli soldiers kill Hamdan. On September 29, Israeli forces demolish Hamdan's home and a day later set fire to the tent set up for his family by the Red Cross.
30.9.03 Jean Dougard, special secretary to the UN on human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, submits his report on his mission last June, in which he concludes the separation barrier, "be considered an illegal act." He explains that the barrier will isolate around 210,000 Palestinianss between the barrier and the Green Line.
30.9.03 A group of Israeli poets and writers submit an appeal to the Israeli High Court to protest the Israeli army's killing of innocent civilians during the assassination of Palestinian activists. According to Natan Zach, the Israeli poet leading the initiative, the appeal centers on the assassination of Hamas operative Salah Shehadeh when a one-ton bomb was dropped on a residential building and 16 civilians were killed.
During this period, in the occupied territories, 61 Palestinians were killed by Israeli security forces, 11 under the age of 18. Five Israeli civilians and four Israeli security forces personnel were killed by Palestinians. Within the Green Line, 30 Israeli civilians and eight Israeli security forces personnel were killed by Palestinians.
Above figures from B'Tselem<