5.4.06 The Israeli Information
Center for Human Right (B'Tselem) urges IDF Chief-of-Staff Dan
Halutz and judge advocate general Avihai Mandelblit to make public
the open fire regulations that have been given to soldiers in the
Palestinian occupied territories. The request follows publication
of an IDF report that verifies human-rights organizations' repeated
claims that the regulations are unclear and can be understood in
different ways. B'Tselem contends that the secrecy enables the
senior IDF staff to avoid responsibility for the killing of
innocent persons and to divert criticism of the soldiers in the
field. Since the beginning of the intifada, the IDF has related to
the open-fire regulations applying in the occupied territories as
"confidential information," which are provided to soldiers
verbally, and not in writing, as was previously the case.
9.4.06 Israel announces its decision
to close the joint installation used as a security liaison office
between Israel and the Palestinians in Jericho. Israeli officers
informed Palestinian security liaison officers that they must
evacuate their joint offices, located adjacent to the Vered Yericho
9.4.06 At a special security cabinet
session convened in the wake of the swearing-in of the Hamas
government, led by Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyyeh, it
was decided that Israel would not hold any contacts with the PNA,
and would act to undermine Hamas' authority as the reigning force
in the PNA.
9.4.06 Palestinian Foreign Minister
Mahmoud al-Zahhar urges European Union foreign ministers to
continue to provide aid to the Palestinian people. Foreign
ministers of the 25-nation EU are to meet in Luxembourg tomorrow to
discuss aid to the PNA following Hamas' election victory in
10.4.06 Ambassadors to the United
Nations from the Arab states convene at the UN's New York
headquarters to discuss strategy concerning the escalation of
Israeli military strikes against Palestinian targets. They decided
to urge the UN Security Council to take unspecified action against
Israel. "The international community cannot continue to stand idly
by while defenseless women, children and men continue to be killed,
wounded and maimed," Palestinian UN Observer Riyad Mansour
10.4.06 A U.K. coroner says that he
would recommend that the British attorney general seek legal action
over the deaths of two pro-Palestinian activists killed by Israeli
forces fire in 2003. The statements came after a British inquest
jury ruled that Tom Hurndall was unlawfully killed by an IDF
soldier in the Gaza Strip. It was the second time in two weeks that
a British coroner's court had ruled that a U.K. citizen shot by
Israeli soldiers in 2003 was unlawfully killed. The Guardian
reported that coroner Andrew Reid would write to the attorney
general suggesting he seek war crimes charges against five IDF
officers through Geneva Conventions Act regulations on when
soldiers can and cannot shoot.
10.4.06 A 12-year-old Palestinian
girl is killed by Israeli shelling in the Gaza Strip. Thirteen
other members of her family, including children and teenagers were
injured. The IDF claimed the area in which the house is located had
served a Qassam launching cell.
12.4.06 Palestinian President
Mahmoud Abbas flies to Casablanca on his first official trip to
Morocco to hold talks with King Mohammad and then meet Prime
Minister Driss Jettou and other top government leaders in Rabat
during his three-day official visit to the North African Arab
country to ease pressures on the cash-strapped PA. The trip
followed Moroccan newspapers' reports that Casablanca will host
secret talks between senior Israeli and Palestinian officials in
May in a bid to revive the peace process, which stalled after the
intifada broke out in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in
17.4.06 A suicide bomber kills nine
and wounds 60 in Tel Aviv. Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade and Islamic
Jihad claimed responsibility.
19.4.06 Foreign Minister Philippe
Douste-Blazy tells French radio that France opposed cutting off
humanitarian aid to the Palestinian Territories but urged the
Hamas-led Palestinian government to reject violence, recognize
Israel and embrace peace. "If we don't help the Palestinian
Territories, others like Iran will do so. And, on the other hand,
we risk pushing the Palestinian people towards radicalism and
that's not what we want and that's why we should continue to help
25.4.06 President Mahmoud Abbas
arrives in Oslo to meet with Norwegian Prime Minister Jens
Stoltenberg, Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere and other leaders
for talks expected to focus on an aid for his people after Hamas
26.4.06 During a visit to the
Norwegian capital, President Mahmoud Abbas proposes an
international conference to open long-stalled peace talks with
Israel and said the election of a Hamas government, sworn to
Israel's destruction, was no obstacle. He added that an
international group should serve as a broker, possibly the Quartet
of Middle East Peace Makers, comprised of the United States, the
European Union, Russia and the United Nations.
27.4.06 President Mahmoud Abbas
meets officials in Finland, the country which takes over the
rotating presidency of the European Union in July. Abbas held talks
with President Tarja Halonen and other officials including Foreign
Minister Erkki Tuomioja.
1.5.06 During an arrest operation in
Tulkarem in the West Bank, Israeli soldiers fire into the second
story of a residential building, killing 'Itaf Zalat, 43, and
wounding her three daughters. The Zalat family was sitting in its
living room during the operation. According to B'Tselem, from the
beginning of 2004 to 28 May 2006, 168 persons have been killed
during arrest operations in the West Bank.
1.5.06 In an interview with Haaretz,
Israeli Chief-of-Staff Dan Halutz says that he is opposed to a
ground force operation in the Gaza Strip, since it would not end
the firing of Qassam rockets at targets within Israel.
2.5.06 James D. Wolfensohn, ending
more than a year's service as the Quartet envoy to Israel and the
Palestinians, refers to the rise of the Hamas government as a
stumbling block to further movement in Middle East diplomacy. "With
the government of Hamas having taken over the Palestinians, it's a
very difficult moment to be able to try to negotiate any
independent type of arrangements," Wolfensohn said.
3.5.06 An International Women's
Commission meet with UN officials urging that women play a stronger
role in talks between Israelis and Palestinians and use the newly
elected Hamas government as a vehicle for peace negotiations. The
IWC, established in July 2005, works toward a peaceful resolution
of the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. It is comprised
of 20 Palestinian women, 20 Israeli women and 20 women from various
countries around the world.
5.5.06 Israel Air Force bombs a
building of the Popular Resistance Committees in Gaza, killing five
of the organization's operatives.
7.5.06 An association for Jewish
settlement of Jerusalem continues with archeological excavations in
East Jerusalem near a kindergarten in Silwan threatened by
collapse, in defiance of a warrant issued by the Jerusalem
municipality ordering halt to the excavation works. Kindergarten
management said if disaster struck they will hold the municipality
and those running the excavations responsible.
7.5.06 The World Bank warns donors
that the financial crisis gripping the PNA since Hamas won the
elections is deeper than it was first thought and could render the
West Bank and Gaza ungovernable. The World Bank projected that by
the end of 2006 Palestinian poverty and unemployment levels would
rise to 67 and 40 percent, and personal incomes would drop by 30
percent. Western powers led by the U.S. and the EU have frozen
direct aid to the PNA to put pressure on Hamas to renounce
violence, recognize Israel and abide by interim peace deals. As a
result, the Hamas-led government has been unable to pay salaries to
165,000 public employees since March, prompting concerns of a
humanitarian crisis that could trigger an upsurge in Middle East
9.5.06 Internal fighting wounds 12
people in the Gaza Strip. After meeting Fateh officials, PM Ismail
Haniyyeh said that the two groups had agreed to work together to
end the spate of violence in the Strip. The violence has been
fuelled by a power struggle between Haniyyeh and President Abbas
over control of Palestinian security forces.
9.5.06 According to Haaretz, the
southeast region of the National Association of Teachers in Further
and Higher Education (NATFHE) in the UK recommends that its 67,000
members boycott Israeli lecturers and academic institutions that do
not publicly declare their opposition to Israeli policy in the
territories. The boycott motion comes about a year after the last
boycott by British lecturers.
9.5.06 A letter signed by more than
30 Israeli artists and intellectuals is sent to PM Ehud Olmert
urging him to order Israeli soldiers to defend Palestinian children
in the southern Hebron Hills from residents of the Maon
10.5.06 Senior members of Hamas and
Fateh who are imprisoned by Israel, have forged a joint platform,
including acceptance of a Palestinian state alongside Israel. The
document was presented to President Mahmoud Abbas. Prisoners from
the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the
Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine were also party to
the agreement. The document calls for the establishment of a
Palestinian state "in all the lands occupied in 1967," a reference
to the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. The draft says
that Palestinians would "focus their resistance on the lands
occupied in 1967." The document would authorize Abbas to lead
negotiations with Israel, based on what is referred to as "Arab
legitimacy," an apparent reference to an Arab peace initiative
which calls for a two-state solution. Any agreement will either be
put before the Palestinian parliament or submitted as a referendum
to be voted on by Palestinians everywhere.
14.5.06 According to Haaretz, some
2,500 new immigrants from North America and France will come to
Israel on eight special El Al flights this summer. Immigration from
North America is expected to reach 3,500 people this year, with an
equal number arriving from France.
14.5.06 The Israeli High Court of
Justice upholds a controversial law that bars West Bank
Palestinians from living with spouses and children in Israel.
17.5.06 According to the Israeli
Defense Ministry, construction of the West Bank separation wall
started nearly four years ago, but only 42 percent of the planned
structure has been completed and military officials say it will
take at least one more year to finish. The estimated cost of the
fence currently stands at NIS10 billion, twice as much as
17.5.06 Israeli soldiers kill two
members of Islamic Jihad in a gun battle that broke out during an
arrest raid in the Rafidiyah neighborhood of Nablus.
21.5.06 In an interview with CNN,
Israeli PM Ehud Olmert dismisses President Mahmoud Abbas as a
potential partner for peace negotiations, saying that the PNA
leader was "powerless" to speak on behalf of his people. "He is
powerless. He is helpless. He's unable to even stop the minimal
terror activities amongst the Palestinians," Olmert said.
21.5.06 Israeli Foreign Minister
Tzipi Livni rejects an Egyptian proposal to make changes to the
internationally brokered road map to Middle East peace, and move to
immediate discussions on some aspects of a final-status agreement
between Israel and the Palestinians. The road map states that
negotiations on a final-status agreement should have begun in
21.5.06 Israeli Defense Minister
Amir Peretz approves expansion of four West Bank settlements. The
expansion orders enlarged the settlements' "jurisdictional area," a
designation which in many cases serves as a prelude to construction
of new settlement neighborhoods. Most of the settlements involved
are located close to the pre-1967 war Green Line Border.
21.5.06 "The road map peace
initiative is still relevant," Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni
says after her meeting with President Mahmoud Abbas at the World
Economic Forum in Sharm el-Sheikh. This was the first high level
meeting between the two sides since Hamas' surprise victory in the
Palestinian parliamentary elections.
22.5.06 According to a European
Union official, proposals will be discussed by the European Union
and other donor countries and international financial institutions
to provide tens of millions of dollars to run Palestinian
ministries and pay staff in a bid to prevent the collapse of
essential services. The proposals were dependent on the endorsement
of the United States to ensure that lending institutions could
participate without facing the threat of U.S. sanctions. The PNA is
now $1.3 billion in debt and has no income to pay long-overdue
salaries to state employees.
22.5.06 "If Israel withdraws to the
1967 borders, peace will prevail and we will implement a cease-fire
for many years," Palestinian PM Ismail Haniyyeh says during an
interview with Haaretz. "Our government is prepared to maintain a
long-term cease-fire with Israel."
23.5.06 At least two settler
families move into apartments in a neighborhood of the West Bank
settlement of Upper Modi'in that was built illegally on land
belonging to the neighboring Palestinian village of Bil'in. The
move came in flagrant disregard of a Supreme Court injunction
forbidding the occupation, transfer of ownership, or use of
structures in the Matityahu East neighborhood.
24.5.06 Masked gunmen shoot three
Hamas militants outside a mosque in Khan Yunis, Gaza. Hamas blamed
a Fateh group for the shooting. Clashes between Hamas and Fateh
intensified after the Hamas government deployed its own
3,000-strong force of militants.
24.5.06 Israeli Justice Minister
Haim Ramon tells Israel Radio, if Hamas does not recognize Israel
and renounce violence within six months, Israel will move ahead
with plans to unilaterally draw its final borders by 2010.
29.5.06 Four Hamas members of the
Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) from Jerusalem have been
summoned to the Jerusalem police headquarters and presented with an
ultimatum to resign from their parliamentary positions. Failure to
do would result in deprivation of their Jerusalem residency status
and enable the government to deport them from their homes.
29.5.06 President Mahmoud Abbas and
Palestinian faction leaders have agreed to 10 days of intensive
talks aimed at resolving critical differences and avoiding a
national referendum on recognizing Israel's right to exist. The
Palestinian government has been internationally isolated and is
suffering a crippling economic boycott since Hamas won the January
25 parliamentary elections. To force Hamas to soften its position,
Abbas urged the group to accept a proposal drafted by militants in
Israeli prisons that implicitly accepts Israel's right to exist. If
no agreement is reached after 10 days of talks, Abbas will call a
referendum on the proposal.
30.5.06 President Mahmoud Abbas
discusses his referendum plan with his Tunisian counterpart in
talks at the start of a three-day visit. Abbas and President Zine
El-Abidine Ben Ali are expected to discuss the cut-off of Western
aid and Israeli tax transfers to the Palestinians since the Hamas
movement took over the Palestinian government.
31.5.06 The Director-General of the
Israeli Foreign Ministry Ron Prossor, has talks in Wellington with
New Zealand Foreign Minister Winston Peters and other officials
marking the end of a diplomatic freeze in 2004 after two Mossad
agents were convicted of trying to fraudulently obtain New Zealand
31.5.06 Former Knesset member Uri
Avnery, a leading member of Gush Shalom (the Israeli Peace Bloc),
meets with Mohammad Abu Tir, Hamas member of the PLC from Jerusalem
in Abu Tir's home at Sur Baher neighborhood in East Jerusalem.
Avnery expressed opposition to the intention of the Olmert
government to expel Abu Tir and three other elected
parliamentarians from their Jerusalem homes. Avnery said that Gush
Shalom calls for the immediate opening of negotiations between the
Israeli and Palestinian governments, with no preconditions and on
the basis of stopping all violent acts on both sides.
1.6.06 Arab League Secretary General
Amr Mousa criticizes conditions set by Western governments and
Israel that say the Hamas-led Palestinian government must renounce
violence and recognize Israel before official contacts are
possible. "The Palestinian question is one of military occupation.
It is not a terrorist issue. And it is one that should be solved
through negotiations," Mousa said.
3.6.06 Ahead of PM Ehud Olmert's
meeting with Egyptian President Husni Mubarak in Sharm el-Sheikh,
Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmad Abu El-Gheith says that his country
would welcome any Israeli withdrawal from "occupied Arab land," but
added that such a withdrawal should take place only after
negotiations with the Palestinians.
5.6.06 After his first summit with
PM Ehud Olmert, at a press conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egyptian
President Husni Mubarak calls on Israel to do its part to advance
the peace process with the Palestinians, and said he believed it
would be possible to reach a lasting peace through negotiations.
"If we don't succeed in negotiations, we'll discuss and find other
solutions," said Mubarak.
6.6.06 President Mahmoud Abbas gives
Hamas an ultimatum of 10 days, saying that if it did not accept the
"Prisoners' Document" - (the National Conciliation Document) a
blueprint for a national unity government that was compiled by
Fateh and Hamas prisoners at an Israeli prison - he would submit
the document to a referendum.
7.6.06 Palestinian Foreign Minister
Mahmoud Zahhar arrives in Pakistan for talks on cooperation between
his Hamas-led government and Pakistan.
7.6.06 Hamas and Fateh
representatives are meeting at the home of the Egyptian ambassador
in Gaza City, in an effort to end violence between the two
9.6.06 Israeli forces shell a beach
on the Gaza Strip killing seven members of the Ghalia family as
they were picnicking leaving one survivor, a 10-year old
10.6.06 Five Israeli human-rights
organizations demand in an urgent appeal to the PM and the Minister
of Defense that they take immediate action to end the killing of
Palestinian civilians in the Occupied Territories, and to eradicate
the factors contributing to these killings. According to the
organizations, since the onset of the second Intifada through 15
June 2006, 3,448 Palestinians in the Occupied Territories have been
killed by Israeli forces.
11.6.06 The PA security forces hand
over an Israeli- American citizen to the Israeli forces after being
kidnapped by members of an armed Fateh militia in Nablus.
12.6.06 Senior Kadima lawmaker
Tzachi Hanegbi, declares that "confrontation between Israel and
Hamas is inevitable," and warns that if the ruling Palestinian
party returns to terrorism, PM Ismail Haniyyeh and other Hamas
leaders may be targeted for assassination.
13.6.06 The Israeli air force fires
missiles into a residential neighborhood in northern Gaza city
killing eleven Palestinians, including ten civilian passers-by, two
of them children.
14.6.06 World Bank President Paul
Wolfowitz says the bank wants to help deliver aid to Palestinians
and is in discussions with the Quartet of Middle East negotiators
on how it can be done. "We are in active discussion with members of
the Quartet and our board of executive directors to find both
immediate and longer-term solutions."
14.6.06 Palestinian Foreign Minister
Mahmoud Zahhar returns to Gaza from the Egypt crossing after
traveling to Asia and the Middle East, ferrying $20 million in
cash, as the government's financial crunch boiled over into
18.6.06 The Quartet - United States,
European Union, United Nations and Russia - say in a statement they
endorsed an EU proposal for a temporary mechanism that includes aid
for the health sector and utilities to meet the basic needs of the
poorest Palestinians. The Palestinian government relies on
international aid for more than half its annual budget, including
the salaries of more than 160,000 civil servants who have not been
paid in months.
20.6.06 Three Palestinian children
are killed during a failed assassination attempt by the Israel air
force in Gaza. Two of the children were brother and sister. Two
Fateh men who were the target of the strike escaped with light
injuries; another 14 Palestinian citizens were injured in the
21.6.06 In an interview with Haaretz
from prison, Sheikh Hasan Yusuf, a member of the Palestinian
parliament and the most senior Hamas member in an Israeli prison,
says: "If Hamas participates in elections for PA president and
wins, undoubtedly we'll conduct diplomatic negotiations with
25.6.06 Two Israeli soldiers are
killed, five are wounded and one is kidnapped when Hamas, the
People's Resistance Committees (PRC), and the Islamic Army attacked
an IDF post within the Israeli territory near the Gaza Strip
border. At least two Palestinian gunmen are killed. Seven gunmen
reached the post through a tunnel dug under the border. The
operation was in response to the Israeli assassination of PRC
leader Jamal Abu Samhadana and Israeli air strikes.
28.6.06 IDF tanks and troops rolled
into southern Gaza, in a bid to pressure Palestinian militants into
releasing the Israeli soldier. Speaking after the launch of the
operation, PM Ehud Olmert warned that Israel would not balk at
"extreme action" to retrieve Corporal Gilad Shalit.
29.6.06 Israel forces troops launch
a major arrest operation against Hamas officials, detaining 64
including 8 ministers and 20 members of the Palestinian Legislative
Council. The arrests took place in Ramallah, Qalqilya, Hebron,
Jenin and East Jerusalem. Israeli National Infrastructure Minister
Benjamin Ben-Eliezer hinted that Palestinian PM Ismail Haniyeh is
not exempt from arrest or harm.
forces. Seven Israeli civilians were killed by Palestinians. Two
members of the Israeli security forces were killed by Palestinians.