Chronology 16 November 2001-15 February 2002

Ramadan begins. Despite pleas fr. Muslim nations, the U.S. continues its "war against terror" in Afghanistan. In Jerusalem, Israel bars younger Palestinian men access to the al-Aqsa Mosque, citing security reasons. (AP 11/16; NYT 11/17)
    The Israel Defense Force (IDF) enters 2 areas of Gaza controlled by the Palestinian Authority (PA), bulldozes Palestinian agricultural land, destroys a PA Preventive Security Force (PSF) post. In Jinin, 2,000 Palestinians protest outside a PSF office for the 3d day, demanding the release of senior Islamic Jihad mbr. Muhammad Tawalbi, arrested by the PSF on 11/14. Clashes are also reported in al-Bireh. (AP 11/16; WT 11/17; LAW 11/26)
The IDF withdraws fr. Tulkarm, leaving Jinin the only 1 of 6 major PA-controlled towns still reoccupied by the IDF following the assassination of Israel's Tourism M Rehavam Ze'evi by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) on 10/17. A closure on Tulkarm, however, remains in place. The IDF also conducts an arrest raid in Yabad. (WP 11/18; LAW 11/26)
The IDF finds, accidentally triggers a bomb outside the King David Hotel in Jerusalem just before Israeli PM Ariel Sharon is to meet there with a European Union (EU) delegation; no injuries are reported. The IDF also moves troops 200 yds. into PA-controlled territory nr. Bayt Lahia, kills 2 armed Palestinians it claims were heading toward nearby Dugit settlement; the PA says the men were mbrs. of the Palestinian naval police on patrol. 2 other Palestinians die of injuries received earlier. (NYT, WP 11/19; NYT 11/20; LAW 11/26)
In Louisville, U.S. Secy. of State Colin Powell gives the 1st major policy speech on the Middle East by the George W. Bush admin., announcing plans to send 2 envoys (retired Gen. Anthony Zinni, Asst. Secy. of State for Near East Affairs William Burns) to the region to help broker an Israeli-Palestinian cease-fire based on the 6/11/01 Tenet cease-fire plan (see Doc. D2 in JPS 121) and the 5/20/01 Mitchell Comm. recommendations (see Doc. A2 in JPS 120), which calls for a halt to violence, confidence-building measures, a return to negotiations. (HA, MM 11/19; XIN 11/19 in WNC 11/20; AFP, MM, NYT, WP, WT 11/20; AYM, DUS, MENA, al-Quds, al-Ra'i, SA 11/20 in WNC 11/21; AYM 11/20, IRNA, QA 11/21, ATL, SA 11/22 in WNC 11/23; AYM 11/22 in WNC 11/28; MEI, MM 11/23; WP 11/25) (see Doc. D3 in JPS 122)
    The IDF kills 2 Palestinians planting a roadside bomb in the West Bank; sends tanks into Rafah refugee camp to bulldoze 4 Palestinian homes, injuring 1 Palestinian; sends tanks, bulldozers into Bayt Hanun for several hrs. Palestinian gunmen fire on a vehicle nr. Shavei Shomron settlement, injuring 3 Jewish settlers. (NYT, WT 11/20; LAW 11/26)
The IDF fatally shoots 1 Palestinian nr. Nablus. The IDF demolishes 18 Palestinian homes in a Rafah refugee camp, claiming they were used as cover for Palestinian gunmen. The IDF also sends troops, bulldozers into PA-controlled areas nr. Netzarim, firing shells and heavy machine guns at residential areas and leveling more than 25 acres of land. (AP, PMC 11/20; WP, WT 11/21)
The IDF raids a village outside Tulkarm, captures PSF officer Samir Kayid and his brother. A Palestinian dies of a heart attack at an IDF checkpoint in Gaza after soldiers bar his ambulance fr. taking him to a hospital. The IDF also raids the PA Interior Min. offices in Azariyya, confiscating files; shells residential areas of Khan Yunis (damaging a school), Rafah, Tal Sultan; demolishes a Palestinian home in Hebron; reinforces closures in n. Gaza, Hebron. (HP, NYT, WT 11/22; LAW 11/26)
In Khan Yunis, 5 Palestinian schoolboys are killed in a mysterious explosion. The IDF raids Azariyya, shuts a PSF office, 2 PA Interior Min. offices; shells residential areas of Bayt Hanun. Nr. Tulkarm, 3 armed Palestinians drive a jeep through the gates of a factory run by Jewish settlers, opening fire, wounding 2 workers. (HP, MEZ 11/22; MM, NYT, WP, WT 11/23; WP 11/24; MENA 11/24 in WNC 11/27; HA 11/25; JT 11/25 in WNC 11/28; MM 11/27; MEI 12/7)
On the eve of the new U.S. mission to the region, the IDF assassinates senior Izzeddin al-Qassam Brigades head Mahmud Abu Hanud, firing a missile at his car nr. Nablus; 2 other Hamas mbrs. are killed. In the West Bank, 2 Palestinians are killed in an explosion; the PA says they were hit by a tank shell, the IDF claims they were preparing a bomb. The IDF also fires on a civilian car nr. the Rafah crossing, killing 1 Palestinian, wounding another; opens fire on stone throwers in Gaza, killing a 7th Palestinian. Palestinians fire a mortar at Neve Dekalim, causing damage but no injuries. (AP, HA 11/23; MEZ, NYT, WP, WT 11/24; AFP 11/24 in WNC 11/27; JP [Internet], REU, YA 11/25; DUS, al-Quds 11/25 in WNC 11/28; MM 11/26; MEI 12/7)
Israel admits that 5 Palestinian boys killed by an explosion on 11/22 accidentally triggered a bomb planted by the IDF and intended for Palestinian gunmen. In Nablus, 50,000 Palestinians attend the funeral for Hamas's Abu Hanud. In retaliation for Abu Hanud's assassination, Hamas fires mortars at Kefar Darom settlement, killing 1 IDF soldier, wounding 2. In response to 5 explosions along the Rafah-Egypt border, the IDF shells Palestinian residential areas of Rafah. (MENA 11/24 in WNC 11/27; NYT, WP, WT 11/25; NYT 11/26; PMC 11/28; MM 12/20; NYT 12/21)
IDF soldiers guarding Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem open fire on stone-throwing Palestinian youths, killing a 13-yr.-old Palestinian boy. In retaliation for the 11/24 mortar attack on Kefar Darom, the IDF shells, destroys the PA military intelligence office in Khan Yunis, a naval police post in Sudaniyya, and a Fatah office in Dayr al-Balah, injuring 3; bulldozers demolish 3 Palestinian homes in Dayr al-Balah. The IDF also directs heavy machine gun fire at residential areas of Bayt Lahia, Khan Yunis, Rafah, Tal Sultan. Palestinians fire 8 mortars at Gush Katif, causing no damage; detonate a roadside bomb nr. Hebron, causing no damage. (PMC 11/25; HP, HA, NYT, WT 11/26)
The IDF withdraws fr. Jinin. A Hamas suicide bomber detonates a device nr. the Erez crossing in n. Gaza, wounding 2 Israeli border policemen. The IDF directs shells, heavy machine gun fire at residential areas of Khan Yunis, injuring 6 children; conducts arrest raids in Dayr al-Balah; tightens the closure on Tulkarm, digging ditches across roads, bulldozing agricultural land around the city. (HP 11/26; AP, HP, NYT, WP 11/27; NYT 11/28)
Special envoys Burns, Zinni arrive in Israel to begin work toward a cease-fire. (HA, MM, WP 11/26; AYM 11/26, 11/27 in WNC 11/28; JP [Internet], NYT 11/27; WJW 11/29; al-Quds 11/29 in WNC 11/30; Le Monde 11/30 in WNC 12/3; JP 12/7)
In Afula, Israel, 2 Palestinian gunmen (1 fr. Islamic Jihad, 1 fr. the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade [AMB]) open fire on a crowd, killing 2 Israelis, wounding 14 before being shot dead. Sharon, taking U.S. envoys Burns and Zinni on a helicopter tour of the West Bank and Gaza at the time, redirects the chopper to overfly the scene of the attack. Later, a Palestinian sniper fatally shoots a Jewish settler driving in Gaza, wounds 3 others, is then killed by the IDF. The PA condemns the attacks; PA head Yasir Arafat issues a statement pledging to make a "100% effort" toward achieving a cease-fire. Meanwhile, the IDF steps up strikes on residential areas of Khan Yunis; tightens access to Jerusalem. (HP, MM 11/27; AP, HA, MM, NYT, WP, WT 11/28; AFP, AYM, al-Quds 11/28 in WNC 11/29; JP 12/7)
The IDF shoots, kills 1 Palestinian nr. a crossing into Israel. Palestinian gunmen fire on Gilo; the IDF returns fire on Bayt Jala; no casualties are reported. Nr. Nablus, the IDF bulldozes roads, agricultural lands; a Jewish settler intentionally hits a Palestinian with his car, killing him. Jewish settlers fr. Keddumim uproot 150 Palestinian olive trees in Jit; settlers fr. Ofra bulldoze Palestinian land around their settlement. The PSF begins an arrest campaign targeting Islamic Jihad, arresting 7 mbrs., questioning 22 Palestinians affiliated with the group. (PMC 11/28; HP, LAW, NYT, WP, WT 11/29; XIN 12/1 in WNC 12/3)
    Special envoys Burns, Zinni meet with Arafat in Ramallah; tour the West Bank with U.S. officials to see refugee camps, the effect of Israel's military siege and settlement construction on Palestinians. Meanwhile, Sharon publicly restates his demand for 7 days of complete Palestinian quiet before Israel would take steps to implement the Tenet plan. (MM 11/28; AP, NYT, WP, WT 11/29)
As U.S. envoy Zinni meets with PA officials, an Islamic Jihad suicide bomber detonates a device on a bus in Hadera, Israel, killing 3 Israelis, wounding 7. The bomber reportedly boarded the bus in the Israeli Arab town of Umm al-Fahm. A Palestinian gunman also kills 1 IDF soldier in a drive-by shooting at a West Bank checkpoint. The IDF opens fire on a Palestinian car at a Jordan Valley checkpoint, killing 2 Palestinians who "acted suspiciously" by making a U-turn to avoid the congested crossing. The IDF also opens fire on a French delegation (135 politicians, journalists, intellectuals) touring homes demolished by the IDF in Khan Yunis; seals Hebron; sets up more roadblocks, especially on the road to Bethlehem; tightens the closure on Tulkarm, bulldozing areas along the Green Line; raids a Palestinian factory nr. Qarni crossing, confiscating electrical equipment; directs heavy machine gun fire on residential areas of Jinin; shells residential areas of Khan Yunis. Jewish settlers, under IDF protection, place caravans on a new settlement site nr. Dayr al-Balah. (AFP, HP 11/29; AFP, AP, HP, MM, NYT, WT 11/30; al-Quds 11/30 in WNC 12/3; LAW 12/5)
    Sharon arrives in the U.S. on an official visit, accuses Arafat of having built a "coalition of terror" against Israel. (MM 11/30; NYT 12/1)
In response to the 11/29 Hadera bombing, Israeli DM Benjamin Ben-Eliezer authorizes the IDF to step up assassinations, tighten blockades on PA areas. The IDF encircles, takes up positions just inside PA-controlled areas of Jinin, Nablus, Tulkarm; directs machine gun fire at residential areas of Beitunia, Nablus; sends bulldozers into al-Bireh, temporarily occupies the roof of the PA Min. of Planning and International Cooperation while land in front of the building is razed; conducts an arrest raid in Hebron. 1,000 Palestinians demonstrate in Ramallah, 8 are injured when the IDF fires on the crowd. (MM 11/30; PMC, NYT, WP, WT 12/1; LAW 12/5)
Chronology Source Abbreviations
AFP (Agence France-Presse, Paris)

al-Akhbar , Cairo)

AN (Arab News, Riyadh)

AP (Associated Press [Internet])

ATL (Anatolia, Ankara)

al-Ayyam , Ramallah)

BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation World Service [Internet])

CNN (Cable News Network [Internet])

Christian Science Monitor , Boston)

al-Dustur , Amman)

GS (Gush Shalom, Tel Aviv)

HA (


Aretz [Internet], Tel Aviv)

HP (Hear Palestine [Internet], Washington)

IRNA (Islamic Republic News Agency, Tehran)

JP (
Jerusalem Post International Edition , Jerusalem)

JT (
Jordan Times , Amman)

LAW (Palestinian Society for the Protection of Human Rights and the Environment, Jerusalem)

LPA (London Press Association, London)

MA (
Ma'ariv , Tel Aviv)

Middle East International , London)

MENA (Middle East News Agency, Cairo)

MEZ (al-Mezan Center for Human Rights, Jabaliya)

MM (
Mideast Mirror , London)

New York Times , New York)

PCHR (Palestinian Center for Human Rights, Gaza)

PMC (Palestine Media Center [Internet])

PR (
Palestine Report , Jerusalem)

QA (
al-Quds al-Arabi , London)

REU (Reuters [Internet])

SA (
al-Sharq al-Awsat , London)

VIRI (Voice of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Tehran)

Washington Jewish Week , Rockville, MD)

WNC (World News Connection [Internet], Washington)

WP (
Washington Post , Washington)

WT (
Washington Times , Washington)

XIN (Xinhua-New China News Agency, Beijing)

YA (
Yedi'ot Aharonot , Tel Aviv)

Chronology compiled by Michele L. Kjorlien