Chronology 16 February-15 May 2004
Abstract: 

16 February–15 May 2004

 

Compiled by Michele K. Esposito

 

16 FEBRUARY
   
The Israel Defense Force (IDF) fires on residential areas of Rafah, fatally shooting a Palestinian standing nr. his home; fires on residential areas of Khan Yunis, seriously wounding a 2d Palestinian man outside his shop; erects 2 new observation towers outside Khan Yunis; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Dura nr. Hebron. A Palestinian dies of injuries received during the 2/11 IDF raid on Gaza City. (VOP 2/16 in WNC 2/18; PCHR 2/19)

 17 FEBRUARY
   
The IDF fires on Palestinian farmers working their fields nr. Khan Yunis, seriously wounding 1; fires on a Khan Yunis cemetery, wounding 1 Palestinian; detains 4 Palestinian fishermen off the coast of Dayr al-Balah; bulldozes 45 dunams (4 dunams = 1 acre) of Palestinian agricultural land, irrigation works nr. Rafah; conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem, in Dahaysha refugee camp (r.c.), nr. Jenin, in Qalqilya; orders confiscation of 141 dunams of land in al-Mughayar village e. of Jenin for construction of the separation wall. A Palestinian dies of injuries received earlier. (VOP 2/17 in WNC 2/19; PCHR 2/19)

 18 FEBRUARY
  
 In an incident in Dayr al-Balah, IDF soldiers grant permission to an international delegation, including 3 UN staff members, to visit and question a local Palestinian family, provided they stay only 30 mins. and not enter the family’s home; the delegation complies, but as it is leaving, an IDF soldier deliberately shoots the 15 yr. old son of the family fr. a distance of 20 m., hitting him in the back, partially paralyzing him; the international team transports the boy to a Gaza City hospital. IDF also fires on residential areas of Brazil r.c., wounding an 11-yr.-old Palestinian boy; bulldozes 15 dunams of land, demolishes a Palestinian home nr. Jenin, 1 in Salfit nr. Nablus, a poultry farm in Dayr al-Balah; conducts arrest raids in Bayt Hanina, Gaza City, nr. Jenin. Armed Jewish settlers attack a Palestinian neighborhood in Hebron, seriously beating a 13-yr.-old Palestinian girl. In Jenin, unidentified assailants open fire on Palestinian Authority (PA) health minister Jawad al-Tibi, Palestinian Economic Council for Development and Reconstruction head Muhammad Ishtiyya during a visit to inaugurate a new hospital; neither is injured. (VOP 2/18 in WNC 2/20; PCHR 2/19; VOP 2/19 in WNC 2/21; LAW, PCHR 2/26; HA, DUS 2/28)
  
U.S. National Security Council Middle East Adviser Elliott Abrams, Dep. National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley, Asst. Secy. of State William Burns arrive in Israel for 3 days of talks with senior Israeli, Palestinian officials on Israeli PM Ariel Sharon plan for unilateral disengagement fr. Gaza. (MM 2/18; VOP 2/18 in WNC 2/20; BBC, HA, MM, WT 2/19; VOP 2/19 in WNC 2/21; MM, NYT, WP, WT 2/20; HA 2/22; WP 2/26; Forward 2/28) (see Quarterly Update)

 19 FEBRUARY
   
The IDF transfers a West Bank administrative detainee to Gaza for 4 yrs. (see Quarterly Update); fires on 4 Palestinians, allegedly al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade (AMB) mbrs. attempting to infiltrate Gaza’s Gush Katif settlement, killing 2 Palestinians, capturing 1; fires tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets into a school playground, wounding 3 children; bulldozes 120 dunams of land in al-Mughraqa; conducts house searches in al-Qarara nr. Khan Yunis. In Khan Yunis, unidentified gunmen open fire on the office of Palestinian Council (PC) mbr. Ibrahim Abu Naja, a close ally of PA head Yasir Arafat, causing significant damage but no injuries. (PCHR 2/19; HA 2/20; LAW, PCHR 2/26)

 20 FEBRUARY
   
The IDF conducts arrest raids in Bayt Sahur, Bethlehem, Qalqilya, and nr. Dayr al-Balah; bulldozes 8 dunams of olive groves, 4 greenhouses in Dayr al-Balah; fires on residential areas of Khan Yunis, Nablus. Palestinians fire an antitank missile at an IDF patrol in Gaza, lightly injuring 2 soldiers. Palestinians also fire a mortar at an IDF patrol outside a Jewish settlement in Gaza, causing no damage or injuries. In Hebron, 3 IDF soldiers are wounded in a friendly fire incident. Nr. Qalqilya, 100s of Jewish settlers block the IDF fr. removing a caravan fr. an unauthorized settlement outpost. (VOP 2/20 in WNC 2/24; HA 2/21; LAW, PCHR 2/26)

 21 FEBRUARY
   
The IDF fatally shoots a Palestinian who strays too close to the Gaza border fence nr. al-Bureij. r.c.; bulldozes 20 dunams of land outside Gaza City, 3 dunams in Rafah; fires on residential areas of Rafah. Nr. Bethlehem, Jewish settlers fire on local Palestinians fr. moving vehicles, seriously wounding at least 3. (JP 2/21; VOP 2/21 in WNC 2/24; NYT 2/22; LAW, PCHR 2/26)

 22 FEBRUARY
   
An AMB suicide bomber fr. Husan detonates a device on a bus in Jerusalem, killing 8 Israelis, wounding 50. Israel says that the attack is proof that Israel needs to build the separation wall. The IDF immediately sends troops into Husan, seals nearby Bethlehem. The IDF also bars an ambulance fr. crossing a checkpoint to reach a Hebron hospital, allowing an ailing Palestinian woman to die; fires in residential areas of Rafah; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Aida r.c., Balata r.c., Bethlehem; issues orders expropriating 27 dunams of Palestinian land until 12/05 for construction of a security fence around Gaza’s Netzarim settlement. A Hamas mbr. dies in Khan Yunis when a missile he is trying to fire prematurely explodes. Palestinians report that the IDF has recently begun barring Palestinians under age 35 fr. crossing checkpoints around Nablus. On the eve of the International Court of Justice hearings on thewall (see Quarterly Update), Israel begins dismantling a 5-mi. stretch of the barrier running east of the n. West Bank village of Baqa` al-Sharqiyya; the wall running west of the village will remain; Israel also reportedly plans not to build a 12.5 mi. stretch of wall cutting Jenin off fr. the Jordan Valley, not to dig deep trenches around Ben-Gurion Airport, to remove 2,953 feet of wall in the Qalqilya area. Palestinians across the territories begin holding demonstrations against the wall to coincide with the hearings. Jewish settlers throw rocks, bottles at Palestinian cars in East Jerusalem. (AFP, NYT, WP, WT 2/22; VOP, XIN 2/22 in WNC 2/24; HA, MM, NYT, WP, WT 2/23; AFP, MENA 2/23 in WNC 2/25; al-Quds 2/23 in WNC 2/26; AP 2/25; PCHR 2/26; MM 3/12)

 23 FEBRUARY
   
The IDF fires live ammunition at Palestinian youths who throw stones at troops at the end of an otherwise peaceful demonstration in Hebron against the separation wall, wounding 8 Palestinians, including 1 medic; fires live ammunition, tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets to break up peaceful demonstrations against the wall in Bethlehem, Jenin, Qalqilya, Ramallah, Tulkarm; conducts arrest raids, blows up the home of the 2/22 Palestinian suicide bomber in Husan; demolishes a 2d Palestinian home in Salfit; conducts arrest raids in Balata r.c., Bayt Jala, Bethlehem, Dahaysha r.c., Tarqumiyya nr. Hebron, Wadi al-Silqa nr. Dayr al-Balah; fires on Palestinian fisherman off Dayr al-Balah, halts 1 boat, arrests 6 fishermen. Jewish settlers fr. Ofra attack Palestinians in Silwad nr. Ramallah. (PM 2/23; LAW, PCHR 2/26; Guardian 2/27)

 24 FEBRUARY
   
The IDF opens fire on Palestinians attempting to block bulldozers fr. clearing land nr. Bayt Surik for construction of the separation wall, wounding at least 1; demolishes a Palestinian home in Sawahara al-Sharqiyya nr. Jerusalem for construction of the wall; begins construction of a new 42 km wall segment btwn. Elkana settlement nr. Qalqilya and Ofer detention center s. of Ramallah; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Artas nr. Bethlehem, in Rafah, in camps and villages around Hebron and Jenin; raids, seals a Tulkarm charitable organization allegedly linked to Hamas, confiscating equipment, furniture. PA security officials confirm that Hizballah helped fund the 1/29 and 2/22 suicide bombings. (AFP, MM 2/24; VOP 2/24 in WNC 2/26; AP, NYT 2/25; HA, LAW, PCHR 2/26)

 25 FEBRUARY
   
The IDF imposes a curfew on Ramallah, along with Shin Bet raids 4 banks to seize $6.7 m.–$9 m. from 400 accounts allegedly “linked to terrorist activities” (see Quarterly Update); troops clash with local Palestinians, leaving 57 wounded. The IDF also imposes a curfew on Husan; begins bulldozing land nr. Netzarim settlement confiscated on 2/23; demolishes a Palestinian home in Bayt Hanina; fires on residential areas of Khan Yunis; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Aida r.c., Balata r.c., Bayt Fajr, Bayt Jala, Bethlehem. In the n. Israel village of Be’einei, Israeli authorities demolish 3 Israeli Arab homes that were “illegally built,” bulldoze 10.5 dunams of olive groves, clash with residents (wounding 3, arresting 6). (AP, HA, IDF press release, PRCS 2/25; AFP, VOP 2/25 in WNC 2/27; HA, LAW, NYT, PCHR, REU, WP, WT 2/26; VOP 2/26 in WNC 2/28; CSM, Guardian, MM 2/27; AYM, JT 2/27 in WNC 3/2; JT 3/2 in WNC 3/4; MM, PR 3/3; MM 3/4; PCHR 3/11)

 26 FEBRUARY
   
The IDF transfers a West Bank administrative detainee to Gaza for 5 yrs.; opens fire on stone-throwing Palestinian youths at the end of a separation wall demonstration nr. Bayt Surik and Biddu, killing 2 Palestinians, wounding 20; blows up 2 Palestinian homes in Aida r.c.; conducts arrest raids in al-Arub r.c.; fires on residential areas of al-Qarara. The IDF also conducts arrest raids in Ramallah, temporarily blocking access to Arafat’s compound, occupying the Palestinian Medical Relief offices as an observation post, shooting and wounding 1 Palestinian. In Gaza, 2 AMB mbrs. crawl through a sewer pipe to get into the Erez Industrial Zone (inside Gaza), where they fatally shoot 2 IDF soldiers before being shot dead themselves. A group of Israelis stabs, beats, seriously injures a Palestinian in West Jerusalem; police arrest 1 Israeli. (HA, MM, REU 2/26; VOP 2/26 in WNC 2/28; MM, NYT, WP, WT 2/27; VOP 2/27 in WNC 3/2; PR 3/3; PCHR 3/4)

 27 FEBRUARY
   
An Islamic Jihad suicide bomber on a bicycle detonates a device nr. Gaza’s Kefar Darom settlement, killing only himself, causing no injuries. Palestinian gunmen open fire on an Israeli vehicle just inside Israel nr. Beersheba, killing 2 Israelis, escaping; the AMB, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine–General Command (PFLP–GC) claim responsibility. The IDF storms the al-Aqsa Mosque compound after Friday prayers, claiming to break up a demonstration there, firing rubber-coated steel bullets and percussion grenades, lightly injuring several Palestinians and sparking stone-throwing toward the Western Wall by Palestinian youths, which causes no injuries. The IDF also demolishes 84 Palestinian shops in Bayt Hanun, in an apparent move to expand the buffer zone around the Erez crossing; raids Husan, imposes a curfew, surrounds 3 mosques, fires tear gas inside, injuring 24 worshipers; fires on Palestinians who throw stones at soldiers at the end of peaceful demonstrations against the separation wall in Budrus, Qibya, causing no injuries; conducts arrest raids nr. Hebron, Ramallah; fires on residential areas of Khan Yunis; withdraws troops fr. the Palestinian Medical Relief offices in Ramallah, occupied on 2/26. Palestinians fire a Qassam rocket at Neve Dekalim settlement, causing damage but no injuries. (VOP 2/27 in WNC 3/2; NYT, PCHR, WT 2/28; PR 3/3; PCHR 3/4)

 28 FEBRUARY
   
The IDF assassinates Islamic Jihad military cmdr. Muhammad Judah, firing missiles at his car as he drives through Jabaliya r.c., also killing his 2 passengers, Islamic Jihad mbr. Amin Daduh and his brother Ayman Daduh (not a mbr. of the group), wounding 11 bystanders (including 3 children). The IDF also fires on Palestinian schoolchildren nr. Nablus, seriously injuring an 11-yr.-old boy; fires on residential areas of Khan Yunis; conducts house searches, fires on residential areas, damages vehicles in Surif nr. Hebron. In Gaza City, 20 Palestinian gunmen raid the PA Land Authority offices, demanding that property be transferred to their names. In Khan Yunis, 40 AMB mbrs. raid the Palestinian Broadcasting Company offices in what they say is a protest against economic conditions, demand jobs in the PA. (AFP, NYT, WP, WT 2/28; LBC, PSCT, VOP 2/28 in WNC 3/2; NYT, PR 3/3; PCHR 3/4)

 29 FEBRUARY
   
In an apparent assassination, the IDF raids Balata r.c., fatally shoots wanted AMB mbr. Muhammad Oweiss, allows him to bleed to death. At Oweiss’s funeral later in the day, the IDF fires on mourners outside the mosque, killing wanted AMB mbr. Rihad Abu Shallah, wounding 3 bystanders. The IDF also fires on residential areas of Rafah; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Bethlehem, Jenin, Nablus. Israel’s High Court orders a 1-wk. halt to construction of the separation wall, while it considers a petition fr. the Israeli-Palestinian group, Popular Comm. Against the Wall. In Gaza City, 1,000s of Palestinians take part in the funeral of Islamic Jihad military leader Judah, assassinated on 2/28. In Yatta nr. Hebron, Jewish settlers seize Palestinian land, begin constructing concrete platforms for mobile homes. (NYT, WP 3/1; PCHR 3/4; Gush Shalom press release 3/6)

 

Chronology Source Abbreviations

AFP     (Agence France-Presse, Paris)

AP       (Associated Press [Internet])

ATL     (Anatolia, Ankara)

AYM   (al-Ayyam, Ramallah)

BBC    (British Broadcasting Corporation World Service [Internet])

CSM    (Christian Science Monitor, Boston)

DUS    (al-Dustur, Amman)

FT        (Financial Times, London)

HA       (Ha’Aretz [Internet], Tel Aviv)

IRNA   (Islamic Republic News Agency, Tehran)

JP        (Jerusalem Post [Internet], Jerusalem)

JPI       (Jerusalem Post International Edition, Jerusalem)

JT        (Jordan Times, Amman)

JTA      (Jewish Telegraphic Agency [Internet])

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

LBC     (Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation, Beirut)

MA      (Ma’ariv, Tel Aviv)

MEI     (Middle East International, London)

MENA(Middle East News Agency, Cairo)

MM     (Mideast Mirror, London)

MNR   (al-Manar TV, Beirut)

NHR    (al-Nahar, Beirut)

NYT    (New York Times, New York)

PCHR  (Palestinian Center for Human Rights, Gaza)

PM      (Palestine Monitor [Internet])

PR       (Palestine Report, Jerusalem)

PRCS  (Palestine Red Crescent Society [Internet])

PSCT   (Palestine Satellite Channel Television, Gaza)

QA      (al-Quds al-Arabi, London)

REU     (Reuters [Internet])

SA       (al-Sharq al-Awsat, London)

THWR(al-Thawra, Damascus)

TSHR  (Tishrin, Damascus)

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

VOI     (Voice of Israel, Jerusalem)

VOP    (Voice of Palestine, Jericho)

WJW   (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)

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