Chronology 16 November 2004-15 February 2005
Abstract: 

16 NOVEMBER 2004-15 FEBRUARY 2005
COMPILED BY MICHELE K. ESPOSITO

16 NOVEMBER
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) fires on residential areas of Rafah; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Issawiyya, Saida nr. Tulkarm, Yatta nr. Hebron. An unidentified assailant stabs, wounds a Jewish settler at a bus stop nr. Ariel settlement, runs away. (VOI 11/17 in WNC 11/19; PCHR 11/18)
17 NOVEMBER
The IDF makes a major raid into al-Bureij refugee camp (r.c.) in central Gaza, shells residential areas, bulldozes at least 200 dunams (d.; 4 dunams = 1 acre) of citrus and olive groves; conducts arrest raids, house searches in al-Askar r.c. and Dahaysha r.c. nr. Bethlehem, Jenin r.c., Nablus, Ramallah, Yatta. Unidentified Palestinians fire at a Jewish settler vehicle nr. Kifl Harith in the West Bank, causing damage but no injuries. Some 70 Jewish settlers fr. Itamar throw stones at, beat Palestinian olive harvesters in Awarta nr. Nablus; 50 IDF soldiers intervene to break up the fracas, are also attacked by settlers, detain 15 settlers. (BBC, HA 11/17; VOI 11/17 in WNC 11/19; PCHR 11/18)
18 NOVEMBER
IDF fatally shoots 3 Egyptian border policemen on the Egyptian side of the Rafah border whom they assumed were armed Palestinians attempting to plant a bomb or infiltrate the border; Israeli PM Ariel Sharon immediately phones Egyptian pres. Husni Mubarak, issues a public statement apologizing for the "tragic" accident, vows an investigation. Nonetheless, Egypt postpones to early 12/04 a visit to Israel by Egyptian envoy Omar Sulayman, FM Ahmad Abu al-Ghayt that was set to begin on 11/24. The IDF raids a Birzeit University dorm, detains 4 students, orders them to collect their belongings, handcuffs and blindfolds them, places them in military detention. The IDF also releases Hamas political leader Hassan Yusuf, who has been held in administrative detention for 2 yrs.; Yusuf-a Ramallah resident and one of the 400 Hamas mbrs. deported by Israel to Lebanon in 1990, became Hamas's senior West Bank political leader in 8/01 and was arrested during Operation Defensive Shield in 4/02-advocates Hamas participation in all levels of Palestinian elections and is seen as a leading moderate in the movement. An IDF sniper shoots, seriously wounds wanted Hamas mbr. Ghanim al-Hashash as he leaves a Rafah mosque in an apparent attempted assassination. The IDF rescues, arrests 5 Palestinians trapped in a collapsed smuggler's tunnel on the Rafah-Egypt border; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Bayt Iqsa e. of Jerusalem, Duha nr. Bethlehem, Yatta; fires on residential areas in and nr. Nablus, Rafah. Armed Jewish settlers fr. Dotem settlement ambush, stone Palestinian cars in nearby Tubas. (AP, BBC, MM 11/18; HA, MENA, VOI, VOP 11/18 in WNC 11/20; MM, NYT, WP, WT 11/19; VOI 11/19 in WNC 12/4; HA 11/21; CSM 11/22; PR 11/24; PCHR 11/25; PR 12/22)
19 NOVEMBER
The IDF shells Jabaliya r.c., killing a PA security officer; fires on residential areas of al-Qarara; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Tulkarm. (HA 11/19; VOI 11/19 in WNC 12/4; PCHR 11/25)
20 NOVEMBER
The IDF shells residential areas, fires on stone-throwing youths in Nablus, killing 2 15-yr.-old Palestinian boys; fatally shoots a mentally handicapped Palestinian who strays too close to Gaza's Netzarim settlement; fires on residential areas of Rafah; shells, bulldozes 18 d. of land in Wadi al-Silqa. (VOI, VOP 11/20 in WNC 11/23; WT 11/21; PCHR 11/25)
21 NOVEMBER
The IDF assassinates a senior al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade (AMB) mbr. Muhammad Liftawi, firing on his car as he drives nr. Beitunia, also killing 2 AMB mbrs. traveling with him; "deports" 4 Birzeit University students detained on 11/18 to their homes in Gaza without explanation; fires on Palestinians demonstrating against expansion of Israel's separation wall into Hebron, wounding 20; fires on residential areas of Rafah. The IDF also fires on 2 armed Palestinians approaching a settler-only road nr. Khan Yunis, killing 1 Palestinian while the other escapes; conducts arrest raids nr. Khan Yunis in search of the escapee, also demolishing 1 Palestinian home, bulldozing 57 d. of land. (HA, UPI 11/21; XIN 11/21 in WNC 11/23; NYT, WT 11/22; PCHR 11/25; Sunday Herald 11/28)
22 NOVEMBER
The IDF sends troops into Salfit, raids Prisoners' Support Society offices, confiscates files and a computer, vandalizes furniture; raids offices, confiscates documents of 2 cultural societies in Bethlehem, Qarawat Bani Hassan; conducts arrest raids, house searches in al-Bireh, Haris and nearby Nablus, al-Mughraqa, Qalqilya, Tulkarm r.c.; shells agricultural areas of al-Qarara. The IDF platoon cmdr. responsible for the deliberate shooting of a 13-yr.-old Palestinian girl in Gaza on 10/5/04 is indicted on charges of misuse of a firearm, ordering subordinates to lie about the shooting, violation of military regulations. Palestinians fire 6 mortars at a Jewish settlement in s. Gaza, 5 mortars at an IDF post on the Gaza-Egypt border, causing no damage or injuries. (XIN 11/22; VOI 11/23 in WNC 11/25; PCHR 11/25; WP 11/28) The Fatah Central Comm. votes (13-0, with 2 mbrs. not voting) to nominate PLO head Mahmud Abbas as the party's candidate in the upcoming PA presidential elections, slated for 1/9/05; calls on the PA to hold legislative elections before mid-2005. (XIN 11/22; JAZ 11/22 in WNC 11/24; MM, WP 11/23; QA 11/23 in WNC 11/25; PR 11/24; al-Ahram 12/3; BBC 12/10) U.S. Secy. of State Colin Powell ends a 2-day trip to Israel, Ramallah to discuss ways to accelerate the peace-making process and revitalize the Palestinian economy. He presses the sides to do everything possible to ensure that the maximum number of Palestinians, including those in East Jerusalem, are able to participate in the PA presidential elections on 1/9/05. Sharon says he will consider withdrawing troops fr. population centers, will do all he can to facilitate Palestinian movement during voting. (NYT, REU, WP, WT 11/22; JAZ, VOI, VOP 11/22 in WNC 11/24; al-Arabiyya TV 11/22 in WNC 12/25; MM, NYT, WP, WT 11/23; WP 11/28; MEI 12/3)
23 NOVEMBER
The IDF conducts arrest raids in Bani Na`im and neighboring Hebron, Bayt Jala, Bayt Rima nr. Ramallah. In East Jerusalem's Jewish Quarter, 4 American Yeshiva students throw a Molotov cocktail at a group of Palestinians, but the gasoline bomb fails to ignite, causing no injuries; Israeli police later arrest, quickly release the students on bail. (XIN 11/23; NYT, PCHR 11/25)
24 NOVEMBER
The IDF fires on stone-throwing Palestinians in Yatta, on residential areas of Brazil r.c., Rafah; conducts arrest raids in Tulkarm. A Palestinian sniper shoots, wounds an IDF soldier manning a post outside Dayr al-Balah. Hamas fires mortars at a Jewish settlement in s. Gaza, causing no damage or injuries. (XIN 11/24; VOP 11/24 in WNC 11/27; PCHR 11/25; JP 11/25 in WNC 11/27)
25 NOVEMBER
In Rafah, the IDF shells residential areas, conducts arrest raids and house searches, demolishes 8 Palestinian homes, severely damages 5 others, clashes with local militias, leaving 1 Hamas mbr. dead. The IDF also raids Hebron, demolishes a Palestinian home, fatally shoots Hamas mbrs. Murad al-Qawasmi, Omar al-Haymuni, wounds a 3d in what may be an assassination; demolishes 1 Palestinian home, bulldozes 34 d. of land, shells residential areas nr. Khan Yunis; blows up 1 apartment in a 4-story Palestinian apartment building nr. Hebron; conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Gaza's Kefar Darom settlement and in Aqabat Jabir r.c., Araba nr. Jenin, Bayt Sahur, Beitunia, Bethlehem, Hebron, Jericho, Qalqilya, Tulkarm r.c.; issues a military order, prohibiting Palestinian use of land 200-300 m on either side of the separation wall nr. Jenin. (VOI, VOP 11/25 in WNC 11/27; VOP 11/26 in WNC 11/30; FT 11/26; PCHR 12/2)The Fatah Revolutionary Council endorses the Fatah Central Comm.'s 11/22 choice of Abbas as the party's candidate for pres., with 100 of the council's 129 mbrs. voting in favor. (WP 11/26)
26 NOVEMBER
The IDF demolishes 1 Palestinian home in Hebron; fires on residential areas of Rafah; conducts arrest raids in Sawahara al-Sharqiyya, Silwad. (VOP 11/26 in WNC 11/30; PRCS 11/27; PCHR 12/2)
27 NOVEMBER
The IDF fires on stone-throwing youths in Nablus, killing a 15-yr.-old Palestinian boy; fires on residential areas of Asira Shamaliyya, Rafah (seriously wounding a 4-yr.-old Palestinian girl playing outside her home); sends troops into Askar r.c., fires on residential areas, then fires on stone-throwing Palestinians who confront the troops; raids a mosque in al-Tabaqa nr. Hebron, interrogates worshipers for 1 hr.; raids a charitable society in Dura nr. Hebron, confiscating documents, equipment. (VOI 11/27 in WNC 11/30; NYT 11/28; PCHR 12/2)
28 NOVEMBER
The IDF fires on a group of "suspicious" Palestinians in Rafah apparently attempting to cross the border into Egypt, killing 2 Palestinians and wounding 2 in the group, killing a Palestinian doctor inside his home nearby; tightens movement around Ramallah; bulldozes 15 d. for construction of the separation wall nr. Hebron; fires on residential areas of Brazil r.c., Rafah. (VOI, VOP 11/28 in WNC 11/30; NYT 11/29; PCHR 12/2)
29 NOVEMBER
The IDF fatally shoots 2 Hamas mbrs. who attempt to attack an IDF outpost in Gaza; fires missiles at a culture and art center affiliated with Islamic Jihad in Khan Yunis, damaging the building but causing no injuries; demolishes 3 Palestinian homes, 25 bedouin shacks and livestock pens in Anata nr. Jerusalem; bulldozes 1 d. of land in Khan Yunis; conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem and in Marda nr. Nablus, Qarawat Bani Zayid and Rantis nr. Ramallah, Yabad nr. Jenin. An IDF soldier is killed, a 2d is injured when a smugglers' tunnel they are investigating on the Rafah-Egypt border collapses. (VOI 11/29 in WNC 12/1; WP 11/30; PCHR 12/2)Senior Hamas mbr. Shaykh Hassan Yusuf says that Hamas will halt all attacks on Israelis during the PA election campaigns, would consider a cease-fire agmt. if Israel agrees to reciprocate by releasing Palestinian prisoners, withdrawing fr. occupied land, halting assassinations. The AMB also says it is considering a cease-fire. (AP 11/29; WP, WT 11/30; al-Ahram 12/3)

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