Chronology 16 August - 15 November 2009
Abstract: 

 

16 AUGUST

 

In the West Bank, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) conduct late-night raids, house searches nr. Ramallah, in and around Jenin town and refugee camp (r.c.), and nr. Qalqilya, arresting 4 Palestinians. (PCHR 8/20)

Jewish settlers evict a Palestinian fr. his home in Silwan in East Jerusalem, claiming to have legal documents proving their ownership of it. (PCHR 8/20)

Israeli border police shoot, wound an Egyptian border policeman approaching the Sinai border fence nr. Elat when he refuses to identify himself and instead cocks his weapon, according to a joint investigation undertaken by the IDF Southern Command and Egyptian forces. (JPI 8/27, JR 9/14)

 

17 AUGUST

 

In Gaza, Israeli naval vessels confiscate a Palestinian fishing boat off the Rafah coast, temporarily detaining 2 Palestinian fishermen (releasing them on 8/18). (OCHA 8/19; PCHR 8/20)

In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night raids, house searches nr. Salfit and Jenin, in and around Hebron, and in Ramallah, arresting 13 Palestinians (including 3 teenagers); raids the Tulkarm home of a Palestinian woman recently released fr. Israeli jail, confiscating a mobile phone and photos. (PCHR 8/20)

At least 30 Jewish settlers attack mbrs. of the Hanun and al-Ghawi families, who were evicted fr. their homes in the Shaykh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem on 8/2 (see Quarterly Update in JPS 153), injuring 2 Palestinian girls and 1 international activist; Israeli security forces intervene, arresting several Palestinians and settlers, releasing all of them within a day. In Jerusalem’s Old City, Israeli police change the lock on the al-Nazir Gate of the al-Aqsa Mosque, normally controlled by Waqf authorities. The police later claim to have replaced the locks by mistake, and Waqf officials restore the original lock. In a training exercise lasting 1 hr., Israeli security forces practice scaling the fences surrounding the al-Aqsa Mosque using ladders. (OCHR 8/19; PCHR 8/20)

 

18 AUGUST

 

In the West Bank, the IDF detains 3 shop owners and demolishes their auto repair shops in Qalqilya, destroying equipment within and causing substantial losses. (PCHR 8/20)

The Israeli government denies reports that it has officially approved a construction freeze to last until 2010 but confirms that PM Benjamin Netanyahu, DM Ehud Barak, and Housing and Construction M Ariel Atias have made a decision to suspend soliciting of new bids for settlement construction in the West Bank. (JP 8/18; WP, WT 8/19; WJW 8/20; WT 8/21)

A Fatah al-Islam (FI) mbr. jailed in Lebanon for his participation in clashes between FI and the Lebanese army in `Ayn al-Hilwa r.c. in 2007 (see Quarterly Updates in JPS 145, 146) escapes fr. a high-security prison with the help of 8 other would-be escapees. (NYT 8/19)

 

19 AUGUST

 

In the West Bank, the IDF bars Palestinians fr. al-Ibrahimi Mosque/Tomb of the Patriarchs (site of the 1994 massacre committed by Baruch Goldstein) in Hebron to allow Jewish settlers to celebrate a religious event; conducts late-night raids, house searches in Hebron and Balata r.c. nr. Nablus, arresting 3 Palestinians; raids the home of, arrests Muhammad Ibrahim Abu Rahma, the deputy mayor of Bil`in, and a mbr. of the Public Committee Against the Wall (he is released on 8/23). (OCHA 8/25; PCHR 8/27)

Lebanese commandos recapture the FI mbr. who escaped fr. prison on 8/18. (NYT 8/20)

 

20 AUGUST

 

In the West Bank, the IDF sets up additional checkpoints and searches Palestinian vehicles in n. Hebron; raids nearby shops, questions shop owners but makes no arrests. Jewish settlers fr. Avraham Avino in Hebron uproot Palestinian carob and pine trees fr. the gardens opposite the al-Ibrahimi Mosque/Tomb of the Patriarchs; the IDF observes but does not intervene. (OCHA 8/25; PCHR 8/27)

 

21 AUGUST

 

The IDF makes a brief incursion into s. Gaza to level land and clear lines of sight e. of Abasan, Khuza, and al-Fukhari villages. (PCHR 8/27)

In the West Bank, the IDF fires rubber-coated steel bullets, sound bombs, tear gas, skunk (a foul-smelling liquid) at Palestinians and international activists taking part in a nonviolent demonstration against the separation wall in Ni`lin (10s suffer fr. tear gas inhalation); fires rubber-coated steel bullets, sound bombs, tear gas and violently beats a number of Palestinian and international activists taking part in a nonviolent demonstration against the separation wall in al-Ma`sara (injuring 2, including 1 teenager); fires rubber-coated bullets, sound bombs, tear gas at Palestinian activists, some of whom throw stones at IDF troops, taking part in a demonstration against the separation wall in Bil`in (10s suffer fr. tear gas inhalation); implements additional security restrictions on the movements of Palestinians in the old city of Hebron, which prevents a number of them fr. entering the al-Ibrahimi Mosque/Tomb of the Patriarchs for Friday prayers; conducts late-night raids, house searches in Surif village nr. Hebron, arresting 2 Palestinians. (OCHA 8/25; PCHR 8/27)

 

22 AUGUST

 

For unknown reasons, IDF troops on the n. Gaza border shoot and wound a Palestinian teenager fr. Bayt Lahiya who is at least 900 meters fr. the border. (PCHR 8/27)

In the West Bank, the IDF detains dozens of farmers in and around Bayt Awa nr. Hebron and warns them of straying near the separation wall. (PCHR 8/27)

 

23 AUGUST

 

For unknown reasons, IDF troopson the n. Gaza border nr. Bayt Hanun fire at Palestinian farmers and houses, wounding a farmer who is at least 1,800 m fr. the border. (OCHA 8/25; PCHR 8/27; OCHA Humanitarian Monitor 8/09)

Israel announces a general easing of restrictions on movement of West Bank Palestinians during Ramadan (which began on 8/22), though Palestinian access to East Jerusalem is restricted to men over 50 yrs. old, women over 45, and children under 12. In the West Bank, the IDF violently beats a Palestinian who allegedly threw rocks at a checkpoint in Hebron; conducts late-night raids, house searches in and around Jenin town and r.c., arresting 3 Palestinians. Jewish settlers fr. Avraham Avino throw stones, empty bottles, garbage at nearby Palestinian houses; the IDF observes but does not intervene. Muhammad Ibrahim Abu Rahma, the deputy mayor of Bil`in arrested by the IDF on 8/19, is released on bail under strict conditions, including that he agree not to participate in demonstrations, remain at least 6 km away fr. the separation wall every Friday, and make a 3-hr. visit to an Israeli police station every day. (PCHR 8/27, 9/3; OCHA Humanitarian Monitor 9/09)

 

24 AUGUST

 

IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire on a group of Palestinians nr. Bayt Lahiya in disputed circumstances, killing 1 Palestinian teenager, injuring at least 1 other, and possibly arresting a 3d; the IDF claims the group was planting a roadside bomb along the border, whereas Palestinian sources claim they were civilians collecting scrap metal nr. the border fence. Unidentified Palestinians respond by firing 2 or 3 rockets into Israel, wounding an IDF soldier. (NYT, OCHA, WT 8/25; PCHR 8/27; OCHA Humanitarian Reports 8/09, 9/09; JPI 9/4)

In the West Bank, the IDF seals the entrance to Sa`ir village nr. Hebron for 3 hrs.; conducts late-night raids, house searches in Jenin town and r.c., in and around Hebron, nr. Ramallah, arresting 2 Palestinians and summoning several others for questioning. (PCHR 8/27)

 

25 AUGUST

 

In retaliation for Palestinian rocket fire on 8/24, the IDF carries out an early morning air strike on smuggling tunnels on the Rafah border, collapsing a tunnel, killing 2 Palestinians and injuring at least 6 others; 1 person is reported missing. (OCHA 8/25; NYT 8/26; PCHR 8/27; OCHA Humanitarian Report 8/09; JPI 9/4)

In the West Bank, the IDF storms the Bayt Jala offices of Bethlehem 2000 Radio, confiscating $150,000 worth of equipment; conducts raids, house searches nr. Ramallah, and Jericho, in Hebron and al-`Arub r.c. nr. Hebron, arresting 5 Palestinians (including 2 teenagers); patrols and opens fire in Qabatya village nr. Jenin, causing no reported injuries. (PCHR 8/27)

Palestinian Authority (PA) PM Salam Fayyad publicizes a 65-page plan to unilaterally build a de facto Palestinian state comprising both the West Bank and Gaza by 2011. (NYT, WP, WT 8/26; WJW 8/27; JPI 9/4) (See Doc. B4 in JPS 153 and Quarterly Update for details)

To mark captured IDF soldier Cpl. Gilad Shalit’s upcoming 23d birthday on 8/28, 100s of Israeli activists demonstrate outside Israeli security prisons where Palestinians are detained to prevent prisoners’ families fr. visiting them; Israeli police arrest 4 demonstrators. Israel consequently suspends family visits for West Bank prisoners in the Hadarim and Shikma prisons allegedly to reduce the likelihood of clashes. (OCHA 8/25; JPI 9/4)

 

26 AUGUST

 

The IDF shoots, seriously wounds a Palestinian at a checkpoint in Hebron after he allegedly attempts to attack a soldier with a knife; conducts late-night raids, house searches in Qalqilya and nr. Jenin, Bethlehem, Jericho, Hebron, Salfit, and Ramallah, arresting 15 Palestinians. Following a late-night explosion nr. the Bayt Ijza gate into Jerusalem, Israeli border police close all 3 gates in the separation wall controlling access to Palestinian agricultural land in the Jerusalem governorate, preventing Palestinian farmers fr. reaching their grape crops. (PCHR 8/27; OCHA Humanitarian Monitor 8/09; OCHA, PCHR 9/3)

On the sidelines of meetings with British PM Gordon Brown in London, Netanyahu meets with U.S. special envoy George Mitchell to discuss peace issues; the two report having “made good progress” (no elaboration) and say they will meet again in the coming weeks. (Christian Science Monitor, NYT, WJW, WP 8/27)

 

27 AUGUST

 

Israeli naval vessels fire on Palestinian fishing boats and swimmers approximately 700 m fr. the Gaza coast nr. Bayt Lahiya, killing 1 Palestinian and injuring 1 other. (OCHA, PCHR 9/3)

In the West Bank, the IDF erects an iron gate at the entrance of al-Naqura village nr. Nablus. Israeli security forces announce that 3 gates in the separation wall nr. Jerusalem closed on 8/26 will remain so indefinitely. Jewish settlers in Hebron vandalize 3 Palestinian vehicles and throw stones, bottles at Palestinian homes in Tal Rumayda neighborhood. (OCHA, PCHR 9/3)
Fmr. U.S. pres. Jimmy Carter leads a group of international public figures associated with human rights advocacy to meet with local organizers of the weekly nonviolent protests against the separation wall held in Bil`in. (NYT 8/28)

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