Chronology 16 November 2000-15 February 2001

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VOL. 30

2000/01

No. 3
P. 176
Chronology
Chronology 16 November 2000-15 February 2001
ABSTRACT

16 NOVEMBER
    Israeli-Palestinian clashes
enter their 50th day, with the internal closure on Palestinian towns in the West Bank still in place. Israeli PM Ehud Barak tells Israelis to prepare for a protracted conflict, threatens to escalate actions against Palestinians. To pressure the  Palestinian Authority (PA), Barak suspends plans to transfer $64 m. in taxes and customs duties owed the PA to cover salaries and regular expenses. Overnight, the Israel Defense Force (IDF) shell Fatah offices in Hebron, Jinin. During the day, IDF troops fatally shoot 4 Palestinians, fire on a Palestinian police station. 1 of the 4 Palestinians dies while the IDF blocks an ambulance crew fr. reaching him for 2 hrs. Inside Israel, Israeli Arabs clash with Israeli police officers nr. Sakhnin, leaving 1 demonstrator slightly injured. IDF West Bank cmdr. Brig. Gen. Benjamin Gantz warns that he "could probably wipe out Bayt Jala in a matter of hrs." Jewish settlers uproot a Palestinian olive grove nr. Ramallah, fire on Palestinian cars nr. Zatariyya Junction, injuring 2. (AFP [Internet], MENL, MM 11/16; LAW, NYT, WP 11/17; AIC 11/20; NYT 1/17)
    In Gaza, U.S. special envoy Dennis Ross meets with PA head Yasir Arafat to discuss ways of halting the ongoing violence, resuming peace talks. (HA, WP, WT 11/17; MEI 11/24)
    Hizballah claims responsibility for setting off a small bomb in the disputed Shaba` Farms area of the Golan Heights, slightly injuring 1 IDF soldier. The UN condemns the attack, expresses concern. (AFP [Internet] 11/16; MM, NYT, YA 11/17; MEI 11/24) (see 11/15)

17 NOVEMBER
    Israeli-Palestinian clashes
continue, leaving 6 Palestinians dead. Arafat publicly orders Palestinian gunmen to stop shooting at Israelis fr. PA-controlled areas, but there is no sign the order is heeded. Barak tightens economic sanctions on the Palestinians, barring any goods other than food or medicine, including fuel, fr. reaching the PA areas. Israel again bars Palestinians under age 45 fr. attending Friday prayers at al-Aqsa Mosque. The IDF shells residential areas of Ramallah, destroying an empty building. Jewish settlers uproot a Palestinian olive grove nr. Nablus, throw stones at Palestinian cars nr. Nablus, Qalqilya, Ramallah. (HA, LAW, MEZ 11/17; NYT, WP, WT 11/18; MA [Internet], YA 11/19; al-Quds 11/19, 11/20 in WNC 11/21; AIC, JT [Internet], MEZ 11/20)

18 NOVEMBER
    Israeli-Palestinian clashes
continue. In Gaza, a PA policeman opens fire on an IDF post outside a Jewish settlement, killing 1 IDF soldier, wounding 2, before being shot dead. In Khan Yunis camp, an explosion at a Force 17 building injures 4 Force 17 mbrs.; Israel denies PA claims that the IDF fired a missile at the building. The IDF tightens the closure on Palestinian villages in the West Bank; blocks, digs trenches across secondary roads frequented by Palestinians; bulldozes at least 65 dunams of Palestinian agricultural land along roads, especially in Gaza and nr. Tura in the West Bank. The IDF also demolishes 2 Palestinian brick factories in Gaza. Jewish settlers stone Palestinian cars on the Nablus-Ramallah road. (LAW 11/18; PCHR, NYT, WT 11/19; AIC, MEZ 11/20)

19 NOVEMBER
    With the reinforced closure on Palestinian villages, Israeli-Palestinian clashes abate significantly, although 1 Palestinian is killed. Israel decides not to retaliate for the death of a soldier in Gaza on 11/18. The IDF reinforces barricades and digs trenches across roads at the entrances to al-Bireh, Hebron, Jinin; reinforces hilltop outposts surrounding Bethlehem, Hebron, Jinin, al-Khadir, Nablus, Qalqilya. Armed Jewish settlers chase off Palestinians harvesting their olive groves nr. Tubas. Other settlers uproot Palestinian-owned olive trees nr. Keddumim settlement; open fire on Palestinian cars nr. Nablus, injuring 1. (LAW 11/19; ADM, AIC, NYT, WP, WT 11/20)
    In Jordan, an Israeli emb. official is shot, wounded in an apparent assassination attempt. (MM, NYT, WP, WT 11/20; Tehran Times 11/21 in WNC 11/22; WP 12/6; AFP 12/6 in WNC 12/8)
    Lebanese protesters throw stones at IDF troops across the blue line, the UN nonborder separating the 2 countries. IDF troops fire back, injuring 1 protester. (NYT 11/20; MEI 11/24)
    Antinormalization Comm. of the Union of Professional Associations in Jordan releases its blacklist of 22 Jordanian individuals, companies that have advocated normalization with Israel; urges Jordanians to boycott them. (AP 11/19; NYT 11/22; WJW 11/23; MEI 12/22) (see Peace Monitor)

20 NOVEMBER
    Israeli-Palestinian clashes
intensify when Palestinians detonate a large roadside bomb nr. Gaza's Kefar Darom settlement as an armored school bus escorted by IDF troops passes. 2 Jewish settlers, both adults, are killed and 9 are wounded, including children. Although Arafat denounces the bombing, Barak blames Arafat and Fatah directly, convenes his security cabinet, and orders IDF helicopter gunships, naval vessels to shell at least 12 buildings in Gaza City (including Arafat's Fatah and PA headquarters, PA Preventive Security Force offices, Force 17 offices, Voice of Palestine Radio, a Palestinian TV station), killing 2 Palestinians, injuring 125, hitting 4 private homes, and cutting power to areas of the city. Other helicopter gunships target areas nr. Rafah. Nr. Kefar Darom and in Ramallah, the IDF razes 10s of dunams of Palestinian orchards along the roads so Palestinians will have "no place to hide." A 3d Palestinian is shot dead by the IDF in the West Bank. Jewish settlers fire on Palestinians harvesting an olive grove nr. Salfit, injuring several Palestinians; uproot an olive grove nr. Qalqilya; fire on Palestinian cars nr. Jinin, injuring 1. (ADM, HA, LAW, MEZ, MM 11/20; RMC 11/20 in WNC 11/21; HA, MEZ, NYT, WP, WT 11/21; Interfax, MA, XIN 11/21 in WNC 11/22; HJ 11/21, AYM 11/22 in WNC 11/24; NYT, WP 11/22; MEI, MM 11/24; AYM 11/24 in WNC 11/29)
    The State Dept. for the 1st time since 9/28 states that "Israelis also need to understand that the excessive use of force is not the right way to go." Special envoy Ross postpones a visit to the region set to begin today. (NYT, WP, WT 11/21; MM 11/22)
    Following the Kefar Darom attack, Shas declares it will not renew Barak's "safety net," which it agreed to provide until the end of 11/00. With Shas's support, Barak has survived no-confidence motions since the Knesset reconvened on 10/30. (AFP [Internet] 11/20) (see 11/13)

21 NOVEMBER
    Israeli-Palestinian clashes
continue, leaving 5 Palestinians dead. A 6th Palestinian dies of injuries received earlier. A Palestinian sniper fatally shoots a Jewish settler driving through Gaza; the IDF demolishes a nearby abandoned post thought to be the source of the gunfire. IDF helicopter gunships, tanks shell residential areas of Dayr al-Balah (targeting the home of senior PSF official Ahmad `Abd al-Karim), Jericho, Khan Yunis, Nablus, al-Shaykh, Tulkarm. Jewish settlers fire on Palestinian homes in Huwarra (nr. Nablus), in Kafr Deek (nr. Salfit). The IDF bulldozes 60 dunams of Palestinian land along setter bypass roads nr. Kefar Darom, 10s of dunams of olive groves nr. Salfit, a Palestinian road and water network in Ramallah. (ADM, LAW, MM 11/21; AFP, MENA 11/21 in WNC 11/22; MM, NYT, WP, WT 11/22; SA 11/22 in WNC 11/24; HJ 11/22 in WNC 11/29; MEI 11/24; WJW 11/30)
    In protest over Israel's 11/20 shelling of PA offices, Egypt recalls Amb. Muhammad Bassyouni but does not suspend diplomatic relations. (MM 11/21; AFP, MENA 11/21 in WNC 11/22; MENA 11/21, MENA 11/22, HJ, MENA, al-Quds, SA 11/23 in WNC 11/24; MM, NYT, WP, WT 11/22; MEI 11/24; MENA 11/25 in WNC 11/29; MM 11/27; JP 12/1; SA 1/22 in WNC 1/23)
    Israel informs the U.S. it will delay the start of the Mitchell Comm.'s investigation into the causes of the al-Aqsa intifada because "the timing is wrong." (MM, NYT, WP, WT 11/22; ATL 11/22 in WNC 11/24; MEI 11/24; WJW 11/30) (see Peace Monitor)

22 NOVEMBER
    Israeli-Palestinian clashes
intensify, leaving 9 Palestinians dead, including senior Fatah official Jamal `Abd al-Razik, whose car is ambushed and strafed by IDF troops. Hrs. later, a remote-controlled car bomb explodes during rush hr. in Hadera, Israel, killing 2 Israelis, injuring 60. Although Arafat denounces the bombing, Barak blames the PA, vows Israel will "get even," convenes his security cabinet to discus how to respond; the cabinet recesses without taking a decision. The IDF sends more tanks into Gaza; dismantles the vegetable market in Hebron; bulldozes Palestinian land in Bayt Lahia, Dayr al-Balah, Hebron, Nablus; demolishes several homes nr. Kefar Darom, Gush Katif; takes over a home in Ajja for use as a new base. The IDF directs shells, heavy machine gun fire on residential areas of al-Bireh, Rafah (destroying 1 home, damaging 2). Jewish settlers bulldoze Palestinian land and set fire to 2 factories in Tura al-Sharqiyya; bulldoze land nr. Qalqilya, Salfit; fire on Palestinians nr. Jinin; attack Palestinians in Bayt Ilo, Bayt Rimia, Dayr `Amar, Qalqilya. The PSF successfully removes explosive devices found in schools in Balata camp, Nablus. (ADM, LAW, MEZ, MM 11/22; AFP 11/22 in WNC 11/24; MM, NYT, WP, WT 11/23; NYT, WP 11/24; MA, al-Quds 11/24 in WNC 11/29; Independent [Internet], JP 12/7; PCHR 12/18; WJW 12/28)
    In response to the Hadera bombing, 10,000s of Israeli attend a "Let the Army Win!" rally in Jerusalem's Zion Square, calling for revenge attacks on Palestinian targets, tougher military action against the Palestinians. (AFP [Internet] 11/22; MM, NYT, WP 11/23; MEI 11/24; WP 11/27; MM 11/28)
    At an emergency session of the UN Security Council (UNSC) in New York, Egyptian, Palestinian envoys call for international protection for the Palestinians. The U.S. says the emergency session, the call for international observers are inappropriate, unhelpful. (MM 11/22; JT, XIN 11/22, MENA 11/23 in WNC 11/24; MM 11/30)
    The UN Economic and Social Council adopts (21-19 with 11 abstentions) a resolution by the UN Human Rights Commission (UNHRC) ordering an investigation of Israeli violations of Palestinian human rights during the recent clashes. (MM 11/30)

23 NOVEMBER
    Israeli-Palestinian clashes
continue, leaving at least 2 Palestinians dead, including Hamas mbr. Ibrahim Bani Odeh, who dies when a car bomb rigged by the IDF explodes in Nablus. The 2d Palestinian is shot dead by the IDF in Gaza after a roadside bomb detonates nr. an IDF patrol. Palestinian gunmen open fire on an IDF post in Gaza, killing 1 IDF soldier. A 2d IDF soldier is killed when a bomb explodes at a District Coordination Office (DCO) in Gaza, where PA-Israeli joint patrols are based. The IDF shells residential areas nr. Rafah border terminal, destroying 1 Palestinian home. (LAW 11/23; LAW, NYT, WP, WT 11/24; HA 12/1; WJW 12/28)
    Barak's security cabinet continues discussions on how to respond to the 11/22 Hadera bombing, rejects a list of Palestinian targets for retaliatory strikes, arguing that air strikes have had little deterrent effect on the Palestinians while damaging Israel's public image, that Israel should switch to "precision operations against specific targets." Following the DCO bombing today, Israel evicts PSF officers fr. all DCOs, officially severing all security coordination. Later, however, senior PA and Israeli security officials meet at Erez to discuss ways of halting further escalation of violence. (MM 11/23; MENA 11/23 in WNC 11/24; MA [Internet], NYT, WP, WT, YA 11/24; al-Quds 11/26 in WNC 11/29)

24 NOVEMBER
    Israeli-Palestinian clashes
continue, leaving 5 Palestinian dead, including senior Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine DFLP mbr. Firas Qasim Saba'na, who is assasinated by IDF troops in Jinin. A 6th Palestinian dies of injuries received earlier. In Gaza, clashes erupt when the IDF attempts to remove a roadblock outside Khan Yunis. When the IDF responds to stone throwers with heavy weapons, PA police and Palestinian gunmen fire back, killing 1 IDF soldier. The IDF also shells a Palestinian hotel in Bethlehem "to flush out gunmen." Palestinian gunmen fatally shoot a Jewish settler in the West Bank. The IDF bulldozes 18 dunams of Palestinian land nr. Kefar Darom settlement, 35 dunams nr. Netzarim settlement. For the 7th straight wk., Israel bars Palestinians under 45 fr. attending Friday prayers at al-Aqsa Mosque. The IDF says that since 11/22, it has arrested 119 West Bank Palestinians suspected of throwing stones, Molotov cocktails. (AP, LAW 11/24; LAW, NYT, WP, WT 11/25; IsraelWire [Internet] 11/26; PCHR 12/18)
    Arafat and Barak agree to resume security coordination during a 3-way phone conversation arranged by Russian pres. Vladimir Putin. Arafat, who is in Moscow on a 1-day visit to meet with Putin, suggests Russia convene a Madrid-style international conference on the peace process, but Barak rejects the idea. (Interfax, ITAR-TASS 11/24, ITAR-TASS 11/25, HJ, SA 11/26 in WNC 11/29; NYT, REU, WP, WT 11/25; AFP [Internet], MA [Internet] 11/26)
    This evening, senior PA and Israeli security officials hold more coordination talks, agree to allow PSF officers back into DCOs. (AYM 11/24, HJ 11/26 in WNC 11/29)

25 NOVEMBER
    Israeli-Palestinian clashes
continue, leaving 4 Palestinians dead. In Gaza, IDF shells hit 2 ambulances, wounding 2 Palestinian Health Min. employees. The IDF bulldozes farm land nr. Hebron and directs tank, heavy machine-gun fire at residential areas of Aida camp, Bayt Hanun, Bayt Lahia (damaging 5 Palestinian homes, a water pump), Bir al-Hummus, Jinin, Khan Yunis, Sudaniyya, Yatta. Jewish settlers severely beat an ambulance driver nr. Nablus, assault Palestinians in 6 villages in the Nablus area. Overnight, the IDF captures an armed Palestinian crossing into the West Bank fr. Jordan. Israel allows PSF officers to return to DCOs but complains that they are not actively coordinating. In Gaza, Arafat meets with Israeli tourism M Amnon Shahak to discuss security cooperation. (ADM, LAW 11/25; LAW, NYT, WP, WT 11/26; MA 11/26 in WNC 11/29; NYT, WP, YA 11/27; HJ 11/27 in WNC 11/29; WP 11/28)

26 NOVEMBER
    After 19 days of recounting votes, Florida certifies Texas gov. George W. Bush as winner of the 11/7 presidential election in the state, giving him the electoral college votes to become president. Lawyers for Democratic rival VP Al Gore plan to challenge the Florida certification, which will drag out the process for at least a wk. (NYT, WP, WT 11/27; MEI 12/22)
    Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue. Nr. Qalqilya, IDF snipers fatally shoot 4 Palestinians (each hit 4-11 times). A 5th Palestinian dies of injuries received earlier. The IDF shells residential areas in Khan Yunis, damaging 1 home. The IDF also bulldozes 10s of dunams of Palestinian land nr. Dugit settlement, Kefar Darom settlement, Kissufim crossing (destroying 1 home, damaging another), Netzarim Junction, Rafah crossing (destroying 4 storerooms, 6 irrigation systems, 1 well serving 50 families). (LAW 11/26; LAW, NYT, PCHR, WP, WT 11/27; PCHR 12/18)
    In Cairo, PA, Israeli security officials hold mtgs. on halting the clashes. (YA 11/27)
    Hizballah detonates a roadside bomb nr. an IDF convoy in the Shaba` Farms area of the Golan Heights, killing 1 soldier, injuring 2. Israel responds with air strikes, artillery and machine-gun fire on Hizballah targets in s. Lebanon, wounding 1 Lebanese civilian. (IDF Radio [Internet] 11/26; MM, NYT, WP, WT, YA 11/27; MM 11/28; MEI 12/8)

27 NOVEMBER
    On this 1st day of Ramadan, Israeli-Palestinian clashes abate; 1 Palestinian dies of injuries received earlier. The PA announces it has arrested 2 Hamas mbrs. in connection with the 11/22 Hadera car bombing. In response, Israel eases restrictions on the passage of goods, fuel through Qarni crossing. The IDF opens heavy machine-gun fire on Bayt Jala in response to Palestinian sniping directed at the neighboring Jewish settlement of Gilo. IDF tanks fire on residential areas of Aida, Bayt Jala, Hebron. Jewish settlers bulldoze 40 dunams of Palestinian crop land nr. Khan Yunis. The IDF bulldozes 68 dunams of land, including 2 homes, nr. Netzarim Junction. (PCHR 11/27; LAW, MA [Internet], WP, WT 11/28; AYM 11/28 in WNC 11/29; PCHR 12/18)
    The IDF completes an inquiry into the fatal shooting of 12-yr.-old Muhammad al-Dura in Gaza on 9/30, concluding that it was "quite plausible" that he was killed by PA gunfire. The PA, the France 2 cameraman who taped the incident reject the report. (NYT, WP, WT 11/28; AYM 11/28 in WNC 12/1; WJW 11/30; MM 12/8)

28 NOVEMBER
    Israeli-Palestinian clashes
continue to abate, though 2 Palestinians are killed and a 3d Palestinian dies of injuries received earlier. To mark Ramadan, Israel partially reopens Rafah crossing, says it will transfer some of the money owed the PA. In Gaza, 2 roadside bombs explode nr. IDF patrols, causing no injuries; after 1 explosion, IDF soldiers open fire on nearby Palestinians, injuring 15. The IDF shells residential areas of Aida, Bayt Jala, Hebron, Khan Yunis, and Rafah, injuring 30 Palestinians; bulldozes around 150 dunams of Palestinian agricultural land nr. Gush Katif settlement, Khan Yunis, Kissufim crossing, and Qarni crossing in Gaza, leveling a total of 8 homes, an irrigation network. Jewish settlers set fire to Palestinian crop land nr. Jinin, fire on a PSF post nr. the bypass road to Keddumim settlement. (HA, LAW, MM 11/28; MENA 11/28 in WNC 11/29; JP [Internet], PCHR, WP 11/29; HJ, al-Quds 11/29 in WNC 12/1; WJW 11/30)
    The Knesset convenes to vote on 5 no-confidence motions. Expecting to lose the votes given the expiration of Shas's safety net, Barak opens by announcing his willingness to hold new elections as early as spring 2001. MKs overwhelmingly approve the motions. (AFP [Internet], MM 11/28; MM, NYT, WP, WT 11/29; WJW 11/30; JT 11/30 in WNC 12/1; AYM, al-Quds 11/30 in WNC 12/7; WJW 12/7; MEI 12/8) (see 11/20)



29 NOVEMBER
    Israeli-Palestinian clashes
continue, killing at least 4 Palestinians. Another 2 Palestinians die of injuries received earlier. Palestinian gunmen critically wound a Jewish settler driving through the West Bank. The IDF bulldozes more than 87 dunams of Palestinian land nr. Kissufim crossing, Netzarim Junction; opens fire on residential areas of al-Amal, Hebron, Khan Yunis. (LAW, NYT, PCHR, WT 11/30; PCHR 12/18)
    Barak adviser and chief negotiator Gilead Sher makes a low-key trip to Ramallah to meet with Palestinian Council (PC) speaker and senior negotiator Ahmad Qurai`. No details are released. (MA [Internet] 12/12)
    Likud MK Ariel Sharon says he will challenge Barak for the premiership, but no Likud mbrs. publicly support him, waiting to see if fmr. Likud PM Benjamin Netanyahu, considered a stronger candidate, also announces. (MM 11/29; NYT, WP, WT 11/30; MM 12/4; JP 12/7; MM 12/8) (see 12/9)

30 NOVEMBER
    Israeli-Palestinian clashes
continue, leaving at least 2 Palestinians dead. Nr. Bethlehem, IDF troops fire live ammunition at a Palestinian school, killing 1 student, wounding 10. Nr. Bethlehem, a Jewish settler intentionally hits a Palestinian with his car, killing him. The IDF bulldozes 16 dunams of Palestinian land nr. Netzarim Junction. (LAW 11/30; al-Quds 12/5 in WNC 12/8; PR 12/6; PCHR 12/18)
    Barak proposes a sharply scaled-back peace accord that would recognize a Palestinian state on about 30% of the West Bank, plus the 65-70% of Gaza the PA now controls. The PA rejects the offer as a campaign ploy. (MM 11/30; HA, NYT, WP, WT 12/1; MENA, al-Quds 12/1, MENA 12/2 in WNC 12/7; AYM, al-Quds 12/2, MA 12/6 in WNC 12/8; MEI 12/8)
Chronology Source Abbreviations
ADM (Addameer--Prisoners Support and Human Rights Association, Ramallah)

AFP (Agence France-Presse, Paris)

AIC (Alternative Information Center, Jerusalem)

ANSA (Associated National Press Agency, Rome)

AP (Associated Press, Internet)

ATL (Anatolia, Ankara)

AYM (al-Ayyam, Ramallah)

BDL (BADIL Resource Center, Bethlehem)

DUS (al-Dustur, Amman)

FAV (
Free Arab Voice , Internet)

HA (Ha'Aretz, Tel Aviv)

HJ (al-Hayat al-Jadida, Ramallah)

HP (Hear Palestine, Washington)

IRNA (Islamic Republic News Agency, Tehran)

IsRN (Israel Radio News, Internet)

JP (Jerusalem Post International Edition, Jerusalem)

JT (Jordan Times, Amman)

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

MA (Ma'ariv, Tel Aviv)

MEI (Middle East International, London)

MENA (Middle East News Agency, Cairo)

MENL (Middle East Newsline, Internet)

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

MM (Mideast Mirror, London)

NYT (New York Times, New York)

PCHR (Palestinian Center for Human Rights, Gaza)

PR (
Palestine Report , Jerusalem)

QA (
al-Quds al-Arabi , London)

REU (Reuters, Internet)

RL (Radio Lebanon, Beirut)

RMC (Radio Monte Carlo, Paris)

SA (al-Sharq al-Awsat, London)

UPI (United Press International, Internet)

WJW (Washington Jewish Week, Rockville, MD)

WNC (World News Connection [Internet], Washington, DC)

WP (Washington Post, Washington, DC)

WT (Washington Times, Washington, DC)

XIN (Xinhua-New China News Agency, Beijing)

YA (Yedi'ot Aharonot [Internet], Tel Aviv)



Chronology compiled by Michele L. Kjorlien