Chronology 16 August-15 November 2002

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VOL. 32


No. 2
P. 172
Chronology 16 August-15 November 2002

 The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) continue to reoccupy 7 Palestinian towns (Bethlehem, Hebron, Jenin, Nablus, Qalqilya, Ramallah, Tulkarm) and impose 24-hr. curfews on most population centers, tight restrictions on movement throughout the West Bank, Gaza. The IDF demolishes 5 Palestinian homes (2 Anabta, 1 Bayt Hanun, 2 Jenin); conducts arrest raids nr. Hebron. (NYT, WT 8/17; LAW, PCHR 8/21; PCHR 8/26)



     The IDF conducts arrest raids in Hebron, occupying 1 Palestinian home as an IDF post; fires shells at a farm nr. Jabaliya r.c., killing a number of animals. The IDF suddenly reimposes the curfew on Tulkarm, opens fire on a number of Palestinians caught outside on their way home fr. food shopping, causing 1 Palestinian to have a heart attack; bars ambulances fr. reaching him, allowing him to die. (NYT, WT 8/18; AN 8/19 in WNC 8/21; LAW, PCHR 8/21; PCHR 8/26)



     The IDF temporarily lifts the curfew on Hebron; shells residential areas of Khan Yunis, destroying 1 Palestinian home; bulldozes 3 Palestinian homes s. of Nablus; conducts arrest raids in Khan Yunis, Karabatha Bani Harith, Rafah (taking 8 Palestinians to Morag settlement for interrogation); temporarily detains, beats, confiscates the camera of a Palestinian journalist for Reuters. Israel's National Religious Party (NRP) reports that 4 new settler bypass roads are under construction in the West Bank. (Hatzofe 8/18 in WNC 8/20; LAW, PCHR 8/21; PCHR 8/26)
In Tel Aviv, Israeli DM Benjamin Ben-Eliezer, PA Interior M `Abd al-Razzaq Yahya agree on implementation of Ben-Eliezer's Gaza First plan (see Quarterly Update in JPS 125): the IDF is to withdraw fr. parts of Gaza and fr. Bethlehem within 48 hrs.; the PA is to take control of security in areas evacuated; if calm is maintained, Israel would extend the arrangement to Hebron. Israel makes no promises to halt assassinations, arrest raids, home demolitions; the PA makes no promises to make preventive arrests of mbrs. of opposition groups. National unity talks among the 12 Palestinian factions making up the National and Islamic Higher Coordinating Comm. of the Intifada (NIHC) reportedly continue in Gaza (see Quarterly Update in JPS 125). (XIN 8/18 in WNC 8/20; MM, NYT, WP, WT 8/19; AFP 8/19, AYM 8/20 in WNC 8/21; MM 8/21; al-Quds 8/21 in WNC 8/22, 8/23; MM 8/22; MA 8/25 in WNC 8/26; JPI, MEI 8/30)



     The IDF turns over control of Bethlehem, the main n.-s. road in Gaza to the PA Preventive Security Force (PSF), lifts the curfew on Bethlehem, keeps troops on the outskirts of the city, poised to reinvade if the PA fails to maintain security control; 400 PSF  officers take up posts around the city. The IDF fatally shoots a 14-yr.-old boy in Jenin for no apparent reason; blows up a building in Nablus that it claims to be a bomb-making factory; raids a PSF post nr. Ramallah, detaining 6 PSF officers; bulldozes 9 dunams (4 dunams = 1 acre) of agricultural land, 1 Palestinian home in Satar al-Gharbiyya; conducts arrest raids in Jenin r.c. (MM 8/19; MM, NYT, WP, WT 8/20; LAW, PCHR, WP 8/21; AKH 8/22 in WNC 8/23; PCHR 8/26)
     Fatah Revolutionary Council (FRC) head Sabri al-Banna (Abu Nidal), who broke with the Fatah organization in the 1970s, is found dead in his Baghdad apartment. Iraqi officials say he committed suicide, but do not explain how he suffered multiple gunshot wounds. (HA 8/19; MM, NYT, WP, WT 8/20; NYT, WP, WT 8/21; DUS 8/21 in WNC 8/22; MA 8/29 in WNC 8/30; MM 9/20)


 In Ramallah, IDF commandos assassinate senior Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) mbr. Muhammad Saadat, brother of PFLP head Ahmad Saadat; the IDF also raids Tulkarm r.c., fatally shoots wanted tanzim mbr. Afsam Salima in an apparent assassination. A Hamas sniper fatally shoots an IDF soldier nr. Gadid settlement in retaliation for the IDF sniper shooting of a Hamas mbr. a wk. ago; IDF forces in the area return fire killing a 15-yr.-old Palestinian bystander. IDF also shells Khan Yunis, Tulkarm r.c. (killing 1 Palestinian); raids Dayr al-Balah (conducting house-to-house searches), Jenin r.c. (firing live ammunition and tank shells at stone throwers, injuring 5), al-Yamun (occupying 2 Palestinian homes). (MM 8/20; HA, LAW, NYT, PCHR, WP 8/21; PCHR 8/26; MEI 8/30)
Israel's American PR consultants urge Israel, American Jewish groups to adhere to a new PR strategy based on equating Israeli and U.S. values, not attacking PA head Yasir Arafat directly, being more hopeful. The changes come as a result of polls showing that Americans are increasingly blaming both sides in the conflict. (JTA 8/20)



    Israeli police announce that they have broken up a Hamas cell operating in East Jerusalem that allegedly was responsible for the 7/31/02HebrewUniversity bombing; say they have arrested 15 Palestinians in East Jerusalem, Ramallah connected to the cell but only identify 5, 4 of whom have JerusalemID cards. The IDF shells residential areas of Khan Yunis, sends 20 tanks and bulldozers in to blow up 2 Palestinian homes, damaging 10 others, bulldozing the surrounding area, killing 1 Palestinian, injuring 6; conducts arrest raids in Jenin, detaining 3 Palestinians, blowing up their 3 cars, damaging 4 nearby homes; conducts arrest raids in Hebron, occupying an empty 3-story building as an IDF post. Israeli security denies entry to 52 French peace activists at Ben-GurionAirport as part of Israel's ongoing effort to halt foreigners fr. making solidarity visits to Palestinians. Israel allows the group to enter after the French government intervenes, reminding Israel that the group was invited by an MK. (HA, LAW, MM, PCHR, REU 8/21; AFP 8/21 in WNC 8/22; MM, NYT, WP, WT 8/22; RFI 8/22 in WNC 8/23; PCHR 8/26; WJW 8/29; HA 10/2)



     Israel's Interior M Eli Yishai says he has initiated steps to revoke the residency status of 4 East Jerusalem Palestinians arrested for participation in a Hamas cell (see 8/21); he says, "There is no need to wait for a trial because the evidence is clear and based on intelligence of their terrorist activity." Israeli police detain senior Greek Orthodox Church official Atallah Hanna at his East Jerusalem home on charges of "expressing support for terrorist organizations," "illegally entering an enemy country" (Lebanon and Syria); release him after 5 hrs. of questioning. The IDF arrests the head of Hamas's Qalqilya political wing; bulldozes 7 dunams of olive groves in Dayr al-Balah; conducts arrest raids in Dura. (AFP, HA 8/22; MM, WT 8/23; MM 8/27; LAW, PCHR 8/28)
Israeli PM Ariel Sharon cancels plans to make a trip to the U.S. to attend a rally in support of Israel in Tallahassee with Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, brother of U.S. Pres. George W. Bush, on 9/9, a day before the Florida Democratic primary; also cancels plans to go to LA to attend another rally hosted by a Republican candidate in tight midterm elections there. Democrats had denounced the visit, which was arranged with Pres. Bush's sway, but Sharon says he decided he would have to stay in Israel to prepare for a budget battle which will take place in 10/02. Sharon canceled two previous trips to Florida when he cut short previous trips to the U.S. because of bombings in Israel. (NYT, WP 8/23; MA 8/23 in WNC 8/26)



    The IDF fatally shoots 2 armed al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade (AMB) mbrs. attempting to infiltrate Gaza's Kefar Darom settlement; demolishes 2 Palestinian homes, 1 brick factory in Dayr al-Balah; razes 25 dunams of olive groves in Abasan nr. Khan Yunis; fires on residential areas nr. Rafah; arrests 4 humanitarian workers (2 Palestinians, 2 foreign nationals) in Nablus for no apparent reason, threatens to deport 2 foreigners. Jewish settlers establish a new settlement enclave nr. Shvut Rachel settlement. (WP, WT 8/24; PCHR 8/28; Peace Now press release 9/2)
Israeli, Palestinian security cmdrs. hold talks in Jerusalem on the Gaza First implementation, but Israel puts off discussion of expanding the arrangement to Hebron for at least a wk. (AYM 8/24 in WNC 8/26)



    The IDF fatally shoots AMB Jenin cmdr. Muhammad al-Ott, wounds 5 in a shoot-out in Jenin; fires tank shells at stone throwers in Nablus, injuring 9 Palestinians; reimposes the curfew on Hebron; shells residential areas of, razes 69 dunams of agricultural land in Abasan, Khuza; demolishes 3 Palestinian homes in Gaza allegedly used as cover by AMB mbrs. who attempted to infiltrate Kefar Darom on 8/23; confiscates an apartment building in Hebron as an IDF post; raids a Hebron police station, detaining 1 PSF officer. In Tulkarm, AMB gunmen fatally shoot a Palestinian woman who allegedly collaborated with Israel in the 8/7/02 assassination of local AMB cmdr. Ziad Da'as. (WP, WT 8/25; al-Quds 8/24, XIN 8/25 in WNC 8/26; NYT, WT 8/26; LAW, PCHR 8/28; NYT 9/2)


25 AUGUST    
Israel says there will be no further IDF redeployments fr. PA areas at least until late 9/02, after the Jewish holidays. The IDF raids the home of, arrests PFLP politburo mbr. al-`Alim Yunis Da'na; conducts arrest raids in Hebron, Salfit (demolishing several Palestinian homes); fires on residential areas of Jenin, Khan Yunis; bulldozes 13 dunams of agricultural land along the Shuhada Junction-Qarni settler bypass road. (XIN 8/25 in WNC 8/26; NYT 8/26; PCHR 8/28; MEI 8/30)


The IDF sends tanks into Jenin town, r.c. to arrest wanted Hamas mbr. Jamal Abu al-Hayja, demolish at least 1 Palestinian home; fires rubber-coated steel bullets at Palestinian stone throwers in Ramallah during a temporary lifting of the curfew, injuring 6 Palestinians (including a photographer for Reuters). Israel announces that 7 Israeli Arabs fr. the n. village of Bana were arrested "some time ago" by Shin Bet for involvement in a Hamas bombing on 8/4/02; says it may run its buffer fence w. of some Israeli Arab towns as a result, effectively treating them as part of the West Bank. A Jewish settler kills a Palestinian child in a hit-and-run nr.
Hebron. (NYT, WT 8/27; PCHR 8/28; MEI 8/30)



    The IDF conducts arrest raids in Ramallah, detaining PFLP politburo mbrs. Bashir Khayri and Ali Jaradat, PFLP activist Sakir Hanacha (see 8/25); temporarily lifts the curfew on Hebron. Late in the evening, Palestinians fire a mortar at a Jewish settlement in Gaza, causing light damage but no injuries. Jewish settlers establish a new settlement enclave nr. Eli settlement. (PCHR, WT 8/28; JP 8/29; AFP, Peace Now press release 9/2)



    The IDF fatally shoots 1 Palestinian biking too close to Gush Katif settlement. Nr. Shaykh Ajlin in Gaza, the IDF conducts an "intensive operation" to halt arms smuggling after seeing suspicious barrels in the sea; the DMin. later says the barrels contained refrigerators. Late in the evening, the IDF fires 2 shells at a bedouin encampment in Shaykh Ajlin, killing 4 Palestinians, injuring 8, prevents ambulances fr. reaching the wounded for 40 mins. The IDF also fires on residential areas of Jenin r.c., killing 1 Palestinian inside his home. In the compound of the Beit El municipal court, 5 Israeli border policemen seriously beat 2 Palestinians, stopping only when they realize the prisoners’ families, lawyers, IDF soldiers have arrived; 1 Palestinian requires hospitalization. Jewish settlers establish 4 new settlement outposts (1 nr. Elon Moreh, 2 nr. Har Bracha, 1 nr. Itamar). Late in the evening, Palestinians fire 5 mortars at an IDF post, a Jewish settlement in Gaza, causing no damage. (AP, MM, PCHR 8/28; HA, NYT, PM, WP, WT 8/29; BBC, MM 8/30; Peace Now press release 9/2; MEI 9/13)
Citing the alleged arms smuggling operation today and the mortar fire on 8/27, Ben-Eliezer indefinitely postpones a mtg. with Yahya set for today to discuss the stalled Gaza First proposal; says the PA must first assert security control in the Strip before the IDF would redeploy. (AP, MM 8/28; MM, NYT, WP 8/29)



    The IDF shells and raids Rafah, fatally shooting a 7-yr.-old Palestinian boy, demolishing 21 stores, firing at a Reuters camera crew (damaging a video camera but causing no injuries); conducts house searches, arrests in al-Safaya nr. Bayt Lahia; fires rubber-coated steel bullets at a Palestinian stone thrower in Amari r.c., seriously wounding him; fires on residential areas of Jenin, Khan Yunis. In Nablus, the IDF announces a temporary lifting of the curfew, immediately opens fire on Palestinians in the streets, forcing them to go back into their homes; occupies, searches, blows up part of the local PA headquarters; surrounds the Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) center, barring ambulances fr. moving. The IDF admits that the 8/28 Shaykh Ajlin attack was an error. Ben-Eliezer agrees to meet with Yahya, but Yahya cancels to protest the Shaykh Ajlin deaths. (HA, MM, PM 8/29; MM, WP, WT 8/30; LAW, PCHR 9/4)
The Jewish Federation of Greater Washington announces that its annual fundraising campaign brought in $20.5 m., up 8% from last year. Of that amount $11.8 m. will be used for projects in the greater Washington area, such as Jewish day schools and community centers, and $7.8 m. will go to Israel and diaspora Jewish communities in Argentina and Ethiopia. The $20.5 m. does not include an additional $18.3 m. the federation has raised for its Israel Emergency Campaign since fall 2001. (WJW 8/29)



    In Jenin r.c., 3 IDF soldiers, 5 Palestinians are wounded in an exchange of gunfire. The IDF directs heavy machine gun fire, shells at residential areas of Jenin r.c. (wounding with live ammunition 3 Palestinian children who broke curfew), Khan Yunis; fires rubber-coated steel bullets at stone throwers in Amari r.c., wounding 2. In Tulkarm, the AMB fatally shoots a Palestinian woman who allegedly collaborated with Israel in the 1/14/02 assassination of AMB leader Ra'id Karmi; the woman is the niece of the woman killed by the AMB on 8/24. (HA, JTA 8/30; NYT, WT 8/31; WP 9/1; NYT 9/2; LAW, PCHR 9/4)
Israeli Labor and Social Welfare M Shlomo Benizri (Shas) convenes the Israel Council for Demography, which has been inactive for 5 yrs., to draw up "guidelines on how to formulate a policy that will preserve Israel's Jewish character." The main topics discussed are the "need to encourage [Jewish] families to have more children," the "problem of foreign workers in Israel." The council has 37 mbrs., including public figures, lawyers, scientists, physicians. (HA 8/30; HA, MM 9/9)



Chronology Source Abbreviations

AFP     (Agence France-Presse, Paris)

AKH    (al-Akhbar, Cairo)

AN      (Arab News, Riyadh)

AP       (Associated Press [Internet])

ATL     (Anatolia, Ankara)

AYM   (al-Ayyam, Ramallah)

BBC    (British Broadcasting Corporation World Service [Internet])

CNN   (Cable News Network [Internet])

CSM    (Christian Science Monitor, Boston)

DUS    (al-Dustur, Amman)

GS       (Gush Shalom, Tel Aviv)

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

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)

MA      (Ma'ariv, Tel Aviv)

MEI     (Middle East International, London)

MENA(Middle East News Agency, Cairo)

MEZ    (al-MezanCenter for Human Rights, Jabaliya)

MM     (Mideast Mirror, London)

NYT    (New York Times, New York)

PCHR  (PalestinianCenter for Human Rights, Gaza)

PM      (Palestine Monitor [Internet])

PR       (Palestine Report, Jerusalem)

QA      (al-Quds al-Arabi, London)

REU     (Reuters [Internet])

RFI      (Radio France Internationale, Paris)

SA       (al-Sharq al-Awsat, London)

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)


Chronology compiled by Michele K. Esposito