Ibtihal Abu Thaher, 10, is killed in the Jabalyia refugee camp and her brother injured when an Israeli tank shell hit them as they played outside their home.
Thirty homes and shops are destroyed by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in an ongoing incursion into the Gaza Strip.
The Palestinian Central Elections Committee condemns an Israeli attempt to place video camera inside the five Palestinian polling stations in East Jerusalem. It said the move is illegal and aims to intimidate Palestinian residents of Jerusalem from voting.
In a press conference at UN headquarters in New York, Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, expresses concern for the civilian deaths in Gaza and calls upon “both parties to follow their obligations under international law, in particular to ensure the protection of the civilian population.”
Eight Palestinians, including six children from the same family, are killed by Israeli tank shells in Beit Lahyia, Gaza.
Al-Quds Brigades, the military wing of the Islamic Jihad, fire a rocket at the Kfar Darom and Kfar Azza settlements, while Hamas’ Izzedin al-Qassam Brigades fire a mortar shell into the Israeli town of Sderot.
Twelve Israeli soldiers are injured when rockets fired by Izzedin al-Qassam operatives strike a military post outside the Gaza-Israeli border.
Three Palestinian police officers are wounded during an exchange of fire with Israeli soldiers at the Erez Crossing. It came in the wake of the IDF shooting dead an armed Palestinian who allegedly opened fire at the troops and tried to plant explosives at the crossing.
During an Israeli military incursion into Khan Yunis in the Gaza Strip, one al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades member and one al-Quds Brigade member are killed, while three members of the Israeli security forces are injured.
Two mortar shells fired from Gaza, injure 12 Israeli soldiers inside Gaza-Israeli border. As a result, the Rafah Crossing is closed preventing pilgrims from getting into Egypt on their way to the annual hajj in Mecca and Medina.
Palestinian President, Yasser Arafat, is chosen as the most important personality in the world for 2004 by the Chinese Press Agency.
Two Spanish journalists are released hours after being kidnapped in Khan Yunis thanks to the intervention of the Preventive Security Services who denied the kidnapping was politically motivated. The journalists had been invited by three armed men to tour the Khan Yunis refugee camp who later kidnapped them and demanded they be given jobs.
An Israeli soldier, a Hizbullah guerilla and a French UN observer are killed during an exchange of fire between Israeli soldiers and Hizbullah in the Sheba’a Farms on the Israeli-Lebanese border. A Swedish soldier and their Lebanese driver were also injured.
Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) head, Mahmoud Abbas, becomes the new president of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) after winning 62.32 percent of the presidential votes.
Israel has a new government with a coalition comprising the Likud, Labor and United Torah parties. It was narrowly approved by the Israeli Knesset with a 58 – 56 vote.
New Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Shimon Peres is the first Israeli official to congratulate by phone Mahmoud Abbas on his victory in the elections, saying “Israel will do all it can to help the Palestinians establish a democratic government so we can live as two democracies side by side.”
Israel allegedly requests the United States to help fund a $450-million proposal to set up new crossing points and upgrade others along the separation wall. Washington is asked to contribute an estimated $180 million while Israel pays for the rest.
Israeli troops enter Qarawa Bani Zeid village northwest of Ramallah and kill two wanted members of Hamas.
A roadside bomb near the Morag settlement in Gaza kills one Israeli civilian and wounds four soldiers.
An Israeli is killed along with two members of Islamic Jihad’s armed wing, al- Quds Brigades, during an armed clash near the Morag settlement in the Khan Yunis district.
Three operatives from the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the Izzedin Qassam Brigades and the Nasser Salah Eddin Brigades dynamite an entrance to the Mintar (Karni) crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip and open fire at Israeli civilians. Six Israelis are killed in addition to the three Palestinian operatives.
Eight people are killed in Gaza, including six during an Israeli army incursion into the Zeitun Quarter east of Gaza City and two during shelling in Rafah.
An al-Qassam rocket is fired into the northern Israeli town of Sderot, injuring eight Israelis and damaging several houses.
A Tel Aviv court rules that American peace activist, Kate Bandar, should be expelled from the country after being held for five weeks in the Negev detention center. Bandar was arrested December 14 while photographing the separation wall and caught on camera an Israeli soldier beating a Palestinian demonstrator before her arrest.
The PLO Executive Committee calls on all factions to halt military actions that “harm national interests” and give Israel excuses to continue its aggression.
A mother and her son are killed by Israeli gunfire inside their home in Khan Yunis.
Two Palestinians are killed in a clash with Israeli soldiers on a settlement road in Deir al-Balah, Gaza.
Five homes are demolished in the West Bank town of Walajah, south of Bethlehem. According to Palestinian sources, Israel and is clearing the area in preparation for the building of a Jewish settlement there.
Hamas’ Izzedin al-Qassam Brigades launch a suicide-bomb attack at the Gush Katif settlement bloc in the Gaza Strip, killing one Israeli and injuring eight.
Israeli army troops invade the West Bank city of Nablus, arresting 13 people and demolishing a four-story building while another catches fire after being hit by a tank shell.
Israeli and Palestinian security sources claim that Jewish settlers threw stones and punctured the tires of Palestinian police cars near the Tuffah checkpoint in protest at a Palestinian-
Israeli security meeting that was taking place at the time.
A senior source in the European Union (EU) announces that the EU would pledge 70 million Euros to the PNA. The is to support President Mahmoud Abbas’ efforts in achieving peace and reform.
During a Palestinian-Israeli meeting in Jerusalem, Israeli PM Advisor, Dov Weisglass, informs the Palestinian delegation that West Bank general intelligence director, Tawfiq Tirawi, and head of Preventive Security, Rashid Abu Shbak, were both off Israel’s wanted list. Nonetheless, the two cannot travel freely or participate in joint Palestinian-Israeli meetings.
Twenty-six-year-old Rassem Ghneimat dies in the Israeli-run Meggido Prison when a fire breaks out in tents in Section 4, which hold some 250 prisoners. The fire, triggered by faulty electrical wiring, causes injuries to three other prisoners
U.S. President George W. Bush says a Palestinian state could be established in less than four years, changing his earlier prediction of 2009.
Israeli PM Ariel Sharon declares himself “very satisfied” with steps taken by Mahmoud Abbas to calm the situation, and Israel is no longer demanding the Palestinian side to arrest members of armed groups.
A ten-year-old girl is struck by a bullet to the head and another girl is shot in the shoulder in the yard of an UNRWA school in Rafah.
A meeting between former Public Security Minister, Mohammad Dahlan, and Israeli Defense Minister, Shaul Mofaz, fails to reach any substantive agreements.
U.S. Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, tells her staff that without a Palestinian state there would be no Middle East peace and that Israel must yield territory and create “conditions in which a new Palestinian state could emerge.”
Israeli Attorney General, Meni Mazuz, says the Israeli government has no right to seize land from owners who are absent from the land due toIsraeli security measures.
According to the Israeli daily Haaretz, an Arab student club at the University of Toronto is holding a week-long series of lectures entitled “Israeli Apartheid Week” which focuses on the origins of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and Israeli measures against the Palestinians. Jewish groups have protested the lectures, dubbing it a “hate fest.”
The Sharm el-Sheikh summit between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli PM Ariel Sharon is held.
Israeli Defense Ministry hands out a notice that it will confiscate a 30- dunum plot of land at the entrance to Jerusalem’s Shu’fat refugee camp, in order to erect a permanent military checkpoint to replace the current temporary one.
Jordanian Foreign Minister, Hani Malki, sends a request to Israeli Foreign Minister, Silvan Shalom, to approve the return of the Jordanian ambassador to Israel.
NATO Secretary-General, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, in a conference on security held in Munich, says NATO could play an important future role in the Middle East in supporting any peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians if this is what the two sides want.
According to the Israeli daily, Yedioth Ahranot, Israeli PM Sharon has agreed in principle for Israel to buy natural gas from the Palestinians in exchange for providing them with water. The gas would be extracted mainly from Gaza.
As part of the Sharm el-Sheikh Understanding, Israel is to return the bodies of 15 Palestinians who died during operations against settlements and other Israeli targets in the Gaza Strip. The slain are from the various armed wings and were killed during the past year.
Israel puts back the release of 550 Palestinian prisoners from the Negev Prison.
A Gaza settlement resident, Avi Farhan, tells Israeli television that he would accept Palestinian citizenship in order to remain in his Gaza Strip home.
Two al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades members are killed in Kufur Qalleel, in an Israeli raid in Nablus-area villages.
An Israeli Defense Ministry official says Israel was preparing to build 24-28 “hi-tech” crossing points in the separation wall to facilitate the movement of Palestinians in the West Bank.
Israeli PM Ariel Sharon announces that some of the Jewish settlements in the West Bank are to eventually be annexed to Israel, and the right of return for Palestinian refugees will be only to a future Palestinian state.
At a press conference to announce the building of a new settlement in the Gush Etzion bloc in the Hebron area to be called G’baot, Israeli Housing Minister, Yitzhak Herzog, says settlers moved from the Gaza Strip could wind up in West Bank settlements. Provisions were made for them to go to Israeli towns and villages in the Negev desert, but “nothing could prevent them from going to Gush Etzion if they so wished.”
Head of the European Commission’s Humanitarian Aid Department, Cees Wittebrood, criticizes the separation wall and warns against ignoring the humanitarian situation in the occupied territories saying, “as construction of the wall continues apace, increasing numbers of Palestinians are being deprived of access to healthcare, education, water, and job opportunities.
According to Israeli TV Channel 2, during a meeting in West Jerusalem, a United Arab Emirate businessman offered Israeli PM Ariel Sharon $56 million to buy the buildings, factories and greenhouses of Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip instead of destroying them after Israel’s withdrawal. Israeli media sources later reported that Sharon rejected the offer.
Residents of the East Jerusalem suburb of Ezarriyeh receive warning letters that 252 dunums of their land are to be confiscated for the construction of the separation wall. The wall will effectively cut off Ezarriyeh residents from Jerusalem.
The Israeli Cabinet approves an amended route to the wall that will leave some seven percent of West Bank land, including the Ma’aleh Adumim settlement bloc, the biggest in the West Bank, on the Israeli side.
Five hundred prisoners are released from Israeli jails. According to the Palestinian daily al-Quds, 382 of them had short sentences and none were incarcerated before the Oslo Accords were signed, nor were any from Jerusalem.
U.S. President Bush calls for the establishment of a democratic Palestinian state with territorial contiguity in the West Bank. “A state on scattered territories will not work.” Bush called on Israel to end its settlement activity and said a peace based on a two-state solution is now within reach.
The World Council of Churches (WCC), the main global body uniting non-Catholic Christians, encourages members to sell off investments in companies profiting from Israeli control of the West Bank and Gaza.
Israeli PM Ariel Sharon announces that Israel and the Palestinians are discussing a security plan based on the principles of the Tenet Plan for a ceasefire. The Tenet Plan calls on Palestinians to put an end to resistance activities, to halt arms smuggling, to gather illegal weapons, and close weapon-manufacturing workshops.
A suicide bomber from the Tulkarem village of Deir al-Ghusun blows himself up outside a nightclub in Tel Aviv, killing five Israelis and injuring dozens others. Al- Quds Brigades, the military wing of Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility.
The Israeli government announces plans to build a further 6,400 settlement units in West Bank settlements around Jerusalem.
As a result of the suicide operation, Israel suspends the transfer of security responsibilities to the Palestinians and postpones the release of 400 prisoners as part of the Sharm el-Sheikh prisoner release agreement.
According to Haaretz, the Israeli army announces it would distribute “resident” car stickers to West Bank Jewish settlers so their drivers could easily pass army checkpoints across the Green Line without being stopped. The move came following several complaints by settlers regarding delays at checkpoints.
The one-day London conference to support the PNA concludes by reiterating the Quartet’s call for a Palestinian state and with donor nations pledging $1.2 billion to the PNA for 2005. The conference, attended by British PM Tony Blair, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan along with other regional leaders, focused on jumpstarting the peace process through encouraging the Palestinian leadership to move forward with reforms and security issues. Israel decided not to attend.
Jewish settlers from the Soussiya settlement east of Yatta, Hebron, seize 40 dunums of land belonging to the town’s citizens. Eyewitnesses claim the settlers fenced off the area and prohibited the land owners from reaching their land.
A meeting between President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz at the Erez Crossing ends in agreement on handing over Jericho as well as Tulkarem to the PNA in the coming days.
A UN International Meeting on the Question of Palestine ends in Geneva, calling on the international community to adopt measures to persuade Israel to dismantle the separation wall being built on West Bank land. The meeting also called on Israel to abide by the Israeli Court of Justice (ICJ)’s ruling that the wall was illegal where it runs through occupied territory.
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan arrives in the region to participate in the inauguration of a new Holocaust Museum at Yad Vashem in Jerusalem.
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan meets with President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah and visits the mausoleum of President Yasser Arafat.
President Mahmoud Abbas meets with the leaders of 13 Palestinian factions to hammer out a ceasefire deal between them and Israel.
The parents of Rachel Corrie, who was killed while trying to prevent the demolition of a Palestinian home in Gaza, are suing Caterpillar Inc., the company of the bulldozer the Israeli army used to kill her. The federal lawsuit alleges that Caterpillar violated international and state law by providing specially designed bulldozers to the Israeli army that it knew would be used to demolish homes and endanger people.
Jericho is handed back to Palestinian security control by Israel.
Palestinian factions meet in Cairo and announce they would adhere to a calm at least for the rest of 2005. A joint statement reiterated that the Palestinian people have a right to resist occupation.
A European Union investigation into Israeli allegations that EU aid was diverted to fund Palestinian attacks against Israelis finds no conclusive evidence and has been closed.
The Israeli government approves a proposal to build 3,500 new housing units in its largest West Bank settlement of Ma’aleh Adumim.
Greek Orthodox officials deny that the reported sale of a large plot of land in Jerusalem’s Old City had been authorized by Greek Patriarch Ireneos I. The Israeli daily Maariv reported that the land had been sold to two foreign Jewish investors to eventually be transferred to Israeli ownership. The plot of land, inside the Old City’s Jaffa Gate comprises several buildings and cafés as well as two hotels.
Two hundred fifty Israeli high school students facing compulsory military service sign a petition addressed to the Israeli PM Sharon and other top leaders, informing them of their decision to refuse to serve in the army. The youths said they will not be part of a policy of occupation and repression, and they want to live in a society whose people live “pursuing justice, and upholding equality for every person and citizen.”
Israel hands back security control over Tulkarem to the PNA.
According to a report released by the Israeli human-rights organization, B’Tselem, approximately half a million Palestinians in West Bank towns and villages will be negatively affected by the separation wall. According to the report, 14 villages and towns inhabited by over 24,000 people will find themselves west of the wall between it and the Green Line. Fifty-three towns and villages with over 230,000 people will be surrounded from three sides by the wall, and 18 towns in East Jerusalem, with 220,000 people, will be isolated from their city.
During a meeting with U.S. envoys, Israeli PM Sharon says that the possibility of freezing Israel’s settlement expansion in unlikely, and the green light given by the Israeli army is “final.”
Four foreign peace activists are beaten by Jewish settlers while clearing out agricultural lands in the Masafer village east of Yatta. The activists were there to clean up the farmland after settlers from Ma’on put poisoned feed on the land aimed at killing off the herds of sheep that graze there.
U.S. President Bush sends a letter to Israeli PM Sharon praising his disengagement plan from Gaza and outlining his “vision” of two states. He called Israel’s settlement expansion, “new realities on the ground,” saying any final-status agreement would only be achieved on the basis of “mutually agreed changes that reflect these realities.”
PNA security officials meet with armed members of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades who are on Israel’s list of wanted men to persuade them to disarm. The latter refuse, saying they want assurances for their safety.
At the closing of a human-rights conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, over 300 human-rights organizations from 34 countries call for a boycott to Israeli products.
According to the Israeli daily Yedioth Ahronot, the Israeli army will soon be incorporating the Skylark airplane into their “war with Palestinian organizations.” The Skylark, manufactured by an Israeli company, is a lightweight portable plane that can be carried on soldiers’ backs and used by a hand-held remote control, and will allow the army to monitor “the enemy” without the latter’s knowledge.
Jordanian Foreign Minister, Hani Mulki, says that part of King Abdullah’s campaign to provide a solution to the Palestinian problem is to regain Jordanian property in Jerusalem. Mulki mentioned the Seven Arches Hotel as one piece of state property that would be regained in addition to the return of absentee properties, “no matter the circumstances.”
Hebron governor, Oreif al-Ja’bari, says that Israel is planning to erect a wall in the center of the city in order to create a buffer zone around the Jewish settlements of Kiryat Arba’ and Kharasina. The wall would swallow up 7,000 dunums of the city lands in addition to 5,000 other dunums east and north of Hebron that are being isolated for the same purpose.
UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, appoints Karen Koning Abu-Zayd as acting UNRWA commissioner general until the post of her predecessor, Peter Hansen, is permanently filled. Abu-Zayd has been UNRWA’s deputy commissioner general since August 2000.
Israel announces it would transfer garbage from Israel and dump it in a new site near Nablus, just across the Green Line. According to Haaretz, the dumpsite will be in an old quarry between Nablus and the Jewish settlement of Kedumim. Palestinians say this will seriously affect the environment in the area, especially the groundwater.
Nine people are injured in the villages of Deir Ballout, Salfeet and Bal’een during demonstrations against the separation wall.
A United Nations report reveals that over half the Palestinian population in the West Bank and Gaza is living under the poverty line of $2.10 per day, double the number of 2000. Unemployment has also increased.
According to Haaretz, 57 percent of Jewish settlers in the West Bank will continue to live inside major settlement blocs, which will be annexed to Israel following the completion of the separation wall.
Three 14-year-old Palestinians are killed by Israeli soldiers while playing soccer in an open field near the border strip with Egypt.
A meeting between U.S. President George W. Bush and Israeli PM Ariel Sharon is held in Crawford, Texas. The meeting focused on Israel’s settlement expansions in the West Bank, namely the slated expansion of the major East Jerusalem settlement of Ma’ale Adumim. Bush stressed to the Israeli premier that the U.S. expects Israel to abide by its commitments to the Roadmap, halting settlement expansion in particular.
The Palestinian Cabinet condemns and rejects statements made by Israeli President Moshe Katsav in which he called for the division of the al-Aqsa Mosque. Katsav had earlier suggested that the al-Aqsa be divided like the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron, where part of it would be exclusively for Jewish prayer.
According to Peace Now, construction work has begun in Ma’ale Adumim settlement to open and light roads as part of the settlement’s expansion. The new quarter to be established will accommodate 28,000 people. Knesset member Ran Cohen said construction work is also underway in the eastern part of the settlement bloc towards the Dead Sea, adding that the new homes will cost half the price of those in central Jerusalem.
Using bulldozers, Israeli military forces evacuate more than 30 families from their homes in Anata village east of Jerusalem in preparation for their demolition. The army forced the residents to leave their homes under the claim that they are too close to the Anatot military camp. The Israeli authorities said some of the land was being cleared for the construction of the separation wall.
U.S. Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, announces that former President of the World Bank, James Wolfensohn, is appointed as the Quartet Committee’s Special Envoy to assist in coordinating the economic and political aspects of the Israeli disengagement from the Gaza Strip. Rice and Wolfensohn are to be responsible for reviving the Palestinian economy and dealing with the evacuated Israeli housing units in the settlements.
A member of al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades is killed during an Israeli raid into the Balata refugee camp in Nablus.
A Palestinian is lightly wounded when Jewish settlers shoot at his car near Hebron.
The National Christian Coalition (NCC) asks the Palestinian Authority (PA) to withdraw its recognition of the Greek Orthodox Patriarch Ireneos I. The Patriarch has come under fire for allegedly approving the sale of Greek Orthodox properties and lands inside Jerusalem’s Old City to foreign Jewish investors. The PA has created a commission to look into the alleged sale, but the NCC said the community has lost faith in its spiritual leader, and the PA should recognize this and act accordingly.
The Israeli government announces a tender for the building of 50 houses in the West Bank settlement of Elkana.
Two Israelis, one a soldier, are wounded by Palestinian sniper fire in the southern Gaza Strip near the border with Egypt. The Popular Resistance Committees claimed responsibility.
Hamas politburo head, Mousa Abu-Marzouq, does not deny a report in Haaretz that Hamas would be willing to hold dialogue with Israel if the latter withdraws from all the Palestinian territories without setting final borders.
Russia offers the PA two M-17 helicopters, similar to those destroyed by the Israeli army in 2001, and 50 armored vehicles. Russian ambassador to Palestine, Khayri Arbadi, says the vehicles are ready for shipment but are waiting coordination with Israel.
According to Yedioth Ahranot, Israeli PM Sharon is not willing to resume negotiations with the Palestinians over the Roadmap until they fulfill certain conditions. The PA would have to fight what he called terrorism and dismantle armed groups. “I also want to save as many settlement blocs as possible,” he said.
Two meetings take place between Palestinian PM Ahmad Qurei’ and Israeli deputy PM Shimon Peres, and between Palestinian Chief Negotiator Saeb Erekat and Israeli Government Advisor Dov Weisglass. The two sides spoke about activating the prisoners and wanted men files and also about coordinating economic issues pertaining to the separation plan.
According to the Guardian, the Association of University Teachers (AUT) in Britain decides to impose an academic boycott on Bar Ilan and Haifa University for their “collaboration with the crimes of the occupation.” The union has 48,000 members, most of whom lecture at leading British universities. On April 23, the Israeli Foreign Ministry condemned the AUT decision, calling it “biased.”
According to Palestinian Civil Affairs Minister, Mohammad Dahlan, 95 percent of the lands to be evacuated by Israel are state lands while the remaining 5 percent will be returned to their rightful owners once they prove ownership.
Russian President, Vladimir Putin, pays an historic two-day visit to both the Palestinian territories and Israel, the first time a Kremlin leader makes such a trip. Putin pledged to help the PA with military equipment. A U.S. State Department spokesman said the Russian proposal was “cause for concern … Such weapons might fall into the hands of terrorists or those who want to kill the peace process.”
Arab Knesset member, Mohammad Barakeh, is injured along with 22 others during a march against the separation wall in the Ramallah-area village of Bal’een. Israeli troops used rubber-coated metal bullets, tear gas canisters and stun guns to disperse the demonstrators. Israeli and foreign peace activists, journalists and Knesset members were among the demonstrators and injured in the confrontations.
According to Haaretz, Israel rejects a request made by the United States to supply Palestinian police officers in the West Bank with weapons in order to better help them carry out their duties.
During the visit to Israel of Turkish PM, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, PM Sharon says President Mahmoud Abbas must choose between the Roadmap and negotiations with terror organizations.”
Nine Palestinians and one American peace activist are injured by rubber bullets and tear gas during a protest near Ramallah against the leveling of farmland to make way for the Israeli separation wall.
The Israeli army enters Tulkarem in an incursion that resulted in the killing of one Islamic Jihad member and the injury of nine bystanders. One Israeli soldier is killed in the shoot-out.
Israeli soldiers shoot dead two boys in the village of Beit Liqya west of Ramallah. The boys, who were playing soccer near soldiers guarding the separation wall, threw stones at an army jeep and ran; they were pursued by the soldiers who shot them before they could escape.
Israeli authorities deport 16 detainees with Jordanian citizenship to Jordan and Jericho. The Jordanian authorities accepted 12 and turned back 4. They were left by the Israeli authorities in Jericho.
Thousands of Palestinians from Jerusalem and inside the Green Line gather at al-Aqsa Mosque in response to threats by the extremist Jewish group Revava to raid the compound and perform prayers on its grounds. Israeli police and border guards closed off the streets to the compound, guarding its gates, to bar the Jewish settlers from entering.
Jordan, Israel and the PA sign a document approving a feasibility study on the “Two Seas Canal” between the Red and the Dead seas. Palestinian Planning Minister, Ghassan Khatib, says such a project ensures Palestinian rights o the Dead Sea, as a shoreline country.
The European Commission announces it would allocate 28.3 million euro in humanitarian aid to one million Palestinians in the occupied territories and in Lebanon to be channeled through ECHO, the commission’s humanitarian aid department. The aid package includes food aid for 730,000 Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza.
According to Maariv, the Israeli army is setting up a plan by which its soldiers would be replaced by guards hired by a private security company to protect Jewish settlers in Hebron. The decision came after Israeli soldiers complained to the regional command about the behavior of settlers, especially following the government’s announcement of it disengagement plan from Gaza.
The Israeli government votes 16-2 to extend its temporary citizenship law of 2003, which froze naturalization proceedings for Palestinians married to Israelis, overwhelmingly Arab Israelis, thus barring Palestinians from moving to Israel to join their families.
According to Haaretz, Mattityahu Dan, an activist in the settlers group Ateret Cohanim, is the person behind the purchase of Greek Orthodox lands inside Jaffa Gate in Jerusalem. The settlers association, which operates in the Old City of Jerusalem, is mostly supported by public and government money.
Protests against Israeli disengagement from Gaza. Israeli right activists block major roads and cause huge delays into major Israeli cities for a second day.
Israeli Defense Minister, Shaul Mofaz, orders the army to use “all necessary means” to strike at armed groups that fire rockets into Israeli territory or Jewish settlements.
The General Union of Palestinian Teachers condemns al-Quds University president, Sari Nusseibeh, for signing an agreement of cooperation with the Hebrew University. The union’s statement said Nusseibeh’s actions were a “blow to the national consensus against normalization.”
U.S. First Lady, Laura Bush, makes a one-day visit to Jericho and Jerusalem on a tour of holy sites, which she called “very emotional.” Bush met with a women’s delegation in Jericho before visiting the al-Aqsa Mosque and the Western Wall.
Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, arrives in Washington to meet with President George W. Bush and other American officials in a bid to achieve political and economic goals. This visit marks the first by a Palestinian leader since 2000.
Spanish authorities arrest a Spaniard of Palestinian origin on charges of sending rocket designs to Hamas and Islamic Jihad. The 51-year-old engineer sent the designs by fax to Lebanon and was arrested after a tip from Israeli intelligence.
According to a B’Tselem report entitled “Take No Prisoners,” since the start of 2004, Israeli security forces killed 89 Palestinians in so-called arrest operations who were either not wanted by Israeli forces, were unarmed or who were not attempting to use their arms at the time they were killed. The report cites four cases in which Palestinians were killed during arrests. None of the cases have been investigated by the Israeli military police.
Israel closes voter registration offices in East Jerusalem for the upcoming Legislative Council elections. This move denies 250,000 Palestinians their right to vote.
Four Israeli policemen are arrested on charges of selling firearms to Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem. The four are also charged with transporting Palestinians without permits to reside in Israel. Two were later released under house arrest.
According to Peace Now, the Israeli government is currently building homes for 30,000 settlers in West Bank settlements under the cover of evacuating 7,500 settlers from the Gaza Strip. The movement said the construction is a confirmation of Israeli PM Sharon’s intention to withdraw from Gaza as a way of consolidating West Bank settlements.
A report published in Haaretz says “illegal” settlement outposts were continuing to grow despite a government “freeze” three months ago and an Israeli commitment to the United States to dismantle them.
In Qabatiya near Jenin, a commander of al-Quds Brigades, the military wing of Islamic Jihad is killed during a gun battle when Israeli troops ambushed his home.
Four al-Qassam rockets are fired into the Israeli town of Sderot and into the Ganei Tal settlement in the Gaza Strip.
British Foreign Minister, Jack Straw, meets his Israeli counterpart Silvan Shalom. Straw who is on a two-day trip to Israel and the Palestinian territories, told Shalom that Hamas would remain “diplomatically isolated.”
In a published report, the World Health Organization says that 69 Palestinian women have delivered their babies at Israeli checkpoints since the start of the intifada, adding that checkpoints and other restrictions on movement lead to delays in providing health care to pregnant women.
Dozens of Palestinian, Israeli and international demonstrators are injured by rubber bullets, clubs and tear gas during a protest against the building of Israel’s West Bank separation wall near Salfit.
In its annual report, the Israeli women’s organization, Machsom Watch, says there has been no improvement in terms of Palestinian freedom of movement within the Palestinian territories, despite Israeli army claims that measures to restrict movement had been eased. The organization, which monitors Israeli military checkpoints, said the army has not removed any checkpoints but only moved them from one place to another.
The first summit between President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli PM Sharon since Sharm el-Sheikh is held in the Israeli premier’s home in West Jerusalem. According to a Palestinian official, the summit was disappointing.
Lutheran Bishop, Munib Younan, denounces the U.S. and Israeli desecration of the Qur’an at the Guantanamo detention facility and several Israeli prisons. Younan called the acts against the Muslim Holy Book “a red line that should never be crossed,” adding that despite the differences in faiths, “Jerusalem has taught us to respect and coexist with all three monotheistic religions, to be tolerant and to accept one another.”
Jewish settlers from the Kadumim settlement in the northern West Bank set fire to land belonging to Jet village, destroying over 100 olive trees.
U.S. Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, meets with Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, and calls on the PA to implement more reforms in the security services and use these forces in an “effective way to fight chaos and terrorism.”
Two members of al-Quds Brigades, the Islamic Jihad’s military wing, break into a military post near the Kfar Darom settlement in Gaza and are killed in the clashes.
Eight people are injured east of Yatta in the Hebron area when Israeli troops fired into a peaceful demonstration against the separation wall, which is being built there across agricultural land.
One Israeli settler is killed and another injured when armed men open fire at their car near the Baqa Sharqiyyeh town in the northern West Bank.
Two Israeli boys are killed as a result of a drive-by-shooting near the entrance of the Hebron-area settlement Beit Haggai. Two other Israelis are wounded during the attack.
An Israeli plane launches two rockets on a group of Palestinian political activists in Beit Lahiya. On the same day, Israel issues new threats to launch air raids on Gaza, risking civilian lives, if Palestinian activists try to hinder the Israeli disengagement from the Gaza Strip.
British peace activist, Lucy Ashklin, 24, is taken to the Hebron Government Hospital with severe bruises and lacerations after being attacked by Israeli troops in the old city of Hebron.
After a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in London, French Foreign Minister, Philippe Douste-Blazy, warns that if the Israeli disengagement from the Gaza Strip is not linked to a political process, a third intifada may break out. The number of additional settlers moving to the West Bank is not a “reassuring” sign, he added.
U.S. Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, announces that the Quartet committee would soon be expanded into a seven-member committee with the participation of Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan. She said that the countries in the region would have to support any solution reached on the sensitive issues of a final- status negotiations.
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak warns that the Israeli withdrawal cannot be limited to Gaza, and that terrorism won’t end until the people’s rights are fulfilled.
According to Yedioth Ahronot, Israeli Agriculture Minister, Israel Katz, is proposing a plan to expand Israeli settlement in the Jordan Valley by building 50 new housing units each year. Katz said the plan was a “political response to the Palestinians’ demands.”
According to the Guardian, the Anglican Church’s advisory board unanimously votes on a memo calling for exerting more pressure on companies involved in Israeli activities in the Gaza Strip and West Bank to end their investments in order not discourage any support of the Israeli occupation. Britain-based Rabbi Barry Marcus said the measure was “inappropriate and disastrous.”
Israeli PM Sharon says the attempted lynching of a 16-year-old Palestinian boy by extremist Israeli settlers in Muwasi, Gaza, was “barbaric,” calling for an immediate investigation into the incident. The boy was taken to hospital in serious condition after being rescued from the mob by a Yedioth Ahronot reporter. The settlers, part of the anti-disengagement movement in Gaza, pelted the boy with large stones, which was caught on tape by Israeli television and broadcast across Israel.
During this period, in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, 86 Palestinians were killed by Israeli security forces, 28 under the age of 18. One Palestinian was killed by Israeli civilians. Ten Israeli civilians and 4 Israeli security forces personnel were killed by Palestinians. Within the Green Line, 8 Israeli civilians were killed by Palestinians.