escalate after several days of diminution, with the most severe exchanges nr.
Qarni crossing and in Qalqilya, Ramallah. The IDF directs shelling, heavy
machine gun fire residential areas nr. Khan Yunis, at PSF posts nr. Dayr
al-Balah, Jabaliyya; bulldozes 15 dunams of Palestinian land in Khan Yunis, 23
dunams in Rafah. Jewish settlers attack Palestinian property in Haris.
The IDF says that in the coming days, it
will ease the closure, allow 11,000 Palestinians to return to their jobs in
Israel. Israeli, PA security officials hold a round of unproductive talks
on halting violence. (al-Quds 4/27 in WNC 4/30; WP, WT 4/28; LAW 5/4)
Peres meet to draft a formal response to the Jordanian-Egyptian
initiative. Sharon says he has "serious reservations about almost every aspect"
of the proposal and "substantial changes" must be made before Israel can accept
it. (al-Ra'i 4/27 in WNC 4/30; NYT, WP, WT 4/28) (see Peace Monitor)
A roadside bomb explodes nr. a Jewish settlement in Gaza, injuring 1 IDF
soldier, 1 settler.
5 Palestinians killed. 1 Israeli killed.
In Bethlehem, an IDF sniper seriously injuries another
Palestinian inside the Church of the Nativity. (NYT, WP 4/28; HA, MM
4/29; MEI 5/3)
At least 2 Hamas gunmen dressed in IDF uniforms raid Adora settlement,
fatally shooting 5 Jewish settlers, injuring 7. The IDF pursues
the pair, fatally shoots 1 dead in the nearby Palestinian village of Tufah; the
The IDF conducts arrest raids in Hebron, Kafr Ni’ma, Khan Yunis,
Ramallah; imposes a curfew on Qalqilya; shells residential areas of Rafah. Late
in the evening, at least 20 armed Jewish settlers accompanied by
Tourism M Benny Elon attempt to serve eviction papers to 2 Palestinian homes
in East Jerusalem’s Shaykh Jarrah neighborhood that settlers have tried
to seize for 1 yr.; settlers beat, seriously injure 4 Palestinians;
Israeli police intervene, halt the attack, say they will examine the
validity of the eviction warrant, but do not arrest the settlers. The IDF
“evacuates” an uninhabited unauthorized outpost set up on an deserted IDF base
nr. Hebron; Jewish settlers file a petition delaying the IDF’s evacuation
of a 2d, inhabited outpost nr. Hebron. (HA 4/28; LAW, PCHR 5/1; ICHAD 5/4; PR
The IDF opens fire on stone-throwing youths in Tulkarm r.c., wounding
6. In Gaza’s Gush Katif settlement,
some 70,000 Israelis, Jewish settlers rally against Sharon’s
disengagement plan. (WP 4/28; PCHR 4/29; NYT 4/30)
In Gaza, unidentified armed Palestinians raid a Hamas hideout
in an attempt to steal explosives, sparking an exchange of gunfire that leaves
2 attackers, 1 Hamas mbr. dead.
The IDF conducts arrest raids in Askar r.c., Balata r.c., Nablus;
raids, searches, interrogates the employees of a flour mill in al-Qarara; fires
on residential areas of Rafah. Some 40,000s Jewish settlers gather in
Gaza's Neve Dekalim settlement to protest Sharon's disengagement plan; during
the rally, Palestinians fire 2 rockets, 3 mortars toward
the settlement, lightly wounding 2 IDF soldiers. Jewish settlers fr.
Karnei Shomron uproot 300 Palestinian olive trees nr. the settlement. (JAZ, XIN
4/27; NYT, PCHR, WP, WT 4/28; VOP 4/28 in WNC 4/28; WP 4/29; OCHA, PCHR 5/5)
2 Palestinians killed.
The IDF closes Gaza’s Kerem Shalom crossing for 2 days; makes air strikes on
2 cars driving in central Gaza, missing 1 car carrying 5 Islamic Jihad mbrs. but
hitting the 2d, assassinating Islamic Jihad mbrs. Ahmad Abu Nijim and Wa’il
al-Qaran, wounding a 3d mbr. and 3 bystanders; arrests Change and Reform PC mbr.
Ah- mad Mubarak in his home in Jalazun r.c., giving no reason; sends troops back
into Nablus and Askar r.c., conducting arrest raids, house searches and firing
on stone- throwing Palestinians who confront them; also conducts arrest raids,
house searches nr. Jenin. (AFP, IMEMC, MM 4/27; NYT, WP 4/28; OCHA 5/3; PCHR
2 Palestinians killed.
Israel allows the Rafah crossing to open for the 1st time since 4/19. Gunfire
breaks out among the 5,000 Palestinians waiting to enter Egypt, leaving a PA
presidential guardsman dead; UN monitors overseeing the passage say Israel’s
closures have left the crossing too crowded to operate. IDF troops on the s.
Gaza border fire tank shells, heavy machine guns at DFLP mbrs. planning a
roadside bomb nr. the border fence, killing 1 DFLP mbr. The IDF also sends
tanks, bulldozers into Gaza to level land along the border fence e. of
al-Maghazi r.c. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids,
house searches in Hebron; fires rubber- coated steel bullets, percussion
grenades, tear gas at Palestinians and international and Israeli peace activists
holding a nonviolent demonstration against the separation wall in Bil‘in,
wounding 6 Palestinians, 1 French activist. Some 200 Palestinians fr. villages
nr. Bethlehem hold a nonviolent protest in the area against the separation
wall. A Jewish settler fr. Kiryat Arba beats a Palestinian child working in his
family’s garden; when his father and brother come to his aid, the settler fires
at them, causing no injuries; the IDF intervenes, beating and arresting the
father and older brother for “threatening” the settler. Jewish settlers fr.
Hebron beat 3 Palestinian shepherds grazing their sheep nearby and 3 peace
activists (including an Israeli rabbi) accompanying them for protection. A Palestinian dies of injuries received during an IDF raid on
Gaza City on 10/16/06. (HA 4/27; NYT 4/28; OCHA 5/2; PCHR 5/3)
In Bayt Hanun, a PRC mbr. is killed when explosives he is
handling detonate prematurely.
Israel, 100s of Palestinian Israeli residents of Jaffa protest actions by the
Israel Land Administration (ILA) in the past yr. to evict some 500 Arab families
from the al-Ajami and Givat Aliya neighborhoods so as to develop the seafront
properties; the ILA calls the Palestinian families “invaders” who built on the
Overnight, in Gaza, the IDF launches
an incursion into Dayr al-Balah, occupying and searching homes, detaining 40
Palestinians (releasing them all on 4/28), and bulldozing 6 Palestinian
homes, 200 d. of olive groves, 30 beehives, and an animal pen (killing 60
sheep), also heavily damaging 3 homes before withdrawing late at night. In the
West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in
and around Ramallah, in Bethlehem, nr. Qalqilya. (OCHA, PCHR 4/30)
IDF troops shot and lightly wounded a Palestinian at a checkpoint near Hebron after he failed to stop at their command. The army said it was investigating whether the Palestinian was attempting to carry out an attack. (Haaretz)
Israeli forces seized nine Palestinians during overnight raids in Nablus, Tulkarm, Ramallah, Bethlehem and Hebron. (Ma’an News Agency)
US State Department spokesman Robert Wood said: "If Iran wants to show goodwill, it should encourage those forces that it supports that are opposed to a two-State solution to cease their opposition and work constructively toward helping us reach that two-State solution.” Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, in an interview with the US network ABC
, had said it would be "fine with us" if the Palestinians reached a two-State solution. (AP)
The Los Angeles Times reported that the US Administration had asked Congress for minor changes in US law that would permit aid to continue flowing to Palestinians in the event Hamas-backed officials became part of a unified Palestinian Government. The Administration requested the changes this month as part of an $83.4-billion emergency spending bill. The bill would provide $840 million for the Palestinian Authority and for rebuilding in Gaza. US officials insist that the new proposal would not amount to recognizing or aiding Hamas. Under law, any US aid would require that the Palestinian Government meet three conditions: recognizing Israel, renouncing violence and agreeing to follow past Israeli-Palestinian agreements. (The Los Angels Times)
An Israeli settler from “Yizhar” shot and critically injured an 18-year-old Palestinian, Muhammad Na’im Faraj, from the village of Madama, south of Nablus. (Ma’an News Agency)
An Israeli group, Peace Now, said Israel had begun construction on some 60 new housing units in settlements in East Jerusalem. “The works aim to build 60 housing units for Orthodox religious Jewish families right next to the Palestinian neighbourhood of Arab Al-Sawahra,” Peace Now spokesperson Hagit Ofran said. “The works began two months ago as part of development of East Talpiot,” one of a dozen settlements in East Jerusalem, she added. The Jerusalem municipality said that the construction in the settlement had been approved in 2000 and that the works in question did not amount to a new settlement. (AFP)
PA President Abbas said in a speech that a complete freeze of Israeli settlements was a prerequisite for resuming talks with Israel, and that he would not give in to possible Israeli or international pressure to resume negotiations while settlement construction continued. Mr. Abbas also rejected previous Israeli demands that Palestinians not only recognize the State of Israel but recognize Israel as a Jewish State. “Name yourself, it’s not my business. … All I know is that there is the State of Israel, in the borders of 1967, not one centimetre more, not one centimetre less. Anything else, I don’t accept.” (AP)
EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner, in a follow-up to a statement she had made on 23 April, insisted that Israel should first recognize a two-State solution before ties with Israel could be strengthened. “We want to have good and trustworthy relations with Israel but … our upgrading can only be seen in the context of the Israel-Palestinian conflict. … We are looking now to Israel to really make a policy review and hopefully they will go back to a two-State solution,” Ms. Ferrero-Waldner said at an EU Foreign Ministers’ meeting in Luxembourg. Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolánek, whose country holds the EU’s rotating presidency, contradicted Ms. Ferrero-Waldner’s position in an interview published in Israel the previous day. “The peace process should not be linked to the relations between the EU and Israel,” Mr. Topolánek said. Commenting on Ms. Ferrero-Waldner’s position, he said, “I would not really attribute to it more weight than just a statement by a commissioner. … I am still the President of the European Council and I should know something about it.” In response, Ms. Ferrero-Waldner said Mr. Topolánek clearly did not know the decisions that the EU nations had taken. “He should read the [European] Council conclusions,” she said. (AFP)
The US plans to expand a programme to bolster PA security forces in the West Bank, Lt. Gen. Keith Dayton said. "We have plans to train at least three more battalions before this time next year," he told Reuters. "If it goes the way the Administration has asked for, we will accelerate dramatically what we are doing here in terms of training and equipment, and filling in the gaps in between," he said during a visit to a security headquarters in Tulkarm. (Reuters)
Delegations from Fatah and Hamas met in Cairo for three-way talks with Egyptian Intelligence Chief Omar Suleiman, which they said would be their final attempt at reconciliation, Egypt’s MENA news agency reported. Senior Fatah official Nabil Sha’ath said he expected the meetings to last at least three days. The factions were expected to discuss the formation of a national unity Government and its programme, the reform of security apparatuses and the drafting of a new electoral law. (AFP)
PA President Abbas said: "I call on the dialogue in Cairo to agree on a Government that will run the country, reunite it and rebuild Gaza, then go for elections… We cannot rebuild Gaza without this Government." He said he was not asking of Hamas to accept past interim agreements, but only of the unity Government to do so. (AP)