This day in the History of the 2nd Intifada

November 18 2000

1 Israeli killed.

Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue. 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+nRamallah road. (LAW 11/18; PCHR, NYT, WT 11/19; AIC, MEZ 11/20)

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.

November 18 2001

4 Palestinians killed.

The IDF finds, accidentally triggers a bomb outside the King David Hotel in Jerusalem just before Israeli PM Ariel Sharon is to meet there with a European Union (EU) delegation; no injuries are reported. The IDF also moves troops 200 yds. into PA-controlled territory nr. Bayt Lahia, kills 2 armed Palestinians it claims were heading toward a nearby Dugit settlement; the PA says the men were mbrs. of the Palestinian naval police on patrol. 2 other Palestinians die of injuries received earlier. (NYT, WP 11/19; NYT 11/20; LAW 11/26)

November 18 2002

The IDF occupies the Medical Relief Center in Jenin, destroys equipment; bulldozes 9 dunams of Palestinian land in Dayr al-Balah. (PCHR 11/20)

November 18 2003

1 Palestinian killed. 2 Israelis killed.

The IDF raids Rafah, sparking an exchange of gunfire that leaves 1 Palestinian dead and 11 wounded, demolishing 7 Palestinian homes, damaging 2 others; fires on Palestinians at Qarni and Surda crossings for no apparent reason, wounding 3; shoots, wounds a 16-yr.-old Palestinian who breaks curfew in Asira nr. Nablus; fires on stone-throwing youths in Burqa nr. Nablus, wounding 3; fires on Palestinian farms nr. Netzarim settlement, killing 1 horse, wounding another; conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron, Nablus. The IDF also arrests a Palestinian farmer harvesting his olive grove nr. Salfit, threatens to bulldoze the grove and family home if the family returns to the site; 50 mbrs. of Rabbis for Human Rights, B’Tselem intervene, harvest the olives for the family, vow to stay on the site, block bulldozing until the issue is resolved. (BBC, HA, ISM press release, MM 11/18; NYT, WP 11/19; VOP 11/19 in WNC 11/21; PCHR 11/20)

An al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade (AMB) gunman opens fire on an IDF checkpoint outside Jerusalem, killing 2 IDF soldiers; the gunman escapes toward al-Khadir village; the IDF seals al-Khadir, conducts house-to-house searches, arresting 3 Palestinians. In Gaza, Palestinians fire an antitank missile at a Jewish settler convoy, causing no damage or injuries.

November 18 2004

IDF fatally shoots 3 Egyptian border policemen on the Egyptian side of the Rafah border whom they assumed were armed Palestinians attempting to plant a bomb or infiltrate the border; Israeli PM Ariel Sharon immediately phones Egyptian pres. Husni Mubarak, issues a public statement apologizing for the "tragic" accident, vows an investigation. Nonetheless, Egypt postpones to early 12/04 a visit to Israel by Egyptian envoy Omar Sulayman, FM Ahmad Abu al-Ghayt that was set to begin on 11/24. The IDF raids a Birzeit University dorm, detains 4 students, orders them to collect their belongings, handcuffs and blindfolds them, places them in military detention. The IDF also releases Hamas political leader Hassan Yusuf, who has been held in administrative detention for 2 yrs.; Yusuf—a Ramallah resident and one of the 400 Hamas mbrs. deported by Israel to Lebanon in 1990, became Hamas's senior West Bank political leader in 8/01 and was arrested during Operation Defensive Shield in 4/02—advocates Hamas participation in all levels of Palestinian elections and is seen as a leading moderate in the movement. An IDF sniper shoots, seriously wounds wanted Hamas mbr. Ghanim al-Hashash as he leaves a Rafah mosque in an apparent attempted assassination. The IDF rescues, arrests 5 Palestinians trapped in a collapsed smuggler's tunnel on the Rafah-Egypt border; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Bayt Iqsa e. of Jerusalem, Duha nr. Bethlehem, Yatta; fires on residential areas in and nr. Nablus, Rafah. Armed Jewish settlers fr. Dotem settlement ambush, stone Palestinian cars in nearby Tubas. (AP, BBC, MM 11/18; HA, MENA, VOI, VOP 11/18 in WNC 11/20; MM, NYT, WP, WT 11/19; VOI 11/19 in WNC 12/4; HA 11/21; CSM 11/22; PR 11/24; PCHR 11/25; PR 12/22)

November 18 2005

1 Palestinian killed.

The IDF closes the Erez crossing into Gaza, citing threats of an attack; fatally shoots an unarmed Palestinian “in a suspicious position” nr. a settler bypass road outside Hebron; makes a predawn raid and fires on residential areas of Jenin town and refugee camp (r.c.), orders all male Palestinians ages 16-35 to gather for an ID check, arresting 1; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Nablus; confiscates 94 d. in Bayt Jala, 115 d. in al-Khadir, 119 d. in al-Walaja for construction of the separation wall outside Bethlehem; confiscates 10 d. of Palestinian land nr. Jenin for “military purposes.” (HA 11/18; AP, HA, NYT, WP 11/19; WP, XIN 11/20; PCHR 11/24)

In Khan Yunis, PA police fatally shoot a Palestinian in an exchange gunfire with mbrs. of 2 Palestinian families in a dispute over land on the vacated Neve Dekalim settlement site that also leaves 10 other Palestinians (including 2 policemen) wounded; in response, 10s of Palestinians vandalize a police station in nearby Khan Yunis, set 2 police vehicles on fire.

November 18 2006

3 Palestinians killed.

The IDF continues operations nr. Bayt Lahiya, firing on residential areas, fatally shooting 1 Palestinian teenager, wounding 5 Palestinians ages 6–18; makes air strikes on a Hamas training camp n. of Shatti’ r.c., causing damage but no injuries. A Jewish settler severely beats a Swedish human rights worker, injures another international human rights worker escorting Palestinian children past Tal Rumayda settlement in Hebron. Jewish settlers fr. Tal Rumayda also throw stones at a Palestinian woman and her 3-yr.-old son, leaving the boy with a head injury. Jewish settlers fr. Ma’on settlement nr. Hebron prevent Palestinian farmers fr. working in their fields nearby. A Palestinian woman dies of injuries sustained during 11/6 IDF air strikes on Jabaliya. A Palestinian man dies of injuries received during an 11/4 IDF attack on Jabaliya. (International Solidarity Movement press release 11/18; OCHA 11/22; PCHR 11/23)

November 18 2007

The IDF makes an air strike targeting armed Palestinians nr. Khan Yunis, causing no reported injuries; levels land inside the Gaza border nr. the Erez crossing. In the West Bank, the IDF bulldozes a Palestinian road and barn in al-Walaja nr. the separation wall outside Bethlehem; raids, searches a secondary school in Azun nr. Qalqilya when staff is present but classes are not in session; conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Jenin and Nablus, in Abu Dis nr. Jerusalem, and nr. Bethlehem. During the day, the new PA policing unit in Nablus, deployed by Palestinian Authority (PA) PM Mahmud Abbas on 11/2 to enhance security in keeping with the road map, makes major arrest raids into `Ayn Bayt al-Ma’ r.c. (WT 11/19; OCHA 11/21; PCHR 11/22, 11/29)

November 18 2008

Three Israeli tanks and two bulldozers crossed near the town of Rafah some 100 metres into the Gaza Strip, sparking clashes with Palestinian militants. Witnesses said they saw the bulldozers clearing cultivated land. An Israeli military spokesperson said a small force was on a "routine operation to uncover explosive devices near the border fence in the southern Gaza Strip." There were no immediate reports of any injuries or deaths. Local gunmen fired two mortar shells at the force. (AP, BBC, DPA)

Israel resealed border crossings with the Gaza Strip citing continued rocket fire at its towns. Aid groups had warned of looming shortages of food and fuel supplies in the Gaza Strip. (Haaretz, Reuters)

In a media release, Switzerland demanded an end to the blockade of the Gaza Strip. The Federal Department of Foreign Affairs demanded that the parties to the conflict adhere to the ceasefire agreement and comply with international humanitarian law. It was especially concerned about the humanitarian consequences for the civilian population. (www.eda.admin.ch)

For the past 10 days, Israel had imposed a virtual news blackout on the Gaza Strip. No foreign journalists have been able to enter to report on the escalating humanitarian crisis caused by the closure of Gaza's borders. AP Bureau Chief in Jerusalem Steve Gutkin said that the length of the current ban made it unprecedented. AP relied on two of its journalists who were able to enter Gaza days before the closure and had been stranded there. (AP, IPS)

Israeli naval forces seized 15 Palestinian fishermen and three members of the International Solidarity Movement at sea seven miles to the west of the Gaza Strip, Palestinian sources said. (AFP, Xinhua)

Israeli forces detained 32 Palestinians during raids into several towns in the West Bank. Most of the arrests took place in Hebron and Nablus. (Xinhua)

Israeli forces demolished the house of Jamal Adhoud Abu Sneineh in the Al-Isawiya neighbourhood of East Jerusalem. Mr. Abu Sneineh said that he was notified that his home would be demolished because it was too close to the Hebrew University and the municipality wanted to build a road on the site. (Ma'an News Agency)

PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad called on the international community to increase the pressure on Israel to suspend all construction in the settlements and implied that the PA could appeal to the International Court of Justice in this regard, adopting the example of the separation wall. He praised the British decision to tighten restrictions on importing goods produced in the settlements. He also praised the fact that many European States no longer shied away from defining the settlements as "illegal" and not as merely "unhelpful." (Haaretz)

Hamas spokesman Ihab Al-Ghussein said Hamas was losing patience with Israel and was reconsidering the truce agreement. He said: "The Israeli violations of the truce in the Gaza Strip confirm that Israelis never wanted any truce." He also criticized the "silence" of the Arab countries and the international community for allowing Israel to continue its blockade. (Ma'an News Agency)

In an interview with Richard Beeston of Times Online, Israeli President Shimon Peres agreed that a Middle East peace agreement by the end of 2008 seemed unlikely. He said that the obstacles were clearer than ever before. Meanwhile, Mr. Peres told the BBC that he felt confident about the prospects of a Middle East peace deal in 2009 following the election of Barack Obama as US President. "I feel confident that we're at the same camp. I see no contradictions," he said. (AFP, BBC, www.timesonline.co.uk)

PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad rejected proposals by Israeli Opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu for an economic solution to the Middle East conflict. He said: "… I appreciate the importance of economy very much, [but] the solution is not to be found in money or in industrial zones. I am interested not in redefining the occupation but in ending the occupation." (AFP)

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner called for the Quartet to meet in Paris in 2008. He made the proposal at a breakfast with Quartet Representative Tony Blair. (AFP)

Jordan's King Abdullah II warned Israel's Prime Minister Olmert and Defense Minister Barak during urgent talks in Amman that a military offensive in the Gaza Strip would destabilise the region, a Jordanian political source said. The King also urged the Israeli leaders in the meeting to "stop all unilateral action and take immediate measures to end the suffering of Palestinians in Gaza," the Jordanian source said. (Reuters)

The Turkish International Cooperation and Development Agency unveiled 15 new ambulances for the PA Ministry of Health in Ramallah. The ceremony was held at the Central Public Health Laboratory and Turkish Deputy Consul General Ali Ghuniya was thanked by PA Minister of Health Fathi Abu Moghli. The ambulances were part of a larger Turkish project that would see the construction of new hospitals in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Mr. Ghuniya reiterated the Turkish Government's pledge of US$ 150 million, made at the Paris Donors' Conference in 2007. (Ma'an News Agency)

Over 1,000 participants registered for the second Palestine Investment Conference, including 300 Palestinian and Arab businessmen, 50 Palestinians living in Israel, representatives of the International Monetary Fund, Gaza Strip investors and the media. The conference, which will be held in Nablus, would propose over $700 million in projects for potential business partners. Dates for the conference have yet to be announced. (Ma'an News Agency)

In a statement, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanethem Pillay said: "By the function of this [Gaza Strip] blockade, 1.5 million Palestinian men, women and children have been forcibly deprived of their most basic human rights for months. This is in direct contravention of international human rights and humanitarian law. It must end now." She also called on all sides to respect international law and the security of the Palestinian and Israeli populations. She appealed for a complete cessation of Israeli incursions and air strikes, and of rocket fire by Palestinian groups. (www.ohchr.org)

Four flour mills in the Gaza Strip would be shut down on 20 November because there was no more wheat with which to make flour. Shipment of wheat had been totally stopped for two weeks. Most flour mills in the area had already been shut down when fuel and power ran out, but some with back-up supplies were able to continue operating. Products coordinator in Gaza Ra'ed Fattouh said he had no word when more wheat would be shipped in. (Ma'an News Agency)

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