This day in the History of the 2nd Intifada

August 18 2001

The IDF attempts to assassinate Fatah tanzim mbr. Ahmad Bisharat in Jinin, phoning him to set up a bogus mtg., attempting to shoot him when he leaves his home. The IDF also shells residential areas of Beitunia, Khan Yunis; fires on a taxi parked at an IDF checkpoint, seriously wounding a Palestinian infant. Jewish settlers fire on a Palestinian bus nr. Pisgat Ze'ev, injuring 2 Palestinians; stone a car nr. Hebron, causing an accident that kills the Palestinian driver. (al-Quds 8/18 in WNC 8/21; HP 8/19; LAW 8/22)

August 18 2002

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 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: 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. (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)

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.

August 18 2003

The IDF arrests 3 Palestinians fr. Hebron on charges of selling weapons, IDF maps, IDF uniforms to militant groups; demolishes 3 Palestinian homes in Jabal Mukabir in East Jerusalem; fires on curfew breakers in Badraw, nr. Ramallah, injuring several; fires on residential areas of Jenin. (HA 8/19; PCHR 8/21)

Palestinians fire a mortar at Gush Katif settlement, open fire on IDF post nr. Nablus and Tulkarm, causing no damage or injuries.

August 18 2004

5 Palestinians killed.

The IDF launches a predawn air strike on the home of wanted Hamas mbr. Ahmad Jabari in Gaza City, assassinating 2 Hamas mbrs. and 1 Islamic Jihad mbr. (all relatives of Jabari), killing 2 bystanders, wounding 7; Jabari is moderately wounded. The IDF lifts the curfew on all of Nablus, except the Old City and al-`Ayn r.c.; seals al-Fara' r.c. nr. Nablus, patrolling streets, firing on stone-throwing youths who confront the troops; fires missiles at 2 workshops in Gaza City (alleged to be weapons factories), destroying both but causing no injuries; demolishes 2 Palestinian homes, 4 shops in Rafah; fires on residential areas of Khan Yunis, Rafah; raids, confiscates equipment and files fr. a charitable association nr. Bethlehem; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Dahaysha r.c., Nablus, Qalqilya; begins bulldozing a 350 dunams (d.; 4 d. = 1 acre) nr. Qalqilya for construction of the separation wall. Jewish settlers fr. Pduel raze olive trees, place barbed wire around a plot of Palestinian land outside Salfit. Some 60 internationals, 20 Palestinians who began a Freedom March along the separation wall route to protest the walls construction in Zababda nr. Jenin on 7/30 arrive at their destination, Jerusalem, a day ahead of schedule. (NYT, PCHR, WP 8/18; PCHR 8/19, 8/25)

Palestinians fire 2 Qassam rockets at Gaza's Neve Dekalim settlement, lightly injuring 2 Jewish settlers; detonate a roadside bomb by an IDF tank in Gaza, causing some damage but no injuries.

August 18 2005

In the morning, the IDF says that 70% of Gaza settlers have been evacuated, most Gaza residents have not resisted the evacuation, most protests and resistance are by West Bank settler youth (and some American Jewish youth) who have come to Gaza in recent wks. to block the withdrawal. During the day, the evacuations of Gan Or (est. 1983, pop. 350, size 1,692 d., hrs. to evac. 5), Kefar Darom (est. 1989, pop. 490, size 276 d., hrs. to evac. 12), Kefar Yam (est. 1983, pop. 15, hrs. to evac. 3), Netzer Hazani (est. 1973, pop. 460, size 250 d., hrs. to evac. 5), Neve Dekalim (est. 1983, pop. 2,700, size 1,443 d., hrs. to evac. 35), Shirat Hayam (est. 2001, pop. 40, hrs. to evac. 5) settlements are completed. An increasing number of settlers set fire to their homes and to greenhouses as they leave to prevent them fr. being turned over to Palestinians. For the 1st time, 1 armed resident in Kefar Yam, 4 armed disengagement protesters in Shirat Hayam threaten to shoot IDF soldiers if they follow orders to remove settlers, but only if soldiers fire first; the incidents defuse without violence. Some Shirat Hayam residents also throw rocks at Palestinians in Mawasi as they evacuate. In Kefar Darom, 65 resident families agree to leave, but as many as 2,000 outside protesters refuse, many of them barricading themselves inside and on the roof of a synagogue; for the 1st time during the disengagement, the IDF uses water cannons against protesters and 2 IDF soldiers refuse to obey their orders, are removed by fellow soldiers; 58 Israelis are injured in clearing the synagogue, including at least 3 IDF soldiers, 27 border police (1 seriously when he falls accidentally); protesters throw paint thinner at IDF Southern Command chief Maj. Gen. Dan Harel, several soldiers. In Neve Dekalim, some 1,500 disengagement protesters hole up in 2 synagogues, refusing to leave even after residents have voluntarily evacuated, but are eventually extracted. Jewish settlers in s. Gaza spread nails along the coastal road in al-Mawasi to prevent movement of Palestinian vehicles. The IDF conducts arrest raids in al-Mawasi; fires on residential areas of Bayt Lahiya, seriously injuring 1 Palestinian. In the West Bank, Jewish settlers fr. Homesh and Sanur attempt to break into a Palestinian home in nearby Asa'sa village; the IDF intervenes to stop them. Jewish settlers fr. Keddumim throw stones at Palestinian shops, cars nr. Qalqilya. The IDF also conducts arrest raids, house searches in Dura, nr. Tulkarm; confiscates 500 d. of agricultural land nr. Eli settlement nr. Nablus. In Israel, disengagement protesters block roads nationwide. (AP, BBC, HA, Israeli Radio, ITV 8/18; NYT, WP, WT 8/19; PCHR 8/25)

Meanwhile, Palestinians fire a rocket at Netzarim (still inhabited), lightly injuring an IDF soldier; 2 mortars at Gadid settlement (still inhabited), 3 mortars at Morag (evacuated) causing no damage or injuries. Palestinian gunmen fire on IDF troops nr. Kefar Darom, lightly injuring 1.

August 18 2006

1 Palestinian killed.

The IDF fires on several Palestinians grazing sheep nr. the Gaza-Israel border nr. Bayt Lahiya (killing 1 Palestinian), on residential areas of al-Shuka nr. Rafah (wounding 2). In the West Bank, the IDF continues to close all crossings to Jerusalem; patrols in Tamun nr. Jenin; raids, searches an Islamist charity nr. Hebron, confiscating files, computers. In Askar r.c., 2 Palestinians are injured when they accidentally detonate unexploded IDF ordnance. Nr. Jenin, 3 Palestinians are killed when explosives they are handling detonate prematurely. (OCHA 8/23; PCHR 8/24)

August 18 2007

1 Palestinian killed.

IDF troops on the central Gaza border fire on 3 unarmed Palestinians attempting to sneak into Israel to find work, killing 1 Palestinian, arresting 2. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem; patrols in Nablus and neighboring `Ayn Bayt al-Maa refugee camp (r.c.). A 13-yr.-old Palestinian boy is injured by unexploded IDF ordnance (UXO) nr. Tubas. (OCHA 8/22; PCHR 8/23)

August 18 2008

Due to Israeli restrictions, Gaza had received less than 30 per cent of the cooking gas required for basic needs, according to Mahmoud Al-Khizinda, deputy of the federation of Gas Station Owners in the Gaza Strip. (Ma'an News Agency)

Israel allowed 10 truckloads of lumber into the Gaza Strip after Israeli authorities expanded the list of goods allowed to enter the territory. The deliveries of wood were the first in more than a year. (Xinhua)

Israel's ministerial committee overseeing the release of jailed Palestinians approved the Cabinet's list of about 200 prisoners to be set free in the West Bank. An Israeli official said that the prisoners would be released by 25 August. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was scheduled to meet with PA President Abbas on the same day. (AFP, Haaretz, Ma'an News Agency, Xinhua)

Representatives of five Palestinian factions agreed in a meeting in Gaza that a "comprehensive national dialogue," should begin to end the Palestinian internal political split. Leaders from Fatah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine and the Palestinian Peoples' Party attended the meeting. The parties agreed in principle on forming a government of national unity, holding new legislative and presidential elections on the basis of complete party representation, and the restructuring of Palestinian security forces along professional lines, as well as to reactivate the PLC and the PLO. They also called for an immediate halt to media incitement campaigns, arbitrary detentions and the release of all political detainees through forming a national committee with the participation of Fatah and Hamas in the West Bank and Gaza. (Ma'an News Agency)

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