February 2002


99 palestinians killed by israeli action this month
28 israelis killed by palestinian action this month


Increased destruction of palestinian security infrastructure paving the way for full scale israeli invasion in April

The EU endorses a draft plan by France, based on the Peres-Qurai` ideas, that calls for Palestinian elections and the immediate creation of a Palestinian state followed by state-to-state negotiations on an Israeli withdrawal, final settlement. Israel rejects the idea; the PA accepts it. Sharon tries to convince Bush, that Arafat is the obstacle to peace and should be "removed". The idea is rejected by the US - but only for a few months more.

Sharon scolds Arafat and PA for not stopping terror, and continues the massive destruction of the palestinian security infrastructure, making it increasingly impossible for Arafat to control anything. This month F-16s destroy the PSF headquarters in Gaza and several PSF compunds. Hamas starts to use unreliable homemade Qassam missiles against IDF and settlements.

In response to increased IDF attacks, palestinian attacks on IDF and settlements are likewise stepped up. IDF responds by massive shelling of Gaza and West Bank, using ships and F-16s. Arafats compound in Ramallah is shelled for the first time. In just 3 days 45 palestinians are killed. At a UN Security Council (UNSC) emergency session in New York, Kofi Annan warns that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is "sliding toward a full-fledged war"; says that the Mitchell and Tenet plans have clearly not succeeded, that an active international effort and "new thinking" are necessary. The Israeli, U.S. reps. strongly reject anything other than U.S. mediation. Israel is preparing its full reoccupation of the West Bank and wants no international interference.

February is the bloodiest month during Sharons PM period. Worse things are to come.


Israeli actions Negotiations Palestinian actions
Every is one palestinian killed by israeli action   Every is one israeli killed by palestinian action

The IDF shells the PA naval police headquarters in Dayr al-Balah, residential areas of Khan Yunis; sends tanks, troops into Khan Yunis for 3 hrs. to conduct extensive searches. The IDF also conducts arrest raids in Abu Dis, Azariyya. (WP 2/2; AFP 2/2 in WNC 2/4; NYT, WT 2/3; SA 2/3 in WNC 2/4; PCHR 2/4; LAW 2/6)

  Palestinians fire mortars at an IDF checkpoint, detonate a bomb outside Kefar Darom settlement in Gaza, causing no damage. Some 2,000 Palestinians in Gaza City and 15,000 Palestinians in Nablus rally in support of Arafat. The PFLP announces it is suspending its membership in PLO in protest over the PSF's continued detention of Saadat.

The IDF conducts arrest raids in Jinin, shells residential areas of Dayr al-Balah. (AFP 2/2 in WNC 2/4; LAW 2/6)

Syria rejects Israel's 1/30 appeal for a resumption of peace talks, saying that the offer is a "maneuver to pressure the Palestinians." (al-Safir 2/2 in WNC 2/4)


Senior Fatah mbr. Imad Assaf is seriously injured in a mysterious explosion in Dahaysha; the PA accuses Israel of attempting to assassination him. The IDF directs heavy machine gun fire on residential areas of Khan Yunis, Rafah (leaving 1 Palestinian clinically dead). The IDF also fires tear gas, concussion grenades to disperse a peaceful protest by Palestinians, international peace activists in Ramallah; conducts arrest raids in Osrin, firing on Palestinian homes; bulldozes Palestinian agricultural land along secondary roads in the Bethlehem, Jinin areas; imposes closures on 10 villages around Ramallah. (HP 2/3; AFP 2/3 in WNC 2/4; NYT, PCHR, WT 2/4; LAW 2/6)

In a New York Times op-ed, Arafat outlines the Palestinians' vision of peace as a 2-state solution, with an independent Palestinian state in all of the West Bank and Gaza, and a secure Israel within its 1967 borders. He also affirms that any solution to the refugee issue must consider Israel's demographic concerns and denounces "attacks carried out by terrorist groups against Israeli civilians." (HA, JP [Internet], NYT 2/3; AP, HA, NYT, WT 2/4; JT, MA, MM, QA, al-Quds 2/5 in WNC 2/6; PR 2/6; MEI 2/8) (see Doc. B???)

Palestinians fire 2 mortars at a Jewish settlement in Gaza, causing no damage.

The IDF fires missiles at a car traveling nr. Rafah, killing 5 DFLP mbrs. Israeli security sources say 1 of those killed, Ayman Bihdari, was targeted for assassination for his role in organizing the 8/25/01 raid on a Gaza IDF post that left 3 soldiers dead. The DFLP vows retaliation. The IDF also demolishes 2 Palestinian homes in Issawiyya; shells an alleged Palestinian mortar factory in Jabaliya. (BBC, LAW, MM, NYT, PCHR, WP, WT 2/4; XIN 2/4 in WNC 2/5; MM, NYT, WP, WT 2/5; LAW, PCHR 2/6)

  Nr. Nablus, Palestinian gunmen fire on a car with Israeli license plates, wounding an Israeli Arab B'Tselem employee on the job collecting information on human rights violations by the IDF.

The IDF directs shells/heavy machine gun fire at residential areas of Khan Yunis, Qarni, Rafah, Wadi al-Silqa; occupies a Palestinian home, bulldozes land in Dayr al-Balah; conducts arrest raids in Dayr al-Balah, Dayr al-Sharaf, Hebron, Tal; fires on a Palestinian boat off Gaza, wounding 1 fisherman; places new roadblocks on the roads linking Nablus with Qalqilya, Tulkarm. 1 Palestinian dies of injuries received earlier. (HA, HP 2/5; LAW, PCHR 2/6; PCHR 2/13)

In New York, Ben-Eliezer says that Arafat is not a partner for peace; urges the U.S. to open talks with more "realistic" Palestinians who could form an alternative leadership. He also alleges that Israel has new intelligence information that al-Qa`ida mbrs. have been relocating to Lebanon to join forces with Hizballah; says he will encourage the U.S. to target Hizballah in its war on terror when he meets with officials in Washington on 2/6. (XIN 2/5 in WNC 2/8; AP, HA 2/6; MM 2/7; al-Quds 2/16 in WNC 2/19)

Palestinians fire 3 mortars at Gush Katif settlement causing no damage. The IDF reports that incidents of Palestinian violence are up to an average of 17/day (see 12/30).

In Jinin, a mob of more than 1,000 Palestinians enraged by reduced sentences handed down by a judge, storms a makeshift PA security courtroom and executes 3 Palestinians convicted of murdering a popular PSF officer over an intrafamily feud; 100 PSF officers surrounding the building are unable to fend off the mob. Since 9/01, the IDF has demolished Jinin's 2 police headquarters, its security headquarters, 2 prisons, the governor's administrative offices, and its military courtroom, leaving the PA without a secure compound to hold the controversial trial. The military court sought to move the trial to Jericho but could not due to Israeli closures. (AP, HA 2/5; MM, NYT, WP 2/6)


In response to attack on Hamra, IDF F-16s bomb 2 prisons in Nablus, injuring 11 Palestinians. During the strikes, wardens release 25 Hamas, Islamic Jihad prisoners (including 2 of Israel's most wanted, Islamic Jihad mbrs. Mahmud Tawalba, Ali Safuri) for their safety but keep 103 suspected collaborators in custody. The IDF also captures a vegetable truck on Jinin+nNablus road loaded with 8 Qassam-2 missiles and a launcher; fatally shoots 1 Palestinian who threw a hand grenade at an IDF post on the Rafah border; demolishes 3 Palestinian homes in Bayt Hanina and Shu`fat; arrests 3 Palestinian fishermen off the Gaza coast, confiscates their boats. The IDF also raids, confiscates the files of, and closes the East Jerusalem offices of 2 NGOs that represent Palestinian interests: the Arab Studies Society's Land Research Center, the Welfare Association's Multisectoral and Technical Offices. (AP, LAW 2/6; MM, NYT, WP, WT 2/7; NYT, WP, WT 2/8; NYT 2/9; MA 2/10 in WNC 2/11; MA 2/11 in WNC 2/12; PCHR 2/13; HA 2/17)

In a report to Congress, CIA Dir. George Tenet identifies several "terrorist groups"--including Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the PFLP--that have no ties to al-Qa`ida but could be future U.S. targets because they have "displayed anti-U.S. sentiments" and have threatened U.S. interests overseas. (WP 2/10)

  An Israeli bus driver coming fr. Ma'ale Adumim stops at an Israeli checkpoint into Jerusalem, warns border police of a suspicious passenger on board. Israeli border police scuffle with and detain a Palestinian passenger wearing an explosive device, which is defused by bomb experts. Later, a Hamas gunman dressed as an IDF soldier infiltrates a home in the West Bank settlement of Hamra, fatally shoots 2 Jewish settlers, 1 IDF soldier, wounds 4 settlers before being shot dead by soldiers.

The IDF fires missiles at a PA prison in Nablus for a 2d time; fires tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets at demonstrators outside Arafat's Ramallah headquarters, wounding 3; begins bulldozing Palestinian land in Za'atra for creation of a new settler bypass road. In Jinin, 10s of armed Palestinians raid a makeshift PA jail in an apartment building, freeing 10+n15 detainees without meeting resistance. Israel extends the closure of Orient House for 6 mos. (MM 2/7; NYT, WT 2/8; NYT 2/9; GS 2/12; LAW, PCHR 2/13)

Sharon meets with Bush in Washington for the 4th time in less than a yr.; says Arafat is an obstacle to peace, who ideally should be replaced. Bush says the U.S. will not sever ties with Arafat but will keep pressure on him to halt Palestinian violence. Sharon also asks Bush to give Israel the $800 m. in aid that the Clinton admin. promised Israel to cover costs of its withdrawal fr. Lebanon. (MM 2/7; al-Quds 2/7, XIN 2/8, al-Ra'i 2/9 in WNC 2/11; HA, JP [Internet], MM, NYT, WP, WT 2/8; HA 2/10)


In n. Israel, a car mysteriously explodes killing 2 Palestinians; the IDF claims they were Islamic Jihad mbrs. en route to stage a car bombing. The IDF again fires tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets at demonstrators nr. Arafat's Ramallah headquarters, injuring 6; conducts arrest raids in Birzeit and in Tamun, where troops detain 7, wound 10 with live ammunition, occupy 12 Palestinian homes as IDF outposts, uproot 150 olive trees. (AYM 2/8 in WNC 2/11; NYT, WP, WT 2/9; LAW, PCHR 2/13; MA 2/15 in WNC 2/19)

  In Jerusalem, a group of Palestinian teenagers fatally stabs an Israeli woman. Israeli police shoot at, captured 4 of the teenagers, 1 of whom dies at the scene. Police say the 14-yr.-old boy dropped dead of no apparent cause; witnesses say he was beaten, perhaps shot by soldiers. The PA again calls for adherence to Arafat's cease-fire. At a pro-Hamas rally in Jabaliya attended more than 10,000 Palestinians, Hamas spokesman Rantisi vows more suicide attacks against Israel, says that anyone who seeks to stop the intifada "wants to tear us apart." The NIHC organizes a separate protest march fr. Shati` to the PC building in Gaza City, denouncing the U.S.'s biased policy, calling on Arab states to take a strong, unified stand on the Palestinian situation.

The IDF shells residential areas of Tulkarm; occupies a commercial building in al-Bireh as an outpost. (NYT, WP 2/10; LAW 2/9; PCHR 2/13)

The EU endorses a draft plan by France, based on the Peres-Qurai` ideas, that calls for Palestinian elections and the immediate creation of a Palestinian state followed by state-to-state negotiations on an Israeli withdrawal, final settlement. Israel rejects the idea; the PA accepts it. (CNN 2/9; AFP 2/9, MENA 2/10 in WNC 2/11; NYT, WT 2/10; MM 2/11; AN 2/11 in WNC 2/12; JP [Internet] 2/12; MM, WP 2/15; MEI 2/22; WP 2/25)

Palestinian gunmen fire on a settler vehicle nr. Ariel, killing 1 Jewish settler, wounding another.

The IDF conducts a predawn arrest raid in Nablus's Askar refugee camp, detaining at least 3 Palestinians, seizing 1 Palestinian apartment as an observation post, and exchanging gunfire with residents, leaving 1 soldier wounded. The IDF conducts another predawn arrest raid in Dayr al-Balah, shelling residential areas, occupying 2 Palestinian homes as observation posts. In response to Beersheba attack on IDF, the IDF F-16s drop bombs on a PSF headquarters in Gaza and Ansar 2 prison; helicopter gunships fire missiles on targets around Gaza City and Jabaliya, injuring 20 Palestinians, including employees of the UN Special Coordinator's Office (UNSCO), which is damaged in the attack. UNSCO protests. Jewish settlers severely beat a Palestinian teenager nr. Tal Rumayda; beat, rob another teenager nr. Nablus; bulldoze 12 dunams of olive groves nr. Antalia settlement. (MEZ, WP 2/10; XIN 2/10 in WNC 2/11; MM, NYT, WP 2/11; CSM 2/12; JT 2/12 in WNC 2/13; LAW, PCHR 2/13; MEI 2/22)

Sharon returns fr. the U.S., immediately calls for a mtg. of his inner cabinet to discuss how to respond to recent Palestinian attacks. (NYT 2/11)

An IDF autopsy performed in the presence of a Palestinian doctor confirms that the 14-yr.-old Palestinian who died in Jerusalem on 2/8 was killed by an IDF bullet. (LAW 2/10, 2/13)

The State Dept. confirms that Powell has received correspondence fr. Arafat regarding the Karine A affair, saying he was not involved but that as leader of the PA, he will take responsibility for the incident, punish those responsible. (WT 2/11; NYT 2/12, 2/14)

In Beersheba, 2 Hamas gunmen open fire outside an IDF base, killing 2 IDF soldiers, wounding 4 before being shot dead by troops. Later, Palestinians fire 2 objects fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no injuries; at least 1 of the devices leaves a 7-ft. hole, leading the IDF to suspect that it was a Qassam-2 rocket, rather than a mortar, which would mark the 1st time Palestinians have fired one of the homemade missiles. The IDF later reports it has confiscated 3 empty rocket launchers in Gaza.

The IDF sends 20 tanks into Nablus, declares a curfew, and retakes Joseph's Tomb, a Jewish shrine abandoned by Israel during the 1st mo. of the al-Aqsa intifada. At midday, as schools are letting out, the IDF F-16s, helicopters strike a PSF compound in Gaza city, injuring at least 40 Palestinians. Israel says the Gaza strikes are part of a "rolling response" to the "new level of threat" presented by Hamas's use of 1 or 2 Qassam-2 rockets on 2/10. 1 Palestinian dies of injuries received on 2/3. (MM, WT 2/11; AP, MM, NYT, WP, WT 2/12; JT 2/12 in WNC 2/13; QA 2/12 in WNC 2/14; LAW, PCHR 2/13)


After IDF bombing of the PPSF compund in Gaza, 100s of Palestinians race to the jail inside the PSF compound, demanding the release of prisoners, fearing the jail would be hit next. PSF officers fire in the air to disperse the crowd and quickly begin transferring prisoners to detention elsewhere, but several prisoners escape or are freed in the melee. Later, some 300 Palestinians storm the PSF jail in Hebron, freeing 16 Hamas, Islamic Jihad mbrs.

During a mtg. with his top aides, Arafat, furious over the storming of the PSF jail in Hebron today, demands to know why PSF West Bank head Jibril Rajub's men had permitted the prisoners' release. According to reports confirmed by unnamed PA officials, Arafat then drew a gun on Rajub, accused him of trying to replace him. Aides separated the pair, defusing the situation. (QA, al-Quds 2/13 in WNC 2/14; MM, NYT, WP, WT 2/14; MENA 2/14 in WNC 2/15; MM 2/15)


The IDF conducts arrests raids in Hebron (killing 1 Palestinian, demolishing 1 Palestinian home), al-Ram, Ramallah. A 2d Palestinian dies of injuries received earlier. The IDF shuts the main north+nsouth roads in Gaza, dividing the Strip into three sections; reoccupies the town of Tamun, nr. Jinin, turning a nearby PSF checkpoint into an IDF roadblock. (HP 2/12; AP, LAW, PCHR, WT 2/13; JT 2/14 in WNC 2/15)


In response to Hamas missile attack, the IDF temporarily seizes the Palestinian towns of Bayt Hanun, Bayt Lahia, and Dayr al-Balah as well as Jabaliya refugee camp in Gaza; conducts searches, detaining at least 12 Palestinians; exchanges gunfire with Palestinians, leaving 5 PSF officers dead; bars international agencies fr. sending officials to observe the operation. The IDF also sends tanks into Jinin briefly; flies F-16s over Nablus all day; conducts arrest raids around Jinin; bulldozes 15 dunams of Palestinian land nr. al-Maghazi. A 6th Palestinian dies of injuries received earlier. (AFP, HP, LAW, MM, NYT, PCHR, WP 2/13; MM, WP, WT 2/14; MM 2/15; MEI 2/22)

  Overnight, Hamas fires 2 Qassam-2 rockets at a Jewish settlement in the West Bank, missing the settlement completely, causing no damage or injuries.

In the Negev, the IDF bulldozes 12,000 dunams of bedouin crops it claims were illegally planted on state land. (HA 2/14; MA 2/18 in WNC 2/19)


In Gaza, Palestinian gunmen ambush a Jewish settler convoy escorted by IDF trucks heading to Netzarim, detonating a roadside bomb and opening fire but causing no injuries. When the IDF sends in a tank for support, the gunmen detonate a shaped charge underneath it, killing 3 IDF soldiers, wounding 2. This marks the 1st time Palestinians have destroyed an IDF tank. The Salahadin Brigade (reportedly a relatively recently formalized "military wing" of the PRCs in s. and central Gaza) takes responsibility. Palestinians also throw 2 pipe bombs at an Israeli border police post in Hebron. (AP, BBC, HA, JP [Internet], MM, NYT, WP, WT 2/15; MA 2/15 in WNC 2/19; MEI 2/22)


In response to the Salahadin Brigades attack on 2/14, IDF F-16s twice bomb the PSF headquarters in Jabaliya, killing 1 PSF officer, wounding 30 Palestinians. IDF commandos raid Saida, killing 1 Islamic Jihad mbr., arresting 4 others, razing Palestinian agricultural land, bulldozing 1 Palestinian home; during the demolition, a wall of the home collapses on a senior IDF undercover officer, killing him. (BBC 2/15; AFP 2/15 in WNC 2/19; NYT, WP, WT 2/16; WP 2/17; PCHR 2/21)

  Nr. Ramallah, AMB mbrs. fire on an IDF post, killing 1 soldier. In Ramallah, 100s of DFLP, PFLP supporters rally outside Arafat's Ramallah compound, calling for the release of a Palestinians held by the PA without charge.

In Jenin, the Israel Defense Force (IDF) assassinates local Hamas leader Nazih al-Siba' using a remote controlled explosive device; 1,000s of Palestinians take to the streets to protest against Israel. In response to missile attack in Gaza, the IDF conducts raids into areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority (PA) around Bureij, killing 2 Palestinians and injuring 12, destroying a PA Preventive Security Force (PSF) training base, several PSF posts. (AP, LAW 2/16; XIN 2/16 in WNC 2/19; NYT, WP, WT 2/17)

  A Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) suicide bomber infiltrates a Karnei Shomron settlement in the West Bank, detonating a device in a food court, killing 3 Jewish settlers, injuring more than 20. The IDF responds with missile strikes against targets in Nablus. Palestinians fire 1+n2 Qassam-2 rockets, 2 mortars at IDF positions in Gaza and across the border inside Israel, causing no damage.

For the 1st time, the IDF erects portable housing for soldiers in PA-controlled areas of the West Bank nr. Jenin. Israeli PM Ariel Sharon meets with his cabinet to discuss how to respond to IDF Hadera base attack; no decision is announced. IDF F-16s shell PA targets in Nablus (hitting a government building, PSF office, apartment building), Ramallah (hitting a PSF office); repeatedly break the sound barrier over Jenin. The IDF also conducts arrest raids in Umm al-Sharayit; demolishes a water network, digs a trench along a main road in Nablus; sets up observation towers with heavy machine gun emplacements, reinforces positions on the western border of Khan Yunis refugee camp (r.c.); tightens closures on Jenin, Nablus, Qalqilya, Ramallah. Jewish settlers attack Palestinian farmers in al-Tuwani, burn at least 200 dunams of wheat. A 3d Palestinian dies of injuries received on 2/16. (HA, HP, JP [Internet], al-Quds [Internet] 2/17; MA 2/18 in WNC 2/19; NYT, WP, WT 2/18)

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Abdallah announces that he has drafted an initiative to be presented to the Arab League offering full Arab normalization with Israel in exchange for Israel's full withdrawal fr. all the occupied territories captured in 1967. (HA, NYT 2/17; MM 2/18; MENA, QA 2/18 in WNC 2/19; MM, WP, WT 2/19; MM 5/20; AYM 2/20 in WNC 2/25; MM 5/22, 5/25; WP 3/2; MEI 3/8) (see Quarterly Update)

Israeli police halt a vehicle outside an IDF training base nr. Hadera, Israel. 1 Palestinian flees, is fatally shot by police; the 2d Palestinian detonates an explosive device, killing himself, injuring 3 policemen, 3 bystanders; al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade (AMB) takes responsibility.

Israeli-Palestinian violence leaves a total of 6 Palestinians, 3 Jewish settlers, 1 IDF soldier dead. In Gaza, the IDF fires on 2 Palestinians allegedly attempting to infiltrate a Jewish settlement, killing 1; shells residential areas of Khan Yunis, killing 3 Palestinians, barring ambulances fr. reaching the scene, firing on at least 1 ambulance. The IDF responds to Ma'ale Adumim attack by sending F-16s to destroy 3 PSF buildings nr. Rafah, injuring 4 PSF officers; blocks 3 main roads in Gaza, banning all Palestinian traffic; shells residential areas of Dayr al-Balah. The IDF confiscates 80 dunams of Palestinian land nr. Karnei Shomron settlement. (NYT, WP 2/19; NYT 2/20)

  AMB gunmen fire on a settler vehicle nr. Kissufim crossing in Gaza, then 1 AMB mbr. detonates a suicide bomb, killing 3 settlers, wounding 4. In the Jordan Valley, the IDF stops a Palestinian car at a checkpoint nr. Ma'ale Adumim; the driver emerges, fires on soldiers, detonates a remote controlled car bomb, killing himself and 1 soldier, injuring a 2d soldier.

IDF F-16s shell 2 PSF buildings in Rafah, Ramallah; naval vessels fire a missile at PA head Yasir Arafat's compound in Gaza, killing 4 Force 17 mbrs. The IDF also rockets a Hamas office in Jabaliya, killing 2 Hamas mbrs. in an apparent assassination; among the 11 injured are 9 children. 2 Palestinians are killed in IDF strikes on Nablus. The IDF bulldozes a Palestinian home in Dayr al-Balah, 2 Palestinian homes in Umm Tuba nr. Jabal Abu Ghunaym settlement, 1 dunam of Palestinian agricultural land nr. Yatta; bans all Palestinian vehicular traffic except ambulances in the n. West Bank. Late this evening, the IDF fires 18 shells at Arafat's compound in Gaza, killing 5 PSF officers; 1 missile into his compound in Ramallah, where he has been held under virtual house arrest since 12/01. In Hebron, Jewish settlers fire on Palestinian areas, causing no injuries. (AP, Mezan, MM, NYT, WT 2/19; AP, HA, MM, NYT, WP, WT 2/20; AFP, MA 2/20 in WNC 2/21; MM, PCHR, WP 2/21)

  An AMB gunman attacks an IDF outpost n. of Jerusalem, killing 6 IDF soldiers, critically wounding 1, and escaping. A Palestinian suicide bomber detonates a device in the West Bank, killing only himself, causing no injuries.

Sharon meets with his cabinet, which agrees to intensify attacks on Palestinians in response to escalating violence. The IDF stages massive aerial, naval assaults on PA targets in the West Bank and Gaza, leaving a total of 16 Palestinians dead, including 2 Hamas mbrs. allegedly preparing to fire mortars in Gaza. The IDF also makes incursions into Nablus, killing 9 Palestinians, occupying an apartment building, confining 130 residents to a single floor, allegedly ordering some Palestinian men to stand at the windows as human shields. The IDF again shells Arafat's Ramallah compound, hitting a room adjacent to where he is taking shelter, injuring 1 bodyguard; also shells 2 PSF buildings in Gaza City, 1 in Jenin; further tightens restrictions on Palestinian movement, even barring young children who had passed through checkpoints in the morning fr. walking home fr. school. (AP, MM, WT 2/20; AFP 2/20 in WNC 2/21; NYT, Physicians for Human Rights press release, WP, WT 2/21; NYT 2/22)

In Tel Aviv, Israel DM Benjamin Ben-Eliezer holds a secret mtg. with PSF Gaza head Muhammad Dahlan, Arafat financial adviser Muhammad Rashid to discuss the escalating violence. The sides agree to a CIA request to hold a secret trilateral security comm. mtg. on 2/23. (NYT 2/22)


In a massive predawn operation, the IDF sends tanks, troops into Gaza City fr. 3 directions, firing heavy machine guns, demolishing the Palestine Broadcasting Center, taking Palestinian TV and radio off the air. IDF helicopters strike the PA military intelligence, military police, Force 17 buildings in the city. The IDF also sends bulldozers into enter Brazil r.c., killing 6 Palestinians; dispatches F-16s to bomb a PA security building in Khan Yunis, helicopters shell a Force 17 building in al-Bireh, naval vessels shell a PA naval police station in Bayt Lahia. A 8th Palestinian is fatally shot at an IDF checkpoint for "acting suspiciously"; an Israeli Arab is killed in an incident elsewhere. (AP, MM, NYT, PCHR, REU, WP, WT 2/21; AFP 2/21 in WNC 2/22; AFP, NYT, WP, WT 2/22; PCHR 2/27; WP 4/19)

In a TV address, Sharon urges Israelis to stiffen their resolve but does not offer a vision for how to achieve a cease-fire or durable peace; announces plans to create buffer zones to impose "security separation" between Israeli and Palestinian territory; demands the "complete demilitarization" of the PA areas as a "prelude" to a final settlement; denounces "expressions of disobedience" such as the IDF conscientious objection petition, which he says "encourage terrorist organizations." (MM 5/21; AFP, HP, MM, NYT, WP, WT 2/22; QA 2/22 in WNC 2/25; WP, WT 2/23; Guardian 2/23; Le Monde 2/24 in WNC 2/26; HA 3/1; MEI 3/8)

The CIA convenes a trilateral security comm. mtg. at Erez crossing to discuss security issues. As a result of the mtg., Israel agrees not to initiate military operations for 1 wk., except to prevent imminent terrorist attacks. (NYT 2/22, 2/23; NYT, WT 2/24; WP 2/25)

At a UN Security Council (UNSC) emergency session in New York, UN Secy-Gen. Kofi Annan warns that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is "sliding toward a full-fledged war"; says that the Mitchell and Tenet plans have clearly not succeeded, that an active international effort and "new thinking" are necessary. The Israeli, U.S. reps. strongly reject anything other than U.S. mediation. (NYT 2/22)

Nr. Jerusalem, a Palestinian fires on an IDF post, injuring 2 IDF soldiers before being shot dead. The PSF arrests 3 senior PFLP mbrs. suspected of involvement in the 10/01 assassination of Israel's Tourism M Rehavam Ze'evi. Israel, which had made the arrests a condition of easing Arafat's confinement, says the PA must also arrest anyone behind the Karine A arms shipment, Arafat must achieve complete quiet before Israel will allow him to leave his Ramallah compound.

IDF soldiers mistakenly fire on a Jewish settler vehicle nr. Ramallah, wounding 1 settler they believed was shooting at them; the settler was shooting at nearby Palestinians. The IDF conducts arrests raids in Tamun; directs heavy machine gun fire at residential areas nr. Qarni crossing. (HP 2/22; NYT, WP, WT 2/23; WT 2/25)

  A Palestinian worker in the West Bank settlement of Efrat attempts to detonate a suicide bomb in a supermarket, but is shot dead by armed customers.Palestinian gunmen fatally shoot a Jewish settler driving nr. Pisgat Ze'ev.

IDF soldiers fatally shoot a Palestinian at a checkpoint nr. Halhul, claiming he was acting suspiciously. A 2d Palestinian dies of injuries received earlier. The IDF also clashes with Palestinians nr. the Rafah crossing, wounding 16; shells residential areas of Rafah, wounding 20, destroying 1 building. Elsewhere, an armed Jewish settler critically wounds a Palestinian. Nr. Balata r.c., 3 Palestinians are injured in a mysterious explosion. (HP 2/23; NYT, WT 2/24; PCHR 2/27)

  Palestinian gunmen fire on a Jewish settler vehicle nr. Ramallah, wounding 2.

IDF soldiers fire at the car of Palestinian Council (PC) speaker and senior PA negotiator Ahmad Qurai` as it approaches a West Bank checkpoint. Qurai` is unharmed; Israel apologizes for the error. IDF soldiers at a checkpoint in Nablus shoot, wound a pregnant Palestinian woman, not knowing that she, her husband had been given IDF approval to pass through the checkpoint to reach a hospital where she could give birth. The IDF directs heavy machine gun fire at residential areas of Balata, Rafah. (AFP 2/24; AFP, NYT, WP 2/25; PCHR 2/27; WJW 2/28)

The Israeli inner cabinet votes (12-0, with 3 abstaining) to loosen the tank cordon around Arafat's Ramallah headquarters, allow him to leave the compound, but require him to seek Sharon's permission if he wishes to leave the city. The PA says the decision has little positive effect, the requirement for permission is insulting. In protest, the PA cancels today's the trilateral security comm. mtg.; refuses Sharon's request to meet with Arafat senior adviser Mahmud Abbas, Qurai`, Rashid. (HA 2/24; RMC 2/24 in WNC 2/25; JP [Internet], MM, NYT, WP, WT 2/25; AYM, DUS, SA 2/25 in WNC 2/26; AKH, JT, MENA, al-Quds 2/26 in WNC 2/27; WT 3/2)


For the 2d time in 2 days at the same location, IDF soldiers open fire on a Palestinian car that had been given IDF approval to cross a Nablus checkpoint to deliver a pregnant Palestinian woman in labor to a hospital. The woman's husband is killed instantly, her father-in-law left paralyzed, while she is ordered to strip, is left bleeding on a cold stretcher for 45 mins. before the IDF transports her to a hospital, where she delivers a healthy baby. The soldiers brigade cmdr. issues a statement saying the soldiers acted "according to procedures." The IDF directs shells, heavy machine gun fire at residential areas of al-Khadir, Rafah, Tal Sultan. Jewish settlers erect new caravans in Itamar settlement. (BBC, HP 2/25; MM, NYT, WP, WT 2/26; PCHR 2/27; JP 3/8)

  Nr. Bethlehem, an AMB gunmen fire on a Jewish settler vehicle, seriously wounding a pregnant Jewish settler en route to a Jerusalem hospital, killing her father, another passenger; the woman delivers a healthy baby. An AMB mbr. opens fire on at a bus stop in Neve Ya'aqov settlement, wounding 5 settlers, 3 policemen before being shot, wounded, arrested. Nr. Tulkarm, a 15-yr.-old Palestinian girl runs toward an IDF checkpoint wielding a knife, is shot dead by troops; she leaves a suicide note denouncing the Israeli occupation.

The IDF fatally shoots 1 Palestinian nr. Balata. A Palestinian woman in labor looses her baby when IDF troops bar her transportation to a hospital. The IDF also fires on Palestinians outside al-Nur mosque in Brazil, wounding 6; demolish 3 Palestinian homes in Bayt Hanina; raid Khan Yunis, temporarily occupy a Palestinian home. (PCHR, WT 2/27; LAW 3/6)

Late this evening, the CIA convenes a trilateral security comm. mtg. with Israeli, PA security officials in Herziliya. The PA, which cancelled security contacts on 2/24, agreed to resume mtgs. at the European Union's (EU) request. (HA, MM, WT 2/27; al-Quds 2/27 in WNC 2/28)


The IDF fatally shoots 3 armed infiltrators fr. Egypt in the s. Negev. IDF soldiers fire on Palestinians outside al-Nur mosque in Brazil for the 2d day, wounding 4. Late this evening, the IDF begins air strikes on Balata. Jewish settlers bulldoze Palestinian land nr. Bracha settlement, set up a caravan. The IDF bulldozes Palestinian land nr. Jenin; reportedly spray range land with poison nr. Tubas, killing may goats, sheep. (JP [Internet], al-Quds [Internet] 2/27; AP, NYT, WP, WT 2/28; MM, NYT 3/1; AYM 3/2 in WNC 3/4; WP 3/7)

  A female suicide bomber detonates a device at an IDF roadblock in the West Bank, wounding 3 soldiers; 2 Israeli Arabs traveling with her are arrested, 1 is shot and wounded. The woman, an al-Najah University student originally affiliated with Hamas (see 1/27), 1st approached Hamas, Islamic Jihad about staging a suicide bombing but was refused; the AMB ultimately provided her with explosives. In E. Jerusalem, a Palestinian fatally shoots his Jewish settler employer in a politically motivated attack.

In the morning, the IDF sends troops, tanks into Balata (an AMB stronghold); surrounds and attacks Jenin r.c. without entering it. The massive two-pronged operation, called Colorful Journey, meets strong resistance, touching off fierce gun battles that continue into the night, leaving 1 IDF soldier and at least 11 Palestinians dead (4 in Balata, including Balata AMB leader Kayid Abu Mustafa; 7 in Jenin, including 6 PSF officers), wounding over 150 Palestinians (over 100 in Balata, 40 in Jenin). Troops bar ambulances fr. entering the camps to aide the wounded. In the afternoon, the IDF declares a brief cease-fire, ordering unarmed residents to leave Balata, but few do--most fearing permanent exile. The IDF cuts electricity and water to the camp; evicts, demolishes several Palestinian homes at the edge of the camp; conducts house-to-house searches, breaking through walls to move fr. building to building, demolishing at least 5 homes, damaging 100; occupies a UN-operated boys school. Israel says the operation is designed to arrest Palestinians wanted for "terrorist attacks," but none are arrested during the day. As the day progresses, violence spreads to other West Bank towns, especially in the Bayt Jala+nGilo area. The IDF also sends tanks to surround Tulkarm; tightens closures on Dayr al-Balah, Gaza City, Qalqilya, Ramallah, as well as access to Jerusalem; shells residential areas of Khan Yunis; occupies a PSF post in Tamun; directs heavy machine gun fire at Aida r.c., Bayt Jala, Bethlehem; bulldozes Palestinian land in Azariyya for construction of a settler bypass road. The PA suspends trilateral security comm. talks. (AP, HP, JP [Internet], MM, NYT, WP 2/28; BDL, MM, NYT, WP, WT 3/1; AFP 3/1, AYM 3/2, XIN 3/3 in WNC 3/4; WP, WT 3/2; LAW 3/6; MEI 3/8)




IDF Israeli Defense Forces

PA Palestinian Authority


Chronology Source Abbreviations

ADM (Addameer--Prisoners Support and Human Rights Association, Ramallah)

AFP (Agence France-Presse, Paris)

AIC (Alternative Information Center, Jerusalem)

AP (Associated Press, Internet)

ATL (Anatolia, Ankara)

AYM (al-Ayyam, Ramallah)

BDL (BADIL Resource Center, Bethlehem)

DUS (al-Dustur, Amman)

FAV (Free Arab Voice, Internet)

HA (Ha'Aretz, Tel Aviv)

HJ (al-Hayat al-Jadida, Ramallah)

HP (Hear Palestine, Washington)

HUR (Hurriyet, Istanbul)

IRNA (Islamic Republic News Agency, Tehran)

IsRN (Israel Radio News, Internet)

JP (Jerusalem Post International Edition, Jerusalem)

JT (Jordan Times, Amman)

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)

MENL (Middle East Newsline, Internet)

MEZ (al-Mezan Center for Human Rights, Jabaliyya)

MM (Mideast Mirror, London)

NYT (New York Times, New York)

PCHR (Palestinian Center for Human Rights, Gaza)

PR (Palestine Report, Jerusalem)

QA (al-Quds al-Arabi, London)

REU (Reuters, Internet)

RL (Radio Lebanon, Beirut)

RMC (Radio Monte Carlo, Paris)

SA (al-Sharq al-Awsat, London)

UPI (United Press International, Internet)

WJW (Washington Jewish Week, Rockville, MD)

WNC (World News Connection [Internet], Washington)

WP (Washington Post, Washington)

WT (Washington Times, Washington)

XIN (Xinhua+nNew China News Agency, Beijing)

YA (Yedi'ot Aharonot, Tel Aviv)