This day in the History of the 2nd Intifada

May 26 2001

Israeli-Palestinian clashes diminish. (NYT, WP, WT 5/27; MM 5/29; MEI 6/1)

The Organization of the Islamic Conference calls on members to suspend diplomatic relations with Israel until it lifts the siege on Palestinian areas. (ATL, IRNA 5/26, IRNA, MENA 5/27 in WNC 5/29; IRNA 5/26, SA 5/28 in WNC 5/30; WP, WT 5/27; HJ 5/27 in WNC 6/1)

The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) detonates a car bomb in West Jerusalem, causing no injuries.

May 26 2002

4 Palestinians killed.

The IDF conducts arrest raids in Bayt Umar, Hebron, Qalqilya; conducts house-to-house searches in Qalqilya and Tulkarm, killing 1 Palestinian; maintains curfews (begun 5/25) on villages along the Green Line in those areas; reinforces the closure of Nablus. In Gaza, 3 Palestinians (including a woman, child herding cattle) are killed by IDF tank fire; the IDF bulldozes 30 dunams of land, a PSF post nr. Qarni crossing in Gaza. Troops withdraw to the outskirts of Bethlehem early this morning, after arresting 1 Palestinian. In Kefar Saba, an IDF soldier shoots, wounds a deaf mute Israeli Jewish bus passenger whom he thought was suicide bomber because of his suspicious silent behavior, refusal to obey orders to take off his shirt to prove he was not carrying a bomb. (HP, NYT, WP, WT 5/27; LAW 5/29; PCHR 5/30)

May 26 2003

2 Palestinians killed.

The IDF redeploys forces fr. Tulkarm, ending a 2-day operation; fires on stone-throwers in Bayt Furik (injuring 5), Qarawat Bani Zayd (killing an 11-yr.-old Palestinian); fires on 2 Palestinian teenagers who attempt to sneak across the Gaza border into Israel to look for work, killing 1, capturing the other; demolishes 2 Palestinian homes in Dayr al-Balah, 2 in Hebron, 1 in Bayt Hanina; bulldozes 34 dunams in Dayr al-Balah; conducts arrest raids in Khan Yunis, Tamun, Tubas. (HP 5/26; YA 5/26 in WNC 5/27; HA, NYT, WT 5/27; LAW, PCHR 5/29; HA 6/14)

May 26 2004

2 Palestinians killed.

The IDF fatally shoots a mentally handicapped Palestinian who strays into a closed military zone nr. Khan Yunis; fires on residential areas of Nablus, Rafah (killing 1 Palestinian), Tulkarm r.c.; demolishes 5 Palestinian homes nr. Gaza City, 2 nr. Dayr al-Balah, 2 in Nablus; conducts arrest raids in Araba nr. Jenin. The UNRWA estimates that btwn. 5/17 and 5/24 the IDF demolished or damaged beyond repair 167 Palestinian homes and bulldozed 725 dunams of Palestinian land in Rafah. (PCHR, WP 5/27; PCHR 6/3)

May 26 2005

IDF soldiers break into, occupy a Palestinian home in Hebron to watch a soccer championship on the family's satellite TV; the IDF confirms the incident took place, says the cmdr. of the squad has been suspended. The IDF also completes a segment of the separation wall n. of Bethlehem; fires on residential areas of Rafah, wounding 1 Palestinian; conducts arrest raids, apartment searches in Abu Dis, targeting al-Quds University students. An Israeli navy gunboat fires on 2 Palestinian fishing vessels off the coast of Gaza, seriously damaging them. Jewish settlers fr. Kiryat Arba set fire to Palestinian olive groves, vandalize 2 Palestinian homes in Hebron; the IDF observes but does not intervene. Jewish settlers fr. Tal Rumayda stone Palestinian homes in Hebron; the IDF observes but does not intervene. Late in the evening, Jewish settlers fr. Avraham Avino in Hebron throw Molotov cocktails at a market storage area where Palestinian keep their carts and goods, causing moderate damage. (HA 5/27; OCHA, PR 6/1; PCHR 6/2)

Mbrs. of rival PA security forces exchange gunfire for several hrs. in Ramallah, causing no injuries; a similar incident occurs in Rafah, leaving 1 officer wounded.

May 26 2006

6 Palestinians killed.

The IDF shuts Gaza’s Sufa commercial crossing for 2 days; shells n. Gaza, killing a Palestinian farmer, wounding a 2d Palestinian in Bayt Lahiya; conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Nablus, nr. Qalqilya, and in Hebron, Qabatya, and Yamun nr. Jenin. In n. Gaza, 3 Palestinian teenagers are killed, 3 Palestinians are wounded when they accidentally detonate unexploded IDF ordnance. A Palestinian dies of injuries he received when the IDF fired on his car nr. Nablus on 4/15. (WP, WT 5/27; OCHA, PCHR 6/1)

In Sidon, Lebanon, senior Islamic Jihad official Mahmud Majzub, his brother are killed when a bomb in their car explodes. Israel denies responsibility. (MM 5/26; NYT 5/27; MM 5/30; SFR 6/21)

May 26 2007

9 Palestinians killed.

For the 10th day, the IDF makes at least 7 air strikes on Hamas and ESF targets across Gaza (Gaza City, Jabaliya, Rafah, Shati), leaving 5 ESF mbrs. dead and at least 4 ESF mbrs. and 23 bystanders injured. The IDF also fires on Palestinian farmers who stray nr. the border fence e. of Gaza City, wounding 1; fires on Palestinian fishermen off the Rafah coast, forcing them to return to shore. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Salfit and in Dahaysha r.c. nr. Bethlehem, Nablus, Tubas nr. Jenin; raids an elementary school nr. Hebron while classes are in session, searching for stone-throwing youths. (NYT, WP, WT 5/27; NYT 5/28; OCHA 5/30; PCHR 5/31)

Hamas fires 12 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, lightly wounding 1 Israeli.

In East Jerusalem, 2 Israeli Arab gunmen fire on an Israeli border police patrol in East Jerusalem, wounding 2 border police officers, 2 Israeli private security guards; both Israeli Arabs, 1 Palestinian bystander are killed by return fire; the AMB takes responsibility for the attack. In Gaza City, unidentified gunmen shoot, wound a Hamas mbr. Hamass Shabanah dies of injuries sustained when the IDF attempted to assassinate him on 5/17.

May 26 2008

Speaking at a Knesset Foreign Affairs Committee meeting, Israeli Prime Minister Olmert said that only delusional people believed it was possible to hold onto the greater Land of Israel, territories Israel captured in the 1967 Six-Day War. He also said that the notion of Israel becoming a State "of all its citizens" was gaining credence within elites in the United States. He was speaking of what would be, in effect, a one-State solution whereby Palestinians receive Israeli citizenship. "This is a very dangerous process that endangers the continuation of our existence as a Jewish State," he said, warning that if Israel did not reach an agreement with the Palestinian Authority it would eventually face a Hamas leadership in the West Bank, as opposed to the more moderate Fatah faction. (Haaretz)

Jordan's King Abdullah II met with visiting US Congressional aides in Amman. During the meeting he emphasized the importance of finding a just and lasting settlement for the Palestinian issue, as the core issue underlying the conflict in the region. He also said it was important that the international community keep its support for the Palestinian Authority, to strengthen its institutions and mitigate the suffering of Palestinians and establish its independent State. (WAFA)

The EU General Affairs and External Relations Council, meeting in Brussels, adopted conclusions on the Middle East peace process in which it made a commitment to support the parties in the ongoing negotiations on all outstanding issues; emphasized the need for swift and tangible results on the ground in order to sustain Israeli-Palestinian negotiations; expressed deep concern about the recent accelerated settlement expansion; condemned the continued firing of rockets from Gaza on southern Israel; called for the progressive removal of Israeli restrictions on movement and access in order to improve the situation on the ground and living conditions in the West Bank and revitalize the Palestinian economy; expressed deep concern about the unsustainable humanitarian situation in Gaza; and made a commitment to assisting Palestinian State-building efforts across a broad range of areas. The Council welcomed the Palestinian Authority's efforts to develop an effective and reformed security sector and encouraged ongoing efforts towards the fulfilment of its road map obligations in that field; and underlined the need to deliver on pledges made at the International Donor's Conference in Paris in December 2007. (www.consilium.europa.eu)

The International Committee of the Red Cross called on Israel to allow Palestinians in the Gaza Strip to visit relatives in Israeli jails, a practice suspended a year ago after Hamas took over the Strip. Christoph Harnisch, head of the ICRC's delegation in Israel and the Palestinian territories, said in a statement, "While we acknowledge Israel's security concerns, we strongly believe that they alone cannot justify the all-out suspension of family visits to detainees. This measure is depriving both detainees and their relatives of an essential life line," Mr. Harnisch said. (Haaretz)

PA President Abbas received officials from Hamas in the Presidential compound at the Muqataa in Ramallah, Palestinian sources said. The Hamas delegation delivered a letter from Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails calling for unity. According to the source, the delegation included former Minister Nasr al-Sha'ir, Sheikh Hamid Al-Beitawi and Samir Abu 'Eisha. (Ma'an News Agency)

Hamas confirmed that it had held contacts with the Arab League and Qatar to achieve reconciliation with Fatah. Ahmed Yussef, an adviser of former PA Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, said that Hamas' Political Bureau Chief Khaled Mashaal asked Arab League Secretary-General Amre Moussa and the Qatari Prince to arrange for the reconciliation. Mr. Yousef said, "The responses were positive and they promised to look into the request after consultations with all parties, including the Palestinian Presidency." (Xinhua)

Ayman Daraghma, a Hamas member of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC), said PA President Abbas had told a Hamas delegation at a meeting in Ramallah that "it is necessary to work on overcoming the internal Palestinian impasse." Meanwhile, Hamas leader Mahmoud Al-Zahhar was reported to be going to Qatar to look into a possible Hamas-Fatah meeting for reconciliation. (Xinhua)

Hamas officials in the Gaza Strip said in a report that Israel had arrested more than 2,700 Palestinians in 2008, most of them in the West Bank. The report stated that 255 children under the age of 18 had been arrested as well as 14 women. There were medical patients, senior citizens, national movement leaders and mayors among those arrested. Hebron had the largest share of the arrests, with 700 people detained in 2008, the report said. Six hundred of the detainees came from the Gaza Strip. Twenty-eight Israeli jails and detention centres were full of Palestinian prisoners. He said that the total number of Palestinian detainees in Israel's custody exceeded 11,700. The report also said that Israel was increasing the use of administrative detention, under which prisoners could be held without charge or trial virtually indefinitely. (Ma'an News Agency)

At a closed meeting at the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv, Saeb Erakat, Head of the Negotiations Affairs Department of the PLO, said that the PA was prepared to accept limitations on the degree to which the security services of the future Palestinian State would be armed. "We don't need tanks or planes, but we will not relinquish our self-respect," he said. "But it's clear to everyone that on the security issue, the [peace] agreement cannot be implemented without the prominent intervention of America as a third party." (Haaretz)

May 26 2009

The Israeli Navy seized two Palestinian fishermen from a small boat off the coast of the southern Gaza Strip. Witnesses also said that Israeli navy boats had fired on Palestinian fishing boats in the Rafah harbour, causing no injuries. (IMEMC, Ma’an News Agency)

The Israeli army seized six “wanted” Palestinians during overnight raids in Ramallah, Hebron and Bethlehem. (IMEMC, Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli Vice Premier Moshe Ya'alon ruled out the creation of any "Palestinian entity" at a conference at the Knesset entitled "Alternatives to the Two-State Outlook." He said efforts to find a solution to the conflict must stop. The best that could be done now was to manage the conflict, rather than solve it, by encouraging reforms and economic development in the area under the Palestinian Authority. (Ma’an News Agency)

It was reported that an IDF soldier accused of looting a home in the Gaza Strip during the Israeli offensive in December 2008 and January 2009 had returned the stolen money to its owner, along with a letter of apology. The Givati Brigade soldier confessed to stealing a credit card from the man’s home and withdrawing NIS 1,600 in cash from that account upon his return to Israel. The Palestinian lodged a complaint and the soldier was arrested. The soldier returned the cash through his lawyer, with an additional NIS 20 in interest. (Haaretz)

Israeli authorities decided to open all three border terminals between Israel and the Gaza Strip, Kerem Shalom, Nahal Oz and Karni, for trucks carrying aid for commercial and agricultural sectors, limited quantities of cooking gas and industrial diesel as well as wheat and feed. (Ma’an News Agency)

Some 22 aid workers, who had been stranded on the border between Egypt and the Gaza Strip for two days, had been allowed into Gaza with medical equipment. The 160-member group called Hope for Gaza Convoy had been waiting to deliver 25 ambulances, a kidney dialysis machine, wheelchairs and more than 47,000 dollars-worth of medicine paid for with money raised by charities and donations. (IMEMC, The Jerusalem Post)

More than 20 Israeli settlers attacked with clubs four Palestinian shepherds who were herding their sheep in the vicinity of the “Ma’on” and “Beit Yatir” settlements, east of Yatta village, near Hebron. The Israeli army did not attempt to intervene. (IMEMC, Ma’an News Agency)

An Israeli settler attacked a Palestinian woman near the Tappuah (Za’atara) checkpoint south of the city of Nablus in the West Bank. According to Palestinian security sources, the settler stopped his car near the checkpoint, got out and beat Thamina Khalil Abed Al-Hak, an Al-Quds University student, aged 21, from Qusra village south of Nablus. She was subsequently treated at the Yasser Arafat Hospital and reported in stable condition. (IMEMC, Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli officials said that Israel would dismantle some 26 settlement outposts in the West Bank in the next few weeks if the US dropped its objections to continued building in existing, government-sanctioned settlements under the pretext of natural growth. Defense Minister Ehud Barak will bring the new proposal to senior American officials during his visit to Washington the coming week. The same day, chief Palestinian negotiator Ahmed Qureia stated that the demand for a complete settlement freeze would be the main issue during the forthcoming talks that the Palestnian Authority President will have in Washington on 28 May. “Any attempt to manoeuvre on the implementation of the Road Map regarding settlement activities is unacceptable. What does a peace process mean when settlements are continuing on the Palestinian territories? What we want is to immediately dismantle all settlement outposts and to stop what is called the natural growth in the settlements, and to sop all settlement activities.” (AP, The Guardian, IMEMC)

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak stated that the United States must be told that Iran’s nuclear programme and outpost activity in the West Bank were two unrelated issues. On 24 May he had indicated that Israel would remove 22 outposts, preferably through negotiations, but provided no timeline. On 23 May, Deputy Defence Minister Matan Vilnai said that Israel’s removal of about two dozen settler outposts in the West Bank had become a “central issue” for the current Government. (Haaretz, The Jerusalem Post, Reuters, Ynetnews)

A Palestinian prisoner from Jenin who had been released after serving a 12-year prison term, had been deported by Israel to Gaza, in violation of international law. (IMEMC, Ma’an News Agency)

An Israeli military tribunal sitting in the settlement of “Ofer” rejected a petition to release three Hamas lawmakers, Nizar Ramadan, Azzam Salhab and Ayman Daraghmah from prison, instead placing them under six months administrative detention. The three had been seized by Israeli forces on 19 March. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Government of Jordan lodged a strongly-worded protest with Israel over discussion in the Knesset proposing Jordan as a homeland for Palestinians. The Foreign Minister of Jordan, Nasser Judeh, summoned Israeli Ambassador Yaakov Rosen to inform him of Jordan’s absolute rejection of the Knesset proposal and demanded that he provide clarifications. During the Knesset discussion, a number of parliamentarians had said that Israel should annex parts of the West Bank while turning over Palestinian population centres to Jordanian jurisdiction. The Minister reiterated Jordan’s attitude which supports the establishment of “an independent and viable Palestinian State on the Palestinian national soil in accordance with the two-State solution which should be based on relevant UN resolutions and the Arab peace initiative”, which “represents a supreme strategic interest for Jordan”. (AFP, AP, DPA, Haaretz, The Jerusalem Post, Ynetnews)

Hamas spokesperson Fawzi Barhoum indicated that Hamas would not commit to any agreements reached by PA President Abbas during his forthcoming meeting with US President Obama, scheduled to take place on 28 May “because the division is not resolved. Abbas couldn’t solve it … he failed to unite Palestinians”. (IMEMC, Ma’an News Agency)

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh issued a call for further dialogue with Fatah, blaming “external intervention” for an impasse in talks. He said that the talks with Fatah had reached “a good point,” and that their success was necessary. (Ma’an News Agency)

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