This day in the History of the 2nd Intifada

May 23 2001

1 Israeli killed.

Israeli-Palestinian clashes abate slightly but are still at a relatively high level, leaving 1 Israeli civilian (a worker on a road crew nr. Ariel settlement) dead in a West Bank shooting. Bush phones Arafat, Sharon to urge both sides to contain violence. Sustained gun battles are reported nr. Gilo settlement outside Jerusalem. IDF tanks enter 4 PA-controlled areas nr. Khuza in Gaza to bulldoze agricultural land, shell a PSF post; conduct an arrest sweep in Atil village. The PSF arrests the Palestinian owner of an iron-casting company on charges of manufacturing mortars. (AP 5/23; WP, MM, NYT, PCHR, WT 5/24)

In Rafah. Palestinians fire 4 mortars, 12 homemade grenades at targets in Gaza; detonate a roadside bomb in the West Bank. 1 Israeli civilian (a worker on a road crew nr. Ariel settlement) dead in a West Bank shooting.

May 23 2002

3 Palestinians killed.

A mysterious explosion in a house in Nablus kills 2 Palestinian youths, injures 5. The IDF fatally shoots a Palestinian who allegedly threw a grenade at troops nr. the Rafah border; conducts arrest raids into villages n. of Hebron and in Jenin, Qalandiya r.c., Rafah, Silat al-Dahir, Rafah (destroying 22 shops, 5 Palestinian homes). The Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) complains that the IDF has repeatedly stopped and searched 2 of its ambulances, including forcing the patients out of the ambulance, opening oxygen containers, damaging medical supplies. A Palestinian woman delivers a stillborn baby in Nablus after being detained at IDF checkpoints for hrs. (MM 5/23; JP, MM, NYT, WP, WT 5/24; MA 5/26 in WNC 5/28; LAW 5/29; PCHR 5/30; JPI 6/7)

A remote-controlled bomb blows up a diesel truck parked outside a major refinery nr. Tel Aviv. Israeli authorities call it a failed attempt by Palestinians to create a catastrophic explosion. No one claims responsibility.

May 23 2003

1 Palestinian killed.

The IDF fatally shoots a mentally disabled Palestinian in Bureij r.c.; shoots, wounds, captures a wanted tanzim mbr. in Tulkarm; demolishes a Palestinian home in Tubas; conducts arrest raids in Jenin. (HA, MM 5/23; al-Haq, WP 5/24; PR 5/28; LAW, PCHR 5/29)

In a carefully coordinated process, U.S. Secy. of State Colin Powell, Rice release a statement saying that Israel has explained its “significant concerns” regarding the road map and that the U.S. will take those concerns into consideration during implementation. Sharon says Israel “is prepared to accept the steps set out in the road map.” (HA, NYT, WP 5/23; MENA 5/23, DUS, QA, al-Quds 5/24, JT, MA 5/25, AYM, SA 5/26 in WNC 5/27; HA, NYT, WP, WT 5/24; al-Quds 5/25 in WNC 5/28; MEI 5/30)

Hamas detonates a roadside bomb nr. a Jewish settler bus in Gaza, lightly injuring 8 Jewish settlers.

May 23 2004

3 Palestinians killed.

IDF bulldozing operations continue in Rafah. The IDF also reopens the Erez industrial zone to Palestinian workers over age 30; burns a grove of 80 almond trees nr. Tal Rumayda settlement in Hebron; fires on Palestinian farmers tending an orchard nr. Tulkarm, seriously injuring 1; fires on residential areas, demolishes a workshop in Dura nr. Hebron; fires on residential areas of Khan Yunis; conducts arrest raids nr. Jenin. In Nablus, 3 Hamas mbrs. are killed when something explodes in or nr. their car in what may be an assassination. The IDF raids the UNRWA offices in Jenin, fires a shot at senior project manager Paul Wolstenholme, handcuffs and blindfolds him, holds him for 3 hrs., threatening him with violence; IDF officials later apologize. (PSCT, VOI, VOP 5/23 in WNC 5/25; NYT 5/24; PR 5/26; PCHR, WP 5/27; MEI 5/28)

May 23 2005

The IDF, accompanied by Israeli Interior Min. officials, enters Bayt `Ouna nr. Bethlehem, imposes a curfew, makes a census of residents. The IDF also cordons off part of Dura nr. Hebron, occupies a home as an observation post, searches several homes, stops Palestinians randomly for ID checks, stops children fr. leaving for school, fires on youths who throw stones at troops, wounding 1 teenager with live ammunition; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Hebron. Nr. Hebron, 3 armed Jewish settlers fr. Ma'on severely beat a Palestinian shepherd, steal 7 sheep; IDF troops intervene, arrest the Palestinian. Other Jewish settlers fr. Ma'on bar Palestinian farmers fr. reaching their land in Yatta, beat 3 Palestinians. (NYT 5/24; OCHA 5/25; PCHR 5/26)

Several 1,000 Hamas supporters demonstrate in Gaza City against court decisions calling for recounts in the latest round of municipal elections, a possible delay in the 7/17 legislative elections.

May 23 2006

The IDF sends bulldozers 300 m into central Gaza to level land along the border; sends troops into Nablus, firing tear gas at Palestinian children on their way home fr. school; sends troops into Tulkarm to search a car, confiscate a computer; patrols in Kafr Dan nr. Jenin; conducts arrest raids in and around Hebron and Ramallah (capturing Izzeddine al-Qassam Brigades West Bank head Ibrahim Hamid), in Jericho, and nr. Qalqilya. An Israeli court rejects an appeal by East Jerusalem Palestinians challenging the route of the separation wall around Ma’ale Adumim, determining that the DMin. has given “adequate consideration of the barrier’s impact on residents while balancing the security needs of Israeli citizens.” (AFP, MM 5/23; NYT, WP, WT 5/24; PCHR 5/25)

May 23 2007

1 Palestinian killed.

The IDF makes at least 4 air strikes on Gaza targeting Hamas, attempting to assassinate Hamas mbr. Muhammad Shatat as he drives in Gaza City (causing no injuries), hitting 2 suspected weapons caches and 2 money exchanges in Jabaliya r.c. (also destroying a Palestinian home) and Gaza City (wounding 7 Palestinians, including a pregnant woman, 2 children). In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Bethlehem and Nablus, in Qalqilya, and nr. Hebron, Jenin, Ramallah, Salfit, Tulkarm. (IFM, NYT, PCHR, WP, WT 5/24; OCHA 5/30; PCHR 5/31)

With the cease-fire at Nahr al-Barid r.c. holding, the Lebanese army reinforces troops around the camp. Palestinian refugees continue to flee the r.c. during the day, most heading to nearby Biddawi r.c.; at most, half of the 40,000 residents remain. The UN warns the camp is still without water, electricity; food supplies are low. The PLO says it would not object to the Lebanese army entering the r.c. if necessary; raises the possibility of sending in fighters fr. Palestinian factions who know the layout of the r.c. to roust the FI mbrs. Palestinian leaders in the camp and local Islamist figures in Tripoli attempt to negotiate a FI surrender. Meanwhile, a bomb explodes in the Druze village of Aley nr. Beirut, wounding 16 Lebanese; no group claims responsibility. (AFP, DS, LBC, OCS 5/23 in WNC 5/24; NYT, WP, WT 5/24; WT 5/25)

Palestinians fire at least 3 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In Jabaliya, 2 Abu Rish Brigades mbrs. (affiliated with Fatah) are injured when explosives they are handling detonate prematurely.

Meanwhile, Abbas, Hamas-affiliated PA PM Ismail Haniyeh meet in Gaza to discuss ways of calming intra-Palestinian violence. Abbas also meets with reps. of other factions to urge them to halt rocket fire into Israel. Unidentified gunmen fire on the home of a Fatah leader in Gaza City, wounding 1 Palestinian. A Palestinian dies of injuries received in an 5/18 IDF air strike on Gaza City that assassinated 2 Hamas mbrs.

May 23 2008

5 Palestinians killed.

Israeli troops killed five Palestinian militants during raids into the Gaza Strip. An Israeli air strike on gunmen east of Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip killed three Hamas militants, medical workers said. An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed that a strike had been carried out against militants who had fired an anti-tank missile at troops, moderately wounding a soldier. Separately, Islamic Jihad said that two of its fighters had been killed by Israeli soldiers in the central Gaza Strip. According to an Israeli army spokesperson, soldiers fired at a group of gunmen who had tried to plant a bomb near the border fence with the Gaza Strip. Medical workers said that soldiers had arrested about 30 Palestinians during the raid. (Reuters)

Israeli forces arrested four Palestinians in Ramallah and Hebron. (Ma'an News Agency)

Palestinians fired two Qassam rockets towards Israel's western Negev region, causing no injuries. One of the rockets landed in a greenhouse area near Sderot, causing fire in a nearby wheat field. The second rocket landed in an open area. (Ynetnews)

PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said that the Palestine Investment Conference had helped raise investments for projects worth $1.4 billion, which included housing, high-tech and telecommunications. The investments could create as many as 35,000 jobs, Mr. Fayyad said at the end of the three-day conference, adding that more than $500 million was in real estate and $65 million in high-tech. Wataniya Mobile planned to invest $650 million to set up a second mobile phone service in the Palestinian areas, and announced the day before that it had received assurances that it would soon be assigned the necessary frequencies for operations. The closing session was attended by French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, who criticized Israel's network of roadblocks and checkpoints. "The restrictions on access and mobility are still significant. … They have not yet been alleviated as they should have. Israel should and Israel can exert more efforts in this regard without endangering its security," Mr. Kouchner said. He also said, "Nothing justifies the settlement expansion, which constitutes an impediment to peace, as well as an obstacle obstructing the development of the Palestinian economy." (AP)

At the conclusion of the Palestinian Investment Conference, a declaration was adopted expressing the joint strategic vision of the Palestinian Authority and the private sector, not only to institute the coordination and complimentarity between them, but also to create an organized and institutional relationship, in order to invigorate the Palestinian economy and support the leading role of the private sector within the process of economic development. (

The Department for International Development said that Douglas Alexander, Secretary of State for International Development of the United Kingdom, announced a £3 million initiative to support small businesses in the Occupied Palestinian Territory at the Palestinian Investment Conference. (

May 23 2009

A young Palestinian was shot by Israeli soldiers at the Shave Shomron checkpoint west of Nablus. He was taken to Nablus hospital where his leg had to be amputated. (IMEMC)

Syrian President Bashar Assad called Israel the “major obstacle” to peace in the Middle East and warned that a failure of negotiations would open the way for more resistance in occupied lands. (The Jerusalem Post)


Electronic Intifada:


I vividly remember the Nakba

15 May 2022 14:47

Never forget the Nakba

13 May 2022 14:11