This day in the History of the 2nd Intifada

December 4 2000

Israeli-Palestinian clashes intensify, but no fatalities are reported. IDF helicopter gunships fire missiles at Palestinian gunmen during a 3-hr. battle nr. Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem, which leaves 14 Palestinians injured, 2 Palestinian homes destroyed. In Gaza, the IDF forcibly removes 100 Jewish settlers blocking a road that the army had reopened to Palestinian use. Settlers also stone Palestinian cars, burn a stand of olive trees nr. Nablus. The IDF shells residential areas of Aida, al-Amal, Bayt Jala, Khan Yunis; bulldozes 10s of dunams of Palestinian farm land in Gaza to create a 2d bypass road fr. Qarni crossing to Netzarim settlement; levels land nr. Rafah. (BDL, HA, NYT, WP, WT 12/5; AIC 12/6; WJW 12/7; MEI, NYT 12/8; PCHR 12/18)

Palestinian gunmen fire on an IDF vehicle nr. Jinin, and soldiers return fire; no one is injured. A roadside bomb explodes nr. a bus nr. the Allenby Bridge crossing to Jordan, causing no injuries.

December 4 2001

4 Palestinians killed.

Israel strikes PA targets for a 2d day, shelling Arafat's Ramallah compound (though not hitting the building housing his office, where he is staying), sending F-16s to hit PSF, Force 17 offices in Gaza City. The IDF also shells PSF, Force 17, PA military intelligence offices in Bayt Lahia, Jabaliya, Khan Yunis, Salfit, Qalqilya, and Tulkarm and the Information Min. offices in Ramallah; reoccupies the village of Iktaba and areas of al-Bireh, Nablus, Ramallah; fires on the home of PLO Exec. Comm. mbr. Ghassan Shaka`. A total of 3 Palestinians are killed, over 150 wounded, including 60 schoolchildren; a 4th Palestinian, an ill baby, dies when the IDF prevents his transportation through a checkpoint to a hospital. (AFP, AP, HA, HP, MEZ, MM, NYT, PMC, WP, WT 12/4; MENA 12/4 in WNC 12/5; HP, LAW, MM 12/5)

The PA dismisses Tulkarm's PSF head Brig. Gen. Mahmud Awadala for releasing prisoners fr. Tulkarm's jail, including 6 Islamic Jihad mbrs., in fear that the IDF would shell the prison.

December 4 2002

2 Palestinians killed.

The IDF assassinates senior Palestinian Resistance Comm. (PRC) mbr. Mustafa Sabah, firing 5 missiles at his building in Gaza City; the IDF says Sabah is the inventor of the large roadside bombs used on 3 occasions to disable Merkava tanks. The IDF also fatally shoots Islamic Jihad mbrs. Sami Shawer, Ahmad Srour in an exchange of gunfire nr. Hebron; demolishes a Palestinian home in Dura; bulldozes 3 dunams of land s. of Khan Yunis; shells residential areas of Tulkarm; fires on a PSF outpost in Khan Yunis, causing no injuries; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Qalqilya, Tulkarm. (NYT, WP, WT 12/5; LAW, PCHR 12/11)

December 4 2003

The IDF fires on residential areas of Khan Yunis; conducts arrest raids in Nablus, firing on Palestinian youths who gather to throw stones at the troops. The Israeli High Court approves the transfer to Gaza of 12 West Bank Palestinian administrative detainees; a decision in the case against a 13th detainee is pending. (PCHR 12/4; PR 12/10; PCHR 12/11)

Palestinian factions reopen cease-fire talks in Cairo under Egyptian auspices. (MM 12/4; MENA, VOP, XIN 12/4 in WNC 12/6; WP, WT 12/6; MEI 12/19)


December 4 2004

The IDF tightens restrictions on Palestinian movement around Ramallah, seals al-Khadir for the day; fires on residential areas of Tal al-Sultan; conducts arrest raids, house searches in `Askar r.c., Hebron, al-Khadir, Tulkarm (arresting local Hamas leader Rami Tayyih); raids a cultural society in Hebron, confiscating photos and paintings of the old city of Hebron, other documents and files; fires on residential areas of Rafah. (VOI, VOP 12/4, VOI 12/5 in WNC 12/7; WT 12/5; PCHR 12/9)

December 4 2005

Israel increases the number of Palestinian workers allowed into Israel fr. the West Bank to 37,000, while Israeli police launch a crackdown on Palestinians working in Israel without permits, arresting 250. The IDF erects a fortified observation tower on the Gaza border nr. Khan Yunis; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Jenin, al-Khadir and nr. Hebron. (HA, IMEMC, XIN 12/4; HA, VOI, WT 12/5; IMEMC 12/6; NYT 12/7; PCHR 12/8)

AMB mbrs. fire 3 rockets into Israel, causing light damage but no injuries. Late in the evening, the IDF responds with artillery strikes on rocket launch sites in n. Gaza, with fighter jets creating sonic booms over the Strip and conducting air strikes on an Islamic Jihad charity and alleged weapons-making factory; Israeli DM Shaul Mofaz approves an increase in assassinations in response to the rocket attacks. PA police shoot, seriously wound a Palestinian driver in Ramallah who refuses to stop for an ID check, precipitating a protest by some 100 bystanders, joined by AMB gunmen who force local shop owners to close their stores in protest.

December 4 2006

1 Palestinian killed.

IDF troops on the n. Gaza border shoot, wound a Palestinian shepherd grazing his flock nr. the border fence. In the West Bank, the IDF sends an undercover unit into Tulkarm to arrest wanted AMB mbr. ‘Anan Ya’ish, wounding and capturing Ya’ish, fatally shooting 1 Palestinian bystander, wounding a 2d; conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron and in ‘Askar r.c., ‘Azun, Balata r.c., Bethlehem (arresting Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine [PFLP] politburo mbr. Mahmud Fannun). Jewish settlers fr. Haggai uproot 100 Palestinian olive trees in nearby Qalqas. (WP 12/5; OCHA 12/6; PCHR 12/7)

December 4 2007

The PA deploys a new 500-mbr. policing unit in Tulkarm, similar to the recently deployed Nablus unit, as part of Abbass efforts to expand security control in the West Bank in keeping with the road map. The new unit immediately erects checkpoints around Tulkarm to search for unlicensed guns, stolen vehicles. The Israeli Housing Min. issues bids for construction of 307 new housing units in the Jewish settlement of Har Homa in East Jerusalem that would complete a ring of settlements around Jerusalem, making the division of Jerusalem all but impossible. PA senior negotiator Saeb Erakat sends an urgent message to Rice asking her to intervene to halt the settlement expansion, arguing that it is illegal and undermines efforts made at Annapolis. The UN reports that most public gas stations in Gaza are now closed because of Israeli fuel restrictions. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in Jenin r.c. and nr. Hebron, Ramallah. (AP, REU 12/4; OCHA, WP 12/5; PAP, PCHR 12/6; HA 12/20, 1/6; PCHR 1/10)

December 4 2008

Two Israeli teenagers were arrested for alleged involvement in the stabbing of a Palestinian resident of East Jerusalem. (The Jerusalem Post, Ynetnews)

The European Parliament suspended its vote on whether or not to upgrade EU-Israel relations in the wake of increasing unrest around Israeli settlement building policies and the continued Gaza siege. Vice President of the European Parliament Luisa Morgantini issued a statement about the decision saying, "It's time for the Israeli Government to stop considering itself above the law and start respecting it." (Ma'an News Agency)

Israel decided to open a cargo crossing into Gaza Strip to allow delivery of limited amounts of vital aid. "The Israeli side told us that Kerem Shalom would open for 40 trucks with food, aid and medical supplies," said Nasser al-Sarraj, an official at the PA Ministry of Economy. Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak authorized 70 trucks carrying food and basic supplies to enter the Strip, his office said in a statement. The Defence Minister's office said that the decision to allow some aid into Gaza was a goodwill gesture ahead of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha. Israeli military spokesman Peter Lerner said an entry ban on international aid workers had also been lifted. Israel also lifted the four-week ban on international journalists entering the Gaza Strip. (AP, BBC, Ma'an News Agency,Xinhua)

Two ships from Qatar would attempt to enter Gaza waters during the Eid holiday with $2 million in medical supplies and a delegation of Qatari dignitaries, said Jamal al-Khudari, a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council. Some of the delegates set to be on board the ship would include members of the Qatar Charitable Organization, including its General Director. The Governor of Qatar, Nasser al-Qa'bi, would sail on the ship as well as member of the charitable organization Hassan Abdel Rahim. Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesperson Yigal Palmor said that the Israeli Government would respond to each case on an individual basis. He also said that there was a difference between a boat coming from the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, and one coming from Qatar, with whom Israel has diplomatic relations, and in whose capital it had a trade representation. (The Jerusalem Post, Ma'an News Agency)

Israeli security forces stormed the Palestinian house occupied by settlers in Hebron and removed some 250 settlers barricaded inside. Around 20 people were injured in clashes, and a police officer was hurt when settlers threw acid in his eyes. After security forces cleared the house, right-wing activists damaged Palestinian property in the village of Burin. Jewish youths from the "Kiryat Arba" settlement started lighting fires, throwing stones at Palestinian homes, knocking down satellite dishes and torching olive trees. A settler from "Kiryat Arba" opened fire on a Palestinian crowd, wounding two people ─ a man in late sixties suffered an arm injury and another man in his fifties sustained a chest injury. (AFP, AP, Haaretz, The Guardian, The Jerusalem Post, Ma'an News Agency, Reuters, Ynetnews)

A mortar shell fired from the Gaza Strip landed in an open field near a kibbutz in Israel's western Negev region. A Qassam rocket landed in an open area near the southern Israeli town of Sderot. No injuries or damage were reported. (Ynetnews)

Hamas said that a ceasefire due to expire later this month would not be renewed if Israel continued to violate its terms. "Hamas and the Palestinian factions hold internal consultations to make a decision regarding the lull with the Zionist occupation … the lull would not be extended under the aggressions and siege against our people in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank," said Khalil al-Haya, a Hamas member in the Gaza Strip. (Xinhua)

The PA was planning to replace all Hamas-controlled municipal and village councils in the West Bank in the coming weeks, PA officials in Ramallah told The Jerusalem Post. They said that the decision was aimed at paving the way for the extension of PA President Abbas' term after it ends on 9 January. (The Jerusalem Post)

Jordanian Foreign Minister Salah Bashir conferred with United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry and urged the world community to put pressure on Israel to end the blockade of the Gaza Strip, according to a Foreign Ministry statement. "The Minister underscored the importance of prompt action by the world community to end the sufferings of the Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip by ending the Israeli siege of the territory and re-opening crossing points to humanitarian and food aid," the statement said. Mr. Bashir also stressed the UN role in pushing forward the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians "with a view to reaching a settlement based on the two-State solution," according to the statement. For his part, Mr. Serry "renewed UN commitment to boost the process of peace and stability in the Middle East and commended Jordan's role" in this respect, the statement added. (DPA)

Bank branches across the Gaza Strip stopped operations. Signs posted at several branches read: "The Bank is closed because of the occupation's ban on cash entry". (Reuters, Xinhua)


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