This day in the History of the 2nd Intifada

January 29 2001

1 Palestinian killed. 1 Israeli killed.

Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue, leaving 1 Palestinian, 1 Jewish settler dead. The IDF detains 5 Palestinians traveling in a minibus outside Khan Yunis, takes them to Netzarim settlement for interrogation, after which 1 is arrested, 4 are released. The IDF also shells Palestinian residential areas nr. Erez (destroying a PSF building, a gas station), in Khan Yunis, nr. Netzarim settlement. Jewish settlers bulldoze Palestinian land around Ariel settlement, move the settlement fence to incorporate the new land. (AP 1/29; MEZ, NYT, WP 1/30; al-Ahram [Internet] 2/1; LAW 2/3; ADM 2/5)

January 29 2002

The IDF sends tanks, troops into Artas village, nr. Bethlehem, to detain a wanted Islamic Jihad mbr. Omar Ayish. In the process the IDF wound 4 Palestinians; throw a grenade into the Ayish home, causing damage but no injuries; leave a trail of cars crushed and overturned by tanks. IDF soldiers detain and beat a Red Crescent doctor, ambulance driver at a checkpoint in Nablus. The doctor is released after several hrs. but the driver is kept in custody. (AP 1/29; NYT, PCHR 1/30)

In his State of the Union address, Bush calls Iran, Iraq, North Korea an "axis of evil, arming to threaten the peace of the world"; also refers to a "terrorist underworld, including groups like Hamas, Hizballah, [and] Islamic Jihad." (HA, NYT, WP, WT 1/30; MM 1/31; MM 2/1; MA 2/1 in WNC 2/4; JP, MEI 2/8)

Omri Sharon, the PM's son, meets Arafat in Ramallah to arrange a secret mtg. btwn. Sharon, senior PA officials in Jerusalem for 1/30. (SA 2/3 in WNC 2/4; MM 2/4)

In response to the IDF raid on Artas village, Palestinian gunmen fire on Gilo fr. Bayt Jala, lightly injuring 1 Jewish settler.

January 29 2003

2 Palestinians killed.

The IDF lifts the comprehensive curfew on the occupied territories imposed on 1/26; fatally shoots 1 Palestinian shepherd who leads his flock too near IDF bulldozers leveling 400 dunams of Palestinian crops nr. Jabaliya r.c.; bulldozes land around, fires on residential areas of Tal al-Sultan, wounding 18 Palestinians; reportedly finds, disables 2 bombs planted nr. a Jewish settlement in Gaza, inside a PSF station in Hebron. A Palestinian dies of injuries received during the IDF’s 1/25 attack on Gaza City. Jewish settlers attack 2 international peace activists who approach Itamar settlement to investigate Palestinian claims that settlers had taken over Palestinian farmland. Settlers beat the activists: steal their phone, camera; take their jackets, shoes, socks, wallets, passports; forcibly take them to Itamar. The IDF arrests the activists for trespassing on settler property. An Israeli court authorizes Israel’s seizure of over $9 m. fr. the PA’s frozen funds to pay the Ayalon insurance company to cover claims for cars stolen btwn. 1996 and 2000, allegedly with the PA’s knowledge and cooperation. (HA, International Solidarity Movement press release, LAW, PCHR 1/29; HA, NYT 1/30; PR 2/5)

Arafat calls on Sharon to immediately resume peace talks in light of his election victory, but Sharon says he will not deal with Palestinians “involved in terror.” (HA 1/29; NYT 1/30)

Bush phones Sharon to congratulate him on his election victory. Also calling to congratulate Sharon are Egyptian Pres. Husni Mubarak, who invites him to reopen peace talks with the Palestinians in Cairo after his new government is formed, and European Union (EU) pres. Romano Prodi who urges him to take action on the road map quickly, now that elections are over. (HA, MM 1/30, 1/31; MM 2/5; MEI 2/21)

A Palestinian gunman fires at a Jewish settler vehicle nr. Beit El settlement, wounding 2 Jewish settlers. A 2d Palestinian gunman shoots, lightly injures an IDF soldier outside a Jewish settlement in Gaza; soldiers fire on residential areas nearby in response, wounding 19 Palestinians.

January 29 2004

10 Israelis killed.

The IDF tightens checkpoints around Hebron after Jerusalem bombing; conducts house searches, arrest raids in Hebron, Jenin, Nablus. Hebron Jewish settlers attack Palestinians in nearby Yatta, forcing 9 Palestinian families out of their cave dwellings and mud houses; Hebron settlers reportedly seek to expropriate more than 37,000 dunams in the area for settlement expansion. In a plea agmt., an Israeli court sentences to 15 mos. in jail Havat Maon settlers Yitzhak Paz and Matityahu Shvu, arrested on 7/17/03 for transporting explosives, plotting a major bombing of a Palestinian school, carrying out 2 bombings at Palestinian schools that resulted in no deaths. (BBC, HA, MM 1/29; MM, NYT, WP, WT 1/30; MM 2/3; WJW 2/5; JPI 2/6; al-Majallah [London] 2/8 in WNC 2/18; PCHR 2/12; JPI 2/13)

Israel, Hizballah begin to implement the 1st stage of their 2-stage prisoner swap. (BBC, HA, MNR, NYT, WJW, WP, WT 1/29; HA, MM, NYT, WP, WT 1/30; MM 2/2; JPI, MEI 2/6; JPI 2/13) (see 1/24, Quarterly Update)

A Palestinian suicide bomber detonates a device on a crowded bus nr. Sharon’s official residence in West Jerusalem, killing 10 Israelis, wounding 44. The bomber, whom the PA confirms was a Bethlehem PSF officer fr. Aida r.c., leaves 2 suicide notes claiming the attack in the name of the AMB, Hamas; the AMB initially claims responsibility, Hamas does so after the 2d letter is released; the groups do not claim joint responsibility, as they have done in the past, raising questions as to who really staged the attack. Israeli DM Shaul Mofaz says Israel will not routinely seal the territories in the wake of the bombing, so as not to aggravate Palestinians’ hardship; will specifically target militant groups.

January 29 2005

2 Palestinians killed.

The IDF tightens restrictions on Palestinian movement in al-Khadir; conducts arrest raids in al-Masharqa nr. Hebron. 2 Palestinians die of injuries received on 1/28/05 and 12/22/04 in Khan Yunis. (WT 1/30; PCHR 2/3)

Fatah, Hamas mbrs. clash in al-Maghazi, leaving 23 Palestinians wounded; the National and Islamic Higher Comm. for the Follow-up of the Intifada (NIHC) sets up a commission of inquiry.

January 29 2006

The IDF bulldozes 150 d. of Palestinian orchards and olive groves nr. Hebron to construct a new road leading to an unauthorized settlement outpost, begin installing electricity generators; conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron and in al-Azza r.c., Hebron, Nablus, Qalandia r.c.. (AFP, IMEMC, XIN 1/29; PCHR 2/2)

The local Fatah leadership in Rafah announces its resignation fr. the movement, citing the 1/25 election defeat.

January 29 2007

2 Israelis killed.

In response to the Elat attack, the IDF makes an air strike on a smuggler’s tunnel on the Rafah border, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Nablus, nr. Ramallah. (AP, HA, IFM, MM, NYT, REU 1/29; MM, NYT, WP, WT 1/30; MM, OCHA 1/31; PCHR 2/1)

A Palestinian suicide bomber fr. n. Gaza hikes through the Egyptian desert into Israel, hitches a ride to Elat with an Israeli motorist, detonates a device at a bakery there, killing 2 Israelis, 1 foreign worker fr. South Africa, wounding 1; the AMB, Islamic Jihad jointly claim responsibility for the attack, which is the 1st inside Israel since 4/17/06. Islamic Jihad says the bombing sends “a clear message” to Fatah and Hamas to end infighting and unite against Israel.

In Gaza, at least 5 Palestinians (2 ESF mbrs., 1 PA police officer, 2 bystanders) are killed in Fatah-Hamas fighting in Gaza, with clashes reported in Bayt Lahiya, Gaza City, Jabaliya, Khan Yunis. In the most serious incident, ESF mbrs. raid, demolish a Force 17 base s. of Khan Yunis, kidnapping and later releasing 6 Force 17 mbrs.

January 29 2008

In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in the Old City of Hebron, Jenin. (OCHA 1/29, 1/30; PCHR 1/31)

January 29 2009

Nine Palestinians, including 8 children, were wounded when an Israeli warplane fired a missile at two An-Nasser Brigades gunmen on a motorcycle in Khan Yunis. The IDF said the militant, identified as Mohammed al Sumeiri, (also identified as Mohammed Uda-Samidi) was involved in rigging a roadside bomb which killed an Israeli and wounded three others on 27 January. This was the fifth Israeli air strike since the ceasefire when into effect nearly two weeks earlier. (AFP, Haaretz, Ma'an News Agency)

Spanish Judge Fernando Andreu began an investigation into seven current or former Israeli officials over a 2002 bombing in the Gaza Strip that killed a Hamas militant and 14 other people, including nine children. Judge Andreu said he saw a possible crime against humanity in the attack that targeted Salah Shehadeh with a one-ton bomb dropped from an F-16 warplane in a densely populated Gaza City. The judge was acting under a doctrine that allowed prosecution in Spain of crimes against humanity or crime like terrorism or genocide, even if they were committed in another country. The suit was brought by a group of Palestinians. The people named in it included Dan Halutz, who commanded the IAF at the time, and Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, then Defense Minister. (AP)

After a round of meetings in Jerusalem and Ramallah, US Middle East Envoy George Mitchell said, "The Prime Minister (Ehud Olmert) and I discussed the critical importance to consolidate the ceasefire, including a cessation of hostilities, an end to smuggling and re-opening of the crossings based on 2005 agreements." He also said, "The decision by President Obama to dispatch me to come to this region less than one week after his inauguration is clear and tangible evidence of this (the US) commitment." After meeting with PA President Abbas in Ramallah, he said, "To be successful in preventing the illegal trafficking of arms into the Gaza Strip, there must be a mechanism to allow the flow of legal goods." (AFP, DPA)

Javier Solana, EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, expressed hope that the two unilateral ceasefires by Israel and Hamas would be rapidly transformed into a "real and lasting ceasefire" and that the crossing points to the Gaza Strip would be entirely open "in the next few days" for EU aid. Once these two conditions were fulfilled, which Mr. Solana hoped would be feasible by 4 or 5 February, inter-Palestinian discussions can be resumed, with the assistance of Egypt, with the aim of forming a "Government of consensus or Government of technocrats". The first task of such a government will be to begin the work of reconstruction in the Gaza Strip and agree on the organisation of new elections. Mr Solana said that if this goes well, this process could see the resumption of Israeli-Palestinian political dialogue before the end of the year. (Agence Europe)

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told US Envoy George Mitchell that Israel had offered in negotiations with the Palestinians to remove 60,000 settlers from the West Bank in the framework of the permanent status agreement, Yediot Ahronot reported. On the issue of Jerusalem, "Israel agreed for the city to be divided, and for neighbourhoods in East Jerusalem to be transferred to Palestinian sovereignty. The holy places would come under the administration of an international authority that would supervise access to them and which would ensure that believers of the three faiths be able to hold their religious practices without disturbance." Mr. Olmert also said Israel would agree to withdraw, in the framework of the permanent status agreement, to the 1967 borders with border revisions that keep the large settlement blocs, the article said. (AFP)

Hamas leader Ghazi Hamad told AP, "We want to be part of the international community. I think Hamas has no interest now to increase the number of crises in Gaza or to challenge the world." Another Hamas official, Mushir Al-Masri, said, "We have our hands open to any country … to open dialogue without conditions," clarifying that that did not include Israel. Ismail Al-Ashqar, a Hamas member of the Palestinian Legislative Council, said Hamas would reject any truce agreement with Israel that did not completely halt Israeli attacks on Gaza and open the territory's borders, particularly the Rafah crossing. (AP, Ma'an News Agency)

PA President Abbas is scheduled to visit Prague on 2 February to meet with (EU Presidency) Czech President Vaclav Klaus. (AFP)

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon spoke of the humanitarian needs in the Gaza Strip at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. He was joined by UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator John Holmes, who also made a statement on the Humanitarian Flash Appeal for $613 million for immediate humanitarian and early recovery needs. Mr. Ban said, "The civilian population suffered greatly during three weeks of military operations. More than one-third of the 6,600 deaths and injured were children and women. … People have lost their families, they have lost their homes, belongings, and livelihoods. Schools, clinics, factories and businesses have been destroyed," he added. He also said that he was encouraged that the US and some European countries had agreed to try to prevent the smuggling of illicit arms and weapons from the wider region into Gaza again, which otherwise would allow Hamas to use the ceasefire to strengthen itself. (AP, UN News Centre)


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