This day in the History of the 2nd Intifada

July 20 2001

2 Palestinians killed.

In Hebron, 2 explosions rip through a Palestinian home next door to the local Fatah headquarters, killing 2 Palestinians, including Fatah tanzim leader Raja Abu Rajab, and wounding 10. Fatah claims it was an IDF assassination; Israel accuses Fatah of making false accusations to escalate the violence. The IDF directs shells, heavy machine gun fire at residential areas in and around Hebron, setting fire to 1 home, injuring 2 Palestinians. Jewish settlers fire on, throw stones at Palestinians driving nr. Ramallah, critically injuring 1; set a Palestinian home on fire in Nabi Salih. Palestinians, the IDF exchange gunfire around Gilo-Bayt Jala. (HP 7/20; WP, WT 7/21; HA 7/22; MEI 7/27)

July 20 2002

The IDF shells, bulldozes an auto repair shop in Rafah r.c., also damaging a house; shells residential areas of, conducts arrest raids in Khan Yunis; temporarily lifts curfews in Hebron, Nablus, Ramallah. (WP 7/21; LAW, PCHR 7/24)

July 20 2003

Abbas, Sharon meet in advance of their visits to Washington. Abbas demands Israel quickly redeploy fr. 2 more Palestinian cities, make a significant prisoner release, step up removal of unauthorized settlement outposts. Sharon says Israel will not do more until the PA begins to disarm, dismantle militant groups. (HA, MM, NYT, WP, WT 7/21; MM 7/22; MEI 7/25)

An Israeli is stabbed, wounded in Jerusalem, possibly by a Palestinian. Late in the evening, Islamic Jihad mbr. Rami Isleit is killed apparently when a roadside bomb he attempts to detonate nr. an IDF patrol outside Jenin malfunctions; no soldiers are injured. (HA 7/21; NYT 7/22; PR 7/23; PCHR 7/24)

July 20 2004

1 Palestinian killed.

The IDF shells a house in Gaza’s Shatti r.c. in an attempt to assassinate PRC n. Gaza cmdr. `Abd al-Karim al-Quka, who, along with 4 Palestinians, is injured. The IDF also denies an ailing 60-yr.-old Palestinian passage through a checkpoint to a Nablus hospital, allowing him to die; continues bulldozing operations in Bayt Hanun, demolishing 2 PSF posts; demolishes 3 Palestinian homes, 26 shops, an olive oil factory in Barta nr. Jenin for construction of the separation wall, firing on stone-throwing Palestinians who confront the troops, injuring 6; fires on residential areas of Nablus; conducts arrest raids, house searches in villages around Jenin, Nablus, Ramallah and in Anata, Hebron. (BBC, WP 7/20; VOI 7/20 in WNC 7/22; MM, NYT, PR, REU, WT 7/21; JAZ 7/21 in WNC 7/23; CSM, PCHR, PM 7/22; DUS, HJ 7/23 in WNC 7/27; al-Ra’i 7/24 in WNC 7/29; VOP 7/29 in WNC 7/31; AYM 7/30 in WNC 8/3; MM 8/3; PR 8/4)

Palestinians fire 2 Qassam rockets into the Negev, causing no damage or injuries. An unknown assailant shoots, seriously wounds Executive Authority (EA) mbr. and fmr. information M Nabil `Amr twice in the leg in an attempted assassination, firing through a window at `Amr, inside his Ramallah home. `Amr, who has previously called for reforms in the PA, had just returned home from a TV interview in which he criticized Arafat’s performance.

July 20 2005

The IDF begins dismantling 1 of its main posts in Khan Yunis in preparation for disengagement; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Aida r.c. and Wadi al-Silqa, around Hebron, nr. Qalqilya. In s. Israel, 1,000s of Israeli protesters observe a 3d and final day of demonstrations against disengagement. (AFP, IMEMC, PCHR, PR, REU, XIN 7/20; AYM 7/20 in WNC 7/21; NYT, PCHR, WP 7/21; OCHA 7/27; PCHR 7/28)

Major Hamas-Fatah clashes erupt in Gaza City when PA preventive security force officers outside the force's headquarters open fire on a car driven by an Izzeddin al-Qassam Brigades mbr. Within the hr., Hamas political leaders, senior PA officials hold a press conference appealing for calm, say they are ready to put aside all differences and hold talks on improving relations. Hrs. later unidentified gunmen (some reports say Hamas mbrs.) fire on the Gaza City homes of PA police cmdr. Abu Shibak (see 6/10), Fatah Gaza head Abdallah Franji, Fatah Revolutionary Council mbr. Majid Abu Shammala, Force 17 head Faisal Abu Sharkh, PA security forces Col. Nabil Tamus, and the offices of leading Fatah mbr. Samir Masharawi and the PA preventive security forces headquarters; exchange gunfire with Abu Shibak's and Franji's bodyguards, leaving at least 7 Palestinians (at least 2 Franji bodyguards, 2 Abu Shibak bodyguards, 1 attacker) injured. In Jericho and Ramallah, 10s of Palestinians, including some political leaders and heads of organizations, organized by the National and Islamic Higher Committee for the Follow-up of the Intifada (NIHC) stage marches to demand that the PA take action to end lawlessness, support rule of law. A PA police officer dies of injuries received during the IDF incursion into Tulkarm on 7/13.

July 20 2006

6 Palestinians killed.

In Gaza, the IDF continues operations in al-Maghazi r.c., engaging in heavy clashes with local gunmen, killing 4 armed Palestinians and 1 bystander, wounding at least 32 (in addition, 1 Palestinian child wounded in al-Maghazi on 7/19 dies of her injuries); drops leaflets across Gaza warning that “anyone who has...anarsenal, ammunition, or weapons in their house must destroy them or will face dangerous consequences.” The IDF also continues to shell n. and s. Gaza to prevent rocket fire; makes air strikes on 2 groups of Palestinians allegedly laying roadside bombs (no injuries are reported); fires warning shots fr. gunboats to keep Palestinian fishermen fr. going out to sea. Palestinians fire at least 1 rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, lightly wounding 1 Israeli. In the West Bank, the IDF continues major operations in Nablus, surrounding the local PA headquarters where a number of wanted Palestinians have taken refuge since fighting began on 7/19; 15 give themselves up during the day, but 10 remain inside, as IDF tanks shell the building and bulldozers begin to demolish the structure, troops fire on stone-throwing Palestinians who confront them (wounding 5). Also in Nablus, some 4,000 Palestinians demonstrate in support of Hizballah. The IDF also conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron; clears Palestinian trees nr. Har Homa settlement. (NYT, WP 7/21; IFM 7/22; PCHR 7/27)

Israel warns Lebanese s. of the Litani River that they have 24 hrs. to evacuate to the north. The IDF increases pinpoint ground operations in s. Lebanon, engaging in fierce clashes with Hizballah, leaving at least 2 IDF soldiers, 2 Hizballah mbrs. dead and 6 IDF soldiers injured; sends tanks, bulldozers across the n. border to destroy tunnels, bunkers, posts used by Hizballah (Hizballah claims to destroy 2 tanks; the IDF does not comment); continues air and artillery strikes on 150 targets across Lebanon, including Baalbek, Hermel, and al-Khiyam (destroying the infamous jail there, formerly run by Israel’s proxy, the South Lebanon Army). Late in the evening, 2 IDF helicopters collide over n. Israel nr. the Lebanese border, killing at least 4 IDF soldiers. Hizballah fires some 40 rockets at n. Israel, hitting Carmiel, Kiryat Shimona, Safad, Tiberias; there are no reported injuries. Syria reports that more than 140,000 people have crossed over fr. Lebanon since the violence began. Some 10,000 foreigners are evacuated by sea fr. Beirut and Tyre (including some 2,250 Americans and many Southeast Asian laborers evacuated by the Indian navy); UNIFIL evacuates its post at Naqura. Lebanese report that the cost of basic goods has risen 500% in some areas. (BBC, UNIS, WP 7/20; AP, NYT, WP, WT 7/21; WP 7/22)

July 20 2007

Israel releases 255 Palestinian prisoners, including PFLP 2d-in-command `Abd al-Rahim Malluh; 85% of those released are Fatah mbrs.; the remainder are fr. smaller parties; none are fr. Hamas (Israel still holds 1 Fatah mbr. after learning that he switched affiliation to Hamas in jail); all had at least 1 yr. left to serve on their sentences. In the West Bank, the IDF fires rubber-coated steel bullets at Palestinian, Israeli, international activists attending the weekly nonviolent demonstration against the separation wall in Bil`in, injuring 6; conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Nablus, firing on stone-throwing youths who confront troops in `Ayn Bayt al-Ma’a r.c., wounding 4 teenagers and a 65-yr.-old bystander; closes roads northwest of Nablus to Palestinian traffic to allow more Jewish settlers to reach the evacuated Homesh settlement site (en route, settlers damage Palestinian crops and vandalize 2 Palestinian cars, 4 homes). Also nr. Nablus, Jewish settlers fr. Gilad severely beat 1 Palestinian in neighboring Fara’ta; Jewish settlers fr. Elon Moreh and Yitzhar burn 10s of Palestinian olive trees nr. the settlements. (AP, HA 7/20; NYT, WP, WT 7/21; OCHA 7/25; PCHR 7/26)

Palestinians fire a rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries.

July 20 2008

At a news conference with PA President Abbas in Bethlehem, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said, "Settlement expansion has made peace harder to achieve. It erodes trust, it heightens Palestinian suffering, and it makes the compromises Israel needs to make for peace more difficult… I think the whole European Union is very clear on this matter: we want to see a freeze on settlements." He also said Britain would donate an extra $60 million in addition to the $500 million the Government had pledged to the Palestinians over the next three years. He spoke of the need to create jobs by building industrial parks, promoting small businesses and building desperately needed housing. He announced plans to host an international investment conference for the Palestinians in autumn, and promised to help the Palestinians train their security forces. (AP, www.number10.gov.uk)

July 20 2009

3 Palestinians killed.

A 15-year-old Palestinian boy died after he was shot in the chest the previous night by Israeli soldiers as he approached the Gaza border fence. The boy was wearing a heavy coat on a hot day, raising suspicions, but he was not carrying weapons or explosives, the Israeli army said. (Haaretz, Ma’an News Agency)

The Israeli army seized seven Palestinians in Bethlehem, Jericho and nearby villages. (IMEMC)

Two Palestinian men, aged 17 and 33, died of asphyxiation and eight others were injured in an explosion in a smuggling tunnel between Gaza and Egypt. Fuel being smuggled through the tunnel was leaking before the collapse, medical sources said. (AFP, Haaretz, Ma’an News Agency)

State Department spokesman Philip J. Crowley declared at a Washington press briefing: “We have made our views known to Israel [and] our views are not new either, that this kind of construction [in East Jerusalem] is the type … of issue that should be subject to permanent status negotiations, and that we are concerned that unilateral actions taken by the Israelis or the Palestinians cannot prejudge the outcome of these negotiations.” He added that US Special Envoy for Middle East Peace George Mitchell would return to the region at the end of this week, to talk to Palestinian and Israeli officials and give a speech in Bahrain after Crown Prince Shaikh Salman Bin Hamad Al-Khalifa had authored a column in The Washington Post calling on the Arab countries to promote the Arab Peace Initiative by reaching out to the Israeli public. (AFP, Ma’an News Agency)

Jordanian Minister of State for Media Affairs and Communications Nabil Sharif rejected Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu's claim that Jerusalem would remain the undivided capital of Israel and that Israel had a free hand to set up settlements throughout the West Bank. Mr. Sharif declared Mr. Netanyahu's remarks as nothing more than “fallacies that negate the well-established legal and political realities” and place obstacles “in the path of peace and US efforts that seek to establish peace through the realization of the two-State vision.” (DPA)

Russian Federation’s Middle East Envoy Alexander Saltanov called for a complete cessation of settlements in Jerusalem and other Palestinian territories to foster dialogue between Palestinians and Israelis realizing a two-State vision, during a meeting with Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh. “Judeh underscored the importance of Russia's role and leverage on the international arena in pushing efforts forward towards the establishment of just and comprehensive peace in the region,” a statement said. Mr. Saltanov and Mr. Judeh also discussed the idea of convening an international conference on the Middle East in Moscow. The Russian emissary is scheduled to visit Israel and the Palestinian territories in the coming days. (DPA)

Israel delivered nine stop-work orders to Palestinian residents building homes and agricultural infrastructure south of Hebron. The IDF detained the owner of one of the homes, according to the Christian Peacemaker Teams. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli settlers set fire to between 1,500 and 2,000 Palestinian-owned olive trees in the West Bank while others stoned cars, a Palestinian security official said. Two Palestinian motorists were slightly wounded and five vehicles damaged near the settlement of “Yitzhar” near Nablus. Israeli media said the rampage had been described by settlers as a response to the IDF’s destruction hours earlier of a caravan at a settlement outpost built without Israeli Government approval. (Reuters)

NEWS

Electronic Intifada:

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