This day in the History of the 2nd Intifada

February 18 2001

1 Palestinian killed.

Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue. 1 Palestinian dies of injuries received earlier. The IDF directs shells, heavy machine gun fire at residential areas of Hebron, Khan Yunis (damaging the UNRWA headquarters). (HP, LAW 2/18; LAW 2/22)

February 18 2002

6 Palestinians killed. 4 Israelis killed.

Israeli-Palestinian violence leaves a total of 6 Palestinians, 3 Jewish settlers, 1 IDF soldier dead. In Gaza, the IDF fires on 2 Palestinians allegedly attempting to infiltrate a Jewish settlement, killing 1; shells residential areas of Khan Yunis, killing 3 Palestinians, barring ambulances fr. reaching the scene, firing on at least 1 ambulance. The IDF responds to Ma'ale Adumim attack by sending F-16s to destroy 3 PSF buildings nr. Rafah, injuring 4 PSF officers; blocks 3 main roads in Gaza, banning all Palestinian traffic; shells residential areas of Dayr al-Balah. The IDF confiscates 80 dunams of Palestinian land nr. Karnei Shomron settlement. (NYT, WP 2/19; NYT 2/20)

AMB gunmen fire on a settler vehicle nr. Kissufim crossing in Gaza, then 1 AMB mbr. detonates a suicide bomb, killing 3 settlers, wounding 4. In the Jordan Valley, the IDF stops a Palestinian car at a checkpoint nr. Ma'ale Adumim; the driver emerges, fires on soldiers, detonates a remote controlled car bomb, killing himself and 1 soldier, injuring a 2d soldier.

February 18 2003

12 Palestinians killed.

Overnight, IDF undercover units raid Yatta, assassinate wanted Hamas mbr. Muhammad Muhr. The IDF also fires tear gas into a girls primary school in Hebron, injuring 10s of children; demolishes a Palestinian home in Nablus, 2 buildings in Rafah refugee camp (r.c.); conducts arrest raids in Bethlehem, Jenin, Rafah (targeting Islamic Jihad). Late in the evening, the IDF sends 40 tanks, helicopters, troops into Gaza City on a mission to demolish 4 Palestinian buildings, 1 of them a home, allegedly containing Hamas metal workshops, leaving at least 11 Palestinians dead, 25 wounded: 3 are bystanders killed when the IDF blows up one building causing the wall of an adjacent structure to collapse on top of them; 3 are PA general intelligence officers killed when the IDF fires rockets at their post; 1 is a Hamas mbr. who detonates a suicide bomb nr. a tank, causing no injuries; 4 are gunmen attempting to hold back the incursion. The IDF also announces plans to build a walled corridor surrounding Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem, linking it to Jerusalem and encircling 10s of Palestinian homes, businesses. (AP, HA, LAW 2/18; HA, MM, NYT, PR, WP, WT 2/19; AFP, al-Quds 2/19 in WNC 2/20; LAW, MM, NYT, PCHR, WT 2/20; MM 2/24; MEI 3/7)

Israeli, PA teams meet with Quartet reps. in London to discuss PA reforms, cease-fire talks, Palestinians’ humanitarian situation, next steps to adoption of the road map plan for resumption of negotiations. The Quartet’s International Task Force for Reform, the donors’ Ad Hoc Liaison Comm. meet on the sidelines. (WP 2/19; NYT 2/20; MEI 2/21; AYM 2/21 in WNC 2/27) (see Quarterly Update; Doc. A2)

The PA begins deploying 10s of unarmed security personnel in Nablus, called the Palestinian Authority–Joint Forces to handle traffic, civilian complaints; the PA says it has not coordinated with Israel regarding the force.

February 18 2004

In an incident in Dayr al-Balah, IDF soldiers grant permission to an international delegation, including 3 UN staff members, to visit and question a local Palestinian family, provided they stay only 30 mins. and not enter the family’s home; the delegation complies, but as it is leaving, an IDF soldier deliberately shoots the 15 yr. old son of the family fr. a distance of 20 m., hitting him in the back, partially paralyzing him; the international team transports the boy to a Gaza City hospital. IDF also fires on residential areas of Brazil r.c., wounding an 11-yr.-old Palestinian boy; bulldozes 15 dunams of land, demolishes a Palestinian home nr. Jenin, 1 in Salfit nr. Nablus, a poultry farm in Dayr al-Balah; conducts arrest raids in Bayt Hanina, Gaza City, nr. Jenin. Armed Jewish settlers attack a Palestinian neighborhood in Hebron, seriously beating a 13-yr.-old Palestinian girl. In Jenin, unidentified assailants open fire on Palestinian Authority (PA) health minister Jawad al-Tibi, Palestinian Economic Council for Development and Reconstruction head Muhammad Ishtiyya during a visit to inaugurate a new hospital; neither is injured. (VOP 2/18 in WNC 2/20; PCHR 2/19; VOP 2/19 in WNC 2/21; LAW, PCHR 2/26; HA, DUS 2/28)

U.S. National Security Council Middle East Adviser Elliott Abrams, Dep. National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley, Asst. Secy. of State William Burns arrive in Israel for 3 days of talks with senior Israeli, Palestinian officials on Israeli PM Ariel Sharon plan for unilateral disengagement fr. Gaza. (MM 2/18; VOP 2/18 in WNC 2/20; BBC, HA, MM, WT 2/19; VOP 2/19 in WNC 2/21; MM, NYT, WP, WT 2/20; HA 2/22; WP 2/26; Forward 2/28)

February 18 2005

The IDF allows 16 West Bank Palestinians deported to Gaza to return to their homes; increases the number of Palestinian workers permitted into Israel by one-third to 1,500; shoots, critically wounds a 13-yr.-old Palestinian boy nr. Gaza's Netzarim settlement. A Jewish settler fr. Negohot attacks a Palestinian shepherd near the settlement; IDF troops intervene, arrest the settler. (VOI, VOP 2/18 in WNC 2/19; JP 2/20)

The IDF reportedly has begun removing 100s of bedouin families fr. shanty towns around its Negev air base with the aim of creating a 5,000-meter buffer zone out of concern that bedouin could acquire anti-aircraft missiles to shoot down Israeli air force planes. 10,000s of bedouin live in 10s of unrecognized villages in the area of the air base, some shanties slated for removal have stood for 22 yrs. (JP 2/18 in WNC 2/19)

February 18 2006

The IDF tightens restrictions on Palestinian movement around Ramallah in the morning, coinciding with the convening of the new Palestinian Council (PC) session; sends troops back into al-Khadir (see 2/17), sets up roadblocks, conducts ID checks looking for youths who threw stones at Israeli cars on Route 60, arresting 2; raids, searches a Palestinian home in Hebron, severely beating but not arresting 1 resident; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Aida r.c., arresting 2 15yr.- old Palestinian boys. A Jewish settler is stabbed, wounded apparently by a Palestinian nr. Ma’ale Adumim. (HA 2/20; PCHR 2/23)

The new Palestinian Council (the second elected since the PC was formed in 1995) is sworn in in Ramallah, with Gazan reps. participating by video link, since Israel barred their passage to the West Bank. PA Pres. Mahmud Abbas invites the Hamasaffiliated Change and Reform party to form a cabinet. (WT 2/18; NYT, WP, WT 2/19; al-Hayat al-Jadida 2/19 in WNC 2/20; MM 2/20)

February 18 2007

In the West Bank, the IDF conducts patrols in Tulkarm, fires tear gas at Palestinian students outside a school; raids shops in Qalqilya, forcing them to close; conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Hebron and in Nablus, Tulkarm town and r.c. (OCHA 2/21; PCHR 2/22)

February 18 2008

1 Palestinian killed.

The IDF sends armored vehicles, bulldozers into the Erez industrial zone to level land. A Palestinian dies of injuries sustained during the 2/17 IDF raid on al-Shuka. (WT 2/19; OCHA 2/20; PCHR 2/21)

Palestinians fire at least 15 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing damage but no injuries. Egypt sends 334 Gazans it has rounded up since the border was reclosed on 2/3 back to the Strip through the Rafah crossing; another 150 Gazans are being held at a youth hostel in al-Arish.

February 18 2009

A 70-year-old Palestinian woman suffered a heart attack and another person was injured after Israeli warplanes launched several strikes on the border area between Egypt and the Gaza Strip. Warplanes launched missiles at underground smuggling tunnels, in addition to a security compound. A mosque was also destroyed in Khan Yunis. (Ma’an News Agency, Reuters)

Palestinian medical sources said a Palestinian farmer was wounded by Israeli fire in the Al-Farahin area, east of Khan Yunis, about 500 metres from the Israeli-Gaza border. Activists accompanying the farmers said that Israel soldiers shot the man in the leg after he and a group of other farmers and activists had already been working in the area for two hours “in full view of Israeli forces.” The group noted that they had been wearing bright vests and carried a megaphone to identify themselves as farmers. (Ma’an News Agency)

IDF troops arrested 15 Palestinians in overnight raids in the West Bank. Two reportedly armed Palestinians were also arrested near the settlement of “Itamar.” (Haaretz)

IDF forces entered the northern West Bank town of Jayyas near Qalqilya and arrested 65 Palestinian youths. The soldiers declared the town a “closed military area” and barred journalists from entering. A curfew was imposed. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s Security Cabinet decided that Israel would not open its border crossings with the Gaza Strip until Hamas agreed to release captive IDF soldier Gilad Shalit. The Cabinet agreed that “it would be inconceivable” for Israel to accept an Egyptian-proposed ceasefire calling for reopening of border crossings to more than limited humanitarian aid without Mr. Shalit’s release. The Cabinet met to discuss a possible prisoner exchange with Hamas which could trade hundreds of Palestinian prisoners for Mr. Shalit. (BBC, Haaretz)

Israel had opened the Kerem Shalom, Al-Muntar (Karni) and Nahal Oz crossings, allowing cooking gas to enter the Gaza Strip for the first time in two weeks. Crossings official Nasser As-Sarraj said Israel would allow 130 truckloads into Gaza, 52 for UNRWA and other international organizations, 63 for the commercial private sector, and another 15 for the agricultural private sector. Some 70 trucks of wheat and feed and 70 tons of cooking gas had also been allowed in. The deputy of the union of gas station owners said however that Gaza consumed 350 tons of cooking gas per day. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli bulldozers began digging up Palestinian-owned agricultural lands in the southern West Bank town of Yatta near Hebron. Sources said that the bulldozed area would be turned into an Israeli settlement adjacent to “Karmel,” a settlement built on land originally owned by the town of Umm Lasafa. (Ma’an News Agency)

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit met with EU Special Representative for the Middle East Peace Process Marc Otte to discuss the recent developments on the Palestinian issue. Mr. Aboul Gheit talked about Egyptian efforts aimed at achieving calm between Israel and Palestinian factions, particularly a Palestinian reconciliation meeting scheduled for 22 February.

Mr. Otte underlined the full support of the EU for the efforts, including the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip in connection with the International Conference on Gaza Reconstruction to be hosted by Egypt on 2 March in Sharm el-Sheikh. (

PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said donor countries should send Gaza reconstruction funds directly to property owners and contractors. Mr. Fayyad was preparing a detailed spending proposal for international donors, to be presented at the 2 March conference in Egypt. The centrepiece of Mr. Fayyad’s plan was to send hundreds of millions of dollars in aid directly to owners of thousands of homes that were damaged or destroyed. Under the proposal, the donors would either send money through the PA or deal directly with Gaza’s banks. Under the plan, even roads would be fixed by private contractors. (AP)

UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process and Personal Representative of the Secretary-General Robert H. Serry briefed the Security Council on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. He described the challenges that must be “squarely addressed if peace is to be advanced.” He cited the severe repercussions of the Gaza crisis; continued division among the Palestinians; the new political situation in Israel; the inconclusive results of last year’s Israeli-Palestinian negotiations; and unmet Road Map obligations, especially those concerning settlements. (UN press release SC/9597,

Palestinian militants fired a Qassam rocket at the western Negev. The rocket exploded in a field causing no casualties or damages. (Haaretz)


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