This day in the History of the 2nd Intifada

January 16 2001

Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue. Jewish settlers raid Aqraba, bar Palestinians fr. entering or leaving Bayt Furik while they perform religious ceremonies. The IDF issues approval for Jewish settlers to carry out armed patrols in order to ensure their safety. The IDF also conducts arrest sweeps in Dahiyat Barid, al-Ram; shells Halhul; bulldozes agricultural land nr. Nablus. (IsRN, MM 1/16; al-Quds 1/17 in WNC 1/19; HP, LAW 1/18)

At Erez, Israel, the PA resume high-level talks on tightening security coordination, Palestinians need for territorial contiguity. They agree on steps to ease the closure on Gaza but fail to resolve key territorial issues. (MM 1/16; MA [Internet], WP, WT 1/17; SA 1/17 in WNC 1/19)

January 16 2002

A Palestinian is fatally shot while driving through the West Bank, possibly by Palestinian gunmen who mistook him for a Jewish settler. The IDF conducts arrest raids in Battir, Nahalin. (MM, PCHR 1/16; JP [Internet], WT 1/17; al-Quds 1/20 in WNC 1/22)

The PFLP organizes demonstrations in Bethlehem, Ramallah demanding the PA release Saadat.

January 16 2003

The IDF halts a PRCS ambulance outside Ramallah, orders medics to unload the vehicle and change the tires, severely beats 1 paramedic, who requires hospitalization; demolishes 2 storage sheds in Jenin; occupies 1 Palestinian home in Iktaba as an outpost; bulldozes 9 dunams of land, a secondary road in Dayr al-Balah; conducts arrest raids in Qalqilya. An Israeli court sentences 2 Hamas mbrs. to 15 consecutive life sentences for participation in an 8/9/01 suicide bombing in Jerusalem. (PRCS press release 1/16; WT 1/17; LAW, PCHR 1/22)

January 16 2004

The IDF completely demolishes 3 Palestinian homes, bulldozes 9 dunams of land outside Rafah, along the settler bypass road linking Gush Katif and Morag settlements; completely demolishes 6 Palestinian homes in Rafah (seriously damaging 2 others), 1 in Khan Yunis; fires on residential areas of Khan Yunis, Nablus. (PM 1/16; VOP 1/61 in WNC 1/21; LAW, PCHR 1/22)

In Haifa, an Israeli Arab finds a bomb placed nr. his car, disarms it. This is the 5th such incident in Haifa in 30 mos.; earlier explosions left 2 Israeli Arabs injured. The Israeli government issues an order banning the press fr. discussing a letter sent to the Israeli daily Ma’ariv, claiming responsibility for some of the incidents. MK Issam Makhoul alleges that a Jewish extremist group wrote the letter. (HA 1/27)

January 16 2005

2 Palestinians killed.

Sharon orders the IDF to intensify operations against Palestinian militants and to act "without restrictions, I emphasize, without restrictions" to halt "terrorism," stating that Abbas is "not lifting a finger" to stop attacks on Israelis. The IDF withdraws fr. Gaza City (having bulldozed a total of 80 d., wounding at least 13 Palestinians since 1/15) but continues targeted operations in the outskirts of the city; shells Khan Yunis, damaging 1 Palestinian home, then firing on the family when they emerge to check the damage, killing a Palestinian mother and son, wounding the father, saying soldiers fired on suspicious "figures gathering information about IDF troops" in the area; separately fires on residential areas of Khan Yunis, hitting Nasser Hospital; fires on residential areas of Balata r.c., Rafah; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Abasan nr. Khan Yunis, Hebron, Husan, Ithna, Saida. (AFP, HA, JAZ, VOI, VOP, YA 1/16, MENA 1/17 in WNC 1/20; NYT, WP, WT 1/17; JTA 1/18; HA, OCHA 1/19; PR 1/20; PCHR 1/27)

Hamas fires 3 mortars at an IDF post in Gaza, 1 Qassam rocket at Gadid settlement, causing no damage or injuries. Palestinian gunmen fire on an IDF patrol in Jenin, wounding 4 soldiers.

January 16 2006

The IDF raids the Alternative campaign offices in East Jerusalem, confiscates campaign posters and leaflets, arrests at least 5 workers, claiming they have ties to terrorism since the Alternative coalition includes the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP); bulldozes 2 Palestinian homes in Bayt Hanina and Silwan on the outskirts of East Jerusalem; smashes the windshields of at least 10 Palestinian taxis traveling a road leading north out of Nablus; conducts arrest raids in al-Arub r.c. nr. Nablus, Qalqilya and in and around Jenin, Ramallah. The IDF also declares the Jewish section of Hebron a closed military zone, banning all nonresidents, seizing buildings and rooftops, welding shut Palestinian stores raided by settlers after 5 days of settler rioting sparked by plans to evict Israeli squatters who have occupied the market area. (HA, IMEMC, YA 1/16; NYT, WP 1/17; IMEMC 1/18; PCHR 1/19)

Late in the evening, Palestinians fire a rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries; the IDF responds with artillery fire on the n. Gaza no-go zone, causing no injuries.

January 16 2007

The IDF fires on stone-throwing Palestinians in Anata nr. Jerusalem, seriously injuring a 10-yr.-old Palestinian girl on a school playground nearby; demolishes a Palestinian home in Silwan in Jerusalem; conducts arrest raids, house searches in al-‘Arub, Jenin town and r.c., Tulkarm town and r.c., Yatta. (OCHA 1/17; PCHR 1/18; AP 1/19; NYT 1/20)

Unidentified gunmen shoot, wound an AMB mbr. in Rafah.

January 16 2008

5 Palestinians killed.

The IDF makes an air strike on Gaza City, targeting a car carrying PRC mbrs., hitting another car instead, killing 3 Palestinian civilians (including a 5-yr.-old boy), wounding other bystanders; makes an air strike on a car nr. al-Bureij r.c., assassinating PRC mbrs. Wa’il Ahil and Muhammad Safadi, wounding 1 bystander; fires a missile across the border at PRC mbrs. nr. Jabaliya r.c., seriously wounding 2; for unknown reasons makes an air strike on a tract of agricultural land (exact location not reported), wounding a 65-yr.-old Palestinian man. In the West Bank, the IDF evicts 5 bedouin families (30 Palestinians) living nr. Jerusalem; conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Hebron, in Silwad nr. Ramallah, nr. Tulkarm; patrols in, fires on residential areas of Nablus; evacuates 2 unauthorized settlement outposts, removing 20 settlers; fires rubber-coated steel bullets at demonstrators in Hebron protesting IDF attacks on Gaza, wounding 4. Jewish settlers fr. Keddumim stone Palestinian vehicles traveling on Road 55 nr. Qalqilya, damaging 2. (PCHR, WP 1/17; PCHR 1/19; OCHA 1/23; PCHR 1/24)

Palestinians fire 50 rockets and mortars fr. Gaza toward Israel; 19 land inside Israel, causing no damage or injuries.

January 16 2009

53 Palestinians killed.

In the pre-dawn hours, Israeli tanks withdrew from the Gaza City neighbourhood of Tal Al-Hawa, where clashes the previous day levelled parts of the residential area and set a hospital ablaze. At least 23 bodies were pulled out of the rubble in Tal Al-Hawa and elsewhere after medics rushed to the neighbourhood. (AFP)

The Israeli Air Force attacked about 40 targets across the Gaza Strip. A 14-year-old Palestinian was killed and several people were wounded during the attack on the Shabura refugee camp in southern Gaza. Three militants were also killed in IAF attacks, according to medics. (Haaretz)

Evening air strikes hit several sectors of the Gaza Strip simultaneously, killing at least 14, 10 from one house. The death toll for the day was 48, according to Palestinian sources. At least 10 people were killed in an Israeli strike on a house during a funeral wake, according to medics. They were not immediately able to say whether the explosion was caused by a tank shell or an air strike. A mother and her five children from the Al-Batran family were killed in the afternoon in an air strike on their home in the Al-Bureij refugee camp. A man was killed while riding his motorcycle in Rafah. An Israeli artillery shell killed a six-year-old girl. Medics said 14-year old Issa Ermelat was killed when Israeli forces shelled the area near the An-Nejma market in Ash-Shaboura refugee camp in Jabalya, the shell landing on a group of children. (AFP)

The UN Office of the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported that the Palestinian Ministry of Health latest figures on casualties in the assault of the Gaza Strip were 1,155 Palestinians dead of whom 370 were children and 85 were women. The number of injured was at least 5,015, of whom 1,745 were children and 740 were women. An estimated 400 to 500 were critically injured. On the Israeli side, 10 soldiers and three civilians have been killed as a result of combat or rocket fire. (AFP, www.ochopt.org)

The head of the WHO office in Gaza, Tony Laurence, said that the medical system in Gaza was close to being overwhelmed and Gaza faced a humanitarian catastrophe if a ceasefire was not reached soon. Sixteen health facilities, including hospitals and primary health care clinics, have been damaged by shelling and fighting since 27 December. (AP)

Human Rights Watch said: "Israel's use of heavy artillery in residential areas of Gaza City violates the prohibition under the laws of war against indiscriminate attacks and should be stopped immediately. Marc Garlasco, senior military analyst, said that "firing 155mm shells into the centre of Gaza City, whatever the target, will likely cause horrific civilian casualties." (www.hrw.org)

IDF troops shot and killed 20-year-old Musab Daana, a Palestinian who participated in a West Bank protest against Israel's offensive in Gaza. An IDF soldier sustained light wounds when Palestinian demonstrators hurled rocks at troops who stopped them from marching into Hebron. IDF soldiers then fired tear gas and rubber-coated bullets at the group of protestors, killing one. Medics said Mr. Daana was killed by a live round to the head. Fifteen Palestinians were injured in the incident. (Haaretz)

Israeli Government spokesperson Mark Regev said: "I hope we are entering the end game and that our goal of sustained and durable quiet in the south is about to be attained. He also said it was possible that Cabinet ministers would make a decision on a ceasefire as early as this coming weekend. But he said Israel was first waiting to receive reports from envoys that were travelling to Cairo and Washington to discuss the terms of a truce. (AP, Haaretz)

Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said, "We are deeply concerned about what is going on in the Gaza Strip. He was speaking to reporters after a meeting with African National Congress leader Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma outside Cape Town. Mr. Yang said, "We believe that the international community should exert its efforts to alleviate the humanitarian crisis there. The current situation is totally unacceptable." (AFP)

In Washington, D.C., US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni signed an accord aimed at stopping the smuggling of weapons into the Gaza Strip. "It provides a series of steps that the United States and Israel will take to stem the flow of weapons and explosives, Ms. Rice said of the agreement. Ms. Livni said only through a "united effort" to combat terrorism could a ceasefire between the two sides be achieved. The deal involved information-sharing, technical assistance and the use of various US "assets" to prevent arms from getting to Hamas either from air, land or sea. A US official said it included the use of detection equipment, aerial surveillance and possibly the deployment of vessels from NATO countries to prevent maritime smuggling. (Reuters, www.dw.-world.de, www.timesonline.co.uk)

The Israeli Cabinet was scheduled to vote the following day over whether to enact a unilateral ceasefire with Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The decision would mean Israel would decide to end the operation without an agreement with Hamas, relying instead on the support of the US and Egypt in battling arms smuggling. The deal would also call for cooperation between Israel and Egypt on matters relating to the Gaza Strip in which they have shared interests, without the interference of Hamas. (Haaretz)

The IDF announced that it would adhere to a four-hour humanitarian truce between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., to allow free flow of aid into Gaza. (Haaretz)

Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal said Hamas would not accept Israeli conditions for a ceasefire in Gaza and would continue armed resistance until the offensive ended. He was speaking at the opening of an emergency meeting in Doha, calling on leaders present to cut ties with Israel. However, Hamas was set to send a delegation to Cairo to discuss Egyptian efforts to mediate a ceasefire, a Hamas official said. (AP, Haaretz)

A report published in the al-Sharq al-Awset said Hamas set five conditions for a ceasefire: (1) The reciprocal truce would begin on Saturday (17 January) and be followed by the immediate transfer of humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip; (2) The IDF must pull all of its troops out of the coastal territory within the first week of the truce; (3) The flow of trade in and out of the Gaza Strip must be renewed and monitored by observers from Egypt, Europe and Turkey; (4) The Rafah crossing must be reopened and supervised by PA security forces and international observers, until a Palestinian unity Government has been established and can take its place; and (5) The truce would be instated for one year with an option of renewal. (Haaretz)

Israeli sources said Israel objected to putting a time limit on the truce between Israel and Hamas. "A time limit on a period of quiet is a mistake. We saw that when the previous calm ran out of time, it was just an excuse for some to escalate the violence. An open-ended calm is what is needed." Meanwhile, Israel's envoy on Gaza, Amos Gilad, returned from his first day of talks in Egypt with a very reassuring report of progress, according to an Israeli source. He returned to Cairo for further negotiations. (Haaretz)

Cairo officials reportedly proposed that Israeli Prime Minister Olmert, PA President Abbas and Egyptian President Mubarak sign an agreement as early as 18 January to underpin a possible truce between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. The pact could cover security measures along the border between Gaza's borders with Egypt and Israel. Palestinian and Egyptian officials had no immediate comment. (Reuters)

Speaking at the emergency meeting in Doha, Syrian President Bashar Assad called on participating Arab countries to sever "all direct and indirect" ties with Israel in protest against its continued operation in the Gaza Strip. (AP, Haaretz)

At an Arab Foreign Ministers' emergency meeting in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Saud bin al-Faisal urged the parties concerned to move effectively to implement Security Council resolution 1860 (2009) calling for an immediate ceasefire in the Gaza Strip. Arab Ministers adopted a proposal calling for a halt to the "Israeli aggression" in Gaza. The proposal would be presented to the Arab leaders at a summit in Kuwait on 19 January. It also appealed for the provision of all necessary funds for Gaza's reconstruction, estimated at $2 billion. (Xinhua)

French Prime Minister François Fillon said that French authorities would increase their checks on television, radio and the internet to prevent any hate messages prompted by the conflict in the Gaza Strip. He said, "Even a cursory look at the internet is enough to find blogs … carrying messages of incredible violence, whether against Israel or against the Palestinians." (Reuters)

Visiting Ramallah, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said, "I strongly urge Israeli leadership and Government to declare a ceasefire unilaterally." The Secretary-General proceeded to Ankara for a brief visit as part of the regional tour to press for an end to the military assault on the Gaza Strip. Mr. Ban was to hold talks with President Abdullah Gül and Foreign Minister Al Babacan before a working dinner with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Turkey was also going to send a delegation, headed by Foreign Policy Adviser Ahmed Davutoglu, to take part in the truce negotiations in Cairo. (AFP, AP)

The resumed Tenth Emergency Special Session of the General Assembly on "Illegal Israeli actions in Occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the Occupied Palestinian Territory" adopted a resolution by a vote of 142 in favour to 4 against, with 8 abstentions, calling on all parties to exert all efforts to ensure, in cooperation with the Council, full and urgent compliance with Security Council resolution 1860 (2009). It also called on States to extend support to measures aimed at alleviating the humanitarian and economic situation. (UN press release GA/10809)

Two rockets fired from Gaza landed in the Eshkol and Ashdod areas. There was no report of casualties. In Ashkelon, rocket fire hit a home with a pregnant woman inside. Two rockets struck Kiryat Gat, slightly wounding three. (Haaretz)

In Doha, Qatar and Mauritania reported that they have severed political and economic ties with Israel in protest of the assault on the Gaza Strip. Syrian President Bashar Assad said, "Syria has decided that indirect peace negotiations with Israel will be halted." (Aljazeera, Ma'an News Agency)

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Israel should be barred from the UN while it ignored the body's calls to stop the fighting in Gaza. He said, "How is such a country, which totally ignores and does not implement resolutions of the UN Security Council, is allowed to enter the gates of the UN?" (AP)

Palestinian surveyors said that Israel's assault on the Gaza Strip destroyed at least $1.4 billion worth of buildings, roads, pipes, power lines and other infrastructure. Europe's fundraisers for Palestinians, including the Foreign Ministers of France and Norway, the EU External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner and Quartet Representative Tony Blair were planning to meet in Paris to discuss Gaza's reconstruction and the possibility of holding a new donors' conference. Another concern was whether a ceasefire deal would lift the blockade imposed on Gaza. Norwegian diplomat Tor Wennesland said, "You cannot rebuild Gaza without open borders." (AP)

Mohammad Shtayyeh, an economist who runs the Palestinian Economic Development Council, said a continuation of the closure would mean the final death blow to Gaza. Even under ideal conditions, with borders open, rebuilding Gaza would take at least five years. Based on reports from 56 engineers, the fighting caused about $1.7 billion in damage in the first 15 days. This included $300 million in damage in the Rafah area. About $408 was lost in trade, wages and other income. About 4,000 houses were destroyed and 16,000 damaged. He said 30 Hamas security compounds, 15 government ministries and the main government complex had been demolished. (AP)

NEWS

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Much hope but little gain

04 Jan 2021 20:57

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