This day in the History of the 2nd Intifada

June 19 2001

1 Palestinian killed. 1 Israeli killed.

Jewish settlers fire on Palestinian homes in Safarin, injuring 1 Palestinian; place 3 mobile homes, a tent on a new settlement site nr. Tulkarm. The IDF reinforces the blockade on Tulkarm, digging 3 trenches around the city; tightens closures on Jinin, Nablus; digs trenches around Tubas. Another Israeli injured in the 6/1 Tel Aviv bombing dies of her injuries, raising the toll fr. the attack to 22. A Palestinian dies of injuries received on 6/17. (MM 6/19; AP, NYT, WP, WT 6/20; WJW 6/21; LAW 6/23)

Israel accuses the PA of failing to act to prevent "terrorism" during the 1st wk. of the cease-fire implementation, declares that the 6-wk. cooling-off period (stage 3 of the Tenet plan) will not begin on 6/20 as scheduled, demands that Sharon "reassess" the cease-fire with the Palestinians. Sharon convenes his security cabinet to discuss the issue. (AP, MM, NYT, WP, WT 6/20; MM 6/21; DUS 6/25 in WNC 6/27)

Lebanon says that in 6 days, Syria has withdrawn 6,000 troops fr. the Beirut area. Some troops reportedly have redeployed to the Biqa` Valley, but most have returned to Syria. (NYT 6/20; JT 6/20 in WNC 6/21; Economist [Internet] 6/21; al-Nahar 6/22 in WNC 6/26; al-Nahar 6/26 in WNC 6/28; MEI 6/29) (see Peace Monitor)

Palestinians fire 5 mortars at Gush Katif settlement in Gaza, causing no damage.

June 19 2002

2 Palestinians killed. 8 Israelis killed.

The IDF reoccupies Qalqilya, imposes a curfew; Palestinians clash with troops, leaving 2 IDF soldiers, a local PA intelligence chief dead. The IDF continues operations in Jenin r.c. and town, fortifying a temporary IDF base outside the r.c. with 7 trailers, fuel and water trucks to create a barracks; conducting house-to-house searches, ordering all men ages 15+n50 to surrender, using 3 doctors fr. a nearby hospital as human shields; firing a tank shell at al-Razi hospital. The IDF also reinforces tanks around Nablus; conducts arrest raids in Dura, Hebron, Umm Salamona; bulldozes 57 dunams of Palestinian agricultural land nr. Aley Sinai; imposes curfews on villages around Bethlehem. Jewish settlers fr. Aldavid settlement set fire to 50 dunams of Palestinian crops nr. Bethlehem; IDF troops observe but do not intervene. In response to attack in French Hill settlement, the IDF sends troops into Ramallah; helicopter gunships fire missiles at least 5 alleged bomb-making workshops in Gaza City, Jabaliya, Khan Yunis; begins barring Palestinians with West Bank IDs fr. entering Jerusalem; raids a hospital in Shaykh Jarrah in East Jerusalem, sends home 30 employees with West Bank IDs; reportedly rounds up 1,400 Palestinian workers inside the Green Line, sends home 800 Palestinian workers with West Bank IDs. (HP, LAW, NYT, PCHR, WP, WT 6/19; XIN 6/19 in WNC 6/21; MM 6/20, 6/24; LAW 6/26; PCHR 6/27; JPI, MEI 6/28)

PA Planning M Shaath, still in Washington meeting with U.S. officials, says that he has given the U.S. a 20+n30-page draft constitution for a Palestinian state (i.e., an expanded version of the Basic Law) that reportedly envisions a government headed by a PM, with a ceremonial pres. (WP 6/20)

An AMB suicide bomber, retaliating for the 6/17 assassination of an AMB leader, detonates a device at a bus stop in French Hill settlement in East Jerusalem during evening rush hr., killing 7 Jewish settlers, wounding 40.

June 19 2003

1 Israeli killed.

In a 7-hr. operation, the IDF evacuates the 1st inhabited unauthorized settlement outpost, Mitzpe Yitzhar, a particularly militant outpost nr. Nablus, housing 2 settler families: An initial contingent of around 25 unarmed soldiers attempting to remove 2 tents, a few tin shacks, and 1 concrete block building is obstructed by around 100 Jewish settler youths. The IDF calls in unarmed reinforcements, places closures on surrounding settlements, as 100s of settlers converge on the outpost during the day, scuffling with troops, leaving 30 settlers and soldiers injured; settlers also set fire to Palestinian wheat fields, olive groves in the area in an attempt to disrupt the IDF operation. The IDF also bulldozes 15 dunams of land in Bayt Hanun, 5 dunams in Bayt Lahia, 1 dunam in al-Mughraqa. (HA, MM 6/19; VOI, YA 6/19 in WNC 6/21; MM, NYT, WP, WT 6/20; MM 5/23; PR 6/25; MM, PCHR 6/26; MEI 6/27; MA 6/11 in WNC 6/13) (see Settlement Monitor, Quarterly Update)

An Islamic Jihad suicide bomber detonates a device inside a small store in Baysan, inside Israel, killing 1 Israeli. Palestinians fire a Qassam rocket at Sederot, causing no damage or injuries.

June 19 2004

The IDF fires 3 missiles at a metal workshop (suspected Hamas weapons factory) in al-Maghazi, destroying the building, injuring 1 Palestinian; conducts arrest raids in Hebron; for no apparent reason fires on a Palestinian vehicle driving nr. Nablus, wounding 1 passenger; fires on residential areas of Khan Yunis; conducts arrest raids in Bethlehem, Qalandia. 100s of Palestinians made homeless by IDF bulldozing operations in Rafah begin a sit-in outside the local PC offices to protest inadequate PA assistance to homeless families. (WP, WT 6/20; PCHR 6/24; PR 6/30)

June 19 2005

1 Palestinian killed. 1 Israeli killed.

The IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem and in Jenin, Tubas. (WP 6/20; OCHA, PR 6/22; PCHR 6/23)

Claiming retaliation for recent arrest raids and attacks on its mbrs., Islamic Jihad, the Abu Rish Brigades (a Fatah offshoot) take responsibility for 2 Palestinians firing an antitank round at an IDF post on the Rafah border, killing 1 IDF soldier, wounding 2; firing a rocket-propelled grenade at IDF soldiers and civilian laborers working nearby, causing no injuries; the IDF fires back, killing 1 Palestinian militant, while the 2d escapes; Israel vows to launch a crackdown on Islamic Jihad.

June 19 2006

The IDF announces that it will begin implementing a new policy of attacking Hamas targets for each Palestinian rocket strike, regardless of what group is responsible for the fire; makes a helicopter air strike on a foundry in Gaza City allegedly used to build rockets, causing no injuries; demolishes a Palestinian home nr. Ramallah; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Dura, nr. Jenin and Tulkarm, and in and around Bethlehem, Hebron, Nablus, Ramallah. Jewish settlers fr. Beit Hadasah in Hebron vandalizes several Palestinian homes, beat a 60-yr.-old Palestinian. (HA, XIN 6/19; MA 6/19, 6/22 in WNC 6/23; WP 6/20; PCHR 6/22)

Palestinians fire 2 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. An unidentified Palestinian gunman fires on a Jewish settler bus nr. Ofra settlement n. of Jerusalem, lightly wounding 1 woman. Hamas mbrs. retaliating for the attempted assassination of 1 of their mbrs. on 6/18 fire grenades, rifles at a PSF office in Khan Yunis, causing no injuries. Meanwhile, Fatah, Hamas mbrs. sign a “national honor document” in Ramallah, pledging to avoid clashes and to resolve their disputes through negotiation.

June 19 2007

2 Palestinians killed.

Israel allows 12 trucks with food, medical supplies to enter Gaza through the Kerem Shalom crossing; evacuates 2 Palestinians wounded in the crossfire at Erez on 6/18, 3 other Palestinian medical cases; allows Israeli medics to enter Erez to treat the 9 others wounded. Twice during the day, IDF troops stationed at the Erez crossing fire toward Palestinians waiting to cross the checkpoint in an attempt to disperse them, wounding another 2. In the West Bank, the IDF imposes a curfew on Beita nr. Nablus; conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem, Hebron, Jenin (exchanging fire with Palestinians, killing 1 AMB mbr., 1 Islamic Jihad mbr.), Qalqilya. Israeli security officials announce that they recently arrested 12 PFLP mbrs. for allegedly plotting to kidnap Americans to secure the release of their leader, Ahmad Saadat, who is currently held by Israel. (NYT, WP 6/20; PCHR 6/21)

June 19 2008

1 Palestinian killed.

During a military operation in Qalqilya in the northern West Bank, Israeli forces detained six Palestinian brothers and demolished two abandoned houses. In the Dheisheh and Beit Jibrin refugee camps near Bethlehem, Israeli forces detained a 17-year-old and a 23-year-old Palestinian. (Ma'an News Agency)

Four Israeli Border Police officers were wounded in clashes with settlers over two unauthorized outposts near the "Yitzhar" settlement, south of Nablus. The Border Police had evacuation orders for the outposts and a demolition order for one caravan. The police stated that four policemen were hurt by stones thrown by settlers while a fifth one suffered from tear gas. Settler sources indicated that 11 residents of "Yitzhar" were wounded during the incident, one of whom lost consciousness. Several settlers were arrested when they locked up the police officers in "Yitzhar" after the demolition of a caravan in the unauthorized outpost of "Havat Shaked". (Haaretz, The Jerusalem Post)

The agreement for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip went into effect at 6 a.m. Moments before the truce took hold, the Israeli Air Force killed a member of a Qassam rocket squad preparing to launch near the Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza. Palestinian sources said the man killed had been a Hamas operative. The resumption of the transfer of goods from Israel to the Gaza Strip through the Sufa crossing went into effect following the start of the ceasefire. Security sources said that the number of trucks permitted to bring goods to Gaza would increase on the morning of 22 June, from 60 to 80 or 90. (Haaretz)

Israeli military sources indicated that if the Gaza ceasefire were to hold, the army would redeploy some of its troops which were currently stationed near the Gaza Strip to other sectors for training. The same day, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert warned Hamas that the ceasefire was its last chance to avoid an IDF incursion into the Gaza Strip. Hamas sources indicated, for their part, that they did not intend to deploy along the border in order to prevent any IDF operations. (Haaretz)

Israeli Prime Minister Olmert stated in an interview with the BBC Arabic Service that progress had been made on numerous issues, including borders, in talks with the Palestinian Authority and that Israel was willing "to dramatically compromise" on territorial issues in negotiations with Palestinian leaders, adding that it was not a one- way process. Despite progress on many fronts with the PA, Mr. Olmert remained sceptical that a full agreement could be signed and delivered during the remaining months of the term of US President Bush. As concerns Hamas, Mr. Olmert said that the movement would be welcome to join the peace negotiations after it accepted and complied with the demands of the international community, namely, calling off terror attacks and recognizing Israel. (AFP, Ynetnews)

The Israeli High Court of Justice issued an interim injunction ordering settlers not to occupy nine new houses in the "Ofra" settlement in the West Bank, to halt construction of houses and not to connect them to the infrastructure. The State backed the request of the petitioners, five Palestinians and the Israeli human rights organizations B'Tselem and Yesh Din, for a temporary order to be issued. The lawyer representing the petitioners, Michael Sfard, stated that the land on which the houses were being built belonged to the five Palestinian petitioners and was registered in the land registry as private Palestinian property. The State representative said that, "The construction of the houses and their occupation are illegal. The construction was carried out in violation of stop-work and demolition orders." (The Jerusalem Post)

In Al-Mazra'a Al-Qabaliyya, north-west of Ramallah, Israeli military bulldozers supported by settler guards razed about 500 dunums of land, which reportedly would have been used for settler agricultural projects and to build a new settlement. In the villages of Bureen and Hawara, near Nablus, Israeli settlers burned dozens of dunums of agricultural land. (Ma'an News Agency)

An Israeli military court ordered the release of a member of the Palestinian Legislative Council affiliated with Hamas who was detained two years ago as part of a crackdown on Hamas after the capture of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. A military spokeswoman indicated that plans to prosecute Bassam al-Zahari were dropped owing to "reasonable doubt". Mr. al-Zahari left Ofer prison in Israel for his home town of Hebron. (Reuters)

EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana made the following statement: "The truce that came into effect this morning is a very welcome development. I hope it will provide momentum for the peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians. I should also like to congratulate Egypt on its successful role in mediating the agreement on the truce which I urge the parties to respect in full. The main objective now is that the truce holds. I reiterate our readiness to resume our monitoring mission at the Rafah border crossing point." (www.consilium.europa.eu)

United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry said the Egyptian-brokered truce and reconciliation talks between rival Palestinian factions could create conditions for the deployment of UN peacekeepers in the Gaza Strip. He said the idea of sending peacekeepers was "premature" at this stage but that it could become "very practical" later if security and political conditions improved. A peacekeeping mission would be possible only under certain conditions, he said, chief among them agreement between Israel, Egypt and "all the parties" on the need for such a force. "That, I think, would be a very important consideration for any future troop contributing country," Mr. Serry said. In a conversation with Ynetnews, he stated that the three issues that must be emphasized in the near future are a complete ceasefire, the opening of crossings and prisoner-POW exchanges, including Gilad Shalit. Mr. Serry said, "I believe that a ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas is an encouraging sign that will lead to quiet and security from both sides. We are aware of the fact that both sides claim the ceasefire is frail. We need to be realistic and not expect that achievements will be immediate." (Reuters, Ynetnews)

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), the World Food Programme (WFP) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) reported in the Joint Rapid Food Security Survey in the Occupied Palestinian Territory that nearly 40 per cent of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank did not have access to sufficient food, a rise of 4 per cent from 2006. They stated that the main causes of food insecurity in the OPT were "rooted in the military and administrative measures imposed by the Israeli occupation - closure regime, permits, destruction of assets - as well as settlement expansion and derived infrastructure multiplication - access to land and water and the construction of bypass roads." "The agricultural sector in the Gaza Strip is close to collapse, as no exports are allowed, and there is a total unavailability of fertilizer, pesticides and other crucial inputs," the report said. (UN News Centre, www.unrwa.org)

Hamas sources reported that 260 Palestinians, who had been stranded in Egypt after seeking medical treatment there, had crossed back into the Gaza Strip overnight through the Rafah border crossing. They indicated that 5,517 Gazans, including students and Palestinians with residency abroad, had applied to leave the Gaza Strip if the Rafah crossing were open. (Haaretz)

June 19 2009

1 Palestinian killed.

Israeli troops arrested an 18-year-old high school student from the Ertah neighbourhood south of Tulkarm. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli troops attacked the weekly protest against the construction of the separation wall in Bil’in village near Ramallah. Dozens of protesters suffered from gas inhalation. Troops also set fire to olive groves on the Palestinian side of the wall gate. Israeli soldiers also attacked with batons and tear gas Palestinian and international peace activists during the weekly protest against the separation wall in the village of Ni’lin in the vicinity of Ramallah. Numerous protesters had to be treated for tear-gas inhalation. (IMEMC)

An 11-year-old child died in the Gaza Strip as a result of wounds sustained on 6 January 2009 during Israeli military Operation Cast Lead. (IMEMC)

Israeli border guards have posted videos online in which they humiliated Palestinians, including ordering a young man to sing and slap himself. The captions on one video say that it was made in November 2007. Haaretz quoted an unnamed border police officer who said that such behaviour was common among police serving in Jerusalem and along Israel’s separation wall. In an interview with a number of border policemen, Haaretz found out that they viewed such issues as “humorous”. A border police spokesman stated that the high command of the border police had known about the videos since 2008 and that they were trying to find those who filmed them to be called in for clarifications. (AFP, Haaretz, IMEMC)

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman outlined his vision for the first stage of peace talks with the Palestinians, saying that the parties must begin negotiations with points “where there were no disputes”. He said that “we can begin with roadblocks, the outposts, the establishment of a single security apparatus, the smuggling of illegal weapons, a [security and governance] pilot project like in Jenin, which we would like to expand”. Mr. Liberman said: “If we begin with sensitive issues, like Jerusalem, the whole thing will break down”. He added that he believed that Israelis and Palestinians must develop a “positive dynamic” and then engage in direct talks. (Haaretz)

The Government of Israel had sent messages to several Arab States recently, seeking to counter negative reactions to Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech on 14 June, asking them to pressure PA President Abbas to resume negotiations with Israel. (Haaretz)

It was announced that Israel would open the Kerem Shalom crossing into the Gaza Strip to allow in 350 cows and approximately 40 truckloads of electrical equipment, for the first time in eight months. The equipment will be used to repair the Gaza power station and grid. The Karni and Nahal Oz crossing points will be closed. (Ma’an News Agency)

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak stated in an editorial published in The Wall Street Journal entitled “How to Achieve Israeli-Palestinian Peace” that US President Obama’s seminal address in Cairo marked a turning point in America’s relations with the Muslim world. He said that the Palestinian issue required the greatest urgency, given the precarious state of the peace process after years of stalemate. Mr. Mubarak stated further that despite the setbacks of the last few years, it was important to remember that many of the elements of a solution had already been negotiated, adding that the Arab Peace Initiative provided a regional framework for such a settlement. He said that the road to a final settlement will require leadership and concerted effort from all sides and that there should be a serious process to negotiate a final status agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. Mr. Mubarak said that Israel’s relentless settlement expansion, which had seriously eroded the prospects for a two-State solution, must cease, together with the closure of Gaza. The priority should be to resolve the permanent borders of a sovereign and territorially contiguous Palestinian State, based on the 1967 lines, as this would unlock most of the other permanent status issues, including settlement, security, water and Jerusalem. (Haaretz, The Jerusalem Post, Ma’an News Agency, The Wall Street Journal, Ynetnews)

King Abdullah II of Jordan arrived in London for talks with UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown on efforts to start serious and direct negotiations to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict on the basis of the two-State solution and within a regional context. During a meeting the day before with King Albert II of Belgium, both Kings underlined the need to intensify efforts to realize peace in the region, which was of global interest and a basic pillar for international security and stability. While in Brussels, King Abdullah also met with the EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana to discuss efforts to bring about peace in the region. (The Jordan Times)

The United States stepped up pressure on Israel regarding the Gaza Strip by sending a diplomatic note three weeks ago officially protesting the Gaza policy and demanding a more liberal opening of the border crossings to facilitate reconstruction. The note was followed by a verbal communication clarifying that the Obama Administration thought that Israel’s linkage of the case of abducted soldier Gilad Shalit and the opening of the crossings was not constructive. The first task was to allow food and medicine into the territory; another issue was the transfer of cash to banks in the Gaza Strip; the third issue was the expansion of the system for opening the border crossings and permission to import a variety of goods that would enable imports and exports and encourage economic growth. (Haaretz)

Hamas indicated that there had been no change in positions over requirements for a prisoner swap. Hamas spokesman Fawzi Barhoum stated that there was “nothing new in the exchange deal and the ball is in Israel’s court”. (AFP, Ma’an News Agency)

NEWS

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