This day in the History of the 2nd Intifada

December 12 2000

3 Palestinians killed.

In the U.S., Texas gov. Bush is declared the winner of the 11/7 presidential elections. VP Gore concedes. Bush will take office on 1/20/01. (NYT, WP, WT 12/13; HA 12/14; MA, MENA 12/14 in WNC 12/18; MM 12/15; Globes 12/17 in WNC 12/20; MM 12/20) (see 11/26)

Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue, leaving at least 3 Palestinians dead. The IDF shoots senior Fatah mbr. Yusif Abu Sawi, rumored to be on Israel's wanted list, in another apparent assassination. 2 Palestinians are killed, 15 wounded in clashes with the IDF in Khan Yunis, during which the IDF shells a PSF post. The IDF bulldozes more Palestinian land in Dayr al-Balah, damaging 2 Palestinian homes and destroying 2 homes, the foundations of 1 home under construction, a greenhouse, an apiary, and an irrigation system. IDF shelling in Bethlehem damages St. Nicholas', St. Michael's Greek Orthodox churches. (LAW 12/12; MEZ NYT, WP, WT 12/13; AYM 12/13 in WNC 12/18; PCHR 12/18)

In Rabat, Morocco, U.S. special envoy Ross meets with Arafat to explore whether Arafat is "ready to return" to negotiations with Israel. (MM, WT 12/12; IDF Radio [Internet] 12/13; NYT 12/15; NYT, WP 12/16; NYT 12/29)

December 12 2001

6 Palestinians killed. 10 Israelis killed.

Overnight, IDF helicopters rocket a residential area of Khan Yunis, killing 4 Palestinians, wounding 21, destroying 2 Force 17 buildings. After Palestinian attacks Sharon severs all contacts with the PA, declares Arafat "irrelevant," says Israel will no longer wait for the PA to "wipe out terror networks" but will do the job itself. The IDF immediately begins F-16 air strikes on targets in al-Bireh, Gaza City, Jinin, Nablus, Qalqilya, Ramallah, and Tulkarm, killing 1 Palestinian; tightens its encirclement of major Palestinian population centers; enters Jinin's area A with tanks, injuring 19 Palestinians before withdrawing; fires on a funeral procession in Khan Yunis, injuring 3. The Israeli inner cabinet agrees to "rapidly deploy" the IDF for "massive and continuous" operations "in cities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip." (AP, LAW, MEZ, PMC 12/12; AFP, AP, HA, HP, JP [Internet], MM, NYT, WJW, WP, WT 12/13; AFP, MENA, XIN 12/13 in WNC 12/14; ATL 12/13 in WNC 12/17; JP, JT [Internet], MM 12/14, 12/17, 12/18; JP, MEI 12/21)

This evening, AMB, Hamas gunmen jointly detonate a roadside bomb nr. a Jewish settler bus outside Emmanuel settlement nr. Nablus, then open fire on the bus, 2 cars traveling with it, the medical workers who come to the scene, killing 9 Jewish settlers, 1 Israeli border police officer, wounding 30; 1 Hamas mbr. is run over, shot dead by the IDF. In Gaza, 2 Hamas suicide bombers detonate devices outside a Jewish settlement, wounding 4. Arafat orders the closure of all Hamas, Islamic Jihad offices, schools, clinics.

December 12 2002

7 Palestinians killed. 2 Israelis killed.

The IDF fires flechette shells, live ammunition at 5 unarmed Palestinian laborers attempting to sneak into Israel nr. the Qarni border crossing, killing them; the IDF says it thought they were attempting to infiltrate Israel to stage an attack. The IDF also fires on 2 PFLP mbrs. attempting to infiltrate a Gush Katif settlement, killing 1, allowing the other to escape; fatally shoots an armed Palestinian attempting to infiltrate a kibbutz in Israel; bulldozes 2 Palestinian homes in Rafah r.c.; bulldozes 3 unoccupied Palestinian homes, 4 dunams of land in al-Mughraqa; conducts an arrest raid in Qalqilya. (REU 12/12; MM, NYT, WP 12/13; NYT 12/14; MM, PM 12/16; LAW, NYT, PCHR, PR 12/18; MEI 12/20)

Palestinian gunmen fatally shoot 2 IDF soldiers in Hebron, nr. the cite of the 11/15 Islamic Jihad ambush.

December 12 2003

The IDF removes sand barriers blocking the main road linking Hebron to Bethlehem that have been in place since the start of the intifada in 9/00, replacing them with a single iron gate and observation tower to control Palestinian traffic; fires on residential areas of Jenin (where a curfew is still in place), Wadi Gaza (on the e. border of the Strip). A group of Jewish settlers attempts to visit Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus but comes under fire fr. AMB, Islamic Jihad gunmen, who wound 7; the IDF arrests another 8 settlers for illegally entering a Palestinian area without its knowledge. Jewish settlers also fence off 1,750 dunams of Palestinian land outside Ramallah, belonging to Turmus ‘Ayya village, fire guns at Palestinians who attempt to reach their olive groves on the land. (AP, HA, BBC 12/12; VOI, YA 12/12 in WNC 12/16; PR 12/17; PCHR 12/18)

Bush signs the Syria Accountability Act, which recommends immediate sanctions on Syria. (WT 12/13; SANA, Syrian Arab Television Network 12/13, THWR 12/14 in WNC 1/16; JT, MENA 12/14 in WNC 12/16; al-Dustur 12/14 in WNC 12/17; THRW 12/14 in WNC 1/17; MM 12/16).

December 12 2004

1 Palestinian killed.

In retaliation for the 12/11 Hamas–Fatah Hawks attack, the IDF seals the Rafah crossing, fires on residential areas of Rafah (killing 1 Palestinian outside his home), conducts air strikes on 5 targets in Gaza City (destroying at least 1 metal workshop, 1 Palestinian home). The IDF also shells residential areas of Khan Yunis, injuring 7 Palestinian students in their classroom; tightens restrictions on Palestinian movement in the Ramallah area; begins bulldozing agricultural land in Husan w. of Bethlehem for construction of the separation wall. Jewish settlers fr. Ariel settlement throw stones at, chase off Palestinian farmers working their fields in neighboring Isqaqa village. (BBC 12/12; JAZ, VOI, VOP 12/12 in WNC 12/14; MM, NYT, WP, WT 12/13; VOP 12/13 in WNC 12/15; PCHR 12/16)

Palestinians fire 4 mortars at Gush Katif, causing no damage or injuries.

December 12 2005

Before dawn, the IDF sends undercover units into Nablus to arrest 6 Palestinians, including PA General Intelligence officer Amjad Mus`ad; in the evening, fires 27 artillery rounds at n. Gaza in response to 3 mortars fired by Palestinians towards Israel, causing no damage or injuries on either side; late in the evening, undercover units return to Nablus, surround a PA security vehicle patrolling the area, order the 7 PA security officers to lie on the ground, confiscate their weapons and phones, hold them for an hr., release them. The IDF also lifts the seal on the West Bank and Gaza imposed on 12/5, opens Qalandia crossing (closed since 12/8); raids and closes 10s of shops in Anabta, withdraws, later returns to conduct arrest raids and house searches; bulldozes a Palestinian home in East Jerusalem, sparking clashes with 10s of local Palestinians; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Nablus, nr. Tulkarm. IDF soldiers bar an ambulance fr. transporting a critically ill 10-yr.-old Palestinian boy to a hospital in Jerusalem, beating a female paramedic and driver, arresting the paramedic; a 2d ambulance arrives, takes the patient to a Ramallah hospital. (AP, HA, IMEMC, PCHR, PRCS, XIN, YA 12/12; AP, NYT 12/13; PCHR 12/15; PLO press release 12/21)

In Dayr al-Balah, 10 AMB gunmen angry over the Fatah primaries raid a PA election office, force it to close. In Gaza City, unidentified gunmen fire on a PA police patrol, killing 1 PA policeman, wounding a 2d; the incident may be connected to the Bayt Hanun clan violence (see 12/7) as the dead policeman belongs to 1 of the families.

December 12 2006

1 Palestinian killed.

IDF troops on the n. Gaza border nr. Bayt Hanun open fire on Palestinian farmers who stray too nr. the border fence, seriously injuring 1. In the West Bank, the IDF demolishes a Palestinian home in al-Walaja nr. Bethlehem; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Abu Dis, Jenin town and r.c., and nr. Bethlehem, Tulkarm; bars a Palestinian heart attack victim fr. crossing a checkpoint to reach a hospital in Nablus, allowing him to die. Inside Israel, Israeli police demolish 4 homes in the unrecognized village of Um Mitnan in the Negev. (IMEMC, MM 12/12; OCHA, WP 12/13; PCHR 12/14)

Palestinians fire 3 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries, bringing to 21 the number of rockets fired since the Gaza cease-fire went into effect on 11/26. Following the 12/11 attack on Balusha’s car in Gaza City, Abbas deploys extra security forces under his command across the Strip, sparking an exchange of gunfire btwn. Fatah, Hamas mbrs. during a Fatah demonstration in Khan Yunis against the killings, leaving 4 Fatah mbrs. injured.

December 12 2007

Israel allows a 20 mW generator into Gaza for the electricity plant, along with 13 Egyptian engineers to install it. In the West Bank, the IDF bars a Palestinian woman in labor fr. crossing a checkpoint to reach a Qalqilya hospital, forcing her to give birth at the checkpoint; conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron, Jenin, Qalqilya, Tulkarm. (NYT, PCHR 12/13; OCHA 12/19; PCHR 12/27)

As agreed at Annapolis (see 11/27), Israeli, Palestinian negotiators meet to open final status talks, but discussions focus on ongoing Israeli settlement activity (see 12/4) and Palestinian rocket fire. No progress is made on core issues. (NYT, WT 12/13; NYT 12/24)

Responding to the IDF’s major incursion into s. Gaza on 12/11, Palestinians fire 17 rockets, 4 mortars fr. Gaza into Israel, lightly injuring 1 Israeli. A Palestinian is killed when a smuggling tunnel under the Rafah border collapses.

In n. Gaza, fights erupt btwn. a Fatah-affiliated family and local Hamas mbrs. painting slogans in preparation for Hamas’s 20th anniversary celebrations; no injuries are reported.

December 12 2008

A 13-year-old Palestinian boy suffered serious head wounds after being shot by Israeli troops in Hebron, witnesses said. The Israeli army confirmed that a young Palestinian had been injured, adding that the soldiers had fired rubber bullets after a group of youths threw stones at them. (AFP)

Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni clarified her recent remarks that it is not always possible to bring every soldier home, which drew protests, saying she meant that freeing IDF Cpl. Gilad Shalit who had been captured by Palestinian militants was not a question of political will. (Haaretz)

The Israeli military raided the northern West Bank city of Salfit, clashing with residents and firing percussion grenades and rubber-coated bullets, according to witnesses. No injuries or arrests were immediately reported. (Ma'an News Agency)

Israeli forces breached Gaza borders and seized three Palestinians in the vicinity of Khan Yunis. (Ma'an News Agency)

The Al-Muntar (Karni) crossing point was suddenly closed by Israel for "security reasons," after only 8 of the 110 trucks of goods slated for entry into the Gaza Strip were permitted to unload their cargo. (Ma'an News Agency)

The Israeli State petitioned the Supreme Court to rescind the release to house arrest of a settler caught on film shooting two Palestinians in Hebron last week. (Haaretz)

The European Council adopted a declaration on the Middle East, which stated that "the Middle East Peace Process will remain a top priority for the European Union in 2009. A just, lasting and comprehensive peace is urgently needed. The EU will do all it can both practically and politically to drive the peace process forward next year, working closely with our international partners, and in particular in the Quartet, to promote a solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict on the basis of two states living in peace and security. The EU will also support talks between Israel and Syria, and if possible Lebanon. The European Council welcomes efforts to reinvigorate the Arab Peace Initiative (including the Arab Foreign Ministers' letter to President-elect Barack Obama) as part of a comprehensive approach for a peace between Israel and the whole region. We urge the United States under its new Administration to join us in making the Middle East Peace Process an immediate and central priority." (

In Geneva, during the observance of the sixtieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said, "2009 is a year which I hope will bear fruit in the Middle East". Progress toward Middle East peace was being made "somewhat below the radar" by Israeli and Palestinian negotiators, he said. "They are setting the stage for peace." (AP)

The United Nations Latin American and Caribbean Meeting in Support of Israeli-Palestinian Peace concluded its two-day meeting in Santiago, with participants calling on Israel to cease settlement expansion in the West Bank, including in and around East Jerusalem, dismantle the separation wall, in keeping with the advisory opinion of the International Court of Justice, and lift the siege of the Gaza Strip. (GA/PAL/1108)

Gaza militants fired two Qassam rockets into the Western Negev which struck empty areas. (Haaretz)

PA President Abbas would travel to Washington on 19 December to discuss the status of Middle East peace efforts with President Bush and would fly to Moscow a few days later, his spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said. (AFP)

A poll by the Palestinian Centre for Policy and Survey Research showed that if parliamentary elections were held today, 42 per cent of Palestinians would vote for Fatah compared with 28 per cent for Hamas. If presidential elections were held today, 48 per cent would vote for PA President Abbas compared with 38 per cent for Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas. The survey found that 73 per cent support new elections if the national dialogue fails, but just 40 per cent support holding the elections in the West Bank only. Sixty-four per cent of Palestinians believe PA President Abbas' term should end in January, while 24 per cent believe he has another year. Seventy-four per cent supports continuing the Gaza ceasefire. (AFP, AP)


Electronic Intifada:

Friendship under occupation

09 Dec 2018 18:20