This day in the History of the 2nd Intifada

May 25 2001

1 Israeli killed.

In retaliation for Gaza suicide attempt, the IDF demolishes a PA police station, shells residential areas of Rafah. Fatah activist Azzam `Abd al-Fatah Mezher is killed, 5 Fatah mbrs. are wounded when their car explodes. Israel says a grenade they were carrying exploded; the PA claims it is an assassination. (NYT, WP, WT 5/26; WT 5/27; MM 5/29; MEI 6/1; PCHR 6/4)

Lebanese celebrating the 1st anniversary of Israel's withdrawal fr. the south stage demonstrations along the blue line. A demonstrator is wounded when he tries to climb the border fence and is shot by IDF troops. (WP 5/26)

As Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue, 2 Islamic Jihad suicide bombers detonate a car bomb in Hadera, Israel, wounding 67. A Hamas suicide bomber attempts to ram an IDF post in Gaza, but soldiers fire on his approaching vehicle, detonating it.

May 25 2002

3 Palestinians killed.

The IDF sends troops, APCs into Bethlehem, reoccupying most of the city, directing shells and heavy machine gun fire at residential areas, demolishing the home of senior Islamic Jihad mbr. Muhammad Shihada; troops still hold most of Bethlehem at nightfall. The IDF also fires tank shells, machine guns a Palestinian mother, daughter working their farm nr. the Gaza border with Israel, killing them; the IDF says they were in a prohibited area. Denied passage by the IDF, a Palestinian woman gives birth at a checkpoint; the baby dies. The IDF withdraws to the outskirts of Tulkarm r.c.; at least 9 more IDF soldiers have been injured in the operation since the fatal ambush on 5/24. The IDF imposes curfews on Palestinian villages along the Green Line nr. Qalqilya, Tulkarm. (AFP, NYT, WP, WT 5/26; WP 5/27; LAW 5/29; PCHR 5/30; MEI 5/31)

An "intense debate" is reportedly underway among U.S. Pres. George W. Bush and his senior advisers over whether to press for Arafat's removal. Arafat adviser Muhammad Rashid, in Washington for several days for a low-key meetings with U.S. officials at the CIA, Pentagon, State Dept. and with Jewish leaders, argues that Arafat is central to the peace process. (NYT 5/26)

May 25 2003

The IDF continues operations in Bayt Hanun (demolishing 2 factories), Tulkarm r.c. and town; demolishes 1 Palestinian home outside Gaza City, 1 in Hebron; bulldozes 25 dunams nr. Khan Yunis; conducts arrest raids in al-Khadir. Palestinians report that since 5/22, the IDF has bulldozed 232 dunams of land s. of Gaza City, btwn. al-Mintar crossing and Shuhada Junction. (HP 5/26; LAW, PCHR 5/29)

After 6 hrs. of debate, Sharon’s cabinet narrowly approves (12-7, with 4 abstentions) “the steps set out in the road map,” but attaches 14 reservations as conditions. (JT, MA 5/25, Arab News, AYM, QA 5/26 in WNC 5/27; NYT, WP, WT 5/26; AYM 5/26, QA 5/27 in WNC 5/28; HA, MM 5/27; SARR 5/27, THWR, TSHR 5/28 in WNC 7/1; MM, PR 5/28; al-Quds 5/28 in WNC 5/30; Syria Times 5/28 in WNC 7/2; WJW 5/29; MEI 5/30; THWR, TSHR 5/31 in WNC 7/10; JPI 6/6)

May 25 2004

The IDF conducts predawn arrest raids, house searches in Jenin, several villages around Bethlehem and Hebron; raids a bakery nr. Jerusalem, arresting 5 Palestinian workers fr. `Ayn Bayt al-Ma’ r.c. nr. Nablus; bulldozes 95 dunams of land along a settler bypass road between Karni crossing and Shuhada Junction nr. Gaza City, 12 dunams outside Khan Yunis. (MENA 5/25 in WNC 5/27; PCHR 5/27)

May 25 2005

The IDF fires on Palestinian residential areas of Khan Yunis, wounding a 13-yr.-old Palestinian boy; fires on stone-throwing youths in Hebron, wounding 1 in the buttocks with live ammunition; shells a newly completed, uninhabited Palestinian home nr. Hebron, causing serious damage; conducts house searches in and around Hebron, interrogates residents aged 13–25 in Hebron's Bab al-Zawiyya neighborhood. (IMEMC 5/25; PCHR 5/26; OCHA 6/1; PCHR 6/2)

May 25 2006

The IDF continues bulldozing operations begun on 5/24, just inside the Gaza border nr. Bureij r.c.; sends troops into Tulkarm to raid the Social Sport Club, confiscating computers, files, photos and sealing the venue; conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Nablus and nr. Hebron, Tulkarm. (XIN 5/25; WP 5/26; OCHA, PCHR 6/1)

In response to the IDF killing of 4 Palestinians in Ramallah on 4/24, al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade (AMB) mbrs. fire 2 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. Fatah and PA security forces exchange fire with Hamas mbrs. following the funeral for Hudud in Gaza City, leaving 1 PA security officer dead, several wounded.

May 25 2007

1 Palestinian killed.

Overnight and during the day, the IDF makes air strikes on 6 Hamas and ESF targets across Gaza, killing at least 2 Hamas mbrs. and wounding 5 bystanders at a rocket launching site in n. Gaza, and hitting a guard post nr. Haniyeh’s Shati’ r.c. residence for a 2d day (wounding 3 bystanders); other targets are located in Jabaliya r.c., Khan Yunis, and Nussayrat r.c. (leaving a total of 7 bystanders wounded). A 7th IDF air strike targets a PA presidential guard post nr. Gaza City, causing no casualties. The IDF also shoots, wounds a Palestinian woman who strays nr. the border fence nr. Bayt Lahiya. In the West Bank, the IDF demolishes a Palestinian home in Qabatya; raids areas of Hebron, Jericho, withdrawing without making arrests; fires rubber-coated steel bullets, percussion grenades, tear gas at Palestinian, Israeli, international peace activists demonstrating in Bil`in against the separation wall, injuring 6 and also barring journalists fr. reaching the site. (NYT, WP, WT 5/26; OCHA 5/30; PCHR 5/31)

Expedited U.S. military aid (including munitions, night-vision gear, body armor) begins reaching Lebanon, with 5 U.S. military transport planes landing in Beirut. The Lebanese army occasionally shells, fires on FI positions inside Nahr al-Barid r.c., but the undeclared cease-fire generally holds. (At least 70% of residents have vacated the camp, with the Lebanese government and army encouraging the remainder to leave.) (BBC 5/25; WP, WT 5/26)

Hamas fires 6 rockets toward Israel, lightly injuring 3 Israelis, causing light damage.

May 25 2008

The IDF attacked and wounded five activists demonstrating against the separation wall, and arrested three others during a peaceful demonstration in the West Bank village of Bi'lin, local sources said. The IDF troops fired tear gas, sonic grenades and rubber coated bullets at civilians, including international activists, wounding five of them. Three participants were arrested, including two internationals. (WAFA)

The IDF seized three Palestinian youths from the northern West Bank village of Zeita, north of Tulkarm. (Ma'an News Agency)

In Cairo, Amos Gilad, a senior aide to Israel's Defence Minister Ehud Barak, met Egyptian Intelligence Chief Omar Suleiman for the latest round of talks with Egyptian mediators attempting to forge a truce with Hamas. (AFP)

Palestinian officials close to peace talks said that Israel had offered a West Bank withdrawal map that leaves about 8.5 per cent of the territory in Israeli hands, less than a previous plan, but still more than the Palestinians were ready to accept. Saeb Erakat, Head of the Negotiations Affairs Department of the PLO, and other PA officials, however, said that the report was unsubstantiated. Meanwhile, PA President Abbas was quoted as saying that the negotiations had achieved no progress since they were restarted last November. (The Jerusalem Post)

Former US President Jimmy Carter said that the United Kingdom and other European Governments should break from the US over the international embargo on the Gaza Strip. Mr. Carter described the EU position on the Israeli-Palestinian dispute as "supine" and its failure to criticize the Israeli blockade of Gaza as "embarrassing". He said that the blockade on Gaza, imposed by the US, EU, UN and Russia after the Hamas election victory in 2006, was one of the greatest human rights crimes on Earth, since it meant the imprisonment of 1.6 million people, 1 million of whom were refugees. "Most families in Gaza are eating only one meal per day. To see Europeans going along with this is embarrassing," Carter said. He called on the EU to reassess its stance if Hamas agreed to a ceasefire in Gaza. "Let the Europeans lift the embargo and say we will protect the rights of Palestinians in Gaza, and even send observers to Rafah gate [Gaza's crossing into Egypt] to ensure the Palestinians don't violate it." (The Guardian)

A group calling themselves the Abu Ammar Brigades, a military wing of Fatah, claimed responsibility for launching one homemade projectile at the Israeli town of Sderot. Separately the Al-Quds Brigades, the military wing of Islamic Jihad, claimed responsibility for launching two rockets at Sderot. (Ma'an News Agency)

May 25 2009

1 Palestinian killed.

Israeli Air Force planes dropped pamphlets over the Gaza Strip warning residents to stay away from the border with Israel. Pamphlets in Arabic warned Gazans to stay out of areas 300 to 500 metres from the electric border fence, saying they risked being shot. Leaflets included maps showing areas which the Palestinians were not allowed access. Israeli sources reported that the restricted areas extended from the north to the south of the Gaza Strip. The IDF had no comment although it had scattered similar warning pamphlets in the past. (AP, Haaretz, IMEMC)

The Israeli army shot and wounded three Palestinians aged between 15 and 16 with live ammunition during clashes with Israeli forces that had invaded the Nur Shams refugee camp near Tulkarem. (IMEMC)

The Israeli army held up the Mufti of Jerusalem, Sheikh Muhammad Hussein, at the Qalandiya checkpoint between Jerusalem and Ramallah, because he had refused to answer questions or allow his belongings to be searched by Israeli officers. The Efta council of muftis condemned the incident as a “dangerous and disrespectful action against all religious men”. (Ma’an News Agency)

The Israeli army arrested a Palestinian near the “Gush Etzion” settlement in the vicinity of Bethlehem. According to the army, the man was transporting three “Molotov cocktails” in his car. At least eight “wanted” Palestinians were arrested in Nablus, Qalqiliya, Hebron and Ramallah. (IMEMC, Ma’an News Agency)

Three Israeli ministers belonging to the Labour party declared their intention to appeal the approval by a ministerial panel of a law to ban ceremonies marking Israel’s Independence Day as a “Nakba” or catastrophe. They stated that “this law would increase the isolationism and alienation in society and will strengthen the extremist minority among Israeli Arabs”. (Haaretz)

Israeli opposition leader Tzipi Livni called the Road Map “bad” for Israel, in the wake of Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman’s repeated statements in support of the plan. Ms. Livni said that Israel should rather opt for the Annapolis parameters launched in 2007 which stipulate direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. (Haaretz)

A 12-month-old Palestinian infant with a serious heart condition, Muhammad Rami Ibrahim Nofal, died at Gaza’s Khan Yunis hospital as a result of for lack of a permit to receive medical treatment abroad. His death brought to 337 the number of Palestinians who have died as a result of the closure of the Gaza Strip. (IMEMC, Ma’an News Agency)

The newly appointed PA Minister for Jerusalem Affairs, Hatem Abdel Khader, released a statement noting that he favoured transferring control of the Temple Mount (Al Haram Al Sharif) to the 57-member Organization of the Islamic Conference. (Haaretz)

PA President Abbas said that he would focus on Israel’s refusal to stop the building of settlements during talks with US President Obama. He ruled out restarting peace talks until Israel commits itself to the creation of a Palestinian State and halts the expansion of its settlements. “We are aware of Mr. Netanyahu’s positions and I’m not going to engage on this subject through the media. This is one of the main issues I’ll take with me to Washington”, Mr. Abbas told reporters. (Haaretz, IMEMC, The Jerusalem Post, Ma’an News Agency, Reuters)

A United States Congressional delegation said in Jerusalem that it was “skeptical” that Prime Minister Netanyahu’s Government would be able to move forward the peace process with the Palestinians. The five-person delegation from the sub-committee on the Middle East posed tough questions to Israeli representatives on construction in West Bank settlements and protested Israel’s intention to continue building to accommodate “natural growth”. They also expressed great concern over the siege of Gaza, noting that the civilian population was suffering greatly from a lack of food and medicine. (Haaretz)

France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy stated that establishing an independent Palestinian State is a “legitimate right”, adding that “no one would think seriously about peace in the Middle East without giving the Palestinians a State they have been persevering for years. It is their legitimate right.” Mr. Sarkozy added that Israel must stop settlement construction activity in the West bank “as it hinders peace” in the region”. (, Ma’an News Agency)

Members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference concluded their 36th session in Damascus. During the three-day meeting, they criticized Israel but said that they were open to better ties if Israel took steps towards a “just and comprehensive” Middle East peace deal, adding that “we must not reward Israel for its crimes”. They stated that “it should be affirmed that any progress on ties must be linked to how much the Israeli position represents a commitment to a just and comprehensive peace that guarantees the restoration of rights and occupied land”. (Reuters,

It was reported that some 200 American and dozens of European solidarity activists were expected to arrive in June to hold a major sit-in on the Egyptian side of the Rafah crossing. The activists would erect a large tent where they will stay protesting against the closure of the Rafah crossing by Egypt and demand that it be opened permanently “in order to ease the Gazan people’s suffering”. (Ma’an News Agency)


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