This day in the History of the 2nd Intifada

April 4 2001

When the PA negotiation team returns to Gaza, IDF troops fire on their convoy as it passes through the Erez crossing, injuring 2 bodyguards. The PA says the IDF attempted to assassinate the security chiefs; the IDF says troops thought they were being shot at fr. the convoy, "acted appropriately."

Meanwhile, Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue. In retaliation for Netzarim shelling, the IDF fires mortars at a PSF post in Gaza. The IDF also directs heavy machine gun fire at Palestinian residential areas of al-Mughraga. Nr. Hebron, a tank overturns, killing 5 IDF soldiers, injuring 1. The IDF bulldozes 4 more Palestinian homes in Anata; 4 in Hebron; 3 homes, a warehouse, an animal pen in Jinin; 1 home in Bethlehem. In Gaza, Jewish settlers fr. Gush Katif, Kefar Darom block Saladin Road, throw stones at Palestinian cars, threaten passengers with machine guns. (LAW, PMC 4/4; NYT 4/5; MM 4/6)

In Athens, Israel, the PA hold their 1st public high-level talks since Sharon took office. Israeli FM Peres, PA Planning M Shaath, PA Local Government M Saeb Erakat discuss the Jordanian-Egyptian nonpaper, agree to resume security talks. Peres reiterates Sharon's position that negotiations cannot resume until all Palestinian violence ceases but does not reject the nonpaper outright. (BBC, HA, MM 4/4; QA 4/4 in WNC 4/5; HA, MM, NYT, REU, WP 4/5; AYM 4/5 in WNC 4/6; QA 4/5 in WNC 4/12; MEI, MM 4/6) (see Peace Monitor)

This evening, senior PA, Israeli security officials hold talks at the home of U.S. Amb. Martin Indyk in Herzilya, Israel; a CIA official sits in as a "nonparticipant observer" (see 3/21). When the PA team returns to Gaza, IDF troops fire on their convoy as it passes through the Erez crossing, injuring 2 bodyguards. The PA says the IDF attempted to assassinate the security chiefs; the IDF says troops thought they were being shot at fr. the convoy, "acted appropriately." (BBC, HA 4/4; HA, MM, NYT, REU, WP 4/5; AYM 4/5 in WNC 4/6; MM, NYT, WP, WT 4/6; al-Quds 4/6 in WNC 4/9; MM 4/9; MA 4/9 in WNC 4/10; AYM 4/9, XIN 4/10 in WNC 4/11; QA 4/11 in WNC 4/14; MEI 4/20; DUS 4/27 in WNC 4/30)

With the escalation of Israeli-Palestinian violence, Jordan bans any demonstrations, public rallies in Amman, the scene of pro-Palestinian protests in recent mos. (REU 4/4; JT 4/5 in WNC 4/6)

Palestinians fire homemade mortars at Netzarim settlement, causing no damage.

April 4 2002

20 Palestinians killed. 4 Israelis killed.

Israel expands its offensive, briefly entering the Palestinian sector of Hebron; sending more tanks into Jenin r.c., Nablus. Heavy house-to-house fighting is reported in Bethlehem, Jenin r.c., with the IDF reportedly shelling areas of Jenin r.c. Palestinians report around 20 Palestinians dead in various locales; 4 IDF soldiers are also killed. The IDF says it has detained nearly 1,200 Palestinians since 3/29. The IDF continues to block Doctors without Borders, ICRC, PRCS fr. delivering critical supplies to hospitals in occupied Palestinian towns. (BBC 4/4; NYT, WP, WT 4/5; MEI 5/3)

Bush for the 1st time publicly demands that Israel halt incursions, withdraw fr. areas reoccupied since 3/29, halt settlement activity, but gives no time table; says Arafat is mostly to blame for the crisis; calls on "responsible Palestinian leaders" to step forward; announces he is sending Powell to the region. Sharon says Operation Defensive Shield will continue. (AP, MM 4/4; MM, NYT, WP, WT 4/5; MENA 4/5 in WNC 4/8; WP 5/6)

April 4 2003

The IDF ends its raid on Tulkarm r.c. after arresting Islamic Jihad head Anwar Aliyan, demolishing 1 Palestinian home; allows male residents to return. The IDF also imposes a 24-hr. curfew on Jenin, begins house-to-house searches there; fires on residential areas of Hebron; conducts arrest raids in Nussayrat r.c.; attacks a soccer team in Ramallah, beating the coach and players. (HA 4/4; PM, WT 4/5; LAW, PCHR 4/10)

April 4 2004

4 Palestinians killed.

Israel DM Mofaz says the comprehensive closure on the West Bank, Gaza that has been in place since the 3/22 Yasin assassination will be in place until early 5/04. The IDF closes the only entrance to Qalqilya, sets up several new checkpoints on the Qalqilya–Nablus road; raids Tulkarm r.c., fatally shoots wanted Izzeddin al-Qassam Brigades mbr. Khalid Kharwish in an apparent assassination, wounds 10 others, raids a hospital emergency room to arrest a critically wounded Palestinian militant; fatally shoots 3 unarmed Palestinian laborers who were apparently attempting to sneak across the Gaza border fence into Israel to find work; conducts arrest raids in Bethlehem; raids, shuts down the Arab Women’s Care Society in East Jerusalem, arresting several employees, confiscating records, seizing its bank accounts on the grounds that the group, licensed by the Israeli Interior Min. as a charitable society in 1994, is run by Hamas; blows up a Palestinian home in Tulkarm r.c.; bulldozes an area of land nr. Hebron, erects a new observation tower; fires on residential areas of Khan Yunis; conducts arrest raids, house searches in al-Bireh, Hebron, al-Khadir, Nablus. The IDF also begins work on a 2-km stretch of the separation wall btwn. Dahiyat al-Barid checkpoint n. of Jerusalem and the Qalandia checkpoint s. of Ramallah that will isolate, prevent the expansion of Dahiyat al-Barid and al-Ram. (al-Arabiyya TV 4/4 in WNC 5/7; WT 4/5; VOP 4/5 in WNC 4/7; NYT 4/6; PR 4/7; PCHR 4/8)

The PLF names Omar Shibli (Abu Ahmad) as secy.-gen., succeeding Muhammad Abbas who died in U.S. custody in Iraq on 3/9. (Daily Star 4/3; PR 4/7)

April 4 2005

The IDF demolishes 6 Palestinian homes in Bayt Hanina, East Jerusalem; severely beats a Palestinian shepherd herding his flock nr. the separation wall outside Hebron; conducts arrest raids, house searches in `Azun, Husan, Marda nr. Nablus, Nabi Elias nr. Qalqilya, al-Ras (drawing maps of several homes), al-Til; patrols inside Tubas. Israel posts an Israeli border police company nr. Yitzhar settlement to prevent settler violence against Palestinians. A Jewish settler fr. Kiryat Arba shoots, wounds a Palestinian farmer working his field nr. the settlement. Jewish settlers fr. Kiryat Arba, escorted by the IDF, begin leveling Palestinian land for construction of a bypass road. Jewish settlers fr. Keddumim bar 10s of Palestinian farmers fr. neighboring Kafr Qadim fr. reaching their agricultural land. (YA 4/4; OCHA 4/6; PCHR 4/7)

April 4 2006

1 Palestinian killed.

After Palestinians fire rockets fr. Gaza into Israel (causing no damage or injuries), the IDF launches Operation Southern Arrow (as warned on 3/30), making air strikes on a PA security compound (wounding 2 Palestinians; see 3/30) and Abbas’s helicopter pad in Gaza City, firing at least 30 shells at residential areas nr. the n. Gaza no-go zone (hitting 2 houses, killing 1 Palestinian and wounding at least 5), flying mock air raids over Gaza (repeatedly breaking the sound barrier), reducing the distance that artillery fire may be targeted nr. Palestinian homes fr. 300 m to 100 m. The IDF also recloses the Qarni commercial crossing; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Bethlehem, Dura, Nablus. (WP 4/5; VOP 4/5 in WNC 4/6; PCHR 4/6; HA 5/14)

According to the biography of fmr. Mossad chief Efraim Halevy, released today in Britain, just before Israel’s 1997 attempted assassination of Hamas political leader Khalid Mishal in Amman, King Hussein transmitted a message offering a 30-yr. cease-fire fr. Hamas to then Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu via a local Mossad rep. The message did not reach Netanyahu until after the hit was made. (JAZ 4/4)

April 4 2007

1 Palestinian killed.

IDF soldiers on the Gaza border fatally shoot an Islamic Jihad mbr. planting a roadside bomb nr. the border fence n. of Bayt Hanun, wounding 2 Palestinian farmers working a field nearby; troops briefly enter Gaza nr. Bayt Hanun to examine and dismantle the explosive device, but Israel says it was not meant as a breech of the cease-fire. The Israeli navy fires on Palestinian fishermen off the coast of Rafah, forcing them to return to shore. In the West Bank, the IDF shoots, wounds a Palestinian attempting to circumvent the Awarta checkpoint nr. Nablus; conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Jenin (exchanging gunfire with Palestinian gunmen, leaving 1 IDF soldier injured) and in ‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron, Nablus, Qalqilya. In addition, the Israeli Municipality of Jerusalem issues demolition orders for a playground and six houses in the Muslim Quarter of the Old City of Jerusalem on Palestinian land that has been sought by Jewish developers in order to build 30 homes, a synagogue, and a religious school for Jews only. In Rafah, 2 Palestinian children are injured when they accidentally trigger an unexploded IDF artillery shell. (Playgrounds for Palestine press release 4/4; PCHR, WP 4/5; OCHA 4/11; PCHR 4/12)

April 4 2008

The IDF sends troops into al-Bureij r.c., where they clash with local gunmen (wounding a Palestinian girl inside her home), shell a Palestinian home (causing extensive damage but no injuries), arrest 1 Palestinian, temporarily detain 2 children (ages 12, 17); bulldozes 40 d. of citrus trees inside the Gaza border e. of Bayt Hanun. In al-Qarara, 2 Palestinians are injured when explosives they are handling detonate prematurely. In the West Bank, the IDF fires rubber-coated steel bullets, percussion grenades, tear gas at Palestinian, Israeli, international activists taking part in the weekly nonviolent demonstration against the separation wall in Bil`in (10s suffer tear gas inhalation), beat Palestinian demonstrators at a similar demonstration in al-Masara nr. Bethlehem (injuring 2 children, ages 6 and 7). (HA 4/4; NYT, WP, WT 4/5; OCHA, PCHR 4/9)

Palestinian gunmen in n. Gaza shoot across the border at an Israeli government delegation leading a Canadian group on a tour of Sederot, seriously wounding an aide to Israel’s Public Security M Avi Dichter; the IDF returns fire, causing no reported injuries; several Palestinian groups claim responsibility including the AMB, Hamas, and 2 little-known Islamist groups: the Army of the Nation and Protectors of the Homeland (which claims to be inspired by al-Qa`ida).

In Nablus, 12 AMB mbrs. who had agreed to remain in PA custody overnight as part of a 7/07 amnesty deal with Israel flee Jnaid prison, claiming they were severely beaten by PA security forces; they refuse to return to the jail but pledge to respect the cease-fire.

April 4 2009

2 Palestinians killed.

IDF troops shot and killed two Palestinians as they approached Gaza’s border with Israel. Troops had shot at several gunmen in northern Gaza that morning, killing two. Several weapons and an explosive device were found at the scene. No one claimed responsibility for the attack. (BBC, Haaretz)

A 14-year-old Palestinian boy from Qalqilya was shot in the head by a rubber-coated steel bullet during an Israeli incursion into the city and was reported in critical condition. (IMEMC)

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