This day in the History of the 2nd Intifada

June 18 2001

2 Israelis killed.

Israeli-Palestinian clashes increase slightly. A faction of Fatah claims responsibility for the drive-by shooting deaths of 2 Jewish settlers in the West Bank. In response, the IDF reimposes the blockade on Silat al-Dahir, Tulkarm. The IDF dismantles roadblocks, eases restrictions on Halhul and Qalqilya, but sets up barriers on the Betin+n`Ayn Yabrud road, tightens the closure on Hebron, confiscates 10s of dunams of Palestinian land nr. Ofra settlement, conducts an arrest sweep in Aqraba. Most secondary routes in the West Bank remain sealed. Jewish settlers burn 10s of dunams of Palestinian fields in Luban al-Gharbiyya, raze agricultural land in al-Zawiya, assault 3 Palestinian children (ages 8, 11, 13) in Hebron. (PMC 6/18; MM, NYT, WP, WT 6/19; NYT, WJW 6/21; MEI 6/29)

A faction of Fatah claims responsibility for the drive-by shooting deaths of 2 Jewish settlers in the West Bank. Palestinians fire mortars at Israeli targets in Gaza, causing no damage. In Haifa, the IDF disables 4 pipe bombs discovered hidden in a motor bike.

28 survivors of the 1982 Sabra-Shatila massacre in Lebanon bring a war crimes case against Sharon before a Belgian court. Earlier this mo., 2 other survivors submitted a similar case to the same court. (REU 6/18; Guardian, HA, Independent, WP 6/19; MM 6/20; WJW 6/21; AFP [Internet] 6/26; WJW 6/28; MM 7/11; MEI 7/13, 7/27) (see Peace Monitor)

June 18 2002

3 Palestinians killed. 19 Israelis killed.

Late in the evening, as the IDF sends tanks troops into Jenin town and r.c. in response, imposing a curfew and firing on Palestinians who resist, the Israel cabinet convenes to discuss what further action to take. Afterward, Israel announces the launching of Operation Determined Path, under which "Israel will respond to acts of terror by capturing PA territory. . . . Additional acts of terror will lead to the taking of additional areas," which would be held indefinitely. During the day, the IDF assassinates Islamic Jihad student leader Yusif Bisharat in Hebron; raids the Nablus home of PLO Exec. Comm. mbr. and DFLP mbr. Taysir Khalid; shells residential areas of Gaza City, injuring 8; conducts arrest raids in villages around Jenin; bulldozes Palestinian agricultural land nr. Kefar Darom settlement. An elderly Palestinian dies of a heart attack when troops enter her Jenin home. An ailing Palestinian dies when the IDF bars his ambulance fr. crossing a checkpoint. Jewish settlers under the protection of IDF troops take over a building nr. the old city of Jerusalem. (AP, JP, LAW, MM 6/18; AFP, ATL, Interfax 6/18 in WNC 6/19; ATL 6/18, JT, al-Quds 6/19 in WNC 6/20; HP, LAW, MM, NYT, PCHR, UPMRC, WP, WT 6/19; WP 6/20; NYT 6/21; AYM 6/23 in WNC 6/26; MM 6/24, MEI 6/28; New Haven Register 7/3)

In light of the Jerusalem bombing, Bush postpones a speech outlining U.S. policy on the peace process, which he had planned to give today. (WP 6/19; NYT 6/20; AYM 6/20 in WNC 6/24) (see Quarterly Update)

A Hamas suicide bomber detonates a device on a bus in Jerusalem during morning rush hr., killing 18 Israeli Jews, 1 Israeli Arab, injuring 50.

June 18 2003

1 Palestinian killed.

The IDF fires on a Palestinian cell phone company car in Dayr al-Balah, wounding 2 company workers; demolishes 3 Palestinian homes nr. Rafah (also bulldozing 5 dunams of land), 1 in Jenin, 1 nr. Khan Yunis (also bulldozing 3 dunams of land), 1 nr. Nablus; bulldozes a Palestinian gas station in Silwan; conducts arrest raids in Askar r.c., Bayt Lahia, Bethlehem, Hebron; searches homes in Jenin, Qalqilya, Ramallah (including ransacking the home of a Palestinian-American family); fires on residential areas of Bayt Lahia; tightens the closure on Tulkarm. In Hebron, 6 IDF soldiers reportedly severely beat a Palestinian teenager, kicking him, hitting him with their rifle butts. A Palestinian dies of injuries received in the 6/10 attempted assassination of Rantisi, bringing that toll to 4. A Tel Aviv court sentences a 17-yr.-old Israeli Arab to 2 yrs. in jail for planning to carry out a suicide bombing; the court says the sentence is light because the boy turned himself in to authorities. (HA, HP 6/18; MENA 6/18 in WNC 6/20; LAW, PCHR, WT 6/19; PCHR 6/26)

Palestinians fire a Qassam rocket at Native Haasara moshav inside Israel, causing damage but no injuries.

June 18 2004

The IDF fires missiles at 2 metal workshops (suspected Hamas weapons factories) in Gaza City, destroying the buildings but causing no injuries. The IDF also bulldozes 77 dunams of agricultural land in Bayt Hanun, 37 dunams nr. Khan Yunis; demolishes 2 Palestinian homes in al-Qarara, 1 in Rafah; fires on residential areas of, conducts arrest raids in Askar r.c., then fires on stone-throwing Palestinians who confront the troops, wounding 4; raids residential areas nr. Dayr al-Balah, firing on homes, arresting several Palestinians, occupying and partially demolishing 1 house, destroying a fence and gas pipelines to a fuel station; conducts arrest raids in Hebron, Jenin, nr. Nablus. (HA, MA, MM, REU 6/18; VOI, VOP 6/18, VOI 6/19 in WNC 6/22; WP 6/20; PCHR 6/24)

The Palestinian Resistance Comms. (PRCs) fire a new Nasser 3 rocket, with a longer range than the Qassam 2, at Sederot, causing minor damage to a wall, garden shed; also fire 2 mortars at Gaza’s Kefar Darom settlement, causing no damage or injuries.

June 18 2005

1 Palestinian killed.

The IDF clashes with 4 mbrs. of the AMB, Islamic Jihad at an IDF outpost outside Gaza's Kefar Darom settlement, killing 1 Islamic Jihad mbr., wounding an AMB mbr., while the 2 other gunmen flee. The IDF also opens the Rafah crossing, with severe restrictions on who may cross, but otherwise continues to seal the Gaza Strip; raids a suspected Islamic Jihad weapons factory in Jenin, arrests 1 Islamic Jihad mbr.; conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Hebron, in Mughraqa, nr. Tulkarm; bulldozes 1 d. of Palestinian agricultural land bordering Kefar Darom. Around 30 armed Jewish settlers (young disengagement protesters who moved to Neve Dekalim in recent days) attack a group of Palestinians in al-Mawasi, beating 3, shooting and wounding 1; Israeli soldiers observe but do not intervene, delay the checkpoint crossing of an ambulance transporting the wounded man to the hospital. Jewish settlers fr. Kiryat Arba occupy 3 Palestinian stores in the Palestinian section of Hebron for use as a synagogue, uproot 33 olive trees, destroy a harvest of plums. (HA, XIN 6/18; VOI, VOP 6/18 in WNC 6/19; WP 6/20; OCHA, PR 6/22; PCHR 6/23; IMEMC 6/24)

Soon after Neve Dekalim beatings, Palestinians fire 4 mortars at Neve Dekalim, 1 rocket at Sederot, causing no damage or injuries.

June 18 2006

The IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Jenin, Nablus, in Bethlehem, and nr. Hebron; raids a hospital and al-Quds Open University campus nr. Hebron, holding medical personnel and students for ID checks; sends troops into Tubas, stopping and searching a PA security force vehicle, confiscating the vehicle but releasing the 2 officers. (HA 6/19; OSC 6/19 in WNC 6/20; NYT 6/20; PCHR 6/22)

Palestinians fire 2 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no injuries but temporarily cutting power to parts of Sederot. In an apparent assassination attempt, Fatah-affiliated PSF mbrs. fr. Khan Yunis ambush, fire on a car nr. Rafah driven by Izzeddin al-Qassam Brigades cmdr. Ala’ Radwan, who apparently is unharmed; Fatah, Hamas officials meet to discuss the incident.

June 18 2007

The U.S. and EU end their boycott on aid to and diplomatic contacts with Abbas’s PA, pledging to work with and support the emergency government. In Gaza, Hamas mbrs. on the Gaza side of the Erez crossing exchange fire with IDF soldiers on the Israeli side, trapping in the crossfire some 400 Palestinians hoping to leave Gaza, killing 1 Palestinian, wounding 11. Israel has allowed around 200 Fatah mbrs. to flee Gaza for the West Bank via Erez. Egypt reports that 344 Fatah security mbrs. have fled Gaza for Egypt; all will be repatriated to the West Bank. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Nablus, and nr. Hebron, Jenin; demolishes a Palestinian home in East Jerusalem. (AFP, MENA 6/18 in WNC 6/19; NYT, WP, WT 6/19; PCHR 6/21)

Clashes at Nahr al-Barid r.c. btwn. the Lebanese army, FI continue, with the army resuming shelling of the camp; at least 3 soldiers are reported killed. In `Ayn al-Hilwa r.c., 2 Jund al-Sham mbrs. are killed, 3 are injured when explosives they are handling detonate prematurely. (DS 6/19 in WNC 6/20; NYT, WP, WT 6/19)

June 18 2008

Four Palestinians were arrested when IDF soldiers entered the Jalazone refugee camp near Ramallah. Two other Palestinians were arrested in Hebron. (WAFA)

IDF troops closed the Nahal Oz fuel transfer terminal between Israel and the Gaza Strip because of Palestinians shooting at Israeli workers. No casualties were reported. (WAFA)

The Israeli army ordered the confiscation of land in the northern West Bank to build a new military base, according to Palestinian residents who received notification. In an order distributed to 12 residents of the northern district of Tubas, Israel's army commander for the West Bank said the military would take control of 92 acres of land until the year 2012. (AP)

Israel officially confirmed that an Egyptian-proposed ceasefire (tahadiyeh) with Palestinian militant groups in the Gaza Strip would go into effect on 19 June at 6 a.m. Israeli Government spokesman Mark Regev said, "If the fighting indeed ceases Thursday as planned, Israel will ease its blockade of Gaza next week". He said talks to release abducted IDF soldier Gilad Shalit would also intensify. "Thursday will be the beginning, we hope, of a new reality where Israeli citizens in the south will no longer be on the receiving end of continuous rocket attacks," Mr. Regev said, adding, "Israel is giving a serious chance to this Egyptian initiative and we want it to succeed." Israel Army Radio reported that Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni all approved the deal. Vice Premier Haim Ramon said, "The tahadiyeh is recognition of Hamas and a very serious blow to the Palestinian Authority and its leaders, who will negotiate to establish a joint government with Hamas." (Haaretz)

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said that the release of IDF soldier Gilad Shalit was an inseparable part of the ceasefire deal reached with Palestinian militant groups in the Gaza Strip. He also stressed that he had not and would not negotiate directly with "terrorist" elements. "We have no illusions. The calm is temporary and may be very short," Mr. Olmert said. "Hamas has not changed its skin. These are bloodthirsty and despicable terrorists who even today are doing all they can to harm Israeli civilians," he added. (Haaretz)

Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri said the implementation of the truce agreement would take place under Egyptian supervision, in conjunction with the beginning of a national reconciliation dialogue between Hamas and Fatah. (Ma'an News Agency)

The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, one of the Palestinian groups that had approved in principle the ceasefire with Israel, expressed reservations about the conditions of the truce ratified by Hamas and Israel. Saleh Nasser, a member of the Democratic Front's central committee, said that "partial solutions" would not help the ceasefire to succeed. He also said that having the ceasefire take effect before Gaza's borders were opened, while excluding the West Bank entirely, would hinder the agreement's implementation. (Ma'an News Agency)

The Saraya Al-Quds Brigades, the armed wing of Islamic Jihad, said it would commit to the ceasefire, but would respond if Israel violates the deal. The Brigades' spokesman, Abu Ahmad, said that the ceasefire would face a difficult beginning, as Israeli reconnaissance planes were still flying over the Gaza Strip. Meanwhile, Abu Mujahid, the spokesperson of the armed wing of the Popular Resistance Committees, said that his group would not get in the way of an agreement that would end the Israeli siege, but would respond to any Israeli violation. (Ma'an News Agency)

The following statement was issued by the Spokesperson for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon:
The Secretary-General welcomes the announced Israel/Gaza cessation of violence.
The Secretary-General hopes that these efforts will both provide security and an easing of the humanitarian situation in Gaza, and end rocket and mortar attacks against Israeli targets. He also hopes that this cessation of violence will lead to a controlled and sustained opening of the Gaza crossings for humanitarian and commercial purposes. The Secretary-General looks forward to all sides acting with care and responsibility in ensuring that this cessation of violence endures.
The Secretary-General congratulates Egypt on its persistent efforts to achieve calm through this agreement. (UN News Centre)

The League of Arab States welcomed the Egyptian-mediated truce between Israel and the Palestinians as a key step towards reconciliation between Palestinian factions. Hisham Youssef, Chief of Staff of the Secretary-General of the League of Arab States, Amre Moussa, said, "The calming is an important step which can pave the way for a development of the political situation on the Palestinian front," adding, "Palestinian unity was the only real guarantee ... for the creation of an independent Palestinian State". (AFP)

The EU Presidency, currently held by Slovenia, issued the following statement:
The Presidency of the EU welcomes the announcement of the agreed cessation of violence in the Gaza Strip and its surroundings. It commends the Government of Egypt for successful mediation efforts, and urges all the parties concerned to abide by the agreed cessation of violence.
The Presidency also welcomes the Israeli intention to progressively ease its restrictions on Gaza and reopen the crossings in and out of Gaza for both humanitarian reasons and commercial flows. The EU has repeatedly asserted its readiness to resume the border assistance mission at the Rafah crossing point as soon as conditions allow. The Presidency reiterates its call for the release of abducted Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit and supports the efforts to this end. (AFP, www.eu2008.si)

In Brussels, European Union External Relations Commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner welcomed Israel's confirmation of a ceasefire with Hamas. She said the EU was ready to resume its halted mission to control the Rafah border and the regular flow of aid and commercial goods into Gaza and bolster Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. (International Herald Tribune)

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner released the following statement:
I learned with satisfaction of Egypt's announcement that an agreement had been reached for a truce between Israel and Hamas. We welcome the efforts of the Egyptian authorities to obtain this result. Only a political solution can resolve the current crisis in Gaza.
This agreement will have to be reflected on the ground. It will have to lead to the complete cessation of violence and result in improvement in the humanitarian situation in Gaza through the reopening of crossing points as soon as possible. We hope that it will speed up the process of releasing our compatriot, Gilad Shalit.
The reintegration of the Gaza Strip into the peace process is indispensable to the establishment of lasting peace in the Middle East. I welcome in this regard President Abbas' initiatives to promote the unity of the Palestinians behind his peace endeavour.
A new spirit is pervading this region which has been plunged into mourning so many times: the Doha agreement on Lebanon, indirect talks between Syria and Israel, a humanitarian exchange between Israel and Hezbollah, and now the announcement of this truce in Gaza. These positive developments are of course still fragile and must be confirmed.
We hope that this more favourable climate will permeate the peace process between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and help accelerate the negotiations launched at Annapolis. These recent acts may in the end profoundly change the situation in the Middle East. France will offer every assistance to these peace efforts, to this wish for dialogue. It is in this framework that President Sarkozy will be visiting Israel and the Palestinian Territories from 22 to 24 June. (www.diplomatie.gouv.fr)

British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said, "Reports of a ceasefire in Gaza are very welcome for a region that has seen so much conflict in recent months. The Egyptians have done well to make this happen. … We hope that the militant groups now fulfil their commitment to stop firing rockets into Israel and that Israel will ease restrictions on Gaza as it has pledged, ensuring that important humanitarian aid and supplies can get through. The UK remains committed to helping Israel and the Palestinian Authority move towards agreement on a just and lasting peace." (www.fco.gov.uk)

The Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement: "The Egyptian-brokered accord provides for ending rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza and Israeli raids in the territory. In a few days Israel must also ease the economic blockade and authorize supplies of fuel and food to Gaza. … The chief thing now is to ensure observance of the accord and to go further by seeking resolution of the problems still outstanding, including the release of Corporal Gilad Shalit and reopening of the crossing at Rafah. It is very important that normalizing the situation around Gaza should be supplemented with progress on inter-Palestinian dialogue." (www.mid.ru)

Seven Qassam rockets were fired from Gaza, most of which struck open fields in the western Negev. One rocket caused light damage to a nearby greenhouse. Palestinian militants also opened fire on IDF troops operating near the Gaza- Israel border fence, but none were wounded. (Haaretz)

Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip fired 50 rockets towards Israel and Israel responded with air strikes in Gaza just hours before the truce was to take effect. The military said at least 40 rockets and 10 mortar shells had exploded in Israel by nightfall. Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for much of the rocket fire, saying it was to avenge Israeli air strikes that had killed 10 militants in the previous two days. Israel hit back with two more air strikes, wounding two Palestinians, according to Hamas security officials. (AP)

Former PA Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh said he would welcome PA President Abbas in the Gaza Strip. Speaking during a meeting with members of the PLC, Mr. Haniyeh confirmed that a ceasefire with Israel would go into effect on 19 June. Mr. Haniyeh also said, "If the Israelis violate the agreement, Palestinians will have the right to defend themselves but we need a national conformity for dealing with such issues under the brokering of Egypt and the factions had already agreed." He said that Egypt was working to extend the ceasefire to the West Bank. (Ma'an News Agency)

June 18 2009

The Israeli army arrested 15 Palestinians in Hebron, Bethlehem, Nablus and Tulkarm. (IMEMC)

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs confirmed that most of the infrastructure at the checkpoint at the southern entrance to Jericho City was removed on 15 June. Military personnel remain at the site, monitoring the checkpoint. The IDF announced that the removal of the checkpoint was part of the “goodwill measures authorized by the [Israeli] Minister of Defense.” (Ma’an News Agency, Reuters)

Israel’s Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor said that Prime Minister Netanyahu would not offer PA President Abbas what his predecessor, Ehud Olmert, had agreed to give him in concessions. He said that maintaining the status quo in the Palestinian territories was "not an option" for Israel. "The Palestinians must show that that they are undergoing a change that will lead to an accord. A Likud prime minister has said he accepts a demilitarized Palestinian state, and the question is now about which way Abu Mazen [President Abbas] will choose to take," he added. (Haaretz)

A group of extremist Israeli settlers attacked a 30-year-old Palestinian resident of East Jerusalem near Road No. 1, which separated East and West Jerusalem. He suffered a broken arm and several cuts and bruises. (IMEMC, Ma’an News Agency)

In an affidavit to the Military Court, Israeli Kfir Brigade Commander Col. Itai Virob said the IDF might use force against Palestinian detainees only when suspected of holding information crucial to the thwarting of a terror attack against Israel. Col. Virob had been previously reprimanded for testifying that the use of violence was acceptable against Palestinian detainees not directly involved in terror themselves. He outlined what seemed like an ethical code for Israeli security forces in the West Bank. (Ynetnews)

A Middle East peace deal was possible “within the year” if all sides agree to peaceful negotiations, Quartet Representative Tony Blair declared in comments on Al Jazeera's English Service to be aired on 19 June. He added that there was a “great sense of hope and expectation” in the Middle East. (AFP)

PA President Abbas would be visiting Syria and Saudi Arabia to brief those countries on his meetings with US President Obama and to have a united Arab position, the official spokesman of the PA Presidency Nabil Abu Rudeineh said. (WAFA)

The International Committee of the Red Cross said in a statement that it welcomed former US President Jimmy Carter’s handing of a letter from Gilad Shalit's family to Hamas. The ICRC's head of operations for the Middle East and North Africa said, "However, this cannot replace the regular and unconditional contacts with his family that Gilad Shalit is entitled to under international humanitarian law”. The statement said it regretted Hamas’ refusal to allow ICRC representatives to visit Mr. Shalit. (www.icrc.org)

Israeli Jerusalem Municipality workers were stoned as they distributed 33 home demolition orders in the Bustan neighbourhood of Silwan, in East Jerusalem. The Israeli workers were forced to leave the neighbourhood. (Ma’am News Agency)

The PA would release 20 detained Hamas members in the West Bank, and dozens of others in the coming days in a bid to create a positive atmosphere before the unity talks in Cairo, a senior Fatah official Ibrahim Abu An-Najjah said. (Ma’am News Agency)

NEWS

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