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  • Author: Mouin Rabbani
  • Publication Date: 01-2013
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: Khalid al-Batsh, a senior official of Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Gaza chair of the “Freedom Committee,” established under the Fatah-Hamas reconciliation agreement of May 2011, was interviewed in Cairo by Mouin Rabbani on 11 July 2012. The interview from which the following excerpts were taken covered a range of issues, including the impact of the “Arab Spring” on the Palestinians, the situations in Egypt and Syria, Islamic Jihad's relations with Fatah and Hamas, and prospects for reform of the Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organization. The excerpts below directly concern Islamic Jihad and Palestine. The complete interview in Arabic was published by JPS's sister journal, Majallat al-Dirasat al-Filastiniyya, no. 93 (Winter 2013), pp. 122–37.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Palestine, Gaza
  • Author: Nicolas Pelham
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: This article traces the extraordinary development of Gaza's tunnel phenomenon over the past decade in response to Israel's economic asphyxiation of the small coastal enclave. It focuses on the period since Hamas's 2007 takeover of the Strip, which saw the industry's transformation from a clandestine, makeshift operation into a major commercial enterprise, regulated, taxed, and bureaucratized. In addition to describing the particulars of the tunnel complex, the article explores its impact on Gaza's socioeconomic hierarchy, strategic orientation, and Islamist rule. The larger geopolitical context, especially with regard to Israel, the Sinai Peninsula, and the Nile Valley, is also discussed. The author argues that contrary to the intentions of its architects, the siege precipitated the reconfiguration of Gaza's economy and enabled its rulers to circumvent the worst effects of the blockade.
  • Political Geography: Israel, Gaza
  • Author: Tamer Qarmout, Daniel Beland
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: International aid to the Palestinian Authority is conditioned in part on democratization and good governance. However, since Hamas' victory in the 2006 Palestinian Legislative Council elections and its takeover of the Gaza Strip, aid agencies have supported the international boycott of the Hamas government. This article argues that aid agencies, by operating in Gaza while boycotting its government, subvert their mandates and serve the political interests of donors and the PA rather than the humanitarian and development needs of Gazans. As a consequence, assistance has, inadvertently and unintentionally, increased Gazans' dependence on humanitarian aid, impeded economic development, and enabled Israel to maintain its occupation and the blockade of Gaza.
  • Political Geography: Palestine, Gaza
  • Author: Sara Roy
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: Palestinian life in Gaza and the West Bank is defined by Israel's oppressive occupation, and this will not change until the occupation ends. Yet, after more than two and a half decades of research and writing on Israeli-Palestinian issues, I remain stunned by the lack of attention, indeed aversion, to context as an explanatory variable. By stripping issues and events of their current and historical framework, many scholars have failed to address the human dimensions of the occupation, which are central to understanding political, economic, and social behavior among Palestinians. Instead, dominant and essentialzing conceptualizations of the conflict that ignore Palestinian suffering and the reasons for it are constantly produced and reproduced despite their failure to illuminate or resolve. And in Palestine specifically these defining and recycled paradigms are further characterized by a willingness to legitimize Israel's occupation as long as there is no accepted agreement to end it. Even the word "occupation" seems to have been expunged from the lexicon of the conflict as irrelevant and obsolete.
  • Political Geography: Israel, Palestine, Gaza
  • Author: Nubar Hovsepian
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: Sara Roy's new book on the relationship between the social and political spheres in Gaza is meticulously researched and clearly written. As always, Roy manages to give voice and agency to Palestinians individually and collectively. Roy combines scholarly rigor and moral clarity to examine and challenge "the conventional frame that defines Hamas only as a terrorist organization". She avoids simple binaries of religious versus secular. Instead, she identifies the role of Islamic-inspired organizations in creating civic space that promotes civism to cement and consolidate society, economy, and polity. But she quickly warns that the Islamist movement in Gaza is not homogeneous, but rather highly variegated. The social institutions in Gaza did not so much seek to widen their religious congregations as to create "civic communities" through incremental reform couched in a cultural and universal discourse that is not limited by religious terms.
  • Political Geography: Palestine, Gaza
  • Author: Gil Anidjar
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: Some binary oppositions-the stuff of much scholarly work way back when-remain difficult to undo. These days we may think more readily in terms of exception or emergency, but the underlying logic, the deictic (or denunciatory) procedure, persists. Now is the moment to act. Or it was all happening then. Over there is where the problem lies. If only these people stopped making trouble. A concomitant, and equally pervasive, habit of thought has to do with the conviction that, if not a god, the plural will save us now. A strange response to "essentialism," and no doubt a symptom of its "unfinished project," we think ourselves safer in the vicinity of the many than in that of the one. There is a Right and there is a Left. There is liberalism and there is religiosity. And there is a profusion of modernities, countless capitalisms, and very many kinds of colonialisms.
  • Political Geography: Israel, Gaza
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: Nowhere is the relationship between environmental protection and social justice displayed more clearly than between Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories. The Israeli government takes great care to guarantee that its citizens enjoy the benefits of a clean and comfortable environment. The opposite is true in the occupied West Bank and Gaza, over which Israel has maintained ultimate control for almost 45 years. There, Israel has instituted an exploitative regime that disregards the needs of the local population and ignores the occupier's responsibility as a custodian of the environment as stipulated by the Geneva Conventions. This is particularly evident in how Israel distributes water, permits the environmentally destructive behavior of Israeli settlers and prevents Palestinian development on the land it directly controls.
  • Political Geography: Israel, Palestine, Gaza
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: This small sample of photos, selected from hundreds viewed by JPS, aims to convey a sense of the situation on the ground in the occupied territories during the quarter.
  • Political Geography: Palestine, Gaza, Syria
  • Author: Geoffrey Aronson
  • Publication Date: 08-2012
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: This section covers items-reprinted articles, statistics, and maps-pertaining to Israeli settlement activities in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights. Unless otherwise stated, the items have been written by Geoffrey Aronson for this section or drawn from material written by him for Report on Israeli Settlement in the Occupied Territories (hereinafter Settlement Report), a Washington-based bimonthly newsletter published by the Foundation for Middle East Peace. JPS is grateful to the foundation for permission to draw on its material.
  • Political Geography: Washington, Middle East, Gaza
  • Author: Geoffrey Aronson
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: This section covers items—reprinted articles, statistics, and maps—pertaining to Israeli settlement activities in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights. Unless otherwise stated, the items have been written by Geoffrey Aronson for this section or drawn from material written by him for Report on Israeli Settlement in the Occupied Territories (hereinafter Settlement Report), a Washington-based bimonthly newsletter published by the Foundation for Middle East Peace. JPS is grateful to the foundation for permission to draw on its material.
  • Political Geography: Washington, Israel, Jerusalem, Gaza
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: A1. United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and World Food Program (WFP), Report on the Humanitarian Impact of Israeli-Imposed Restrictions on Access to Land and Sea in the Gaza Strip, Executive Summary, Jerusalem and Gaza, August 2010 (excerpts). A2. International Crisis Group (ICG), Report on Palestinian Security Reform under Occupation, Ramallah, Jerusalem, Washington, Brussels, 7 September 2010 (excerpts). A3. World Bank, "The Underpinnings of the Future Palestinian State: Sustainable Growth and Institutions," Executive Summary, Washington, 21 September 2010. A4. United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC), Report by International Fact-Finding Mission to Investigate the Israeli Attacks on the Humanitarian Aid Flotilla Bound for Gaza, Geneva, 27 September 2010 (excerpts). A5. Synod of Middle East Catholic Bishops, Concluding Statement, Vatican City, 24 October 2010 (excerpts).
  • Topic: Humanitarian Aid, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Washington, Israel, Jerusalem, Gaza, Brussels
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: C1. Professors Ephraim Ya'ar and Tamar Hermann, August 2010 Israeli Peace Index Poll Summary, Tel Aviv, 19 August 2010 (excerpts). C2. The Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), "Unsafe Space: The Israeli Authorities' Failure to Protect Human Rights amid Settlements in East Jerusalem," Jerusalem, September 2010 (excerpts). C3. Gisha Legal Center for Freedom of Movement, Factors Contradicting Israeli Government Assertions Regarding the Easing of the Gaza Closure, Tel Aviv and Jaffa, 20 September 2010.
  • Political Geography: Israel, Gaza
  • Author: Michele K. Esposito, Michele K. Esposito
  • Publication Date: 12-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: 16 August–15 November 2010 16 AUGUST As the quarter opens, Israel has eased (as of 6/2010) its blockade on Gaza, replacing the blanket ban on imports with two lists of prohibited and regulated items, allowing in more (and more varied) food items, construction materials, and commercial goods, but keeping imports only slightly above subsistence and continuing to bar exports. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) enforces a 300-meter-deep no-go zone inside the full length of the Gaza border and limits the Palestinian fishing zone off Gaza to 500–1,000 m off the immediate Bayt Lahiya (northern) and Rafah (southern) coasts, and 3 nautical miles elsewhere—placing 17% of Gaza's total landmass, including 35% of its viable agricultural areas, and 85% of the maritime areas allocated under the Oslo accords off-limits to Palestinians. In the West Bank, Israel's easing of restrictions on Palestinian movement between major population centers (which began in summer 2009) continues, and IDF operations are relatively few. Today, IDF troops on the s. Gaza border e. of Khan Yunis fire on a group of Islamic Jihad mbrs. burying explosive devices nr. the border fence, killing 1 Islamic Jihad mbr.; the Palestinians return fire, lightly wounding 1 IDF soldier. Hrs. later, unidentified Palestinians fire 2 Qassam rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in al-'Arub refugee camp (r.c.) and 2 villages nr. Hebron. Jewish settlers fr. Shvut Rachel nr. Nablus uproot 100 nearby Palestinian olive trees. Israel's Housing Min. approves construction of a new settler-only bypass road to link Ma'ale Adumim settlement e. of Jerusalem with the new E1 settlement area in East Jerusalem; explaining the decision, the Housing Min. states that “the decision to freeze construction in [West Bank settlements] does not include services for existing structures.” (JP, YA 8/16; NYT 8/17; PCHR 8/19; OCHA 8/20) 17 AUGUST In the morning, members of the Palestinian Popular Resistance Comm. (PRCs), retaliating for the death of an Islamic Jihad mbr. on 8/16, fire 2 mortars across the s. Gaza border at IDF troops operating inside Israel, lightly injuring 2; the IDF returns fire but no injuries are reported. Late in the evening, the IDF responds with 6 air strikes targeting a deserted house near the c. Gaza border e. of Gaza Valley village (destroying it, a well, and damaging a nearby factory) and several smuggling tunnels on the Rafah border, causing no injuries. During the day, IDF troops make a brief incursion in to s. Gaza to level lands e. of Abassan to clear lines of sight; fire warning shots at Palestinians staging a nonviolent march to the Erez crossing to protest Israel's imposition of a no-go zone along the border, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, Jewish settlers fr. Karnei Shomron settlement nr. Qalqilya stone passing Palestinian vehicles, causing no injuries. An Israeli court rules that Israel is responsible for the 1/2007 death of a 10-yr.-old Palestinian girl who was fatally shot by Israeli border police while observing a Palestinian demonstration from a distance; the border police alleged she was hit by a rock thrown by protesters, but the court finds that “there cannot be any dispute . . . that Abir was hit by a rubber bullet fired by border police, meaning the fire was conducted either due to negligence or violation of the rules of engagement.” (JP 8/17; AFP 8/18; PCHR 8/19; OCHA 8/20) Lebanon passes a law granting the country's approximately 400,000 Palestinian refugees the same rights to work as other foreigners and giving them access to social security benefits, easing decades of restrictions that had barred them from all but menial jobs. (NYT 8/18) (see Quarterly Update for details) 18 AUGUST In the West Bank, the IDF makes a late-night incursion into Issawiyya outside Jerusalem, taking over a hilltop and firing into the air; no casualties are reported. (PCHR 8/19, 8/26; OCHA 8/27) 19 AUGUST In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron. (PCHR 8/26; OCHA 8/27) 20 AUGUST U.S. Secy. of State Hillary Clinton announces that the U.S. will host Palestinian Authority (PA) Pres. Mahmud Abbas and Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington on 9/2 for their 1st face-to-face peace negotiations since late 2008, with the U.S. believing a final status deal could be reached within a yr. The Quartet simultaneously issues a statement reiterating its endorsement of direct talks toward a final agreement that “ends the occupation which began in 1967” and results in the creation of a Palestinian state; calls on “both sides to observe calm and restraint, and to refrain from provocative actions and inflammatory rhetoric.” Netanyahu's office quickly welcomes the proposal. (AP 8/20; NYT, WP 8/21) (see Quarterly Update for details) Palestinians (accompanied by Israeli and international activists in some locations) hold weekly nonviolent demonstrations against the separation wall, land confiscations, and settlement expansion in Bil'in, Ni'lin, al-Ma'sara, and Dayr Nizam/Nabi Salih. IDF soldiers fire rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at the protesters; 10s suffer tear gas inhalation, and 1 Norwegian activist is arrested. (PCHR 8/26; OCHA 8/27) 21 AUGUST No Israeli-Palestinian violence is reported. (PCHR 8/26; OCHA 8/27) 22 AUGUST In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Bidya village nr. Salfit at midday and in Qalqilya and Rafat w. of Salfit in the evening without making any arrests; conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Qalqilya in the evening, nr. Ramallah late at night. Jewish settlers escorted by IDF troops enter Nablus to pray at Joseph's Tomb. (PCHR 8/26; OCHA 8/27) 23 AUGUST Abbas accepts the 8/20 U.S. invitation to open direct talks with Israel in Washington on 9/2 but states that “If Israel resumes settlement activities in the Palestinian territories, including Jerusalem, we cannot continue negotiations.” (NYT, WT 8/24) (see Quarterly Update for details) In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Tubas. The IDF also forces 3 Palestinian families to demolish their homes in the Jerusalem suburb of Sur Bahir, displacing 21 individuals; Jewish settlers raid a Palestinian home nr. Tulkarm, hold the family hostage inside while they burn 5 dunams (d.; 4 d. = 1 acre) of agricultural land. (PCHR 8/26; OCHA 8/27) 24 AUGUST IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire warning shots at Palestinians scavenging for construction materials in the fmr. Jewish settlement sites nr. the border, causing no injuries. IDF troops make a brief incursion into n. Gaza nr. Bayt Lahiya, patrolling the border area without incident. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Azun village nr. Qalqilya in the afternoon without incident; sends undercover units in vehicles with Palestinian license plates into Bayt Umar village nr. Hebron, where they raid a home and arrest 1 Palestinian; conducts late-night house searches in Tulkarm and nr. Bethlehem and Salfit, arresting 1 Palestinian and summoning others for interrogation. (PCHR 8/26; OCHA 8/27) 25 AUGUST Israel increases industrial fuel imports to Gaza, allowing Gaza's electricity plant to run on 2 turbines instead of 1 for the first time since 2/2010, cutting rolling power outages across the Strip from 8–12 hrs./day to 4–6 hrs./day. Unidentified Palestinians fire a mortar fr. n. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. Twice during the morning, IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire warning shots at Palestinians scavenging for construction materials in the fmr. Jewish settlement sites nr. the border, wounding 1. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 3 villages nr. Jenin, 1 village nr. Ramallah, 1 village nr. Salfit late at night without conducting searches or making arrests; conducts synchronized late-night arrest raids, house searches in 3 other villages nr. Ramallah. During the day in Ramallah, plainclothes PA security forces (PASF) and/or general intelligence officers break up a meeting of 200 Palestinian opposition figures convened to draft a statement protesting Abbas's 8/23 decision to resume direct negotiations with Israel; uniformed PASF officers waiting outside the venue question the participants as they leave (see Quarterly Update for details). (AP, YA 8/25; PCHR 8/26; OCHA 8/27; HA 8/30; WT 9/1; PCHR 9/2; OCHA 9/3) 26 AUGUST In the West Bank, the IDF conducts patrols without incident in 3 villages nr. Tulkarm and 1 nr. Jericho during the day, and in 2 villages nr. Salfit and 1 nr. Qalqilya late at night. Jewish settlers attempt to break into al-'Ayn Mosque in Silwan in East Jerusalem but are confronted by Palestinians and removed by Israeli security forces. (PCHR 9/2; OCHA 9/3) 27 AUGUST In the West Bank, the IDF conducts daytime patrols in Azun nr. Qalqilya and Taybeh nr. Ramallah without incident. Palestinians (accompanied by Israeli and international activists in some locations) hold weekly nonviolent demonstrations against the separation wall, land confiscations, and settlement expansion in Bil'in, Ni'lin, al-Ma'sara, and Dayr Nizam/Nabi Salih. IDF soldiers fire rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at the protesters; 10s suffer tear gas inhalation, 6 Palestinians (including 1 journalist) and 1 American activist are injured, and 4 Palestinian paramedics and 2 Israeli activists are arrested (all are released the same day). Senior Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) officials take part in the Bil`in demonstration to commemorate the 9th anniversary of the assassination of PFLP Secy. Gen. Abu Ali Mustafa. Jewish settlers fr. Suissa settlement nr. Hebron stone and beat Palestinian shepherds grazing flocks nr. the settlement. (PCHR 9/2; OCHA 9/3) 28 AUGUST IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire warning shots at Palestinians scavenging for construction materials in the fmr. Jewish settlement sites nr. the border, wounding 2 Palestinians and 2 donkeys. Late at night, the IDF sends troops into the no-go zone e. of Bureij r.c. in c. Gaza in pursuit of Islamic Jihad mbrs. operating near the border; the sides exchange fire and the IDF calls reinforcements and shells the area, lightly injuring 3 Islamic Jihad mbrs. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Haris village nr. Salfit in the afternoon, conducting no searches and making no arrests; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Qalqilya, Ramallah, and nr. Hebron. (PCHR 9/2; OCHA 9/3) 29 AUGUST In the West Bank, the IDF conducts daytime patrols in 2 villages nr. Salfit and late-night patrols in Azun nr. Qalqilya, conducting no searches and making no arrests. (PCHR 9/2; OCHA 9/3) 30 AUGUST In the West Bank, the IDF moves back into Azun village in the morning (see 8/29), raiding an auto repair shop and confiscating 6 cars with Israeli license plates; conducts afternoon patrols in 4 other villages nr. Qalqilya, 1 nr. Tulkarm, withdrawing without incident; conducts late-night patrols in Tulkarm, nearby Anabta, and Kafr al-Dik nr. Salfit, conducting no searches and making no arrests; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in al-'Arub r.c. nr. Hebron. In Jerusalem, Israeli security forces raid the Wadi Hilwa quarter of Silwan, detaining 5 Palestinians for questioning, releasing all but 1 the same day. (PCHR 9/2; OCHA 9/3) 31 AUGUST Hamas's military wing, the Izzeddin al-Qassam Brigades (IQB), takes responsibility for shooting at a Jewish settler vehicle driving nr. Hebron (in area C, under full Israeli control, where the PASF is not allowed to operate), killing 4 Jewish settlers, including a pregnant woman, marking the deadliest West Bank attack on Israelis in more than 2 yrs. and the first staged by Hamas since before the 1/2006 elections. Both Abbas and Netanyahu say the attack should not derail peace talks. The YESHA settlement council vows to renew construction in West Bank settlements immediately, before the temporary freeze ends, to demonstrate Israelis' “resolve against terrorism.” Following the attack and throughout the night, the IDF seals the entrances to Hebron, Halhul, and al-Fawar r.c. and imposes a curfew on nearby Bani Na`im village, raiding and searching homes and detaining Palestinians with suspected connections to Hamas. Meanwhile, Jewish settlers implementing their “price-tag” doctrine to punish Palestinians for any state acts against settlers, beat Palestinian farmers working their land nr. Emanuel settlement nr. Salfit and stone Palestinian vehicles traveling on the Nablus–Qalqilya road (2 separate incidents) as well as on a road bypassing Yitzhar settlement nr. Nablus. Jewish settlers fr. Kiryat Arba in Hebron attempt to break into a nearby Palestinian home but are prevented by the IDF. Late at night, the IDF patrols 2 villages nr. Salfit; no incidents are reported. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports that in the previous wk. 3 Palestinians were killed in 2 separate tunnel collapses on the Rafah border. (NYT, WP, WT 9/1; PCHR 9/2; OCHA 9/3).
  • Political Geography: Palestine, Gaza
  • Author: Camille Mansour
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: Against a background of prolonged stalemate, this essay provides a detailed examination of two decades of Palestinian-Israeli negotiations with a view to identifying deficiencies in the Palestinian negotiating approach and drawing lessons of use to future Palestinian negotiators in the context of power imbalance. After outlining possible conditions for resuming and conducting negotiations (making the decision and timing tactical rather than strategic), the author advocates a shift in the Palestinian negotiating paradigm that considers negotiations as one diplomatic tool among others in the long Palestinian struggle to achieve their national program, and places the negotiations in the context of priorities for the coming period.
  • Political Geography: Israel, Palestine, Gaza, United Nations
  • Author: Geoffrey Aronson
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: This section covers items—reprinted articles, statistics, and maps—pertaining to Israeli settlement activities in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights. Unless otherwise stated, the items have been written by Geoffrey Aronson for this section or drawn from material written by him for Report on Israeli Settlement in the Occupied Territories (hereinafter Settlement Report), a Washington-based bimonthly newsletter published by the Foundation for Middle East Peace. JPS is grateful to the foundation for permission to draw on its material.
  • Political Geography: Washington, Middle East, Jerusalem, Gaza
  • Author: Michele K. Esposito
  • Publication Date: 05-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: This section is part of a chronology begun in JPS 13, no. 3 (Spring 1984). Chronology dates reflect Eastern Standard Time (EST). For a more comprehensive overview of events related to the al-Aqsa intifada and of regional and international developments related to the peace process, see the Quarterly Update on Conflict and Diplomacy in this issue.
  • Topic: Diplomacy, Government
  • Political Geography: Israel, Palestine, Gaza
  • Author: Geoffrey Aronson
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: This section covers items—reprinted articles, statistics, and maps—pertaining to Israeli settlement activities in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights. Unless otherwise stated, the items have been written by Geoffrey Aronson for this section or drawn from material written by him for Report on Israeli Settlement in the Occupied Territories (hereinafter Settlement Report), a Washington-based bimonthly newsletter published by the Foundation for Middle East Peace. JPS is grateful to the foundation for permission to draw on its material.
  • Political Geography: Washington, Middle East, Jerusalem, Gaza
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: A1. Richard Goldstone, Former Chair of the UN Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, "Reconsidering the Goldstone Report on Israel and War Crimes," Washington Post, 1 April 2011. A2. Office of the UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, "Palestinian State-Building: A Decisive Period," Brussels, 13 April 2011 (excerpts). A3. Members of the Goldstone-led UN Fact-Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict, Response to Goldstone's Statement "Reconsidering" the Mission's Findings, Guardian, 14 April 2011. A4. Turkish Pres. Abdullah Gül, Op-Ed on the Importance of the Palestine Issue, "The Revolution's Missing Peace," New York Times, 20 April 2011.
  • Topic: United Nations
  • Political Geography: New York, Washington, Gaza, Brussels
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: B1. UAE FM Abdullah Bin Zayed al-Nahyan, Letter Urging World Governments to Support Palestinian Statehood, December 2010. B2. Gaza Youth's Manifesto for Change, December 2010. B3. Palestinian Youth Groups, Press Release Regarding Attempts to Co-opt March 15th Protests, 9 March 2011. B4. Fatah-Hamas Unity Agreement, Cairo, 4 May 2011.
  • Topic: Government
  • Political Geography: Gaza
  • Author: Michele K. Esposito
  • Publication Date: 07-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: 16 February–15 May 2011 Compiled by Michele K. Esposito This section is part 110 of a chronology begun in JPS 13, no. 3 (Spring 1984). Chronology dates reflect Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). For a more comprehensive overview of events related to the al-Aqsa intifada and of regional and international developments related to the peace process, see the Quarterly Update on Conflict and Diplomacy in this issue. LIMITED PREVIEW | PURCHASE FULL 16 FEBRUARY As the quarter opens, Israel maintains a tight siege of Gaza aimed at unseating the governing Hamas authority, in control since 6/2007. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) enforces a 300-m deep no-go zone inside the full length of the Gaza border and limits the Palestinian fishing zone off Gaza to 500–1,000 m off the immediate Bayt Lahiya and Rafah coasts, and 3 naut. mi. elsewhere—restrictions that place 17% of Gaza's total landmass, including 35% of its viable agricultural areas, and 85% of the maritime areas allocated to the Palestinians under the Oslo accords off limits to Palestinians. In the West Bank, governed by the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority (PA), IDF operations and restrictions on movement and access continue but are relatively low. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Tulkarm before dawn and in Birzeit late at night; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Nablus. (PCHR 2/17, 2/24; OCHA 2/25) Regionwide antigovernment protests, which toppled the Egyptian and Tunisian regimes last quarter, continue (see Quarterly Update in this issue and in JPS 159). In Bahrain, demonstrators for the 1st time shift fr. calling for a transition to a constitutional monarchy to calling for the ouster of the monarchy altogether. Syria sees its 1st hint of unrest when more than 500 protesters in Damascus spontaneously rally to the defense of a motorist being beaten by a police officer and refuse to disperse, chanting “The Syrian people will not tolerate humiliation” for more than 3 hrs. until Interior M Saed Samour personally goes to the scene to pledge to punish the policeman. Major clashes between govt. forces and protesters seeking regime change are reported in eastern Libya, while modest demonstrations in Yemen call for the president to step down. (NYT, WP, WT 2/17) 17 FEBRUARY Overnight, IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire on and shell a group of Palestinians nr. the n. Gaza border fence, killing 3 Palestinians; Palestinians say the 3 were unarmed men attempting to sneak into Israel to find work, but the IDF claims they were armed men preparing to lay explosive devices along the border. In the West Bank, the IDF demolishes 3 wells and an agricultural storehouse nr. a settler-only bypass road nr. Hebron; seals and patrols in Jit nr. Qalqilya during the afternoon. In Ramallah, some 1,000 young Palestinians hold a rally calling for national unity and reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas. (AFP, WP 2/18; PCHR 2/24; OCHA 2/25) U.S. pres. Barack Obama phones PA pres. Mahmud Abbas to urge him to delay a 2/18 vote on a UN Security Council (UNSC) res. reaffirming that Israeli settlements are illegal and an obstacle to peace or agree to a compromise UNSC presidential statement (less than a res.) criticizing settlements and urging the sides to resume negotiations. Abbas agrees to convene an emergency meeting of the PLO Exec. Comm. (PLOEC) and Fatah Central Comm. (FCC) to consider the matter. (HA 2/17; HA, MNA, NYT 2/18) (see Quarterly Update for details) After violence overnight (see 2/16), Bahrain's govt. declares martial law, deploying the military to the streets and warning of a “sectarian abyss”; the main Shi`i political party withdraws fr. parliament, protesting the acts of the minority Sunni leadership; and opposition groups call for massive demonstrations after Friday prayers on 2/18. (NYT, WP, WT 2/18) In Libya, protesters in 5 main cities observe a “Day of Rage” against Qaddafi, clashing with govt. forces, leaving at least 12 protesters dead and 10s wounded; the govt. cuts phone and Internet service and bars journalists to prevent coverage. Serious clashes in and around Benghazi continue on 2/18. (NYT, WP, WT 2/18; NYT, WP 2/19) 18 FEBRUARY Gaza's Rafah crossing opens for the 1st time since 1/29/11 to allow Palestinians trapped in Egypt to enter Gaza. In the West Bank, the IDF enters Bayt Umar village nr. Hebron in the afternoon, searching a house and arresting a 10-yr.-old Palestinian for stone-throwing; patrols in 4 villages nr. Qalqilya, 2 nr. Ramallah, and 1 nr. Tulkarm during the afternoon and evening. Palestinians (sometimes accompanied by Israeli and international activists) hold weekly nonviolent demonstrations against the separation wall, land confiscations, and settlement expansion in Bil'in, Ni'lin, and Nabi Salih/Dayr Nizam nr. Ramallah, and in Bayt Umar nr. Hebron. IDF soldiers fire rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at the protesters, injuring 8 Palestinians (including 3 children); 15 Palestinians (including 9 children) and 2 international activists are arrested. (Oxfam International 2/20; PCHR 2/24; OCHA 2/25) Before the UNSC vote reaffirming the illegality of Jewish settlements, U.S. Secy. of State Hillary Clinton phones Abbas to warn him that that U.S. aid could be cut if the vote goes ahead. In Ramallah, the PLOEC and FCC opt to go ahead with the vote saying, “The Palestinian leadership will reject American demands even if our decision leads to a diplomatic crisis with the Americans. We have nothing to lose.” The U.S. vetoes the res. (HA, REU 2/18; HA, WP 2/19; HA 2/20; WJW 2/24; JPI 3/4) (see Quarterly Update) In Bahrain, security forces violently disperse a massive protest in Manama, wounding 10s. From this point, large antigovernment protests (1,000s to 10,000s) become nr. daily events. (NYT, WP 2/19; NYT 2/21) 19 FEBRUARY Israeli naval vessels intercept a Palestinian fishing boat off the n. Gaza coast, escort it to Ashdod, confiscate the boat, and release the fishermen. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 4 villages nr. Jericho, Qalqilya, Salfit, and Tulkarm in the afternoon, and 1 village nr. Tulkarm late at night. From Ramallah, FCC mbr. Tawfik Tirawi calls for a “day of rage” against the 2/18 U.S. veto; protests denouncing the U.S. are held in Bethlehem, Hebron, Jenin, Nablus, and Tulkarm. For safety, the U.S. consulate in East Jerusalem restricts staff movement for 3 days. (HA, Oxfam International, WP 2/20; PCHR 2/24; OCHA 2/25) In Libya, security forces in Benghazi open fire on some 20,000 mourners leaving funerals of antigovernment protesters killed in recent clashes, leaving at least 84 dead and scores injured and bringing the death toll in 3 days of clashes to as many as 200 dead and nearly 850 wounded in Benghazi alone. British embassy officials say they have received reports of govt. forces using heavy weapons and snipers against protesters. From this point, antigovernment demonstrations and fierce military repression escalate sharply, and opposition groups take up arms. (NYT, WP 2/20; NYT, WP, WT 2/21) 20 FEBRUARY Saying the Fatah-Hamas split has “gone on too long and should not continue,” PA PM Salam Fayyad offers to form an interim national unity govt. with Hamas and not to interfere with Hamas's rule in Gaza in the run-up to elections, if it agrees to take part in presidential and legislative elections in 9/2011. Elements within Fatah denounce the move. Hamas responds with skepticism. (AP, HA 2/21) (see Quarterly Update for details) In the West Bank, the IDF conducts daytime patrols in and around Jenin and in villages nr. Qalqilya and Tulkarm; conducts evening and late-night patrols nr. Qalqilya and Salfit. Jewish settlers uproot 270 olive trees fr. 2 Palestinian plots nr. Nablus. In Ramallah, some 3,000 Palestinians organized by Fatah protest the 2/18 U.S. veto, waving banners and shouting slogans against the Obama administration. (MNA, WP 2/21; PCHR 2/24; OCHA 2/25) 21 FEBRUARY In the West Bank, the IDF tears down Palestinian's tents in Khirbat Tana, where the IDF demolished homes and other structures on 2/9/11 (see Quarterly Update and Settlement Monitor in JPS 159); conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches, and patrols in 6 villages nr. Qalqilya, as well as nr. Bethlehem and Jenin. More than 80 Palestinian nonprofit organizations from the West Bank, Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip issued a statement calling on Fatah and Hamas to take practical steps toward ending their rift. (MNA 5/23; PCHR 2/24; OCHA 2/25) The Knesset passes the Foreign Govt. NGO Funding Transparency Law tightening requirements on groups that accept foreign funding, widely seen as an effort to undermine left-wing Israeli organizations. (MNA 2/23; WJW 2/24) (see Quarterly Update) After a week of violent clashes, the Libyan govt. has lost control of most of the eastern part of the country to armed antigovernment protesters. Qaddafi responds with overwhelming force, dispatching warplanes, helicopters, special forces, and heavily armed mercenaries (paid and flown in to Tripoli by the planeload in recent days to shore up the regime) to hunt down demonstrators. Fighting has also reached Tripoli, where there are reports of strafing fr. the air, combat in the streets, burning buildings, and looters ransacking police stations. Dozens of senior Libyan officials and diplomats resign in outrage, and widespread defections by the military nationwide are reported. (WP, WT 2/21; NYT, WP, WT 2/22) 22 FEBRUARY In the morning, the IDF makes 2 brief incursions into Gaza to level land along the border fence in s. Gaza to clear lines of sight. IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire warning shots at Palestinians scavenging for construction materials in the fmr. settlement sites, wounding 1. In the West Bank, the IDF demolishes 8 tents (home to 40 Bedouin) and 2 wells nr. Suissa settlement outside Hebron; sends some 40 undercover troops into Salim nr. Nablus, where they raid an apartment building and arrest a wanted Palestinian; patrols in and around Tulkarm, in Qalqilya, and in villages nr. Jenin in the morning, summoning 4 Palestinians to appear for questioning; conducts late-night patrols in al-Bireh, Qalqilya, and 2 village nr. Ramallah and Tulkarm. Jewish settlers fr. Bat Ayin nr. Hebron uproot at least 250 olive trees in nearby Jab'a village. (WT 2/23; PCHR 2/24; OCHA 2/25) After a televised speech in which Libya's Col. Qaddafi vows to hunt down and kill protesters “house by house,” 1,000s of his supporters take to the streets of Tripoli brandishing machetes and join trucks heading to outlying areas to conduct neighborhood searches. With most residents bunkered in their homes and media outlets cut off, the extent of the violence in the Tripoli area is unclear. Rights groups estimate that 519 Libyans have been killed, 3,980 have been wounded, and at least 1,500 have gone missing since violence erupted a wk. ago. Hereafter, fighting quickly devolves into bitter civil war. (NYT, WP, WT 2/23; NYT, WP, WT 2/2; NYT, WP, WT 2/25; NYT, WP, WT 2/26–3/1) In Bahrain, more than 100,000 protesters (a fifth of the population, mostly Shi'a) turn out for the largest prodemocracy rally to date in Pearl Square calling for the govt. and the monarchy to step down. (NYT, WP, WT 2/23) 23 FEBRUARY Fayyad reiterates his 2/20 national unity offer, saying the PA would forgo further U.S. aid for the sake of national unity if the U.S. went through with threats to suspend aid to the PA if Hamas joined the govt. Abbas and senior Hamas officials agree to discuss the idea. (JPI 3/11) (see Quarterly Update) At Abbas's request, Israel agrees to allow some 300 Palestinians fleeing Libya to enter the West Bank. In Gaza, Islamic Jihad and Hamas mbrs. detonate an explosive device by the border fence as an IDF patrol passes on the Israeli side, then fire 3 mortars at the troops, causing no injuries. IDF soldiers retaliate with tank and gunfire, killing 1 armed Palestinian and wounding 6 armed Palestinians and at least 3 bystanders (including 2 children). Late at night, the IDF makes 5 air strikes on buildings in central and southern Gaza, causing no injuries; in the 1 instance in which a building is occupied, Israeli intelligence units phone to warn the occupants to leave. An 11-yr.-old Palestinian girl is killed and 4 family mbrs. are wounded when explosives accidentally detonate in their Gaza home. The IDF makes a brief incursion into c. Gaza to level land along the border fence to clear lines of sight. IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire warning shots at Palestinian scavenging for construction materials in the fmr. settlement sites, wounding 2 Palestinian. Late in the evening, Israeli naval vessels fire on Palestinian fishing boats off the n. Gaza coast, forcing them to return to shore. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 'Aqabat Jabir refugee camp (r.c.) in the morning, photographing historic sites; conducts late-night patrols in Birzeit and 1 village nr. Tulkarm; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches, and patrols in and around Jenin r.c. (DPA, HA, IsRN, JP, NYT, REU, WAFA 2/23; PCHR, WP 2/24; PCHR 3/3; OCHA 3/4)
  • Topic: Development
  • Political Geography: Gaza