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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
  • Author: Rashid I. Khalidi
  • Publication Date: 08-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: THIS ISSUE OF THE JOURNAL carries an article, a report, and three essays which share a focus on recent events, as well as two substantial articles on historical topics with continuing relevance, about the Greek Orthodox and Armenian communities of Palestine.
  • Topic: Development, United Nations, War
  • Political Geography: Palestine, Gaza, Armenia
  • Author: Margret Johannsen
  • Publication Date: 08-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: This article looks at the use of ultra-short-range rockets by Palestinian militant factions in the Gaza Strip as part of the overall dynamic of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and as a tool employed within internal Palestinian rivalries. Against the background of the gross military asymmetry between the parties to the conflict, it assesses the strategic utility of the rockets, including their psychological value as an “equalizer” to Israeli attacks. The article scrutinizes Israel's options to counter the rocket threat and identifies steps toward containing violence in Gaza. While bearing in mind that several Palestinian militant groups are involved in the production, acquisition, and firing of rockets, this article focuses on Hamas because, due to its leadership role in the Gaza Strip, a solution for the rocket issue will not be found without factoring in and providing a role for the Islamic organization.
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Israel, Palestine, Gaza
  • Author: Alain Gresh
  • Publication Date: 08-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: This essay addresses the Palestine question within a European context. After reflecting on why Palestine has been widely embraced as a “universal cause,” the author explores its relationship to the “Jewish question” in the changed context following World War II: Whereas prior to the war it was the Jews who were perceived as a threat to European civilization, today it is the Muslim immigrants who have the scapegoat role. Also discussed are philosemitism (and its manifestations in the West) and anti-Semitism (as it relates to the Arab world), and how these phenomena have been impacted by the ongoing Palestinian-Israeli conflict. The essay concludes with “utopian musings” on possibilities for a future Palestinian-Israeli peace.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Uganda, Israel, Palestine, Gaza
  • Author: Richard Falk
  • Publication Date: 08-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: The Goldstone Report: The Legacy of the Landmark Investigation of the Gaza Conflict, edited by Adam Horowitz, Lizzy Ratner, and Philip Weiss. New York: Nation Books, 2011. vii + 426 pages. Index to p. 449. $18.95 paper FINALLY, the reading public has been provided with an edited text that makes possible a comprehensive understanding of the Goldstone Report (GR)—the investigation commissioned by the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) into war crimes allegations arising from the Gaza war (2008–09)— and the controversy that followed its release. Given the near certainty that no further official action will result from the report, without such a book the GR could well be removed to the vast graveyard of excellent UN reports prepared at great expense and effort, but which rarely see the light of day unless one is prepared to embark on a digital journey of frustration and discovery to track down the text and its necessary context online. Yet the GR, however discredited thanks to the tireless efforts of Israel and the United States, is a milestone in a number of ways, not least because its authoritative demonstration of the lawlessness of Israel's behavior in these attacks helps us understand why, at this stage of the conflict, the Palestinian struggle needs to rely on non-violent soft power coercion, as by way of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions. The present volume, edited by Adam Horowitz, Lizzy Ratner, and Philip Weiss, offers not only substantial excerpts of the main body of the report, but also eleven solicited essays by expert commentators holding a range of views as well as an illuminating timeline of relevant events. All in all, the editors of The Goldstone Report have made an exemplary contribution to the ideal of an informed citizenship so crucial to the responsible functioning of a democratic society.
  • Topic: Human Rights, United Nations
  • Political Geography: United States, New York, Israel, Palestine, Gaza
  • Author: Geoffrey Aronson
  • Publication Date: 08-2011
  • 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: United States, Washington, Israel, Jerusalem, Gaza
  • Publication Date: 08-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: A1. Association of International Development Agencies (AIDA), Summary Report on the Challenges of Aid Delivery in the Occupied Territories, Jerusalem, 8 June 2011 (excerpts) A2. UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Occupied Territories (OCHA ), "Fast Facts" for the Gaza Strip and Area C, Jerusalem, July 2011 (excerpts) A3. International Crisis Group (ICG ), Report on the Palestinian Reconciliation Agreement, Ramallah, Gaza, Jerusalem, Washington, Brussels, 20 July 2011 (excerpts)
  • Political Geography: Washington, Palestine, Jerusalem, Gaza
  • Author: Jamil Hilal
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: Arguing that the polarization of the Palestinian political field did not start with Hamas's takeover of the Gaza Strip in 2007, the author analyzes the factors that have eroded the cohesiveness and vitality of the Palestinian polity, namely, the paralysis of Palestinian political institutions, territorial and social fragmentation, and egregious outside interference. In this context, and in the absence of an internal Palestinian debate about the objectives of holding elections under occupation, the author shows that the timing and circumstances of the 2006 legislative elections were bound to precipitate the current state of disarray. Finally, he considers the way forward, highlighting the potential of public pressure in promoting national reconciliation. NO ONE WOULD QUESTION today the utter disarray of the Palestinian political field [i], where two separate entities governed by bitterly rival factions are ensconced in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, one under Israeli occupation, the other under a suffocating Israeli siege. Each of the two governments, one primarily secular (controlled by Fatah), the other “Islamist” (controlled by Hamas), has its own security forces and, to the extent possible, bans the activities of members of the rival faction within “its” territory (if it does not arrest or imprison them). Both political “entities” are heavily dependent on external funding (from different donors) and are allied to different regional powers overtly or covertly opposed to one another. As time passes, the two entities grow further and further apart, threatening a repetition in some form of the Pakistan-Bangladesh experience. This state of polarization did not begin in June 2007 when Hamas installed itself as the dominant political, military, and administrative power in the Gaza Strip while Fatah took steps to tighten its control over the West Bank. Rather, these events deepened trends long in the making, enfeebling still further a political field that had been battered since the early 1990s by many changes and events, regional and international. The present essay [ii] seeks to highlight the factors underlying the precariousness and vulnerability of the Palestinian polity and its consequent polarization, the paralysis of its national institutions, and egregious foreign interference. Similar situations have been noted in other regional states subject to invasion and war (Lebanon, Iraq, Somalia, Afghanistan, and the Sudan, among others), but the disarray is perhaps more visible in Palestine for reasons relating to its history, its specific regional and international context, and its ongoing subjection to settler-colonialism and territorial fragmentation. THE MAKING OF THE PALESTINIAN POLITICAL FIELD The Palestinian political field differs from most others in that it includes Palestinian communities with differing socioeconomic, state, and civil society structures, not only in historic Palestine (the 1967 occupied territories and Israel) but also in the diaspora (al-shatat) created by the 1948 Nakba. It was also formed outside the national territory, not by a state but by a national liberation movement that arose in the Palestinian shatat. From the outset, then, lacking a sovereign state, the Palestinian political field has been subject to powerful outside influences and pressures. Its leading institution, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), was founded at the initiative of the Arab states in 1964 and was initially under their control. It was only after the 1967 war, when the PLO was democratically taken over by Palestinian resistance organizations led by Fatah, that it became a popular mass movement and, several years later, the “sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.” For the next twenty-some years, the PLO and its constituent organizations conducted their political, military, and other activities from bases in countries bordering Israel and later from Tunisia. While this situation made it vulnerable to the machinations of various regional powers seeking to determine the political and economic shape of the Middle East, the fact that the pressures were conflicting helped the PLO maintain to a tangible degree its hegemony over a relatively autonomous Palestinian political field throughout the 1970s and 1980s. PLO hegemony over the Palestinian political field began to be challenged in the late 1980s with the emergence in the occupied territories of political Islam, whose main embodiment, Hamas, had been established at the start of the first intifada in 1987, and the smaller Islamic Jihad several years earlier. Both these organizations were indigenous, having grown out of local branches of the Muslim Brotherhood, and their prominence in the first intifada showed them to be a force to be reckoned with. However, it was not until the 1993 signing of the Oslo accords, which laid out the stages that were supposed to lead to full peace with Israel by the end of the decade, that the magnitude of the challenge posed by political Islam became fully apparent. Under the Oslo accords, the PLO leadership returned from its long exile to the Palestinian territories, thus moving the center of gravity of Palestinian politics to the “inside” for the first time since 1948. There it established the Palestinian Authority (PA), a self-governing body whose powers were sharply limited by the Israeli occupier but which was understood as the first step on the road to statehood. The accords were fiercely opposed by political Islam, as well as by a number of secular PLO factions, most importantly the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP). With a growing following, and already endowed with a high degree of discipline and organization, political Islam and especially Hamas found in opposition to Oslo a powerful cause around which to mobilize.
  • Political Geography: Palestine, Gaza
  • Author: Salim Tamari, Khalid Farraj, Nasr Abdul Karim
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: Dr. Mohammad Mustafa is chairman and CEO of the Palestine Investment Fund (PIF) and an economic adviser to Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas. PIF, the leading investor in Palestine, is a publicly limited company fully owned by the people of Palestine. It was established in 2003 with the transfer of assets managed by the Palestinian Authority. Financially and administratively autonomous, it is governed by an independent board of directors and a general assembly representing civil society, nongovernmental organizations, academia, and the public and private sectors. In pursuit of its mandate—which is to strengthen the local economy through investments that foster sustainable economic development while maintaining and increasing existing national reserves—PIF owns direct majority and minority stakes in companies and follows a business model based on public-private partnerships. Currently, PIF has approximately $800 million in assets under management and is leading a $4 billion investment program aimed at stimulating economic growth and creating over 100,000 new job opportunities within the next five years. The interview was conducted in Amman, Jordan, in mid-December 2009 by Nasr Abdul Karim, former dean of economics at An-Najah University, Nablus, and by Salim Tamari and Khalid Farraj, respectively director and associate director of the Institute for Palestine Studies, Ramallah. Abdul Karim: We wanted to start by asking about the current state of the Palestinian economy, particularly after the 2007 split [between Fatah and Hamas]. There have been reports of significant improvement in the gross domestic product (GDP). Is the improvement due to government action or to Israeli steps to facilitate trade and economic development after Netanyahu's call for “economic peace”? Mustafa: There's been a marked improvement in the Palestinian economy in the West Bank in the last three years. Obviously, it hasn't reached where we want it to be. The Israeli occupation and its harsh and arbitrary policies negatively impact its performance and make it heavily dependent on the Israeli economy. Despite our recent efforts to decrease trade with Israel, it still constitutes 90 percent of total Palestinian trade. The result is an economy with only limited self-reliance and high donor dependency. And even though it is stable at present, it's still below its 1967 and 1999 levels. Let me go into some detail with regard to the current economic indicators. According to the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund [IMF], the growth rate for the first half of 2009 was about 5 percent. Without Israeli restrictions, it would have been higher, perhaps as much as 12 percent. There is no question that the very considerable international support received by the [Palestinian] Authority—which amounted to $1.7 billion in 2008 and a bit less in 2009—played a large part in realizing this growth, but a significant part also resulted from the political stability and improved security in the West Bank, and from institutional, legal, and economic reforms. These two factors—international support and the improved situation on the ground—led to the recovery, albeit partial, of the private sector. One factor that had very adverse effects on the economy this year—especially on small investors whose ventures depend on Israel—was the difference in the exchange rate of the U.S. dollar against the Israeli shekel. The world economic downturn also had an impact on inflation, which decreased by 2 percent in 2009 relative to 2008 thanks to a drop in the price of certain commodities, specifically oil and some foodstuffs. It could decline further in 2010. Finally, unemployment remains extremely high, reaching 26 percent overall—40 percent in Gaza, 18 percent in the West Bank. These figures do not even include disguised unemployment. For the West Bank, however, we expect to see the rate begin to fall soon. We still have a long way to go, of course, before we reach our goal of an independent, sustainable economy, but this requires not only continuing the program of reform but also removing Israeli restrictions. Farraj: You mentioned unemployment in Gaza. What about the economic situation there? Mustafa: Gaza's economy is in a catastrophic state as a result of Israel's embargo and the absence of Palestinian legitimacy. The economy has been totally destroyed, particularly the private sector. The organized destruction of the economy in the past two years has completely done away with the economic wealth it took decades to build. Some enterprises established in the 1920s and 1930s have now been destroyed and cannot be rebuilt without huge effort. At present, Gaza's economy is based on three sources: (1) the salaries paid by the Authority to nearly 60,000 employees, which support about a million people; (2) the salaries and donor aid paid by the government in Gaza to its employees and members of its security forces; and (3) informal trade—in other words, the tunnels. I think Israel's ongoing embargo and policy of collective punishment of the entire Gaza population is utterly disgraceful. Even a partial reconstruction of Gaza has not been allowed to take place. The Sharm al-Shaykh donor conference [held on 2 March 2009] raised $4 billion, which was allocated for reconstruction, yet to this day there is no mechanism for getting even a fraction of these funds into Gaza. Furthermore, the Israeli embargo prevents materials, such as cement, steel, and wood, needed to restore destroyed homes and buildings from entering. Certainly Gaza's economy was already bad before the blockade, but with the ongoing embargo and the catastrophic destruction of the Israeli invasion it continues to get worse. In my view, the Palestinian economy will never be strong until the two halves of the nation are reunited, national reconciliation is achieved, and Palestinian legality in Gaza is restored.
  • Political Geography: Palestine, Gaza
  • Author: Geoffrey Aronson
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • 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, Israel, Gaza
  • Author: Michele K. Esposito
  • Publication Date: 03-2010
  • 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. 16 NOVEMBER As the quarter opens, Israel's siege of Gaza continues, with Israel barring all exports, all but limited humanitarian imports, and most cross-border transit by individuals (with very limited exceptions for extreme medical cases, VIPs, and international NGO workers). Violence in the West Bank is low and restrictions on Palestinian movement between major population centers have eased noticeably. Israeli-Palestinian peace talks are on hold as Palestinian Authority (PA) Pres. Mahmud Abbas refuses to resume negotiations until Israel implements a comprehensive settlement freeze (which Israel rejects).Today in Gaza, 4 Palestinians are injured when a smuggling tunnel under the Rafah border collapses. In the West Bank, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Tubas, in Bayt Fajjar nr. Bethlehem, and in Qalandia refugee camp (r.c.) nr. Ramallah. Of note, 6 IDF soldiers refuse orders to dismantle structures at an unauthorized settlement outpost; they are relieved of duty pending a court-martial hearing. (NYT 11/17; OCHA, WP 11/18; PCHR 11/19) 17 NOVEMBER The Israeli Interior Min. approves construction of 900 new housing units in Gilo settlement in East Jerusalem, precipitating sharp criticism from the White House not only for the Gilo project but for “the continued pattern of evictions and demolitions of Palestinian homes” in Jerusalem; UN Secy.-Gen. Ban Ki-moon “deplores” the decision. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem, Hebron (evicting 1 Palestinian family from their home, occupying it as an observation post), Jericho, Nablus. In the Jerusalem environs, Israeli forces demolish 2 Palestinian homes (1 in Wadi Qaddum, housing 30 Palestinians; 1 in Bayt Hanina, displacing 11 Palestinians). (IFM, NYT, OCHA, PLONAD, WP, WT 11/18; PCHR 11/19) 18 NOVEMBER New York State assemblyman Dov Hikind leads a delegation of 50 Jewish Americans to lay the cornerstone of a new settlement housing project (Nof Zion) in the Palestinian neighborhood of Jabal Mukabir in East Jerusalem (see Quarterly Update for details). Meanwhile, the IDF demolishes a Palestinian home and store in Issawiyya (14 residents) on the outskirts of Jerusalem, 4 Palestinian structures in other Arab areas of East Jerusalem, including Silwan. In the West Bank, the IDF searches greenhouses nr. Jenin, looking for unlicensed wells; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Tulkarm and nr. Jenin. Also in East Jerusalem, an Israeli youth stabs, wounds a Palestinian laborer in Ramat Eshkol settlement. The IDF also makes 2 incursions into s. Gaza nr. Abasan and Khuza to bulldoze land along the border fence, clearing lines of sight. Late in the day, unidentified Palestinians fire a rocket into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In response, the IDF makes air strikes on 2 smuggling tunnels along the Rafah border (injuring 1 Palestinian) and on a Hamas training site in Khan Yunis (destroying 2 structures). (NYT, XIN 11/19; PCHR 11/25; JPI 11/27) 19 NOVEMBER In the West Bank, the IDF stages synchronized late-night raids on the homes of 5 PA intelligence officers in villages nr. Nablus and Salfit, detaining the men (including the PA's Salfit regional intelligence cmdr. Lt. Col. Muhammad `Abd al-Hamid Bani Fadil), marking Israel's first arrest of senior PA security officials in 3 yrs.; the IDF also relays to the PA a request to turn over a 6th intelligence officer, but the PA does not comply; the Israeli DMin. confirms the arrests but refuses to comment, with Palestinian security sources speculating (YA 11/20) that Israel was pressuring the PA to back off investigation of a suspected collaborator; all 5 are released on 11/20 after talks between Israel and the PA. The IDF also stages synchronized late-night house searches in 3 villages w. of Jenin, making no arrests. IDF undercover units traveling in a car with Palestinian license plates enter Bil`in village, arrest a Palestinian on an Israeli wanted list. (YA 11/20; OCHA, PCHR 11/25) 20 NOVEMBER In the West Bank, the IDF fires rubber-coated steel bullets, stun grenades, tear gas at stone-throwing Palestinians taking part in weekly protests against the separation wall in Bil`in (10s suffer tear gas inhalation) and against Palestinian, Israeli, and international activists taking part in weekly nonviolent demonstration against the separation wall in Ni`lin (injuring 3 Palestinians); fires stun grenades and tear gas at Palestinian and international activists taking part in the weekly nonviolent demonstration against the separation wall in al-Ma`sara s. of Bethlehem (injuring 3 Palestinians, including a 9-yr.-old boy); conducts late-night arrest raids on several coffee shops nr. Qalqilya, detaining 3 PA security officers and 3 teenagers (including a 14-yr.-old boy). In Hebron, Jewish settlers fr. Ma'on in Hebron beat 4 Palestinian youths tending sheep nearby, chasing them off the land; Jewish settlers fr. Carmiel attack and vandalize a Palestinian home nearby, attempting to drive the Palestinian family off the land. (OCHA, PCHR 11/25) 21 NOVEMBER In Gaza, unidentified Palestinians fire a rocket into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. The IDF retaliates with air strikes on 2 suspected weapons factories and a smuggling tunnel on the Rafah border, injuring 8 Palestinians (2 seriously, 2 moderately, 4 lightly) and damaging another 2 factories and 4 homes nearby. Hrs. later, Hamas announces that it has secured renewed pledges from all Gaza factions to halt all rocket and mortar fire toward Israel, to preserve the stability in Gaza and prevent further Israeli retaliation, though the factions say they will respond to any IDF incursion into Gaza. (YA 11/21; HA, WT 11/22; WT 11/23; OCHA, PCHR 11/25; WJW 11/26) 22 NOVEMBER In the West Bank, the IDF makes a late-night incursion into Bayt Liqiya nr. Ramallah, patrolling the streets and firing rubber-coated steel bullets at stone-throwing youths who confront them, causing no reported injuries; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Jenin, Qalqilya. (OCHA, PCHR 11/25) 23 NOVEMBER Unidentified Palestinians fire a rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. Late in the evening, the IDF carries out air strikes on smuggling tunnels on the Rafah border in retaliation, causing no reported injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Qalqilya; conducts late-night patrols inside Jenin town. Jewish settlers stone Palestinian vehicles traveling on the Nablus–Qalqilya road nr. Havat Gilad settlement. The UN reports that in the previous wk., 2 Palestinian militants were killed mishandling explosives, and 1 Palestinian was killed and 1 injured in a smuggling tunnel collapse on the Rafah border. (Jewish Telegraphic Agency 11/23; OCHA, PCHR 11/25) 24 NOVEMBER In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Salfit and nr. Bethlehem, Hebron, Jenin. (OCHA, PCHR 11/25; PCHR 12/3) 25 NOVEMBER In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Qalqilya and nr. Nablus, Salfit. (PCHR 12/3; OCHA 12/9) Netanyahu declares a 10-mo. halt to all new residential housing approvals and construction in West Bank settlements, though building in East Jerusalem and work on 2,900 West Bank housing units currently under construction and any “public buildings essential for normal life” (e.g., schools, synagogues) in West Bank settlements would proceed. The U.S. welcomes this move as “significant.” PA PM Salam Fayyad says that the offer is not enough, the PA insists on a total settlement freeze. (IFM 11/25; NYT, WP, WT 11/26)
  • Topic: Diplomacy
  • Political Geography: United States, Israel, Palestine, Gaza
  • Author: Geoffrey Aronson
  • Publication Date: 06-2010
  • 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: Middle East, Israel, Jerusalem, Gaza
  • Author: Ismael Sheikh Hassan, Sari Hanafi
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: This article examines the intersection of the Lebanese state's post-conflict security policy in Nahr al-Barid refugee camp and the reconstruction of the camp, which was destroyed in a battle between the Lebanese army and the militant group Fatah al-Islam. The significance of the government's security focus derives from its intention to make Nahr al-Barid a “model” for all the other camps in the country. After discussing the Lebanese security context, the characteristics of the pre-conflict camp, the arrival of Fatah al-Islam, and the ensuing battle, the authors focus on the urban planning process for a reconstructed Nahr al-Barid, highlighting both the state's militarization of the process and the local grassroots planning initiative which, in partnership with UNRWA, managed to secure some concessions. Also analyzed is the government plan submitted to donors, which conceives of “governance” as community policing without addressing the status of the Palestinians in Lebanon. IN THE SUMMER OF 2007, the Palestinian refugee camp of Nahr al-Barid, the second largest of the fourteen United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) camps in Lebanon, was totally demolished. This was a result of a battle between the Lebanese army and Fatah al-Islam, an Islamist fundamentalist group, predominantly foreign, that had implanted itself in the camp only six months earlier. After its destruction, the camp remained a strict militarized zone, imposing additional hardship on a post-disaster community of refugees struggling to rebuild their lives. Various security-based projects and policies affecting the camp's urban form, governance structure, and legal status that were planned, negotiated, or approved by the Lebanese government signaled a new era in Lebanese-refugee relations. With the events of Nahr al-Barid, the Lebanese state entered the realm of the camp, and security concerns and practices assumed new forms that would potentially affect the future lives of Palestinian refugees in all Lebanon. The camp remains a military zone to this day. More importantly, the Lebanese government's plan to make Nahr al-Barid a security model for the other Palestinian refugee camps in the country brings the issue of security more urgently to the forefront of the debate about Palestinians in Lebanon. Nahr al-Barid also fits into a wider security discussion relating to Palestinians in the host countries in the context of the “war against terror,” with issues relating to the status of camps becoming intertwined with the correlative themes of good governance, refugee rights, human security, and integration for the benefit of international donors and development agencies, even as policies on the ground disregard and sometimes contradict these concepts. This article is based on two years of fieldwork and action research in Nahr al-Barid camp. Our involvement included participation in local community post-conflict initiatives, in-depth interviews with Nahr al-Barid residents and community leaders, and up-close observation of various Palestinian and Lebanese actors in the reconstruction planning process. Our aim is to contribute to the debate on the role of “security” in dictating state policy and actions during and after the battle. The fact that government policies are still in flux makes reflection and debate on these events all the more urgent. CONTEXTUALIZING SECURITY WITHIN PALESTINIAN REFUGEE CAMPS A variety of themes and discourses at the local, regional, and global level intertwine as a backdrop to a discussion of the heightened security measures for Palestinian refugee camps in general and Nahr al-Barid in particular. One of these is the state's traditional fear of refugees as a potentially threatening and disruptive political force. Ironically, this fear—and the security measures it engenders—is shared by those who produced the refugee problem and the host states that suffered its consequences; indeed, some disturbing parallels have been drawn, mutatis mutandi, between measures against Palestinians enacted by Israel and Arab states in the name of security. Thus, whereas historically the violent conflicts between the Palestinian movement and various Arab regimes were attributed to ideological differences and power struggles, the current situation seems to be heading in new directions. Today, what has become a seemingly universal obsession with security and fighting terror increasingly infiltrates Arab slogans to validate various practices against Palestinian camps and neighborhoods (not to mention against their own citizens). These practices affecting citizens/refugees and cities/camps alike are empowered by largely uncritical international military, financial, and political support for the “war on terror.” As a result, massive urban destruction has been wreaked on densely populated communities with scant consideration for civilian populations, with the suspension of civil liberties and imposition of siege now standard procedures validated by security-based arguments for Afghanistan (2001), Iraq (2003), Jenin/Nablus in the West Bank (2002), Lebanon (2006), Nahr al-Barid (2007), Gaza (2008), and Yemen (2009).
  • Topic: Islam, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Gaza, Lebanon
  • Author: Toufic Haddad
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: Swedish photojournalist Mia Gröndahl complements her thirty-year history of documenting the Palestinian experience in this beautiful, illustrated book exploring the rich and colorful world of Gaza's graffiti. But this work is more than just a collection of images suitable as a gift for urban art aficionados. It equally provides insightful commentary on Gaza's graffiti culture and the society that produced it, demonstrating the acumen of a veteran investigative journalist. Images and commentary combine to guide readers into a world they would otherwise have little exposure to, allowing them to assess Gaza's graffiti both as free-standing works of art and as objects of propaganda.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: Israel, Palestine, Gaza
  • Author: Geoffrey Aronson
  • Publication Date: 09-2010
  • 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
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: This 112-page report by human rights NGO Amnesty International examines the main patterns and trends affecting Palestinians access to water in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, highlighting the extent to which Israels discriminatory policies affect their rights in this area. Parts of the report not reproduced here include detailed chapters on the water resources available in Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories (OPT), the water crisis in Gaza, water-related expulsions of Palestinians, the effects of military attacks on water resources, and Palestinian mismanagement of water resources.
  • Political Geography: Israel, Palestine, Gaza
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: The following report, covering the period from September 2008 to August 2009 and submitted to the UN General Assembly, provides an overview of key aspects of the humanitarian and human rights situation in the occupied Palestinian territories and Israel, such as the Israeli blockade on Gaza, the firing of rockets against Israeli civilian areas, restrictions on freedom of movement in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and house demolitions and forced displacement in area C and East Jerusalem.
  • Topic: Human Rights
  • Political Geography: New York, Israel, Palestine, Gaza, United Nations
  • Publication Date: 12-2010
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: While the main concern at the conference was electing a new leadership, other significant issues were discussed. Eighteen committees dealt with a wide range of topics, though meetings for the most part were sparsely attended, in many cases by no more than 10 or 15 delegates. Most sessions did not produce minutes, and significant decisions were left for the new leadership bodies to tackle later. No action was taken on corruption, for instance, despite the fact that it was a major concern entering the conference.
  • Topic: Corruption
  • Political Geography: Palestine, Gaza, Brussels
  • Author: Lynn Welchman
  • Publication Date: 01-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: SINCE THE ESTABLISHMENT of the Palestinian Authority (PA), one result of the political uncertainties and inadequate security in the West Bank and Gaza Strip has been an increasing recourse to “unofficial” arbitration and the adjudication of disputes in the context of contests over political power. Three main bodies of “law” appear most frequently as overlapping normative frameworks in dispute resolution processes: statutory legislation (the law “on the books” in the areas under the PA's jurisdiction), Islamic law, and various forms of customary law—specifically, in the case examined here, “tribal adjudication” (al-qada' al-`asha'iri).
  • Topic: Islam
  • Political Geography: Palestine, Gaza
  • Author: Frida Berrigan
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: Enforcement of U.S. law concerning weapons exports and the disbursement of military aid are subject to highly politicized interpretations of concepts like "legitimate self-defense" and "safeguarding internal security." As illustrated by Israel's July 2006 war in Lebanon and its 2008-2009 Operation Cast Lead in Gaza, Washington has essentially allowed Israel to define "self-defense" however it chooses. This overview of U.S. military aid to Israel, including weapons sales and related support of its domestic military industrial complex, examines in detail the mechanisms through which aid is funneled, the restrictions on aid that do exist, and the uses to which U.S. military aid has been put-particularly in terms of Israel's military operations and its exports abroad. Frida Berrigan is senior program associate of the Arms and Security Initiative at the New America Foundation in Washington, DC.
  • Topic: Law
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Washington, Israel, Gaza
  • Author: Ilana Feldman
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: This essay explores the possible negative consequences of identifying the current situation in Gaza primarily as a humanitarian problem. Scholarship on the complicated effects of humanitarian action in general, the early history of humanitarian intervention in the lives of Palestinians, and the current politics of aid in Gaza all underscore these problems. The essay reflects on several aspects of what can be called the "humanitarianism problem" in Gaza by considering both how humanitarianism is sometimes deployed as a strategy for frustrating Palestinian aspirations and the often unintended political effects of the most well-intentioned humanitarian interventions.
  • Topic: Humanitarian Aid
  • Political Geography: Palestine, Gaza
  • Author: Mouin Rabbani
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: Azmi Bishara (b. 1956 in Nazareth), an Israeli Arab politician and academic, earned a doctorate in philosophy from Humboldt University in Berlin in 1986 and for the next ten years was professor of philosophy at Birzeit University; he was also associated with the Van Leer Institute in Jerusalem as a senior researcher. Politics, however, occupied him from an early age. In 1974, while still in high school, he established the first National Committee of Arab High School Students; two years later he was instrumental in founding the first National Arab Student Union, which he represented in the Committee for the Defense of Arab Lands when it declared Land Day in 1976. Bishara has been a dominant force in Israeli Arab politics since 1995, when he was a principal founder of the National Democratic Assembly (Tajamu` in Arabic, Balad in Hebrew), a "democratic progressive national party for the Palestinian citizens of Israel." He was elected to the Israeli Knesset for the first time in 1996-and in all subsequent elections through 2006-under the banner of the National Democratic Assembly, which soon became the spearhead of the national movement for the Palestinian community in Israel with its demands for cultural autonomy, recognition as a national minority, and equal rights. Within a few years, the slogan Bishara coined, "Israel as a state for all its citizens," had become a mainstream demand and the rallying cry of Israel's Palestinian community. A self-described Arab nationalist, Bishara has long been a thorn in the side of the Israeli establishment. Attempts to rein him in began in earnest in November 2001, when, following a visit to Syria and speeches supporting the right of people under occupation to resist, the Knesset revoked his immunity as a member of the Knesset, opening the way for a criminal indictment against him. The Israeli High Court dismissed the indictment in April 2003 and Bishara's parliamentary immunity was restored, but other actions followed. The National Democratic Assembly, was twice banned (in 2003 and 2006) from participating in parliamentary elections by Israel's Central Elections Committee. (The ban was lifted both times by the High Court, and both times the party won three seats.) Following Israel's 2006 Lebanon war, Bishara became the subject of a high-level security probe. Although he vigorously rejected allegations of "passing information to the enemy at time of war" as politically motivated fabrications, he resigned his Knesset seat and went into exile in April 2007. In spring 2009, a bill was introduced in the Knesset that, if passed, will allow the state to strip him of his citizenship. Since leaving Israel, Bishara divides his time between Amman, Jordan, and Doha, Qatar. In addition to writing (he has published three books in recent years), he is a prominent commentator on regional and international affairs in the Arab media and satellite TV and holds the Gamal Abdel Nasser Chair for Arab Thought at the Center for Arab Unity Studies in Beirut. He was interviewed in English in Doha on 17 February 2009 by Mouin Rabbani, an Amman-based independent analyst and a senior fellow of the Institute for Palestine Studies.
  • Political Geography: Israel, Palestine, Gaza
  • Author: Peter Lagerquist
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: Barred entry to Gaza during Operation Cast Lead, Western photojournalists and TV crews found themselves confined to the Israeli side of the border during the assault, peering along the barrels of IDF artillery. The following essay reflects on what was said and heard among them on a sunny day in January 2009, how they and local Israeli spectators related to the violence, and how these two perspectives were tacitly elided in photographs of the war.
  • Topic: War
  • Political Geography: Israel, Gaza
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol. 38, no. 3, p. 98
  • Political Geography: Palestine, Gaza
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol. 38, no. 3, p. 122
  • Political Geography: Israel, Palestine, Gaza
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: The gross disparity between the military resources available to Israel and the Palestinian factions during Operation Cast Lead (OCL) could make a comparison between their two “arsenals” seem absurd. Yet this and the following document devoted to Palestinian weaponry not only highlight the imbalance but help the reader better appreciate the dynamics at play in the broader conflict.
  • Political Geography: Israel, Palestine, Gaza
  • Author: Ghada Al-Madbouh
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: Hamas in Politics: Democracy, Religion, Violence is a daring attempt to analyze the thinking of Hamas as a social movement and not simply as a terrorist organization. Using a combination of political theory and empirical research, Jeroen Gunning, a lecturer in international politics at the University of Wales (and deputy director of the university's Centre for the Study of Radicalisation and Contemporary Political Violence), contextualizes issues of democracy, religion, and violence as they relate to Hamas. Methodologically, Gunning offers an extensive discussion of his interpretive ethnographic fieldwork in the Gaza Strip (conducted 1997–2004), taking his analysis beyond the straightforward causality or correlation of mainstream political science. The main merit of the book, however, rests in Gunning's attempt to wed the study of Hamas's discourse to the study of its actual practices regarding religion, democracy, and violence.
  • Topic: Political Violence, Religion
  • Political Geography: Gaza
  • Author: Geoffrey Aronson
  • Publication Date: 05-2009
  • 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 , 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: Michele K. Esposito
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of Palestine Studies
  • Institution: Institute for Palestine Studies
  • Abstract: This quarter marked the rocky opening of a new chapter in the Israeli-Palestinian peace process as the freshly elected Israeli and U.S. administrations set to work, laying out approaches toward the peace process that were markedly different from their predecessors' and nearly diametrically opposed to each other. A major policy clash between U.S. pres. Barack Obama and Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu over settlements overshadowed most of the quarter. The other striking feature of the quarter overall was the extremely low level of Israeli-Palestinian violence. Though Israel's siege of Gaza (in place since 6/07) continued, the Gaza cease-fire held without major violations. In the West Bank, Israel scaled back routine military operations and facilitated Palestinian movement between major population centers, particularly in the north, improving trade and quality of life. At the opening of the quarter, however, Israeli-Palestinian cross-border violence in Gaza was moderate and rising while in the West Bank violence remained low. Israel's siege of Gaza, intended to pressure the Hamas government there, entered its 24th month, hampering efforts to maintain basic services and repair infrastructure and other damages from Israel's Operation Cast Lead (OCL) offensive targeting the Strip, which ended on 1/18/09 (see JPS 151 for background). Israel allowed an average of 106 truckloads/day of humanitarian goods and commodities into Gaza through Kerem Shalom crossing 6 days/week (far less that the 500 truckloads/day the UN estimated were necessary to meet Gazans' basic needs); limited fodder and seed through Qarni crossing; enough fuel through the Nahal Oz crossing to maintain emergency services and run Gaza's electricity plant at 69% capacity, as well as some cooking gas. Only a very limited number of medical cases, employees of international organizations, and VIPs were allow to transit through the Rafah and Erez crossings. Restrictions on Palestinian movement and access in the West Bank remained tight, with more than 630 Israel Defense Forces (IDF) checkpoints and roadblocks dividing the territory into 3 cantons, and Palestinian access to Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley strictly limited. As of 5/15, at least 7,516 Palestinians (including 50 Israeli Arabs and 19 unidentified Arab cross-border infiltrators), 1,090 Israelis (including 348 IDF soldiers and security personnel, 214 settlers, 528 civilians), and 64 foreign nationals (including 2 British suicide bombers) had been killed since the start of the al-Aqsa intifada on 9/28/00. Netanyahu and Obama Face Fundamental Differences As the quarter opened, the newly elected Obama and Netanyahu administrations were fully staffed and briefed, and Obama was ready to move forward with campaign pledges to take early action to revive the peace process. His hope was to meet personally with the main players in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to discuss his developing policy initiatives, as well as regional and bilateral issues, before making a major address to the Muslim world on 6/4 in fulfillment of another campaign promise. Late last quarter, he had met with Jordan's King Abdallah, tapping him as his intermediary with the Arab states (see Quarterly Update in JPS 152). Scheduled next were White House meetings with PM Netanyahu, Palestinian Authority (PA) pres. Mahmud Abbas, and Egyptian pres. Husni Mubarak (whose envoys were mediating Palestinian national unity talks, and cease-fire and prisoner release negotiations between Israel and Hamas). Netanyahu was scheduled to visit first, 5/18–19. Since its 3/31/09 inauguration, his government had been engaged in a comprehensive review of Israeli policy, with the intention of issuing its formal government platform timed with the Washington visit (see Quarterly Update in JPS 152). Even while the review was underway, however, Netanyahu had laid out a number of strong base-line positions including: (1) stating that containing the threat from Iran was more important than achieving peace with the Palestinians and Arab states; (2) demanding a halt to Iran's nuclear program and Palestinian recognition of Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state as preconditions for resuming final status talks with the Palestinians; (3) refusing to express support for a 2-state solution, preferring an “economic peace” aimed at improving Palestinian quality of life and allowing a greater measure of self-rule, while maintaining ultimate Israeli security control; (4) vowing continued Israeli settlement construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem; and (5) pledging that a united Jerusalem would remain under sole Israeli control. The Obama administration, meanwhile, had repeatedly expressed (1) “vigorous” support for a 2-state solution and implementation of the 2003 road map plan, including an immediate and complete halt to Israeli settlement construction in East Jerusalem and the West Bank; and (2) the strong belief that progress toward Israeli-Palestinian peace would put added pressure on Iran to halt its nuclear program, meaning these 2 goals should be pursued in parallel. The U.S. had also strongly urged the Arab states (via King Abdallah) to make gestures to Israel, ideally dropping demands for the Palestinian refugees' right of return and taking preliminary steps toward normalization, to encourage Israel to come to quick final status agreements on all tracks (see Quarterly Update in JPS 152). The strong and conflicting positions of the 2 administrations raised concerns that the Obama-Netanyahu meeting would be tense and could mark the opening of a serious diplomatic dispute. As Netanyahu prepared to depart for Washington, Israeli DM Ehud Barak (5/16) and Pres. Shimon Peres (5/17) gave public assurances that Netanyahu would abide by Israel's previous agreements with the Palestinians, including the 2003 road map—which they each described as calling for “2 peoples living side by side in peace and security.” Peres also stated that progress toward this end would ultimately depend on the outcome of Palestinian national unity talks (i.e., the PA's ability to curb Hamas) and “greater Palestinian efforts to ensure Israel's security.” In fact, the 2003 agreement had not called for 2 peoples but 2 states living side by side. While the U.S. did not publicly challenge Israel's new formulation, the lack of official acknowledgement (much less welcoming) of Israel's “assurances” indicated the administration's awareness of Israel's attempt to reinterpret the road map's goal and its unwillingness to paper over core differences with an ambiguous formulation. Ultimately, Israel did not issue a formal government platform, which allowed Netanyahu a greater margin to avoid public clashes on sensitive issues. The 5/18 talks went forward as planned, with visible policy gaps but no outward tension. Statements issued afterward by Obama and Netanyahu were bland, stressing shared goals of preventing Iran from developing nuclear weapons (see Iran section below) and pursing peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Netanyahu stated that he was ready to reopen talks with the Palestinians “immediately” regarding limited self-rule, provided the Palestinians first recognized Israel as a Jewish state and agreed to “allow Israel the means to defend itself” (i.e., to retain parts of the West Bank as buffer zones). Obama publicly restated support for the creation of a Palestinian state; reiterated outstanding Israeli responsibilities under existing treaties, including stopping settlement expansion and removing restrictions on Palestinian movement and access; called on Israel to improve the humanitarian situation in Gaza; and said that Arab states had “to be more supportive and be bolder in seeking potential normalization with Israel.” The U.S. and Israel agreed to set up 3 working groups that would meet periodically to discuss progress toward: (1) peace with the Palestinians, (2) normalization with Arabs states, and (3) curbing Iran. Netanyahu went on to hold talks with Secy. of State Hilary Clinton (5/18), Defense Secy. Robert Gates (5/19), and leaders of Congress (5/19) that outwardly seemed unremarkable. Only after Netanyahu returned home did details emerge of the heated nature of the Washington talks (e.g., Washington Post [WP] 5/24, New York Times [NYT] 5/29, Ha'Aretz [HA] 6/11). In the 2-hour closed-door meeting, Obama reportedly pressed Netanyahu to support the creation of a Palestinian state. Netanyahu nuanced his position, stating that Palestinian statehood was still the ultimate goal but far in the future because Palestinian institutions and the Palestinian economy needed to develop, and Palestinian education and discourse needed time to evolve to the point of promoting coexistence. Obama pressed Netanyahu to fulfill 2003 road map obligations to halt settlement construction and remove all unauthorized settlement outposts. Netanyahu agreed to consult with his government on taking steps to remove outposts, but said he must allow expansion of authorized West Bank settlements to accommodate natural growth. He agreed to send DM Barak to Washington on 6/1 with a formal Israeli counterproposal on settlements. Netanyahu aides later revealed (HA 6/11) that the PM was “'stunned' . . . to hear what seemed like a well-coordinated attack against his stand on settlements . . . from congressional leaders, key lawmakers dealing with foreign relations, and even from a group of Jewish members” of Congress, describing their statements against settlement expansion as “harsh and unequivocal.” Historically strongly pro-Israel rep. Robert Wexler (D-FL) confirmed (5/23) that he had told Netanyahu that the mood on settlements in Washington had changed, stating that for Obama to secure “a substantive down payment on the normalization of relations with Israel” from the Arab states, Israel would have to address settlements “in a serious manner.” Another congressional aide, speaking anonymously, said Jewish lawmakers had felt “it was their responsibility to make [Netanyahu] very, very aware of the concerns of the administration and Congress.” Adding to Israel's unease, Secy. of State Clinton stated in an interview with al-Jazeera on 5/19, immediately after Netanyahu's departure: “We want to see a stop to settlement construction, additions, natural growth—any kind of settlement activity. That is what the president has called for.” Her statements reportedly (NYT 5/29) surprised Israeli officials who thought Obama would keep the settlement dispute private until Netanyahu consulted with his government. By contrast, Abbas's first meeting with Obama in Washington on 5/28, just when U.S-Israel relations were particularly tense over the settlement issue (see below), was described by U.S. officials privy to the talks as much more amicable. Obama praised the PA's stand against forming a unity government with Hamas until it renounced violence and recognized Israel's right to exist; reiterated strong U.S. support for a 2-state solution as being in the interests of the Palestinians, Israel, and the U.S.; and applauded the PA's “great progress” improving security in coordination with U.S. security envoy Lt. Gen. Keith Dayton, though he stressed that Palestinians still had much more to do to meet their requirements of improving security as laid out under the 2003 road map. Afterward, Obama publicly reiterated that Israel must build momentum for peace by halting all settlement activity and alleviating restrictions on Palestinian travel and commerce. Abbas also met with Secy. Clinton and Obama's national security adviser (NSA) Gen. James Jones. Meanwhile, Mubarak cancelled (5/20) his scheduled to visit Washington on 5/26 after the sudden death of his 12-year-old grandson. Since Obama had already announced that he would give his major address to the Muslim world in Cairo (see below), where the two could consult on the sidelines, the cancellation was not seen as a problem.
  • Political Geography: Washington, Israel, Palestine, Gaza
  • Author: Geoffrey Aronson
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • 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, Israel, Gaza
  • Author: Michele K. Esposito
  • Publication Date: 09-2009
  • 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. 16 MAY As the quarter opens, Israeli-Palestinian cross-border violence in Gaza is moderate and rising, while, in the West Bank, violence remains low. Israel's siege of Gaza, intended to pressure the Hamas government there, enters its 24th month, hampering efforts to maintain basic services and repair infrastructure and other damages fr. Israel's Operation Cast Lead (OCL, 12/27/08–1/18/09; see JPS 151). Israel allows an average of 106 truckloads/day of humanitarian goods and commodities into Gaza through Kerem Shalom crossing 6 days/week (far less than the 500 truckloads/day the UN estimates are necessary to meet Gazans' basic needs); limited fodder and seed through the Qarni crossing; and enough fuel through the Nahal Oz crossing to maintain emergency services and run Gaza's electricity plant at 69% capacity, as well as some cooking gas. Only very limited numbers of medical cases, employees of international organizations, and VIPs are allowed to transit through the Rafah and Erez crossings. Restrictions on Palestinian movement and access in the West Bank remain tight, with some 630 Israel Defense Forces (IDF) checkpoints and roadblocks dividing the territory into 3 cantons, and strictly limiting Palestinian access to Jerusalem and the Jordan Valley. Today, the IDF demolishes a Palestinian home in East Jerusalem; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Hebron. (OCHA 5/20; PCHR 5/21) 17 MAY IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire on the al-Bura area e. of Bayt Hanun, causing no injuries. (OCHA 5/20; PCHR 5/21) 18 MAY Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu begins a 2-day visit to Washington to discuss the peace process, Iran, bilateral relations, and Middle East regional affairs, holding his 1st mtg. with U.S. pres. Barack Obama at the White House. Obama privately presses for a total Israeli settlement freeze and endorsement of a 2-state solution, with Netanyahu demurring. The leaders emerge showing no signs of tensions, instead stressing shared goals of preventing Iran fr. developing nuclear weapons and achieving peace btwn. Israel and the Palestinians. (HA, IFM, WP, WT 5/18; NYT, WP, WT 5/19; NYT, WJW 5/21; WP 5/24; NYT 5/29; JPI 6/4; HA 6/11; see also NYT, WP 5/17) (see Quarterly Update for details) In the West Bank, the IDF makes a rare daytime incursion into al-Khadir nr. Bethlehem, raiding 2 secondary schools while classes are in session, holding the students for several hours while searching for a wanted person; no arrests are made. The IDF also conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in al-'Arub refugee camp (r.c.) and 3 villages nr. Hebron. (OCHA 5/20; PCHR 5/21) A 5th round of Palestinian national unity talks (5/16–18) ends in Cairo without any progress. (Xinhua–New China News Agency 5/18; NYT 5/20) (see Quarterly Update for details) 19 MAY Palestinians fire a rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, damaging a house in Sederot but causing no injuries. Late in the evening, IDF warplanes make at least 7 air strikes on Gaza, hitting at least 4 smuggling 196 Journal of Palestine Studies tunnels on the Rafah border (3 Palestinians working in tunnels are reported missing); a workshop in al-Daraj neighborhood in Gaza City, destroying it and heavily damaging a nearby marble factory, causing no casualties; a Hamas outpost nr. the border fence with Israel, causing no reported injuries; and a group of armed Palestinians in al-Zaytun neighborhood in Gaza City, wounding 1. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Dahaysha r.c. nr. Bethlehem. (OCHA, WT 5/20; PCHR, WT 5/21) Palestinian Authority (PA) pres. Mahmud Abbas dissolves PA PM Salam Fayyad's government and reappoints it, replacing 8 independent technocrats with Fatah members, none of whom are elected members of the Palestinian Council. (MNA 5/19; NYT, WT 5/20; NYT 5/21) (see Quarterly Update for details) 20 MAY Israeli naval vessels fire on Palestinian fishing boats off the Rafah coast, detaining 2 fishermen. IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire on Palestinian farmers working their fields nr. Bayt Hanun, wounding 1. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Nablus and neighboring Balata r.c., nr. Bethlehem and Jenin. Palestinians report that over the previous wk., the IDF has bulldozed Palestinian land in Abu Dis, Azariyya, and al-Sawahara to expand the Container checkpoint southeast of Jerusalem, which obstructs travel btwn. the n. and s. West Bank; has confiscated 300 dunams (d.; 4 d. = 1 acre) of land southwest of Jenin, giving residents 45 days to evacuate. (PCHR 5/21; OCHA, PCHR 5/28) 21 MAY Israel removes the tiny unauthorized settlement outpost (4 families) of Maoz Ester nr. Ramallah in what is seen by some Israelis (Israel Radio 5/21) as Netanyahu “throwing a bone” to Obama, who urged Netanyahu in their 5/18 mtg. to halt settlement construction. Hrs. later settlers begin to rebuild on the site, which has been evacuated and rebuilt twice before. (Israel Radio News 5/21; NYT, WT 5/22; OCHA, PCHR 5/28) 22 MAY Overnight, the IDF sends troops into Gaza to engage a group of armed Palestinians laying a roadside bomb nr. the border fence, fatally shooting 2 Islamic Jihad mbrs.; the deaths bring to 22 the number of Gazans killed by the IDF since the 1/18/09 cease-fire. Later in the day, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine detonates a roadside bomb on the Gaza border fence as an IDF patrol passes, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Jenin (firing live ammunition and stun grenades at homes, injuring a Palestinian woman); fires tear gas at stone-throwing Palestinians demonstrating against the separation wall construction in Bil'in; fires live ammunition, rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas at Palestinian, Israeli, and international activists taking part in weekly nonviolent protests against the separation wall in Ni'lin (injuring 10 Palestinians, 2 with live ammunition). Jewish settlers burn 10s of d. of Palestinian crops nr. Yitzhar settlement nr. Nablus, block firefighters fr. reaching the scene. A Jewish settler is found dead nr. Eli settlement btwn. Ramallah and Nablus; the circumstances of his death are unclear. (NYT, WP 5/23; OCHA, PCHR 5/28) 23 MAY Israeli warplanes drop boxes of leaflets across Gaza announcing that the IDF is expanding its self-declared “buffer zone” fr. 150 to 300 meters along most of the Gaza border, making more agricultural land inaccessible; 1 box hits a house, injuring a child. In the West Bank, the IDF shoots, seriously wounds an unarmed Palestinian teenager who strays nr. Shavei Shomron settlement nr. Nablus; patrols in Nur Shams r.c. nr. Tulkarm, firing on stone-throwing youths who confront them, wounding 3; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron, Jenin. Jewish settlers fr. Elkana settlement nr. Salfit vandalize a Palestinian home and intimidate the residents. (OCHA, PCHR 5/28; OCHA 6/1) 24 MAY In the West Bank, the IDF demolishes a Palestinian home in Issawiyya outside East Jerusalem; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Balata r.c., Nablus. (OCHA, PCHR 5/28) 25 MAY In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Hebron, neighboring al-'Arub r.c., and Tubas. In Jerusalem, several Jewish settlers attempt to access the al-Aqsa Mosque compound but are blocked by Palestinians; the IDF intervenes, violently beating several Palestinians, arresting 2 Palestinian teenagers, and extracting the settlers. Nr. Hebron, at least 20 Jewish settlers fr. Bet Yatir and Ma'on attack Palestinian shepherds nearby, moderately injuring 4. Jewish settlers fr. Yitzhar stone Palestinian cars traveling nearby. (OCHA, PCHR 5/28) 26 MAY Israeli naval vessels approach within 500 m of Rafah beach, arrest 2 fishermen on 1 of 12 small boats in the area. The UN reports that in the previous wk. an 8-yr.-old Palestinian boy in Gaza was injured by unexploded IDF ordnance (UXO); 7 Palestinians were killed in tunnel-related incidents (6 in collapses, 1 electrocuted); and unidentified Palestinians fired “several” rockets and mortars into Israel causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night patrols in 4 villages nr. Jenin; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Jenin town and r.c., Balata r.c., in Nablus, and nr. Bethlehem and Hebron. A Jewish settler violently beats a Palestinian woman waiting for a taxi nr. Zatara checkpoint outside Nablus; IDF soldiers manning the checkpoint observe the beating for 15 min. before intervening and ordering the settler to leave the area. (OCHA, PCHR 5/28) 27 MAY Israeli naval vessels fire on Palestinian fishermen off the Bayt Lahiya coast, detaining 2 boats and arresting 4 fishermen. Overnight, in the West Bank, the IDF removes 2 settler tent outposts nr. Hebron; settlers vow to reoccupy and expand the sites. The IDF also conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Aqabat Jabir r.c. nr. Jericho, Balata r.c., and Nablus, and nr. Hebron, Jenin, and Tubas. (NYT, PCHR, WP 5/28; OCHA, PCHR 6/4) U.S. special envoy George Mitchell meets with Netanyahu's senior advisers in Britain to follow up on the issues discussed in the 5/18 Obama-Netanyahu mtg. The Israelis offer a partial settlement freeze that would allow continued construction to accommodate natural growth, but the U.S. continues to demand a stop to all settlement activity. (NYT 5/28; WP 6/2) (see Quarterly Update for details)
  • Political Geography: Israel, Palestine, Gaza