Restrictions On Reporting From Gaza

  • The Israeli authorities are not allowing foreign journalists free entry into Gaza.
  • The Foreign Press Association recently held a lottery for the first eight foreign media organisations to be given access to Gaza. INL News did not win a ticket in this first round.
  • INL News, like other foreign media outlets, is relying on local Palestinian freelancers inside Gaza to give us the latest information.
  • Some military details may be subject to censorship by the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF).  This is standard for all media organisations operating out of Israel.

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Inquirer Opinion/ Talk of the Town

Gaza conflict

Philippine Daily Inquirer
First Posted 00:22:00 01/18/2009

Filed Under: Armed conflict, Gaza conflict

Gaza Strip fast facts

Area: 360 sq km (approximately 40-km long and 10-km wide)
Population: 1.5 million, many of whom are refugees of the land that became Israel in 1948. Roughly a third of the Gaza population lives in refugee camps funded by the United Nations.
Religion: Muslim (predominantly Sunni), 99.3 percent; Christian, 0.7 percent

Philistia: Gaza and the coastal towns to its north, for most of the years between 1250 BC and AD 135—the era in which Jews lived in and often ruled the land of Israel—eluded firm Israelite or Judean control.

In antiquity, Gaza was part of Biblical Pleshet or Philistia—the domain of the Philistines, a non-Semitic “sea people” hailing from the Aegean region, who probably invaded and settled along the coast in the 12th century BC (more or less simultaneous with the arrival in the Holy Land of the Hebrews from the east).

Samson and Delilah: From Gaza, Ashkelon and Jaffa, the Philistines controlled the coastal plain in 1150 BC. Samson and Delilah supposedly met in Gaza around that time.

The rule lasted until 586 BC, when Philistia was conquered (along with Judea) by the Babylonians and the Philistines were exiled and vanished from history. In the second century AD, after having quashed a Jewish revolt, the Roman rulers renamed the land of Israel—in order to de-Judaize it—Palestina (a derivative of Philistia).

They thus gave the Arabs, who were to arrive on the scene five centuries later, the name they were to adopt.

Zionist immigration: Palestinian Arabs, Christians and Jews harmoniously lived in Palestine for centuries. But in the late 1800s, a group in Europe, known as “Zionists,” decided to go to Palestine to create a Jewish homeland.

Initially, the immigration of Jews created no problems. However, as more and more Zionists immigrated into Palestine following the Holocaust, the indigenous Arab population became increasingly alarmed and threatened. Eventually, fighting erupted between the two groups.

Jewish state: In 1947, the United Nations decided to intervene. The UN set aside 55 percent of Palestine for a Jewish state—although the Jews represented only about 30 percent of the total population and owned less than 7 percent of the land.

By the end of the 1948 war, the Jewish state—having declared itself “Israel”—had conquered 78 percent of Palestine—far more than that proposed by the UN partition plan. As a result, three-quarters of a million Palestinians had been made refugees.

1967 and 1973 wars: Areas that were not incorporated into Israel became part of neighboring countries. Jordan took over the control of the West Bank and Egypt administered the Gaza Strip.
In 1967, following the Six Day War, Israel occupied the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Palestinians were again forced to leave the area. Israel also occupied the Sinai and the Golan Heights.

In 1973, Egypt and Syria launched a surprise attack on Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement), the holiest day of the Jewish year. Israel soon turned the tide of battle. Israel later returned the Sinai to Egypt, but annexed the Golan Heights.

Greater Israel: Devout Jews believe that Gaza and the West Bank were God-given and that it is their mission to live there as part of Greater Israel, the extension of the state of Israel from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River. However, the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza have not ceased to struggle against Israeli rule.

Oslo accords, intifada: Open revolt broke out with the first intifada (uprising) in 1987. The Oslo accords, which sought to make the West Bank and Gaza parts of a Palestinian state, were signed in Washington D.C. in 1993, but these did not please hard-line Israelis and Palestinians.

The second intifada broke out in 2000. Much of 2001, 2002 and early 2003 saw an escalation of violence by Palestinian suicide bombers and the military reoccupation of the West Bank by Israeli forces.

Israeli withdrawal: In 2005, the Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon pulled out troops occupying Gaza, along with more than 8,000 Jews who had settled in the territory.

Gaza soon became a venue of a power struggle between the Palestinian Authority—representing the secular Palestine Liberation Organization—and the forces of Hamas.

2006 war: Before the war, Hamas won a landslide victory in the Palestinian legislative elections, with Ismail Haniya becoming prime minister.

Hamas’ abduction of an Israeli soldier in June 2006 triggered a brutal response from Israel. A second front opened in Lebanon when Hezbollah killed eight Israeli soldiers and took two others as hostages.

With the suspension of support from the international community and blockade by Israel, Gaza residents suffered from food, water and energy shortages.

Ceasefire: Hamas forces fired rockets into Israel as a sign of protest but in June 2008, they started a six-month truce brokered by Egypt.

The ceasefire was often broken. Even as Hamas continued to protest the economic blockade, Israel complained Hamas was smuggling arms into Gaza through underground tunnels from Egypt and firing rockets at Israel.

On Dec. 19, 2008, the ceasefire formally ended and rocket attacks from Hamas increased.

Operation Cast Lead: Eight days later, Israel began its attack on Hamas.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak said that “Cast Lead” operation has three goals: “To hit Hamas hard, to change the situation radically, and to prevent the continuation of rocket fire at Israeli civilians.”

Israel fast facts

Area: 20,770 sq km

Population: 7.1 million, including about 187,000 Israeli settlers in the West Bank and about 20,000 in the Golan Heights (July 2008 est.)

Religion: Jewish, 76.4 percent; Muslim, 16 percent; Arab Christians, 1.7 percent; other Christians, 0.4 percent; Druze, 1.6 percent; unspecified, 3.9 percent (2004)

Israel Defense Forces

Total: 621,500; 176,500 (Regular), 445,000 (Reserves)

Equipment: 3,400 tanks (in service), 6,930 armored fighting vehicles, 520 combat aircraft, 184 helicopters, 3 submarines, 15 combat vessels and 50 patrol craft (as of March 2008)


More Than 1,100 Palestinians (as of Jan. 16), many of them civilians, according to the Hamas-run Ministry of Health

13 Israelis, including 3 civilians

Compiled by Inquirer Research

In pictures: Israeli advance

Palestinian children take refuge at a UN-run school in the Gaza StripThe director of emergency services in Gaza, Dr Muawiya Hassanein, said half of the casualties were women and children.

Akram Abu Rukaa is treated for suspected phosphorus burns at the Nasser Hospital in Khan Yunis.Elsewhere, Palestinian medics and human rights activists accused Israeli forces of illegally firing phosphorus shells at civilian areas, causing serious burns. The Israeli army categorically denied their use.

Damage to a house in Ashkelon caused by a rocket is inspectedMilitant groups in Gaza have continued to fire rockets into southern Israel, despite the offensive. One caused damage in the city of Ashkelon, although there were no reports of any serious injuries.

A Palestinian woman reacts to an air strike in Rafah

Efforts to broker a ceasefire in Gaza have been continuing in Egypt, where the international Middle East envoy, Tony Blair, has held talks with President Hosni Mubarak.

Israeli artillery fire on the Gaza StripThe Israelis say they are close to what they describe as the end game, but say they want to keep up pressure on Hamas as well as exploring a diplomatic way out.

Gaza Conflict At 'Tipping Point'

4:29pm UK, Monday January 12, 2009

Israeli troops have been fighting fierce gun battles with Hamas militants on the streets of Gaza.

Israeli soldiers stand at the border with the northern Gaza Strip Israeli soldiers move in from the border of the northern Gaza Strip Tanks and infantry units pushed into residential areas, as Israel maintains military pressure on the Islamist group while avoiding all-out urban warfare. Some neighbourhoods are filled with home-made bombs and booby traps, an Israeli army spokeswoman said. Major Avital Leibovich confirmed the army is "advancing more into urban areas".

Israel has also started sending in some of the thousands of reservists called up when the war began, Israeli television reported. Earlier, Israeli navy gunboats fired more than 25 shells at Gaza City, setting fires and shaking office buildings. And two women and four children were killed in a strike on a house in Beit Lahiya in northern Gaza, medics and witnesses said. A divided UN Human Rights Council has adopted a resolution condemning Israel's offensive in the Gaza Strip and accusing it of "grave" human rights violations against Palestinians. But the Israeli military has released new video images, which it claims show it is trying to avoid civilian casualties in Gaza.

In Jerusalem, Sky's Emma Hurd said: "This is Israel saying they are being careful within Gaza but Palestinians say the casualties tell a different story." Medical officials say the Palestinian death toll has risen past 900 and includes at least 380 civilians. Ten Israeli soldiers and three civilians have been killed combat or in rocket attacks since the operation began, said a military spokesman. Despite the continuing operation, Israeli officials have suggested the offensive might be approaching its end. "The decision of the (UN) Security Council doesn't give us much leeway," Deputy Defence Minister Matan Vilnai told public radio. "Thus it would seem that we are close to ending the ground operation and ending the operation altogether." Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has said Israel is nearing the goals it had set for its operation, but that fighting would continue for now. Hurd said: "There is a feeling now this conflict has reached a tipping point. Is it going to move forward, is Israel going to escalate or is it going to wind it down?" She added: "Maybe Israel is starting to wind down by playing up its gains to its population." Speaking in his final press conference as US President, George Bush has called for a "sustainable ceasefire", placing the blame for the conflict on Hamas. "That means Hamas stops firing rocket into Israel," he said, "I happen to believe the choice is Hamas' to make." Middle East envoy Tony Blair has said the "elements for an agreement for an immediate ceasefire" are in place. Speaking in Cairo after a meeting with Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak, Mr Blair said the talks are "at a sensitive and delicate" stage.

Hamas, which also ignored the Security Council resolution, has vowed to keep on fighting.

On Sunday, 19 rockets were fired into Israel from Gaza, including four military-grade Grad rockets, without wounding anyone.

An Israeli army mortar squad prepares to fire a round towards a target in the Gaza Strip (Bernat Armangue/AP) An Israeli army mortar squad fires a round towards a target in the Gaza Strip

From January 12, 2009

Israel pounds Hamas leaders' homes as troops edge closer to urban areas

Israel and phosphorus: original story | picture of shells | interview with victims

Israel sought to deliver a knockout blow to Hamas in the Gaza Strip today, pounding the homes of Hamas leaders and edging troops deeper into populated urban centres. Israeli security officials said that the move was both tactical and psychological.

“We want to send a clear message to Hamas that we can keep going as long as it takes. We will do whatever we need to protect our citizens from rocket attacks,” said a member of the Israeli security council. The council has already voted to approve the use of reserves in Gaza, thousands of whom entered Gaza last night. Defence officials said that those units had been taking over areas cleared by the regular troops, allowing those forces to push forward toward new targets and sending a strong signal that Israel is planning on continuing its offensive. Israeli officials said that the Government was torn on whether to continue expanding the offensive, with Ehud Barak, the Defence Minister, and Tzipi Livni, the Foreign Minister, pushing for the army to end the operation in the coming days and Ehud Olmert, the outgoing Prime Minister, arguing for an expanded offensive. “Israel is a country that reacts vigorously when its citizens are fired up, which is a good thing. That is something that Hamas now understands and that is how we are going to react in the future, if they so much as dare fire one missile at Israel,” said Ms Livni. Hamas, at least publicly, has vowed to continue fighting, though senior Hamas leaders in Gaza have signalled that the Israeli operation has dealt them a severe blow. In 17 days of fighting, Israel has moved from targeted air strikes to a massive ground operation aimed at combing the Gaza Strip for Hamas rocket-launching stations. Military analysts said that troops were edging into the populated areas slowly, avoiding the numerous booby-traps that Hamas had prepared. Israel has accused Hamas of endangering civilian populations by launching rockets from mosques and schools and using them to hide weapons. Israel also said that Hamas fighters were wearing civilian clothes and using ambulances to move around the Gaza Strip. Since Israel began its offensive, Gaza health officials have counted nearly 900 dead, at least half of them civilians. The Israeli military said that troops had killed some 300 armed militants. Thirteen Israelis have died, three of them civilians. German and British envoys have pressed efforts to negotiate an end to the war, even though Israel and Hamas have ignored a UN Security Council resolution calling for an immediate and durable ceasefire. Israel’s conditions for a ceasefire include a complete stop to Hamas rocket fire and weapons smuggling from Egypt. Hamas wants Israel to open all border crossings with Gaza and implement an international border to monitor the crossings. If the elections are held today in West Bank and Hamas is allowed to compete they will win by landslide. Thanks to Israeli wisdom in Gaza. Jordan trained police funded by US cannot stop this in West Bank.

Asif, San Jose, USA

Held by a Haganah military policeman and an unidentified Jewish official, the flag of the newly proclaimed Jewish state of Israel.Times Archive: Foundation of Israel

A Palestinian boy wounded during Israel’s offensive is carried into Shifa hospital in Gaza. Israeli forces edged into the Gaza Strip’s most populous area on Sunday, killing at least 27 Palestinians in an offensive stepped up in defiance of international calls for a ceasefire   War in Gaza

Latest from the Palestinian territory

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Palestine for the Jews

One-sided reality of combat in Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Despite reports of intense combat, Hamas weapons pose little threat to Israeli forces, writes Ed O'Loughlin  

YOU COULD be forgiven for thinking that there was a major ground battle going on in the Gaza Strip right now.

"Fierce fighting" vies for headline space with "intense combat", while Israeli troops and Palestinian fighters swap "heavy exchanges of fire" in "house-to-house clashes". But experience of Israel's many previous raids into Gaza in recent years - the Israeli government is blocking independent foreign journalists from witnessing this one - suggests a more one-sided reality. Unlike the Hizbullah men who fought the Israeli army to a standstill in Lebanon two years ago, Hamas's gunmen have no modern anti-tank missiles. Their mainly home-made rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) are useless against the heavy armour of the Israeli defence force's tanks and armoured personnel carriers. The Palestinians have no artillery or precision heavy weapons, and no air defences to counter Israel's US-supplied fighter bombers and attack helicopters, or the armed robot aircraft which circle constantly overhead. Their automatic rifles would be lethal against unprotected soldiers encountered at short range, but the tactics which Israel has perfected for the Gaza Strip ensure that its soldiers are seldom exposed to effective enemy fire. In fact, only about a dozen troops have died while participating in numerous deep raids inside Gaza since the IDF's last major loss in May 2004. Then, 11 troops were killed in two separate incidents involving poorly armoured vehicles since withdrawn from service.Of the five Israeli soldiers killed so far in the current massive invasion, one was reportedly hit by mortar fire. Three others were killed and 20 wounded when one of their own tanks blasted the Palestinian house in which they were hiding. The fifth was also killed by so-called friendly fire, ie accidental fire from his own side. The Palestinian death toll from such incursions has been vastly higher: Operation Rainbow, May 2004, killed at least 53 Palestinian militants and civilians; Operation Days of Penitence, October 2004, killed between 104 and 133; Operation Summer Rains, June 2006, 400 plus; Operation Autumn Clouds, November 2006, at least 70; last year an unnamed raid on Jabaliya killed over 100. All these raids and numerous smaller ones were duly reported in the foreign media, condemned as disproportionate by much of the international community and then quietly forgotten. The present Operation Cast Lead (some 630 Palestinians killed, as of last evening, and rapidly rising), is well on course to dwarf them all combined - as evidenced by yesterday's single incident toll of 42 civilians, killed when an Israeli artillery shell landed near a UN-run school. In a typical Israeli invasion, small teams of undercover soldiers use the cover of darkness to seize control of civilian homes selected for their fields of fire, taking the residents hostage and building snipers nests to cover the tanks that rapidly join them. In ensuing operations, the tanks and snipers sit back and take a heavy toll of the young Palestinian gunmen who invariably rush to the scene - one of the most under-reported aspects of the Israeli-Palestine conflict is the ineptitude of the martyrdom-loving Palestinians when it comes to basic guerrilla tactics. While their comrades keep the neighbourhood pinned down, infantrymen typically use civilian hostages as human shields - this is known in the IDF as the "neighbour procedure" - as they go door to door rounding up the menfolk, most of whom are then marched off to Israel to be interrogated and, if suspected of militant links, convicted and jailed. (Torture of suspected terrorists is tolerated by the legal authorities and courts in Israel, and torturers are allowed to defend themselves by asserting that the torture was "necessary".) Although greater in extent and in its massive death toll, the present Israeli ground invasion of Gaza seems to have followed the same broad pattern so far, penetrating only the fringes of teeming Gaza City. And just like its smaller predecessors, Operation Cast Lead's massive Palestinian death toll has proved immensely popular with an Israeli press and public demanding further retaliation for missile fire from Gaza which has killed 20 people in eight years (in the same period Israel has already killed more than 3,500 Gazans, at least 1,500 of them civilians, according to Israeli rights group B'Tselem). On Monday Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that public support for defence minister and former prime minister Ehud Barak was "rising with each missile that pounds Gaza". Barak and his coalition partner/rival, foreign minister Tzipi Livni, both have hopes of winning the premiership in elections on February 10th. Unfortunately for the besieged, blockaded, bomb-shocked people of Gaza, February is still a long way off. Meanwhile, Operation Cast Lead shows signs of escalating into something even worse. Most Israeli government spokesmen and women have so far denied that the aim of the current operation is to eliminate Hamas militarily in the Gaza Strip. But the underlying logic of Israel's internal political and military intrigues, and of both sides' stated aims, suggests otherwise. Hamas says it will not renew its previous six-month ceasefire with Israel, which unravelled last month following mutual violations, unless the Jewish state agrees to end its crippling three-year-old economic blockade of the Strip's desperate population - a demand echoed by human rights groups and local UN agencies. But Israel says this would legitimise the rule of an Islamic fundamentalist movement which refuses to renounce terrorism and violent resistance, and which itself does not recognise Israel's legitimacy. Instead, Israeli leaders said this week that they intend to pound Gaza until Hamas is forced to accept an imposed and unconditional ceasefire, with no requirement on Israel to end the blockade and no international mechanism to ensure that all sides, including Israel, behave in future. Also on Israel's wish list is the return to Gaza of its compliant Palestinian client, Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah movement, which remains nominally in charge of the West Bank, where Jewish settlement activity continues unabated, despite having lost Palestine-wide elections in 2006. It was routed from Gaza following its failed US- and Israeli-backed putsch against the elected Hamas government last year. In company with Egypt, the EU and perhaps the US and allied Arab states, Fatah will then mop up whatever is left of Hamas and police Gaza's borders and crossings to prevent further smuggling of weapons. But the chances of Hamas agreeing to what amounts to an unconditional surrender are nil. Instead, its militants have stepped up their own rocket fire into Israel, using new long-range rockets to strike for the first time the major cities of Ashdod and Beersheba. Three Israeli civilians have been killed so far. The European Union has so far quietly joined with Israel and the US in the diplomatic and economic siege of Gaza. But there is no way it, or anyone else, will take on the job of policing Gaza on Israel's behalf, a task the mighty Israel defence force failed to carry out. Any Israeli attempt to subdue its entire area, whether by slow starvation, gradual bombardment or rapid ground assault, would cause civilian deaths on a scale never before seen in the lopsided Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The world may not yet be cynical enough to keep looking the other way.

Ed O'Loughlin reported on Gaza for more than five years as Middle East correspondent for the Sydney Morning Herald and the Age

Masked Palestinian terrorists...

Masked Palestinian terrorists from Islamic Jihad place Kassam rockets before later firing them towards Israel on the outskirts of Gaza City, Saturday.
Photo: AP

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The fog of war: Root causes and resolution » Opinion » Op-Ed Contributors » Article

The fog of war: Root causes and resolution

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The notion that truth is the first casualty of war finds expression in the fog of the current Gaza conflict - a truth masked by oft-repeated cliches such as "cycle of violence" or unconscionable allegations of "genocide." If we want to prevent further tragedies in this conflict - let alone frame the basis for its resolution - then we have to go behind the daily headlines that cloud understanding and probe the real basis of the Israeli-Hamas conflict.

The proximate trigger for the present hostilities was the deliberate and consistent attack on Israeli citizens by Hamas. Over 6,000 rockets and mortar shells have been launched at Israel since its Gaza withdrawal in the summer of 2005, including hundreds while the supposed truce between Hamas and Israel was in effect.

When Hamas then unilaterally declared the truce over and tripled its rocket-fire, Israel was obliged to act in self-defense.

YET EVEN this proximate trigger does not tell the whole story. It is rather a symptom, or proxy, for the root cause: the unwillingness of Hamas - and its Iranian patron - to accept the legitimacy of Israel within any boundaries in the Middle East.

While the rejection by Hamas of any peace with any Israel - or the existence of Israel itself - is a foundational root cause, there is a much more pernicious and sinister one that is all but ignored in the fog of war. This is the public call by Hamas, in its charter as well as its contemporary declarations, for the destruction of Israel and the killing of Jews wherever they may be.

Jews everywhere - not just in Israel - are referred to as inherently evil, as responsible for all the evils of the world, as defilers of Islam, and, repeatedly during these hostilities, as the "sons of apes and pigs." This genocidal anti-Semitism - and I do not use these words lightly or easily, but there are no other words to describe what is affirmed in these genocidal calls, covenants and declarations - this culture of hatred, this is where it all begins.

In the words of Prof. Fouad Ajami following the 2002 terrorist massacre of Israeli civilians in Netanya sitting down for their Passover meal: The suicide bomber of the Passover massacre did not descend from the sky; he walked straight out of the culture of incitement let loose on the land, a menace hovering over Israel, a great Palestinian and Arab refusal to let that country be, to cede it a place among the nations.

The bomber partook of the culture all around him: the glee that greets those brutal deeds of terror, the cult that rises around the martyrs and their families.

MOREOVER, Iran not only joins in these genocidal calls, but has become the epicenter of calls for Israel to be "wiped off the map." In Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's Iran, one finds the toxic convergence of the advocacy of the most horrific of crimes embedded in the most virulent of hatreds and propelled by the avowed intent of Iran to acquire nuclear weapons for that purpose. Iran is not just a bystander to the conflict, but an actor and choreographer involved in the training, supplying, financing, harboring and promoting of Hamas.

The Iran "connection" to the present hostilities is too often ignored or sanitized. As a senior commander of Hamas has said, "Iran is our mother. She gives us information, military supplies and financial support." It is all the more tragic that innocent civilians are dying in Gaza because of hostilities supported by Iran, whose criminal accountability is marginalized.

As well, Hamas not only threatens the safety and security of Israeli citizens. It shields itself behind its own Palestinian citizens, thereby threatening the safety and security of Gaza itself.

RECOGNIZING the root causes is important, not only to appreciate the basis of the conflict, but the basis and framework for its resolution. That resolution, in the end, will not be military but diplomatic, political and juridical - and organized around the following initiatives and undertakings:

1.A comprehensive - and enduring - cease-fire and framework to end hostilities must be put in place. For such a cease-fire to endure, the casus belli that gave rise to the hostilities must be addressed and redressed: Hamas must cease and desist from its policy of targeting Israeli civilians and terrorizing Israeli civilian populations.

2.A robust international protection force - with the necessary mandate, mission and numbers - should be employed to ensure that the cease-fire is respected, both to protect against the targeting of Israeli civilians and the use of Palestinian civilians as human shields: the ongoing double war crimes of Hamas.

3. The international protection force must be empowered to secure a total interdiction of the smuggling and manufacture of weapons on Gaza, lest the capacity for the casus belli be renewed. For example, Hamas must not be permitted to resuscitate its tunnel system of weapons smuggling and the exploitation of the Philadelphi corridor for this purpose.

4.Another Hamas instigation underlying this conflict - remembered daily by Israelis - is the case of kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit. For two-and-a-half years he has been held incommunicado and denied his rights as a detainee; Hamas has even denied access to the International Committee of the Red Cross. Such manifest disregard for his basic rights must end. Indeed, 100 Hamas terrorists captured in these hostilities can be returned in exchange - there is admittedly a severe disproportionality between the freeing of an illegally abducted soldier and hundreds of terrorists, but it is one that Israel may be ready to accept.

5.The deployment of an international protection force should allow for the opening of humanitarian corridors and border crossings, and the withdrawal of Israel forces from Gaza, following the lines of the 2005 Agreement on Movement and Access concluded with the Palestinian Authority.

6.Humanitarian assistance must be immediately deployed to those in need, and Israel and Hamas must allow this assistance to be delivered. There can be no mistaking the fact that Hamas's tactics of launching rockets from civilian areas and using border crossings to smuggle weapons directly hinders humanitarian efforts.

7. With order restored, an international trusteeship under the auspices of the United Nations should be given governing authority over Gaza. Ruling Gaza is a job that Hamas cannot be trusted with, that Egypt has rejected, that Israel does not want, and that the Palestinian Authority has not been given the authority to do by the Palestinians.
While a UN governing authority would understandably be treated with mistrust in Israel, it would be a stabilizing presence that is simply the best of all available options. It can serve as an institution-building, state-building authority that can be the basis for the emergence of a peaceful, rights-protecting Gaza as a constituent part of a nascent, peaceful and democratic Palestinian state.

8.Palestinian society in Gaza must be freed from the cynical and oppressive culture of hate and incitement. It is true that one makes peace with one's enemies and not one's friends, but it is equally true that no peaceful solution - to this particular conflict in Gaza, or to the larger geopolitical conflict in the region - will be possible if resources continue to be poured into textbooks, summer camps, refugee camps and pervasive state media that serve the sole purpose of demonizing Israel.

THE NEXT generation of Palestinians must be one capable of keeping the peace with Israel. It is in the interests of neither Israelis nor Palestinians themselves to perpetuate this false "clash of civilizations." Admittedly the implementation of these objectives may be difficult - some may say even impossible - to secure. But the time has come to realize that if we want to protect the lives of both Israelis and Palestinians in the long as well as the short run, such initiatives and undertakings are unavoidable. The death of any innocent - Israeli or Palestinian - is a tragedy. It is urgent to act now for a just resolution, and for the prevention of further tragedies.

The writer is professor of law (on leave) at McGill University and Opposition Critic for Human Rights. He has written extensively on the Middle East.

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2007–2008 Israel–Gaza conflict

Main articles: Israel-Gaza conflict and Israeli-Palestinian conflict
Since the latest truce, signed on November 26, 2006, militiamen of Islamic Jihad Movement in Palestine and Hamas with his ‘Izz ad-Din al-Qassam fight force have shelled the Western Negev with crude homemade rockets, called Qassam rockets. Hamas is the ruling faction of the Palestinian National Authority. Since the disengagement plan was executed, thereby removing the ongoing IDF military presence from the area, the militias, especially Hamas, have also smuggled large numbers of machine guns, anti-tank missiles, grenades, explosive devices, and even anti-aircraft missiles into the Gaza Strip, making it very dangerous for Israeli forces to operate. In late April, heavy Palestinian inter-factional fighting broke out, especially between Hamas and Fatah. Leaders of both parties asked for cessation of the violence, calling instead for uniting against Israel.[citation needed] The week before the conflict broke out, more than thirty rockets a day were fired at Israel. In response, on May 15 2007, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Amir Peretz decided together with military leader Gabi Ashkenazi that they would increase efforts against the ongoing rocket fire.

In the first days of the conflict Israel responded with airstrikes at the very mobile Qassam launching cells, vehicles carrying Hamas militiamen, and buildings belonging to Hamas. The airstrikes may have been chosen because Hamas has very little AA weapons to defend themselves, so that the Israeli casualties will remain low.[citation needed] On May 20, Amir Peretz told the IAF to maintain pressure on Hamas. As a result of the ongoing aerial attacks, Hamas members stopped using cellphones, driving in cars, and gathering in groups to avoid further assassinations. Thus far the airstrikes have killed over thirty Palestinians, about two-thirds militants and one-third civilians.[6


On May 24, more than thirty members of the political wing of Hamas were arrested in the West Bank, including ministers and members of parliament. Some Hamas mayors and legislators were also seized by the Israeli military. The detained include the mayors of Nablus, Qalqilyah, and Beita as well as Education Minister Nasser Shaer.[7] Israel has said "as long as the Qassams will rain down on the Western Negev, all of Hamas' members will be responsible," including the political wing of Hamas. Hamas has similarly said as long as the "Zionist aggression" continues, their military wing will continue to fire Qassams on Israeli territory.[8]

On May 26, the Palestinian Minister of State, Wasfi Kabha of Hamas, was arrested by the IDF in a raid on his village close to the West Bank city of Jenin. An aide to the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas from Fatah, Saeb Erekat, reacted to the arrests: "We have urged the U.S. and the EU to intervene to release the ministers and lawmakers [...] this step does not help to achieve calm."[9]

TIME LINE for the Gaza Israel Conflict

May 2007

[edit] May 15

After more than 200 Qassam rockets attacks, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defense Minister Amir Peretz respond with airstrikes.

May 16 The Israeli Air Force attacked a building housing the Hamas headquarters of the Executive ForceRafah, leaving four dead and dozens wounded. The airstrike came in the middle of heavy fighting between forces loyal to Fatah and to Hamas, part of the ongoing Palestinian factional violence. Thirty Qassam rockets were fired at the Western Negev, leaving two residents of Sderot injured. Ten others suffered from shock.[10][11][12] in

May 17 Two people died in Rafah after their vehicle was hit by a missile fired by the IAF. The two had reportedly been in the process of launching Qassam rockets. More vehicles were hit by the IAF, leaving a member of a Qassam launching cell critically injured.

A Hamas base of operations was destroyed by Israeli missile attacks, leaving one militant dead and wounding more than thirty people, including civilians. Two people in Sderot were slightly injured by one of the ten rockets that landed on Israeli territory.[13]

May 18 Five members of Hamas were killed in an airstrike on a building in northeast Gaza that served as a meeting place for Hamas members. The IDF said "it was suspected that a tunnel was being dug there into Israeli territory." Hamas stated that the missiles were fired at members standing in an olive grove. In a Qassam rocket attack on Sderot, three people were injured. Twenty rockets were fired at a kibbutzim in Sderot.[14]

 May 19 The IAF killed two members of Hamas in an airstrike on their vehicle. A third passerby later died of his injuries. An empty school and several houses in Jabalya were destroyed by artillery shells. No injuries were reported.[15]

May 20 Ten rockets were fired from Gaza with four landing in southern Israel, but there were no injuries according to an Israeli spokesman. The IAF also launched an airstrike in Gaza City killing eight people, including Hamas militiamen, and at least thirteen others were wounded. Israel claims that five of those killed were militiamen, while Hamas claims only two were. The airstrike was targeted at the house of Hamas politician, Khalil al-Haya, who was not home at the time.

A second Israeli air strike killed one civilian and wounded three others, according to Palestinian medics. A spokeswoman for Israel claims that the strike was targeting militants loading ammunition onto a truck at a location that manufactures rockets. A third air strike targeted a plant that manufactured rockets for the Islamic Jihad group, which wounded two people according to medics.

Olmert said that he will attempt a diplomatic effort with the international community to resolve the conflict. However, he has also ordered an increase in airstrikes to destroy Hamas' infrastructure, in an attempt to halt the rocket attacks.[16][17]

May 21 After an airstrike from the IAF four members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad were killed while driving a car in Beit Lahiya. They were part of a Qassam launching cell and had just launched some Qassams into Israeli territory. An Israeli spokesman also said that Islamic Jihad members will be targeted because they participate in the Qassam firing. A workshop used in the manufacture of Qassam rockets was bombed, killing a manufacturer. A first round of five rockets was fired towards Sderot, one striking the city, two landing south of Ashkelon, and two striking western Negev. A Qassam rocket that struck Sderot killed an Israeli woman, the first fatality from a rocket attack in the country since November. Another man was moderately injured from the attack. The rocket struck a commercial center near a bakery in Sderot. Israeli civilians burned tires in the street after the attack, though the protest was interrupted by the Red Dawn rocket early-warning siren.[18] A second round of three rockets was later fired towards Israel, which landed near a kibbutz in the western Negev. A third series launched two more rockets towards Israel. No injuries were reported from these attacks.[19][20][21]

May 22 Hamas militants say they had fired several rockets towards Israel, a total of ten according to various groups.[who?] A total of seven rockets landed in western Negev, but caused no injuries. The IAF also fired missiles in an airstrike at a munitions base, and secondary explosions were reported after the strike. The airstrike wounded seven people in the attack on Jabaliya, Gaza City, according to local residents and hospital officials.[22][23][24]

May 22 Militants fired eight rockets at southern Israel, but no injuries were reported. One rocket that was fired, landed in an open area of Sderot. No injuries or damage were reported from the rocket landing. Later, two rockets hit the Sderot area, one of them inside the city. One women suffered from shock after the attack. Two more rockets landed south of Asheklon, one of which killed a horse in Kibbutz Nir Am.

The IAF conducted an airstrike on the Gaza Strip, in which they destroyed two buildings. The Israeli army said the buildings were being used to store and manufacture weapons; however, Palestinians denied these allegations. Hospital officials said seven Palestinians were wounded in the attack. Two IDF solders were wounded by gunfire in the northern Gaza Strip and were evacuated to the Barzilay Medical Center in Ashkelon. The gunfire may have came from militants, but the IDF is looking into the possibility of friendly-fire. In an uncommon move, Israeli troops entered a small village in the southern Gaza Strip. Israeli army officials said that after the raid, seven Palestinians were held for questioning. Samer Qdaih, one of those held, claimed the troops threatened to crush their area if rocket fire continues. All of the detainees were later released.[citation needed] President of the Palestinian National Authority Mahmoud Abbas had called for Hamas and other militias to halt rocket attacks against Israel. But a Hamas official, Sami Abu Zuhri, said that due to Israel's airstrikes on Gaza, that any ceasefire attempt by Abbas would be "worthless." Hamas said they would only consider a ceasefire if Israel stops their military operations in the Gaza Strip and the Israeli-occupied West Bank.[25][22]

May 24 Israeli forces entered Nablus in the northern West Bank, under Palestinian Authority self-rule. One Palestinian cabinet member, Education Minister Naser al-Shaer, was taken in the IDF raid. The IDF also captured at least three Hamas legislators, the mayor Adly Yaish and his deputy mayor, and other Hamas officials in nearby towns and villages. Israel's Defence Minister Amir Peretz says that the arrests "...can [be used to] speed up a return to a ceasefire rather than allow the region to slide into total escalation." Israeli Prime Minster Ehud Olmert also says he has no intention of stopping his offensive in the Gaza Strip as long as "they will not control the situation." The IAF additionally conducted airstrikes in the Gaza Strip, wounding at least five people in Gaza City and Khan Younis according to local residents. The attack in Gaza City destroyed the housing used by the Hamas Executive Force and damaged nearby buildings. Another airstrike destroyed a Hamas forces post in Deir al-Balah, in the central Gaza Strip. No casualties were reported as a result of the second attack. An airstrike in Rafah destroyed a metal-working facility which the IDF says is an Islamic Jihad weapons factory. A total of nine Qassam rockets were fired from Gaza, by Palestinians, towards the Israeli western Negev. Two of the rockets landed near kibbutzim in the area of Eshkol Regional Council, and the rest landed near Sderot and the area of Sha'ar HaNegev Regional Council. After one of the rockets landed, a fire broke out close to one of the kibbutzim. Some of these rockets landed in Israel without warning, due to a malfunction in the Red Dawn system that notifies of incoming rocket fire. In the northern Gaza Strip, a mortar was fired towards Israel. The mortar round landed near the Erez Crossing. No injuries were reported, but the structure was somewhat damaged.  Palestinian President Abbas, after meeting with a European Union envoy, described rocket attacks against Israel as "pointless and needless." However, Hamas official Sami Abu Zuhri[26][27][28][29] responded saying that "Rockets will be fired as long as the Zionist (Israeli) aggression against our (Palestinian) people continues."

May 25 An Israeli missile landed near the residence of Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas. An IDF spokeswoman said though that "Haniyeh's home definitely was not the target [of the airstrike]." The IDF said that the airstrike was on a structure used by Hamas, located in the Shati refugee camp. Local residents said that an IAF airstrike hit a van in Gaza City, killing two Hamas militants and wounding five. The IAF also conducted an air strike on a Hamas position in the central Gaza Strip, south of Gaza City, lightly wounding three, and destroying the base.[30][31][32] Seven Qassam rockets were fired towards Israel's western Negev from the Gaza Strip. The first five Qassams landed in open areas close to the southern town of Sderot and south of Ashkelon. No casualties were reported from these, though a wheat field near Sderot caught fire due to a Qassam landing.[33] Two rockets were later fired towards the Israeli town of Sderot. One of them landed near a house inside the town. This Qassam lightly wounded four people from shrapnel, and ten other nearby residents suffered from shock. The other rocket landed in Sderot's industrial area, damaging some equipment in a facility.[32]

May 26 Hamas militants considered the lenient ceasefire terms offered by Fatah, specifically Palestinian President Abbas. They said they would be willing to accept a ceasefire alone, instead of their previous demand of the end of Israeli military operations in the West Bank. Fatah said that Hamas is giving Israel until May 27 to respond to a ceasefire agreement, though Hamas said they are not completely committed to their offer. A Fatah spokesman, Abdel-Hakim Awad, said that "The next 48 hours will be decisive for determining which way the factions are going, and it will depend on Israel and whether it wants to stop its aggression." Five Qassam rockets were fired at Israel from the Gaza Strip, though no people were injured. Five airstrikes early in the day wounded three people, all bystanders near the targets; at least two were in Gaza City and one in the southern Gaza Strip, all Hamas positions. The IAF launched missile attacks on a Hamas Executive Force and its armed militia housing in Gaza City. At least five Executive Force members were killed and 30 other people were wounded, according to medics.[34] The explosion also damaged a kindergarten area next-door, though no people were wounded.[35] A security facility near Palestinian Prime Minister Haniyeh's home was also attacked in an airstrike. Another round of airstrikes in Gaza targeted buildings used by Hamas, wounding eight bystanders. The Palestinian Minister of State, Wasfi Kabha of Hamas, was arrested in an Israeli raid on his village close to the West Bank city of Jenin. An aide to the Palestinian President Abbas, Saeb Erekat, said that "We have urged the U.S. and the EU to intervene to release the ministers and lawmakers [...] This step does not help to achieve calm (attempts at a ceasefire)." Two Palestinian gunmen shot an Israeli police officer and security guard at the Israeli West Bank barrier on the Jerusalem border, and were killed by return fire. Two Israeli officers were wounded along with a Palestinian bystander, who the police say was hit by the Palestinian fire. No Palestinian militias have claimed responsibility for the attack. In response to the attack, Israeli police raised their alert status to the highest level possible without declaring an emergency. Dozens of IDF soldiers also raided villages south of Jerusalem, close to Bethlehem, in an attempt to find militants.[35][36][37] A spokesman for the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades, the armed militia of Hamas, now warns that if Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh or any other senior Hamas official is harmed by Israel that there will be a "earth-shattering" response. This response included a threat that Israel will never see Gilad Shalit, the IDF soldier whose abduction sparked the 2006 Israel-Gaza conflict, and that "Suicide bombings in Israel are just a matter of time and proper condition…we can fire rockets even beyond Ashkelon, and we will resume the suicide bombing and kidnappings."[38]

May 27 Two Qassam rockets landed in Israel. One in Sderot killed a man and wounded another, and other residents suffered from shock. The Qassam hit the street, it caused shrapnel to hit the man's car, and he crashed into a wall. He got out of the car, but died of his wounds at Barzilay Medical Center in Ashkelon. Another Qassam later hit Sderot injuring one Israeli civilian.

The IAF launched airstrikes on posts belonging to Hamas in the Gaza Strip. One strike targeted a Hamas charity building in Beit Hanoun and the other a Hamas executive force position in Jabalya, according to Hamas officials and other witnesses. A third airstrike was reported in the city of Beit Lahiya. No casualties were reported from the strikes.[39][40]

[edit] May 28

Seven rockets struck Sderot in southern Israel, but no injuries are reported. A senior Hamas militant was arrested in the city of Ramallah in the West Bank.[41]

[edit] May 30

The IAF made an air strike targeting a "group of armed terrorists," near the Jabalya refugee camp, an IDF spokeswoman said. Two members of the Hamas militia were killed, several bystanders were wounded, and a house was damaged.

In the West Bank, the IDF arrested the mayor of a small town near the city of Nablus.[42]

Six Qassam rockets fired from the Gaza Strip hit western Negev. One rocket hit a power line and an apartment building in Sderot. Some residents experienced and were treated for shock after the attack. The Qassam also caused a temporary blackout in some parts of the city, because of the hit on the power line. Another apartment building was hit, causing six people to experience shock, though no people were inside at the time. The latter had a claim of responsibility by the militia of the Popular Resistance Committees.[43]

[edit] May 31

The IAF made two air strikes on a rocket launching site and on militants in the Gaza Strip, injuring two Palestinians. Militants in the Gaza Strip fired three Qassam rockets into Israel, but caused no injuries.[44]

[edit] June 2007

[edit] June 1

The IDF killed two young Palestinians in the northern end of the Gaza Strip, after their location was hit with a shell, near Dugit, close to Israel. An IDF spokesman said that troops also saw people trying to plant an object on the border fence of the Israel-Gaza border, killing two other Palestinians. The spokesman also said that the IDF shot at three people, two which were evacuated by Palestinian ambulances. Also, a top Islamic Jihad militant, Fadi Abu Mustafa, riding on a motorcycle, near Khan Younis, was killed after an IAF air strike. An earlier strike on rocket launchers caused no casualties.

Four Qassam rockets were fired towards Israel from the Gaza Strip. Two of the rockets landed near a Negev kibbutz, causing some damage to a garage. Another rocket hit a kibbutz south of Ashkelon, causing serious damage to a warehouse. The fourth rocket did not reach Israel, and fell to the ground inside the Gaza Strip.[45][46]

[edit] June 2

The IDF killed two Palestinian waste collectors near a garbage dump in close proximity to the Gaza border fence. In Nabulus, West Bank, the IDF destroyed cement barriers in the city, which were being used to prevent IDF vehicles from moving through the streets. According to the acting mayor of Nabulus, Nihad Masri, several people were wounded in the attack. IDF soldiers also arrested four brothers in the Maghazi refugee camp in the Gaza Strip, though their affiliation is unknown. The IDF also arrested four people in the Gaza Strip, stating they fired rockets into Israel. They were later released.[47]

[edit] June 3

Four IDF soldiers were injured, one moderately and three lightly, near the Erez crossing in the northern Gaza Strip. They were hurt after 3 mortar rounds hit their location, which Hamas says they are responsible for. The injured soldiers, and six who suffered shock, were evacuated to Barzilay Medical Center in Ashkelon. Two other mortar shells landed in other areas of the Gaza Strip.Report: IDF kills Fatah member in Jenin

Also an armed Palestinian, according to some sources a member of the Fatah militia, was shot and killed by the IDF. The IDF reports that Palestinian gunmen first fired and threw an explosiveJenin in the West Bank. None of the troops were injured.[48] at soldiers, during an operation in the city of

[edit] June 5

The IDF pulled out of the Gaza Strip, after an offensive two kilometers inside the Israel-Gaza border. Several Palestinians were detained by the IDF and were transferred to Israel for questioning.[49]

Two Qassam rockets were fired towards Israel from the Gaza Strip. One landed near Sderot and one landed inside the Gaza Strip, neither caused injuries.[50]

[edit] June 6

The IAF fired at two armed Palestinians, affiliated with Hamas, trying to plant an explosive device in Jabalya. The air strike killed one and wounded the other.[51]An elderly Palestinian experienced a raid on his home in Hebron, by the IDF, during the arrest of other men in this home. One soldier and three other Palestinians were wounded.[52]

Hamas fired eight mortar shells at the Erez Crossing, damaging the site, and causing a fire on the Gaza side of the border. Two Israeli trauma centers were opened in southern Israel near Gaza.[53]

[edit] June 12

Main article: Battle of Gaza (2007)

Hamas gained control over northern Gaza after fighting with Fatah Preventive Security ServiceBeit Hanoun. Four Palestinians were killed and 15 wounded. Hamas also takes control of central refugee camps, Bureij, Nuseirat and Maghazi with virtually no fighting with Fatah.[54] forces in the city of

[edit] June 13

Hamas destroys Fatah Preventive Security Forces' headquarters in Khan Yunis, killing five Palestinians.

[edit] June 14

Hamas forces seize and loot Abbas' presidential compound and Fatah Preventive Security Forces' headquarters in Gaza City. Other major security and intelligence compounds are also captured, finalizing Hamas' control over Gaza City. To the south, Rafah falls into Hamas control with minimal casualties. After controlling the majority of the Gaza Strip's cities and refugee camps, Hamas takes control over the main north-south road as well as the coastal road and southern border with Egypt.

[edit] June 27

Israel launches ground raids on Gaza City and Khan Yunis. Israeli tanks moved into Gaza and clashed militants there. Nine Palestinians were killed, of them two were civilians who died after an attack at house in the city. In Khan Yunis, two Islamic Jihad members were killed in clashes with Israeli Defense Forces and a Hamas militant was killed after mishandling explosives. Also this attack was one of the most deadly attack of this conflict

[edit] July 2007

[edit] July 1

During a raid in Jenin, the IDF kills a top commander of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades,Muhammad el-Haija . He was considered to be second in command in Jenin, after the Brigades commander Zakaria Zubeidia. 6 other militants were detained by the IDF in the West Bank.[55]

[edit] July 5

IDF forces raided central Gaza, searching for weapons caches and smuggling tunnels, but met fierce resistance from Palestinian militants, especially Hamas. IDF forces noticed a large amount of Palestinian militants, and shot at them. Palestinians responded with gunfire, anti-tank missiles, explosive devices and mines. IDF now used bulldozers, tanks and choppers to fight the militants. At one point IAF jets joined the fight. In the clash, 11 Palestinian militants were killed, including nine from Hamas and one from Islamic Jihad. More than 20 people were wounded, including a Hamas cameraman and two Israeli soldiers. One of the killed was Mohammed Siam, a local commander.[56]

Three mortars and two Qassams were fired into Israel, causing no damage and injures. Hamas and Islamic Jihad both claimed responsibility.

[edit] July 7

In an IDF operation in Gaza, seven Qassamrocket launchers were noticed. All were destroyed by the IDF. Some were detonated with a timer.

[edit] July 8

Five Qassamrockets were fired into Israel. Four landed in open areas, but one landed near a college in Sderot. Nobody was injured. Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility.

[edit] July 9

A Palestinian militant, Mohammed Nazal, 24, is killed by IDF forces in an ambush near Jenin. He was a member of the Islamic Jihad, Palestinian sources confirmed.

Three Qassams are fired into Israel, causing damage but no injuries. Palestinian Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility.[57]

[edit] July 10

Eleven mortars are fired into Israeli territory in three separate barrages. Two buildings contained damage, but there were no casualties. One mortar landed near the Kerem Shalom Crossing. Palestinian Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility.[58]

[edit] July 12

A soldier, Arbel Reich (21), is killed in Central Gaza in an ambush. IDF soldiers, together with tanks and bulldozers entered the area and when they entered the al-Bureij refugeecamp, they were ambushed by Hamas militiamen with a burst of machinegunfire and RPG rockets. Two other IDF soldiers were wounded. Two Palestinian militants were wounded by an IAF airstrike in the same area.

Despite the presence of Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip, Islamic Jihad managed to fire a Qassamrocket to Sderot. Nobody was injured.

An Palestinian man armed with an AK-47 and an explosive belt is killed in Tulkarem. The man drove with his car to a checkpoint and began shooting at the checkpoint with his Kalashnikov. He had The soldiers returned fire, killing the Palestinian. No militant group claimed responsibility.[59][60]

[edit] July 19

A Qassam rocket fired from the northern Gaza Strip on Thursday hit a home in the city of Sderot. Seven people suffering from shock were taken to the Barzilai Medical Center in Ashkelon. A number of buildings were damaged in the strike.[61]

[edit] July 22

Israeli aircraft killed two members of the Al Quds Brigades, the armed wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. The airstrike was a retaliation for the Qassams fired on Saturdayevening, which landed in the Negev, causing some damage. Islamic Jihad confirmed two of its militants were killed in the attack while launching rockets, carried out by a chopper.

Two Hamasmilitants are killed near the border fence while trying to plant explosive devices. They were spotted and killed by gunfire by Israeli soldiers. Hamas confirmed the dead of the two men. They were known as Mustafa Abbas en Mohammed Marouf.[62]

[edit] July 26

During a groundoperation in the Gaza Strip, the IAF was called in and spotted Hamas militants near IDF soldiers in Southern Gaza. Tankfire then killed a Hamas militant who was holding a RPG in his hands, Palestinian sources said. The IDF said the missile was fired by a helicopter. The killed was known as Sharif al-Baraeis (35), member of the Iz-ad-Din al Qassam brigades.[63]

More than ten mortars and Qassamrockets are fired at Israel this week, causing some damage and three injured.[64]

An Israeli airstrike south of Gaza City killed three Islamic Jihad men traveling in a car. One of the dead was Omar Khatib, who headed the group's military wing in the Gaza Strip. The other two were known as Khalil Daifi and Ahmed Abd Al-el. After the fight, Islamic Jihad members tried to retrieve items in the burnt car, but Hamas gunmen refused them to enter the scene. A firefight erupted, wounding four Palestinians.[65]

Israeli troops struck and killed a Palestinian who tried to stab a soldier. The man's family said he later died of his wounds and that he was mentally ill.[66]

Six Palestinians were wounded by airstrikes in the Gaza Strip in two separate events.[67]

[edit] July 28

Two al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades militants were killed while planting a bomb near the Gaza-Israel border after ignoring warning fire to leave the area.[68][69]

[edit] August 2007

[edit] August 1

A Hamas operative and a Popular Resistance Committees militant are killed in Beit Lahiya. The two were spotted by Israeli soldiers operating in the area in search for Qassamrockets and their launchers. In the firefight an antitank missile was fired at Israeli soldiers, causing no injuries. Hamas and PRC confirmed its men were fighting Israeli soldiers in Beit Lahiya.[70]

Four Qassamrockets are fired into Israel, causing some damage.

[edit] August 4

An Islamic Jihad commander, Raad Abu el-Adas, is killed by Israeli forces near his home in Nablus. IDF troops were already looking for him and when they encircled his house he decided to flee through a window, while another Islamic Jihad member fired at troops who were storming the house. The other member was wounded in the battle.

Three Qassamrockets are fired at Sderot, causing three injured people.[71]

[edit] August 5

An IDF officer was lightly injured in an operation in the Nablus area after Palestinian gunmen opened fire at the force. Eight wanted Palestinian terror suspects were arrested across the West Bank on Sunday night. Three were detained in Nablus and the other five were arrested near Ramallah and in Hebron.

[edit] August 6

An IDF force operating in the West Bank on Monday morning uncovered an explosive device weighing 40 kilograms (88 pounds), which was hidden inside the corpse of a sheep. The soldiers were led to the device by a Palestinian militant who was arrested and questioned by the defense establishment.[72]

A rocket launched from northern Gaza landed in a kindergarten schoolyard in Sderot, moments after the completion of a Monday afternoon meeting between Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. The al-Quds Brigades, the military wing of Islamic Jihad, took credit for the attack, which caused damaged to nearby buildings, including two other kindergartens and a public elementary school. The Color Red system was activated.[73]

[edit] August 7

Two Hamas gunman are killed in the Gaza Strip. They were spotted near the Karni Crossing by soldiers outside the strip. The soldiers entered the Strip, exchanged gunfire and killed them.[74]

A Israeli soldier is lightly injured by an explosive device thrown at IDF forces by a Palestinian in Nablus.

[edit] August 9

IDF soldiers killed a Palestinian near the Suffa crossing in southern Gaza on Thursday afternoon. The army said soldiers had spotted the man crawling near the border fence. Suspecting he was planting a bomb, they called on him to stop and shot in the air. When he continued moving, they fired at him. Palestinian medics brought his body to a hospital in Gaza and said they did not find weapons near his body.[75]

[edit] August 10

A security guard at the Ateret Kohanim yeshiva in the Old City of Jerusalem shot and killed a Palestinian man who snatched the weapon of another guard and used it to wound him. Eleven people were wounded in the shooting, including the guard, who was moderately hurt.[76]

[edit] August 17

A clash in the West Bank village of Kfar Dan leaves two Palestinians dead. The clash began when IDF forces entered the village were members of the Islamic Jihad an Fatah were hiding. After they were spotted, a firefight followed. A 16-year-old boy, Nur Mare'i, and a Palestinian gunman, Muhammad Darwish, of the tiny Abu Amar Brigades, linked with Fatah were killed with no casualties on Israeli side. [77]

An IDF soldier was lightly injured when an explosive device is hurled at his jeep in Nablus. The militant managed to escape.

In a rocket barrage, three Qassams and thirteen mortars are fired into Israel by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. No casualties or damage was reported.[78]

A tunnel in Gaza, recently discovered by the IDF had been blown up. The 700-meter-long tunnel was made for terrorist activities, the IDF said. Palestinians said the tunnel was made to carry tomatoes.

[edit] August 18

Israeli forces shot three Palestinians near the border fence The army said they repeatedly ordered them to leave the area. One of them died, the other two were wounded. It is not sure if they were armed or unarmed.

Five Palestinian infiltrators are caught and brought back into Gaza. Apparently they were looking for work, because they were unarmed.[79]

[edit] August 20

Six Palestinians, all members of the armed wing of Hamas were killed when their vehicle was blown up by an Israeli missile. The Palestinians were driving back after they had fired some Qassams and mortars into Israeli territory.[80]

[edit] August 21

A Palestinian gunman from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine was killed by Israeli forces in Nablus. The militant opened fire at Israeli forces operating the area, but was killed when IDF soldiers returned fire.[81]

Three Palestinians were killed near the Gaza border fence. The Palestinians were armed with sniper rifles, the IDF added. Palestinian sources haven confirmed the death of the men.[82]

Two Qassams were fired into Israel, one hitting a kindergarten, injuring and shocking some people.

[edit] August 22

In an airstrike in Northern Gaza, the IAF kills a top commander of Hamas, Yehia Habib in an airstrike. Two other members were wounded, one seriously.

In a fierce clash between the IDF and Islamic Jihad, three members of Islamic Jihad are killed by the IDF. Two children were caught in the crossfire and also killed. The IDF said they traced two men near a rocket launcher in Gaza. It is known that militant groups give children some money to collect the rocket launchers spokesman of Islamic Jihad said the man were on a mission against Israel.[83]

A Qassam is fired into Israel.

[edit] August 23

Islamic Jihad fired seven Qassamrockets into Israeli territory, causing some damage. A woman was treated for shock.

Three Israeli soldiers were lightly injured by explosive devices thrown by militant Palestinians in Nablus.

Four Hamas fighters were wounded in an aerial assault by the IAF.[84]

[edit] August 24

An 11-year-old boy was killed in the crossfire between Palestinian militants and the IDF. The IDF entered the Kfar Saidi village in the West Bank looking for wanted men, when they were attacked by militants. In the gunfight, the boy and an Islamic Jihad fighter were killed. A second IJ fighter was seriously injured and captured by Israeli forces. On Israeli side there were no casualties.[85]

Two Palestinian militants were using the morning fog to get unnoticed over the borderfence but were sensed by IDF soldiers. In the firefight the two, Khadar Oukel (20), from the Salah-ad-Din brigades the armed wing of the Popular Resistance Committees and Muhammad Sakar (22) of the National Resistance committees, the armed wing of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine were killed while lightly injuring an IDF soldier.[86]

[edit] August 25

A senior commander of the Al Quds brigades in Jenin, the armed wing of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad was killed when undercover forces opened fire on his vehicle, loaded with other PIJ militants. Another militant was seriously wounded in the raid.[87]

The militant wounded earlier this day, has succumbed to his wounds, Palestinian medical sources said.[88]

[edit] August 27

A Palestinian man was killed by IDF fire near the Gaza borderfence. He was unarmed. Palestinian sources said he was a farmer. IDF sources said the soldiers suspected the man tried to lay explosive devices near the border.[89]

A Qassamrocket was fired into Israeli territory. The launcher was minutes later destroyed by an Israeli missile.

An IDF major driving in the West Bank occasionally took the wrong turn, and drove to the Palestinian city of Jenin, instead of a settlement. The uniformed major was sensed by a mob and his car was burnt. Islamic Jihad militants tried to kidnap the officer, but were halted by Preventive Securityforces, who protected the major and called in nearby IDF forces for help.[90]

[edit] August 28

A Sderot resident is moderately injured by shrapnel from a Qassamrocket which fell on his house in his bedroom. The rest of the family was hiding in the bomb shelter after the Color Red system was activated. the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades claimed responsibility for the attack. 7 other Qassams are fired today, causing only some damage and two people shocked.[91]

[edit] August 29

Four Qassamrockets are fired into Israel.

Three Palestinian children are killed by artillery shells in the Gaza Strip, between Beit Lahiya and Jabalya. The IDF targeted five rocketlaunchers in Beit Hanoun. The three members were all member of the same family. Palestinians believed Israel wanted to target a militant cell.[92]

[edit] August 30

An elite Israel Defense Forces paratrooper unit shot and seriously wounded a Palestinian militant in Nablus' Old City early Friday. The militant, who belonged to a cell that operated jointly under Fatah's military wing—the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades—and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, was taken to a local hospital for treatment.

Three Qassam rockets fired by Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip struck open areas in the western Negev. There was no damage or injuries in either of the attacks.[93]

[edit] September 2007

[edit] September 6

Four Hamas militants were killed in an army operation in Southern Gaza. The four were hit by a tankshell which exploded near to them, Palestinian sources said. The IDF said the militants approached them but soldiers spotted them in time, causing a burst of Israeli gunfire, causing the deaths. Ten more militants were wounded, either by gunfire or tankshells.

IDF soldiers foiled a terror attack near the Gazan border. Two cars, filled with 6 heavily armed Palestinian militants were driving to the fence with automatic rifles, grenades, RPG's, suicide belts and TNT. IDF soldiers noticed the cars came with high speed to the fence and fired at them. IAF planes also fired at the vehicle. Palestinian reports say the vehicles made it into Israeli territory, sparking a heavy gunbattle in which all 6 militants were killed. Israeli reports said the vehicles did not make it into Israeli territory and that the militants were killed inside Gazan territory. Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and Palestinian Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility, claiming they had both 3 members involved.

An IDF soldier is lightly injured by mortars near the Gaza fence.[94]

[edit] September 10

Two Qassamrockets are fired at the Zikim Army Base in Israel near the Gazan Border. One of them lands safely in the Negev, but the other lands near unfortified barracks at the base where Israeli recruits were sleeping. Sixty-nine soldiers were wounded by the rocket, 60+ of them had only lightly-to moderately shrapnel wounds, but four of them were injured seriously. One of the four had to have his leg amputated and another one is still in critical condition. Both Islamic Jihad and PRC claimed responsibility. Despite Hamas wasn't responsible, they called the act a "Victory from God."[95][96]

In retaliation, Israeli choppers flew over the Strip, firing missiles at militant bases, wounding four Islamic Jihad members.

[edit] September 16

During an operation in the Nablus area, Israeli soldiers fired at two armed members of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, killing both of them.[97]

[edit] September 18

In Hebron, two Palestinian families were fighting with each other, using sticks and stones, but also firing bullets near the settlement, causing an IDF patrol. In the patrol, a Palestinian family and the IDF clashed in a gunbattle, leaving one Palestinian dead, Baha al-Ajlouni, 27.

IDF forces shot and killed Yusuf al-A'achi, a gunman from Hamas in the Nablus area in the refugeecamp near Nablus.

Four Qassams rained down on Israeli Gaza border communities today. Nobody claimed responsibility.[98]

In another clash in the refugeecamp, an IDF soldier Ben-Zion Haim Henman, 21, was killed by an explosive device hurled towards him. His comrade was lightly injured by shrapnel. The IDF forces were targeting a PFLP cell. One of the members of the cell, Muhammad Halad, critically injuring him. He succumbed 15 minutes later to his wounds.[99]

[edit] September 19

Israel declared the Gaza Strip as an enemy entity, declaring that it would reduce its fuel and power supplies to the Hamas-run territory in response to continued rocket fire from Palestinian militants. The announcement coincides with a visit from United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. [100]

[edit] September 26

Hours after militants launched more than twelve rockets and twenty mortar shells at Sderot, missiles hit a jeep as it crossed a crowded intersection in the Zeitoun neighborhood of Gaza City, killing at least five members of the Army of Islam. The army said the jeep was carrying rockets ready for firing.

Palestinian security officials seized two homemade rockets, a possible sign that the attack techniques of Gaza militants are spreading. The projectiles, not yet fitted with explosives, were discovered in Bethlehem and handed over to the Israeli army.[101]

In Beit Hanoun, a Popular Resistance Committees gunman fired at Israeli troops. Troops fired back at his home, killing him and 3 other occupants who were non-combatants, according to witnesses. An Israeli military spokeswoman said she was checking the report.[102]

September 27 A Qassam launching cell was spotted in the area while Hamas militants were preparing to fire another Qassamrocket. Soldiers opened fire and killed one of them, the rest was able to flee. Military sources said they would keep the pressure on the launching cells the coming days. [103]

October 2007

October 1 Two Palestinian gunmen, who were advancing to the Israeli Gaza border fence overnight opened fire and threw a handgrenade at Israeli soldiers. The soldiers, who were outnumbering the gunman heavily returned fire and killed both the gunmen. Both the gunman belonged to the military wing of Hamas.[104]

October 3 In an operation in Southern Gaza, in Rafah, IDF aimed to destroy Hamas infrastructure, two Palestinian gunman were injured critically by a missile. One of them, Muhammad Hassan, succumbed later to his wounds and died. Both the gunmen were member of the armed wing of Hamas.

In Khan Younis, a Palestinian, Said al-Amur, is killed by IDF gunfire who were operating in the area. It is not known whether he was armed.

A Hamas member is killed while digging a tunnel under the Erez Crossing. The tunnel collapsed while he was inside.

October 4  In the West Bank on Thursday night, Palestinians opened fire and hurled Molotov cocktails on IDF troops patrolling the Balata refugee camp in Nablus. No injuries were reported. In Hebron, an explosive device was also detonated next to a police car.

October 5 A Palestinian militant near the Israel-Gaza border fence fired at IDF troops after they identified him, and IDF troops returned fire and killed him. A bomb was thrown at the troops, but none were wounded in the exchange.[105][106]

October 7 After six weeks of being hospitalized in an Israeli hospital, a Palestinian civilian of Jenin dies of his wounds inflicted by IDF fire. [107]

In a rocket barrage fired by Palestinian militants, eight mortar shells, three Qassamrockets and one Katushya rocket landed inside Israeli territory. One studio was completely burned down by a mortar shell in Kerem Shalom. The Katushya rocket landed 400 meters from Netivot, 11 km away from the Gaza Strip. It was the first rocket to hit the Netivot area. Last week ten Qassamrockets and 20 mortars hit the Negev. Nobody was injured in the attacks.[108]

October 10 A member of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades is killed in the old part of Nablus by IDF troops operating in the area. Another member of AAMB was critically injured. Amar al-Anabusi was shot to death and Sufian Kandil, a prominent group member, was severely injured.[109][110]

October 11 Israeli Special Forces, operating in Jenin opened fire at a vehicle conducting Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades members. IDF troops and Border Police killed a senior Tanzim member in Jenin overnight Wednesday, the IDF said. The target was identified as Mohammed Abu-Srur. Another militant was injured and arrested. The target, who had been planning to carry out terror attacks in Israel in the near future, aimed a pistol at the soldiers, who then shot and killed him. However, Palestinian officials said the man killed was a Palestinian policeman driving a wanted terror suspect. They said the Islamic Jihad operative he was driving escaped unharmed despite efforts by undercover soldiers dressed in civilian clothes.

October 13 Israeli aircraft fired at a group of militants busy launching Qassamrockets near Beit Hanoun. The explosion killed one militant and injured three more. All the militants belonged to Hamas.[111]

October 16 Two Palestinians were killed in a battle in the old quarter of Nablus a Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade stronghold. IDF forces, operating in the area and were looking for wanted Palestinian militants. While detaining Palestinians, a small firefight erupted leaving one Palestinian militant, a local commander dead and two others wounded. A civilian was also killed as he ran out his house but was lethally hit by a bullet. It is not sure whether the bullet was shot by an Israeli or Palestinian. [112]

October 17  In a gunbattle in Khan Younis, a IDF soldier from the Golani forces is killed by single bullet. Dragged away from the battle injured, he died in an ambulance driving to the hospital in Beer Sheva. A Palestinian militant was killed by a tank shell in the same battle. 4 other militants and 2 civilians were injured in the battle. Hamas confirmed one of its fighters died, Hazam Asfor (20).[113]

October 19  An Islamic Jihad member and a fisherman are killed by the Israeli navy on their vessel. The Islamic Jihad militant was known as Mizar Abu Arab.[114]

October 22  IDF undercover elite forces dressed in civilian clothes killed two Palestinian Islamic Jihad militants in Jenin. The two were killed during an arrest raid, when they were about to be arrested they grabbed their guns but were killed in the firefight. An Israeli soldier was lightly injured by the two militants. They were known as Tarek Abu Ali and Khaled Houssein.

More than fifteen Qassamrockets are fired into Israel on October 21 and 22, according to the IDF.[115]

October 23   A PRC commander of Qassam launching cells is killed by an IAF airstrike in the Strip. He was known as Mubarak al Hassanat and was an official in the Hamas-led government in the Gaza Strip. He was the main target of the airstrike, because of the large role of the PRC in the launching of mortars and Qassams on Israel.[116] Following the death of al Hassanat, eleven Qassamrockets and eight mortars hit the Negev.[117]

October 24   After a rocketbarrage on the Western Negev, with five Qassamrockets and several mortars, IAF planes circled above the Gaza strip, looking for launching cells. One of the planes found a launching cell and fired a missile at the five militants. Two were killed and three injured. All were members of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad. None of the rockets inflicted injuries, although a house was burnt down and two people suffered from shock in Sderot.[118]

October 25   IDF soldiers spotted two Hamas gunman near the fence. The reserve soldiers opened fire on them and killed both gunmen. Ten Qassamrockets are launched causing no injuries nor damage.[119][120]

An Islamic Jihad operative is killed while trying to plant explosive devices near the border fence. His comrade was nabbed and taken away for custody. It was further reported that the two were identified at Mohamed al-Khourdi, 20, and Mahmoud al-Abed, 24.[121]

October 26 Two armed gunman near the northern border are spotted by a unit of Golani soldiers, who were operating inside the Gaza strip. In the following firefight the gunman were killed, and two soldiers were lightly injured by the Palestinians. After the attack, two Qassamrockets were fired into Israel, causing neither damage nor injuries. In the Southern Strip, an Islamic Jihad gunman is taken under fire by a unit of reserve soldiers. The gunman immediately died. A Hamas militant is killed by an IAF aerial attack. Another militant was seriously injured by the attack. Hamas said the airstrike happened near Gaza city.[122] Seven Qassamrockets are fired into Israel. One woman in Sderot suffers from shock.[123]

October 28 An IDF soldier of the reserve unit is killed in battle. Ehud Efrati was killed in the Gaza strip near the border fence in a fierce clash with Palestinian gunman. It happened near the Sufa Crossing. The unit was surprised by a Palestinian ambush. 2 other soldiers were injured. A Palestinian of the Hamas branch was also killed. He was known as Mohammed Abu-Tahoon. IDF said they shot another Palestinian, but did not know his condition. Near Beit Hanoun, Palestinians fired an anti tank rocket at Israeli soldiers, seriously wounding a soldier. The militants were tracked by choppers and were taken under fire by a missile. A Palestinian gunman and a civilian died. During the operation, Palestinian gunman shelled a house were Israeli soldiers had sought shelter, leaving several soldiers lightly injured. In the West Bank, a soldier was moderately injured by Palestinian gunfire.[124][125]

October 30 After a barrage of mortar shells, the IAF shelled a policebuilding of Hamas in the Abasan village. Four Hamas militants died in the attack. After four Qassams are fired into Israel, IDF soldiers entered the strip and targeted a launching cell, but missed them. The missile slammed into a residence, injuring six Palestinian civilians.

October 31 Mahmoud al Hajj is killed by IDF forces operating in the central Gaza Strip. He was killed in a gunbattle near the border fence. Israeli forces often operate near the border fence in the Strip, trying to prevent Palestinian attacks and rocketattacks.

Eight mortars were fired into Israel. Some of them were fired from a schoolyard. The IAF had them in sight, but could fire, an IDF statement reported.[126][127]

November 2007

November 1 Two Hamas militants were spotted near the Northern Gazan border fence and were killed by Israeli soldiers. An armed Palestinian was noticed near the Karni Crossing. Golani soldiers rushed in the Gaza Strip and killed the militant. In an unprecedented rocket barrage, eight mortars and thirteen Qassamrockets are fired at the Western Negev within an hour.[128][129]

November 3 An Israeli aircraft targets a Hamas policestation run by the Executive Force, killing one Hamas militant. Two other were injured in the Southern Gaza aerial attack.[130]

November 4 Three Qassams are fired into Israel causing a blackout. The Palestinian Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility. Shortly after the firing, Israeli choppers and planes flew over the strip, targeting a launching and fired several missiles at the cell. Three Palestinians were killed in the attack, and several others wounded. Palestinian doctors said all civilians, while Islamic Jihad said one of its members was killed and another clinically dead. In a second strike, minutes later, IAF fired missiles at another launching squad, according to the IDF. Two Palestinians died.[131][132]

November 15 Two Qassam launchers, two members of the Fatah affiliated Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade are killed by an IAF attack while launching Qassams.[133]

Novermber 20 An Israeli resident of the West Bank settlement of Shavei Shomron is killed by Palestinians while driving in his car. Ivo Zoldan, 29, died in the ambulance. The militants were able to flee the scene. A small offshoot of Fatah clamied responsibility.[134] Three Palestinian militants tried to enter Israel by sneaking over the fence by night. They were spotted by Israeli forces, and two of them were killed. A third was able to flee into Gaza. In the Southern Strip, two militants tried to plant explosives at the fence but were noticed. Both were killed in the ensuing firefight by the IDF.

November 21 A rocket barrage of five Qassamrockets and eighteen mortars hit the Western Negev, including several kibbutzim, Sderot and Ashekelon. A woman in Ashkelon was treated for shock.[135][136]

November 24 Two brothers, both in their forties, are killed while acting suspicious near the Israel-Gaza fence. Later, it becomes obvious that the two civilians were killed while looking for scrap metal. They were hit by an artillery shell, meant for Qassam rocket launchers.[137]

November 25  The IDF kills two Palestinian gunman in a clash in central Gaza near the border. Some militants came together several hundred meters from the fence, sparking an Israeli incursion in Gaza. A gunbattle followed, leaving two militants dead. Both belonged to the PIJ faction.[137][138] A highly ranked commander of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades is killed after Border Guard forces in the area tried to nab him. Another militant was wounded in the attack. The IDF operation came after AAMB killed an Israeli settler last week.[139]

November 26 A Hamas operative is killed as he and his cell were launching Qassams at Sderot. Three Qassams landed inside Israeli territory, causing an IAF attack at the launchers, killing one and injuring four more. Two Hamas militants are killed as they approach the border to plant explosive devices. They were noticed before they could plant them.[140]

November 27 The IDF killed two Hamas militants overnight.[141] IAF helicopters and planes bombed a Hamas post in Southern Gaza, after the militant group had fired at least 10 mortars into Israeli territory. A Hamas militant, who was inside the building when the planes attacked was killed in the blasts.[142][143]

November 28 Two Hamas militants are killed when the IAF fired a missile at two heavily armed militants, who were talking with each other, not far from the border. Two more Hamas militants are killed when they were noticed while trying to plant a bomb at the fence by IDF soldiers. In the ensuing firefight they were killed. Both the incidents happened in the dark. [144]

December 2007

December 1 Five Hamas militants are killed in two separate airstrikes in the Gaza Strip. After the strikes, Hamas threatened to strike deep into Israeli territory and to fire longer-range missiles. A Palestinian gunman is killed, while crawling near the border. Three other gunman were wounded.[145]

December 2 A mortar barrage hits a kibbutz, causing some damage.

December 3 A Hamas militant is slain after a battle with the Golani corps. The militant crawled to the border, but was noticed by IDF forces. Three more Hamas fighters are killed while trying to launch mortars near Beit Lahiya. They were killed by Armored Corps soldiers. Four IDF soldiers are hurt as a mortar explodes near their base, in Nahal Oz.

December 4 Three Hamas militants are killed as their training base was attacked in Deir el Balah by the IAF. The attack came after some mortars hit the Western Negev. Hamas claimed to fire back at the planes with machine guns, perhaps causing some damage. A Palestinian gunman is killed while trying to reach the Kissufim crossing, as IDF forces noticed him. A Negev home is accidentally hit by an Israeli bullet, but no one was injured. Later, IDF denied it had fired a bullet at Israeli territory. After investigation it became clear that the bullet was fired from the Gaza Strip, with a sniper rifle.[146]

December 5 Three Hamas militants are overnight killed while launching mortars at Sderot. One of the mortars hit a residential building, causing a woman in shock and a lot of damage.[147] A militant is killed by IDF fire. Israeli undercoverforces were operating in Bethlehem and looking for wanted Palestinians. Milliant forces mistook them for Hamas gunman and opened fire at the soldiers. The soldiers returned fire, killing an officer and wounding another.[148]

December 6 A Palestinian farmer is accidentily killed by IDF fire. He was acting on his fields near the border.

December 11 In a huge operation inside the Gaza Strip, the biggest since the Hamas take-over in June, six Palestinians were killed and more than 60 detained. More than 30 tanks and bulldozers entered the Southern Gaza Strip, backed by helicopters and airplanes. Three militants of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad were killed by an Israeli tankshell, while missiles killed two other gunman, it was not immediately clear to what faction they belonged. Four Israeli soldiers were injured by Palestinian gunman, who fired several RPG missiles at the Israeli soldiers.[149]

December 12  The day after the operation, about 20 Qassams were lobbed into Israel, causing three lightly injured Israeli civilians. Fifteen people were treated for shock.

December 13 Two more Qassams are fired into Israel, causing a moderately injured woman in Sderot. Palestinians fired at Israeli farmers and soldiers from the Gaza Strip, causing no injuries. Hours after the strike, Israel retalliated with an airstrike in the Gaza Strip, causing three deaths. IDF and Palestinian medics both confirmed all the deaths were militants. Palestinian Islamic Jihad confirmed they lost three of their men, but medics said the three belonged to the small Fatah offshoot which fired two Qassamrockets into Israel hours earlier. Later it became clear, that a top commander of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, Sami Tafesh was killed, together with two members of the launching rocket squad of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades.[150]

[December 16 Shrapnel from a rocket lightly to moderately wounds a 2-year-old boy. His mother is treated for shock. The rocket scored a direct hit on a house in Kibbutz Zikim.[151]

December 18 Three Palestinian Islamic Jihad militants are killed in two separate airstrikes, some high ranked commanders were among the killed. In the first attack, the target was top commander, and the chief for firing Qassam rockets in the Strip, Majed al Harazin. He and two other PIJ militants were driving in a vehicle, loaded with Qassam and mortars. All men inside the car died. According to a spokesman of the PIJ, Harazin was the chief of the PIJ Qassam squads and hadn't traveled for years because he feared an assassination. He was wanted for nine years. The spokesman said his death would be revenged with suicide attacks and more rockets.

The second airstrike was aimed at a cell of PIJ militants who were trying to fire Qassam rockets into Israeli territory, to retaliate the death of their comrades. Two people died, and a second was seriously wounded. Later it became clear that one of the death was a top Qassam fabricater and commander, known as Karim Dahdouh.

Despite the air attacks, militants of all groups were able to fire at least fifteen Qassamrockets and mortars, causing only some damage.

In order to halt the rocket firing, IDF forces entered the strip looking for launching cells, but met fierce restistance from gunman in Jabalya. In the camp, four militants of the PIJ were killed in a fierce battle.

Another highly ranked commander from the PIJ was killed in the West Bank, Katabya. Tarik Abu al Ra-ali was killed when IDF soldiers noticed him. He was wanted for over five years.

In an airstrike at a Hamas post in Southern Gaza, two Hamas militants were killed.[152][153] A mortar shell lands near an IDF base north of the Gaza Strip overnight Tuesday, and six female soldiers are reported to have suffered from shock. One of the soldiers fainted.[154][155] A commando operation in the West Bank leaves an Islamic Jihad gunman dead.[156] Palestinians hurl rocks at the car of a civilian driver on route 443, which runs from Jerusalem to Modi'in. The man was driving a minibus used for the transport of handicapped children, and was treated for light injuries. IDF forces fire and identify hitting Sami salid Rashid Zayud, an Islamic Jihad militant who planned a mass terror attack on a residential building in central Israel five years ago. He was taken to hospital for medical treatment. A Palestinian, 17, tried to stab one of the Israel Defense Forces soldiers stationed at the Hawara checkpoint in the West Bank.[157]

December 20 Five Qassam rockets struck Israel at open areas near Sderot and Ashkelon. One of the rockets landed in a schoolyard in Sderot, where twelve pupils had to be treated for shock. The Code Red alert was alarmed and children ran to shelter to protect them from shrapnel. After the barrage, Israeli forces entered the Central Gaza Strip in search for rocket launchers, killing six Palestinians. Palestinian gunmen launched mortar shells at troops and fired at Israeli aircraft with machine guns as Israeli snipers took up positions on the roofs of homes in the area. 3 militants were from Islamic Jihad, two from Hamas, and one from the Popular Resistance Committees. Twenty Palestinians were wounded, as well as a cameraman from Reuters. A Palestinian anti-tank rocket severely injures an Israeli soldier. At least three other soldiers are lightly wounded.[158][159][160][161][162][163]

December 25 Two Hamas militants are killed in their vehicle as Israeli airplanes dropped a missile at their car. Four men were in the car, and two survived. It happened near the al Bureijj refugeecamp.[164]

December 27 At around 1:00 PM, Israeli forces entered the Southern Gaza Strip, looking for Qassamlaunchers and infrastructure. This action took notice of several Hamas and Islami Jihad militants, who rushed to the scene, but were sensed by Israeli drones. Three of them were killed in a pretty fierce battle, in which several anti tank missiles and anti aircraft missiles were fired at Israeli forces, and Palestinian militants were shelled by Israeli artillery. Four Palestinian militants were wounded. All the dead belonged to the armed wing of Hamas. IAF planes fired a missile at a car fully loaded with rifles, rockets and other weaponry. At the moment of the strike, three persons were in the car, only one was killed. Two others were also hurt. The persons and weapons belonged to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, meant to be used to fire rockets at Israel and hurting Israeli soldiers, the group said. Later another PIJ succumbed to his wounds.[165] Another topranked commander from the PIJ is killed in a missile strike. Muhammad Abu Abdullah was killed while driving in his car with other PIJ militants. He was the PIJ leader of Central Gaza and was killed, together with two of his comrades. Several other Palestinians were wounded in the attack.[166] A bodyguard of Ahmed Qurei, a top-ranked Palestinian politician, was killed by IDF forces south of Ramallah. The bodyguard, Muatassem a-Sharif was a close bodyguard of the IDF. the IDF reported that a-Sharif was also a weapons smuggler. A-Sharif was killed, according to eyewitnesses, when IDF forces in the area were looking for him for an arrest and tried to enter his house. At that moment a-Sharif opened fire at soldiers, but was killed in returning fire.[167]

December 28 Two armed Israelis and one Palestinian gunmen die from a firefight near Hebron. David Ruben and Ahikam Amihai were off-duty from the army but armed, and were hiking with two other Israelis. They were attacked by four Palestinian Islamic Jihad gunman. A firefight followed in which both armed Israelis received mortal wounds, one of the Palestinians was killed and another wounded. After the firefight, the two were still alive and the other hikers managed to hide them, but both died later. After the attack, the IDF unsuccessfully searched the area for the gunman.[168][169][170]

January 2008

January 2 Six Palestinians belonging to three terrorist factions were killed Wednesday morning in a joint Israeli air and ground action in the Gaza Strip near Gaza City. Five Palestinians, four from Hamas and one belonging to the Popular Resistance Committees, died when Israeli ground forces called in air support after the Palestinians fired anti-tank rockets at the soldiers. The sixth, a member of Fatah's Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, died in a gun battle with Israeli troops.[171][172]

January 3 Palestinian militants fire a long-range GRAD Katyusha rocket at northern Ashkelon, the longest reach of a Palestinian rocket (16.5 km). Israel sends aircraft and tanks to hit buildings used by extremists. Most were in Khan Yunis. In one clash, the IDF shelled a house in the city, killing an Islamic Jihad militant along with his mother, sister, and daughter. His brother was also killed and possibly affilitated with IJ. Israeli army spokeswoman Capt. Noa Meir said militants were intentionally using civilian areas to fire at troops and blamed them for the deaths. Nine Palestinians are killed, four of them civilians. The Palestinians responded to Israel's strikes with a barrage of Qassam rockets, one of which hit the yard of a house in Sderot.[173] In Nablus, Israel Defense Forces troops discovered two rockets-in-process, in an arms cache belonging to Hamas.[174][175]

January 4 Infantrymen near the Gaza-Israel border clashed with Hamas gunmen after spotting them approach the border, and killed two of them in separate incidents. Eight mortar shells were fired by Palestinians at southern Israel. Palestinians operating from Gaza launched six Qassam rockets at the western Negev on Friday, one of which struck the yard of a home in the town of Sderot, causing damage. One boy was lightly injured and evacuated to a hospital. Several residents suffered from shock. Meanwhile, a Qassam rocket hit a western Negev open field Friday morning. No damage or injuries were reported. [176][177]

January 17 In response to numerous attacks by Qassam rockets, Israel shut down all Gaza Strip border crossings.[178]

January 20 The full blockade suspended deliveries of supplies, causing power outage due to lack of fuel for generators. [179] Gaza resident reported shortages of important materials. Israeli officials stated that the closures were only in response to ongoing attacks, and that closures could cease if the attacks were stopped. [178] [180]

January 23 The Breach of the Gaza-Egypt border occurs.

February 2008

February 10

Some ministers in the Israeli cabinet called for the annihilation of some neighborhoods in Gaza in retaliation for the Qassam rockets.

February 17

The Israeli Defense Forces claim to have taken about 80 Palestinians to Israel for questioning following a ground incursion in the Gaza Strip. Four Palestinians, including at least three militants, were killed in the operation and an Israeli soldier was severely injured. Palestinian health officials claimed an additional 20 Palestinian civilians were wounded in the attack.[181]

February 27

An Israeli air strike targeting a van killed five Hamas members suspected of plotting an attack against Israel.[182] In response, about fifty qassam rockets were launched towards the Negev, one of which struck a parking lot near Sapir Academic College, killing a 47-year-old student there. Four long-range rockets struck Ashkelon, causing few wounded. The IAF retaliated with more airstrikes in Jabalia camp and the northern part of Gaza Strip. About seven killed in the attacks, most of whom were militants, however a six-month-old baby was also killed after a missile struck a house in the camp.[183]

February 28

Israeli forces killed eleven Palestinians in a series of airstrikes. At least ten civilians were killed, including four boys playing football on a waste ground. Militants launch a qassam rocket in retaliation, which injures one Israeli civilian.[184]

March 2008

See also: Operation Warm Winter.

March 1 Most intense fighting between the IDF and Palestinian militants occur since Israel withdrew from the strip in 2005. The fighting mostly took place in Jabalia camp. According to Palestinian medical sources, at least 52 Palestinians were killed, of which 16 were militants, while the remainder being civilians including several children. The Washington Post Reported that 60 persons were killed, at least half were militants and rest civilians including children[185] Two IDF soldiers were killed in the incursion and seven were lightly injured as well.[186] Hamas retaliates by firing over 50 Qassam rockets into southern Israel, wounding seven. Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas referred to Israel's attacks as "more than a holocaust" while Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal descrbed Israel's actions as the "real holocaust". Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak regrets civilian casualties but vows a serious response to Gaza rocket fire, saying "We are not happy about civilians being hurt in Gaza... Hamas and those who fire rockets at Israel are responsible and they will pay the price."[186]

March 3

The two sides agreed under pressure from U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to resume the U.S.-backed talks on Wednesday after the Palestinians suspended them in protest of an Israeli offensive in Gaza that killed more than 125 people including 1 month old infant girl named "Amira Abu Asr".[187][185]. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert signalled willingness to stop attacks after the five-day offensive, which killed many civilians in the territory, if the Islamist group Hamas stopped firing rockets into Israel. Hamas says attacks from Gaza, including rockets fired by its own militants and others, are a response to Israeli military operations in both Gaza[188] and the occupied West Bank and would end if Israel stopped all such activity and lifted its blockade.

November 2008

November 4 Israel breaches ceasefire by military raid into Gaza, in order to destroy a tunnel going towards its border, killing one Palestinian. Later air strike killed 5 more. In retaliation, 35 Qassam rockets were launched, one hitting Ashkelon. The Israeli military said the purpose of the tunnel was to kidnap additional Israeli soldiers and hold them as hostages.[189]

December 2008 Hamas and Israel both fail to agree on a renewal of the six-month ceasefire, with Hamas citing the November attacks and Israel's failure to lift the blockade as stipulated in the truce agreement, and Israel citing Hamas' rocket fire.

External links

Israel Politik A blog by Israel’s New York Consulate set up to present all aspects of the situation in Sderot to international media[10]

International response
  • United Nations - United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon states that he believes that the Qassam rocket attacks by factions in Gaza are "completely unacceptable." He has also stated that he believes that the Palestinian Authority should "take the necessary steps to restore law and order, and for all factions to abide by the ceasefire." Ki-moon also stated he is "deeply concerned by the mounting number of civilian casualties from Israeli military operations in Gaza." The Secretary General also called on Israel "to abide by international law and to ensure that its actions do not target civilians or put them under risk."[190]Michael Williams to the Middle East for talks with both sides.[191][11]Williams met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Foreign Minister Ziad Abu Amr in Gaza City. After continuing Israeli attacks and arrests, and the continuing rocket fire from Gaza, Williams said that "I’m very troubled by the level of violence here [...] I think the UN, the international community in general, have been very concerned about the level of intra-Palestinian violence, but also by the Israeli attacks which I know have caused civilian deaths, considerable numbers."[12]The International condemnation of Israeli incursion were further augmented with a scathing report prepared by eight British-based rights organizations, highlighting humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip that has reached its worst point since Israel captured the territory in 1967. The report indicates more than 1.1 million people, about 80 percent of Gaza's residents, were dependent on food aid, and hospitals faced power cuts of up to 12 hours a day, and the water and sewage systems were close to collapse.[13] Ki-moon had appointed Williams soon said "I'm troubled when I see Israeli soldiers arresting Palestinian legislators. I'm troubled that the education minister was arrested," after Israel arrested several Hamas officials in the West Bank.
  • United States - After the death of a woman from a rocket attack in Sderot, a representative for the U.S. Government reaffirmed the position that Israel has the right to self-defense. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack also stated that his country is aware of the difficulty of targeting terrorists without civilian casualties. He added that Israel must "take all possible actions in order to avoid any civilian casualties, to avoid any undue damage to the Palestinian infrastructure and always to consider the effects of their actions on the political process, the Israeli-Palestinian track and moving that forward."[190]
See also

  1. ^ BBC NEWS | Middle East | Gaza conditions 'at 40-year low'
  2. ^ UN 'troubled' by Hamas legislators' arrests - Israel News, Ynetnews
  3. ^ "Israel launches raids into Gaza", BBC News (2007-05-17). Retrieved on 20 May 2007. 
  4. ^ Sofer, Ronny (2007-05-15). "IDF may respond harshly", Retrieved on 20 May 2007. 
  5. ^ "Israel pushes Gaza offensive amid rocket attacks"
  6. ^ [1]
  7. ^ Middle East Analysis: Israel Arrests Hamas Minister, Hits Targets in Gaza
  8. ^ [2]
  9. ^ [3]
  10. ^ AFX News Limited (2007-05-17). "Israeli air strike against Hamas in Gaza UPDATE", Forbes. Retrieved on 20 May 2007. 
  11. ^ Xinhua (2007-05-16). "Israeli air strike kills four Hamas members in Gaza", China View. Retrieved on 20 May 2007. 
  12. ^ Hadad, Shmulik (2007-05-16). "Sderot: Woman wounded in latest Qassam barrage", Retrieved on 20 May 2007. 
  13. ^ "Gaza: 4 Palestinians killed in IDF strikes", (2007-05-17). Retrieved on 20 May 2007. 
  14. ^ "IAF airstrike kills five Hamas members", Ynetnews (2007-05-18). Retrieved on 20 May 2007. 
  15. ^ "3 deaths from Gaza air strike", (2007-05-19). Retrieved on 20 May 2007. 
  16. ^ Heller, Jefferey (2007-05-20). "Israel kills 9; 8 in raid on Hamas official's home", Reuters. Retrieved on 20 May 2007. 
  17. ^ Associated Press (2007-05-20). "Gaza: 8 killed in IDF air strike", Retrieved on 20 May 2007. 
  18. ^,7340,L-3403094,00.html
  19. ^ Woman killed in Sderot rocket attack
  20. ^ Airstrike targets Qassam cell
  21. ^ Israel pounds Gaza, Palestinian attack kills 1
  22. ^ a b Israel strikes in Gaza after militants rebuff Abbas
  23. ^ Israel hits Gaza with more strikes, seven wounded
  24. ^ 7 Palestinians wounded in IAF strikes
  25. ^ Rocket fire on western Negev resumes
  26. ^ Israel seizes Hamas leaders, violence goes on
  27. ^ 9 Qassams hit Negev region Thursday evening
  28. ^ Israeli strike hits Hamas post in Gaza
  29. ^ Israel assault on Hamas to continue - PM aides
  30. ^ Gaza: 2 killed in IDF airstrike
  31. ^ militants signal softer terms, Israel hits again
  32. ^ a b 4 injured by Qassam in Sderot
  33. ^ 5 rockets fired at western Negev
  34. ^ Israel pounds Gaza and seizes Palestinian minister
  35. ^ a b Israel pounds Gaza and seizes Palestinian minister
  36. ^ Israel pushes Gaza offensive amid rocket attacks
  37. ^ Gaza: Palestinians say 5 killed in IAF attack
  38. ^ Israel Police on high alert Saturday night
  39. ^ ‘Israel can forget about Shalit if Hamas leaders targeted,’ spokesman says
  40. ^ Man killed in rocket attack on Sderot
  41. ^ Hamas rockets fall, Israel considers escalation
  42. ^ Israeli air strike kills 2 militants in Gaza
  43. ^ Qassam hits Sderot building
  44. ^ Israel, militants exchange limited fire in Gaza
  45. ^ IDF kills senior Islamic Jihad member in Gaza
  46. ^ Israeli troops kill two young Gazans: Palestinians
  47. ^ Israeli force kills W.Bank shopkeeper: Palestinians
  48. ^ IDF pulls out of Gaza, pledges further operations
  49. ^ Qassam lands near Sderot
  50. ^ Gaza: Gunman killed in IDF airstrike
  51. ^ Conflicting stories emerge after IDF kills 70-year-old
  52. ^ 8 mortar shells land near Erez crossing, no injuries
  53. ^ IDF kills top Aksa commander in Jenin
  54. ^ BBC NEWS | Middle East | How Hamas took over the Gaza Strip
  55. ^ Death toll in IDF's operation in Gaza rises to 11
  56. ^ IDF kills senior Islamic Jihad militant in West Bank ambush
  57. ^ IDF kills senior Islamic Jihad militant in West Bank ambush
  58. ^ 11 mortar shells fired at Israel
  59. ^ IDF soldier killed in Gaza; IDF kills armed Palestinian in West Bank
  60. ^ Israeli troops kill armed Palestinian man in West Bank
  61. ^ Sderot home hit by Qassam rocket
  62. ^ IDF Gaza strike wounds 2 Palestinians
  63. ^ Israel kills Palestinian gunman in Gaza
  64. ^ Hamas gunman killed by IDF near Sufa crossing
  65. ^ IDF kills senior Islamic Jihad operative in Gaza
  66. ^ Israeli troops kill two Palestinians in Gaza, West Bank
  67. ^ IAF kills 3 Islamic Jihad men, 2 Hamas gunmen in Gaza strikes
  68. ^ Two Palestinian militants killed planting explosive on Gaza-Israel border: officials
  69. ^ Two Fatah men killed as Israel to allow Palestinians cross border
  70. ^ IDF troops kill 2 Palestinian militants in northern Gaza clash
  71. ^ IDF kills Islamic Jihad commander in Nablus
  72. ^ Explosive device hidden in dead sheep
  73. ^ Qassam lands in Sderot kindergarten
  74. ^ IDF troops kill 3 Hamas gunmen in Gaza
  75. ^ Palestinian crawling near Gaza fence killed by IDF
  76. ^ Jerusalem: Security guard kills shooter
  77. ^ Report: Youth killed in clashes between IDF, gunmen
  78. ^ IDF troops kill Palestinian, detain 2 near Gaza Strip border fence
  79. ^ Palestinian killed near Israel-Gaza fence
  80. ^ Hamas men killed in Gaza airstrike
  81. ^ IDF troops kill PFLP member in Nablus
  82. ^ IAF airstrike kills Hamas militant in Gaza Strip
  83. ^ Senior Hamas commander killed in Gaza
  84. ^ [4]
  85. ^ 4 Palestinians killed in Gaza, West Bank clashes with IDF
  86. ^ IDF forces foil terror plot
  87. ^ Israeli forces kill Islamic Jihad leader in Jenin
  88. ^ IDF arrests 2 Palestinians for aiding Gaza infiltrators
  89. ^ Palestinians: IDF shoots man dead in Gaza Strip
  90. ^ Jihad: PA security forces thwarted kidnapping
  91. ^ Sderot: Man injured in Qassam attack
  92. ^ 3 children killed in IDF attack in Gaza - report
  93. ^ IDF seriously wounds Fatah militant in Nablus; three rockets hit Negev
  94. ^ IDF foils Kissufim kidnapping attempt
  95. ^ 67 wounded in Qassam attack
  96. ^ Olmert 'won't play into Hamas hands'
  97. ^ IDF troops kill gunman in West Bank raid
  98. ^ IDF kills two in W. Bank; six Qassams hit Negev
  99. ^ IDF soldier killed in West Bank
  100. ^ Israel declares Gaza "enemy entity" as Rice visits
  101. ^ [5]
  102. ^ Israel kills 9 in Gaza and warns of big sweep
  103. ^ IDF confirms killing Qassam cell member in Gaza
  104. ^ IDF clashes with Palestinian gunmen in northern Gaza
  105. ^ IDF kills terrorist near Gaza security fence
  106. ^ IDF troops kill armed Palestinian near Israel-Gaza border fence
  107. ^ Palestinian shot by IDF in Jenin raid dies of his wounds
  108. ^ Police say Katyusha hit Negev
  109. ^ Report: IDF kills wanted Palestinian in Nablus
  110. ^ Nablus: Disguised troops kill gunman
  111. ^ Hamas man killed in IDF airstrike in Gaza
  112. ^ IDF troops nab 2 terror suspects in Nablus
  113. ^ Dichter hints at broadening IDF action after soldier dies in Gaza
  114. ^ Palestinians say 2 killed in Israeli Navy attack
  115. ^ IAF kills senior militant in air strike in Gaza Strip
  116. ^ Barak set to approve list of sanctions against Gaza
  117. ^ IAF kills senior militant in air strike in Gaza Strip
  118. ^ IDF kills 2 Palestinians following rocket barrage
  119. ^ IDF kills Jihad operative placing bomb
  120. ^ IDF kills 2 Hamas terrorists in south Gaza
  121. ^ [6]
  122. ^ Five Kassams land near Sderot
  123. ^ 5 rockets hit south; no injuries reported
  124. ^ Slain reservist Ehud Efrati laid to rest
  125. ^ reservist killed in gunbattles in Khan Yunis in southern Gaza
  126. ^ Video: Terrorists firing mortars from schoolyard
  127. ^ IDF troops kill Islamic Jihad militant in central Gaza gunbattle
  128. ^ IDF kills 4 terrorists in Gaza
  129. ^ rocket barrage hits Sderot
  130. ^ Israeli air strike kills Hamas member in Gaza
  131. ^ Kassam salvo causes Sderot blackout
  132. ^ 5 Palestinians killed in IDF strikes
  133. ^ Palestinians: IAF attack in Gaza kills 2
  134. ^ Israeli killed by terrorists in W. Bank
  135. ^ IDF kills four Gaza terrorist infiltrators
  136. ^ Mourners at terror victim's funeral block entrance to Palestinian village
  137. ^ a b Report: IDF forces kill 2 gunmen in Gaza
  138. ^ IDF kills 3 Palestinians in Gaza and West Bank
  139. ^ Border Guard kills wanted Palestinian in Tulkarm
  140. ^ IDF kills 3 operatives in Gaza
  141. ^ Israeli troops kill 2 Hamas operatives in Gaza
  142. ^ Air Force strikes Hamas position in south Gaza
  143. ^ Palestinians: 1 dead in IAF strike in Gaza
  144. ^ Air Force kills four Hamas men in Gaza
  145. ^ IDF kills four Hamas gunmen in clashes in northern Gaza
  146. ^ Shells near Negev home not ours, army says
  147. ^ Gaza: 3 killed in IAF strike
  148. ^ Special IDF force operating in Bethlehem kills Palestinian policeman
  149. ^ Defense officials: 'Limited Gaza ops having effect'
  150. ^ IAF strike kills three Palestinians detected launching Qassam
  151. ^ [7]
  152. ^ IDF strike in Gaza leaves 10 Jihad operatives dead
  153. ^ 13 Palestinians killed in two days of air strikes
  154. ^ Kassam rocket lands near IDF base
  155. ^ Mofaz: Israel should mull indirect talks with Hamas over Qassams
  156. ^ Top Palestinian militant in Gaza among 13 killed by Israeli raids
  157. ^ Palestinian teen tries to stab IDF soldier at West Bank checkpoint
  158. ^ Soldier seriously wounded in Gaza
  159. ^ IDF soldier seriously hurt, seven militants killed in Gaza raid
  160. ^ Six militants killed in Israeli incursion into central Gaza
  161. ^ Gaza Missiles and Israeli Operations Continue
  162. ^ Qassam lands near Sderot schoolyard
  163. ^ Israel offensive kills seven Gaza militants
  164. ^ Israel kills two militants in Gaza - Hamas
  165. ^ IDF kills 8 militants in Gaza, including Jihad commander
  166. ^ Islamic Jihad technical expert killed in IAF strike
  167. ^ Qurei's bodyguard killed by IDF
  168. ^ PA premier Fayyad says suspects in killings of 2 Israelis caught by PA
  169. ^ Hikers killed in West Bank shooting were soldiers on leave
  170. ^ PA: Terrorists sought to sabotage talks
  171. ^ Six Palestinians Killed in Israeli Strikes in Gaza
  172. ^ Israeli forces kill six Palestinian militants in Gaza Strip
  173. ^ Katyusha lands in northern Ashkelon; nine Palestinians killed in IDF respons
  174. ^ Nine Gazans killed by IDF fire; Katyusha hits north Ashkelon
  175. ^ Israeli Forces Kill 9 in Gaza
  176. ^ [8]
  177. ^ Palestinians fire barrage of rockets, shells at western Negev
  178. ^ a b Terror in Gaza: Eight months since the Hamas takeover,Israel Min. of Foreign Affairs, 14 Feb 2008.
  179. ^ Gaza power plant begins shutting down
  180. ^ Israeli blockade deepens hardship in Gaza, Reuters, 1/21/08.
  181. ^ Israel detains dozens of Gazans BBC News. 2008-02-17.
  182. ^ 60 Gazans Killed in Incursion By Israel2008.03.02
  183. ^ War in South: Daily update - 27.02.2008 . 2008-02-27.
  184. ^ Gaza rocket attacks claim young lives 2008-02-29.
  185. ^ a b 60 Gazans Killed in Incursion By Israel Operation Follows Use of Longer-Range Rockets by Hamas Washington Post. 2008-03-02.
  186. ^ a b Dozens die in Israel-Gaza clashes BBC News. 2008-03-01.
  187. ^ Al Jazeera English - News - Tragedy Of Israel And Palestine
  188. ^ [9]
  189. ^ Gaza truce broken as Israeli raid kills six Hamas gunmen
  190. ^ a b "UN chief concerned about Palestinian, Israeli attacks"
  191. ^ "Qassam lands near Sderot; no injuries"
In pictures: Gaza conflict steps up

An Israeli soldier jumps down from a tank on the Israeli side of the Israel-Gaza border on 11 January 2009ADVISORY: This gallery contains images viewers may find distressing. Israel's military has reportedly been involved in fierce fighting around Gaza City, after its warplanes launched another night of air strikes

Israeli soldiers prepare their tanks at their position on the Israeli side of the Israel-Gaza border on 11 January 2009The conflict showed no sign of abating despite last week's UN resolution - rejected by Israel and Hamas - calling for an immediate ceasefire. Correspondents say it could well intensify before it ends.

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert (2nd R) waits for the media to leave before a weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem on 11 January 2009Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said the state was nearing its goals in Gaza, as he signalled the offensive would continue. It comes weeks before a parliamentary election in Israel.

A car burns near the Rafah refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip, 11 January 2009Strikes took place near the Rafah refugee camps. Israel has also been accused of using white phosphorus shells in the Gaza campaign - a charge it denies.

The wreck of a car hit by a militant rocket in the southern Israeli city of Beersheba on 11 January 2009But militants have still been able to fire barrages of rockets from Gaza deep inside southern Israel.

Man gathers firewood amid rubble in Gaza City, 11 January 2009Aid agencies say Gaza's 1.5 million residents are in urgent need of food and medical aid.

An Israeli boy walks past a wall of a house that was hit by a shrapnel of a rocket fired from the Gaza Strip in the southern Israeli town of Beersheeba on 11 January 2009Thirteen Israelis - 10 soldiers and three civilians - have died since the conflict began on 27 December.

The body of a Palestinian boy lies in a morgue in Gaza City on 11 January 2009But Palestinians have borne the brunt of the bloodshed. Medics say the number of people killed in Gaza is now approaching 900 and estimate nearly a third of the dead have been children.

Palestinian woman mourn after the death of relatives in front of a morgue in Gaza City on 11 January 2009A Palestinian protestor makes a gesture to Israeli soldiers during a protest in the West Bank near Ramallah on 11 January 2009

A demonstration in Tokyo against the Israeli assault in Gaza on 11 January 2009

In addition to the fatalities, about 3,600 people have been wounded, according to Palestinian medical officials in Gaza. Meanwhile pro-Palestine protests continued throughout the Middle East......and across the world, including, Rome, Hong Kong, Pakistan and Tokyo. Demonstrations have also been held in support of Israel.

UK protesters call for Gaza peace

Thousands of demonstrators have marched through London to call for an immediate ceasefire in the conflict in Gaza.

The protest started peacefully but there were confrontations as police tried to move demonstrators away from the gates of the Israeli embassy. The windows of a Starbucks was smashed and three police officers were injured as a minority of people threw missiles

The Metropolitan Police says 20,000 people marched but the BBC estimates the figure could be as high as 50,000.  It is estimated there were several hundred police officers dealing with around 200 protesters outside the embassy. This group were being allowed to leave the cordon one at a time, some were being identified by police and are being taken away for questioning. BBC correspondent Robert Hall said given the number of people involved, the protest had been peaceful. "But as darkness fell a small number of people, several hundred, have begun confronting police and missiles have been thrown," he said. "Although these are ugly and unwelcome scenes, they do not represent what has happened for most of the afternoon."

'Irresponsible actions'

Metropolitan Police Commander Bob Broadhurst said: "We are very disappointed by the irresponsible actions of those who have challenged police by ripping apart security barriers and throwing objects at them. "A hard core of demonstrators are undermining the cause of the vast majority of people on this demonstration, who are law-abiding citizens wishing to protest peacefully." Approximately 15 people have been arrested, 12 for violent disorder; one for aggravated trespass; and two for assaulting a police officer.

'Half hearted'

The march was organised by groups including Stop the War Coalition, the British Muslim Initiative and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign. Protests have also taken place in Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Belfast, Newcastle and Southampton.  In Edinburgh around 300 shoes were thrown towards the US consulate by protesters and three police officers suffered minor injuries. Celebrities including musicians Brian Eno and Annie Lennox joined the march. Rallies were addressed by speakers including Eno, former London mayor Ken Livingstone and Cherie Blair's half-sister Lauren Booth. Lindsey German, Stop the War's convenor, said: "We are calling for an end to the massacre and for Israel to get out of Gaza and Palestine."We want the British government to take a much stronger position. There would have been outrage from governments around the world if this had happened anywhere else - the condemnation has been at best half-hearted." Former Mayor of London Ken Livingstone said in a statement: "The British government and European Union have the economic leverage to stop this carnage. "They must take decisive action to force Israel to end the slaughter." On Sunday, the Board of Deputies of British Jews will also hold a rally calling for peace in Israel and Gaza in Trafalgar Square. The conflict in Gaza is entering its third week, despite international calls for a ceasefire. Israel said it launched 40 overnight air strikes, while Hamas militants fired several rockets at Israeli towns. Senior Palestinian officials are in Egypt for talks on how to end the conflict. Health officials in Gaza say more than 800 Palestinians have died. Israel says 13 Israelis have been killed.

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