Chronology: April 16 – July 15, 2017
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Chronology
April 16 – July 15, 2017

ABBREVIATIONS

  • AFP, Agence France-Presse

  • AJE, Al Jazeera English

  • Al Ahram

  • Al Arabiya

  • AP, The Associated Press

  • BBC

  • Bloomberg

  • CNN

  • DS, The Daily Star (Lebanon)

  • Dawn (Pakistan)

  • France24

  • The Guardian

  • GN, Gulf News

  • Haaretz Hürriyet Daily News

  • JP, Jerusalem Post

  • JT, The Jordan Times

  • LA Times

  • LM, Le Monde

  • NYT, The New York Times

  • NPR, National Public Radio

  • RFE/RL, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

  • Reuters

  • Time Magazine

  • VOA, Voice of America

  • WP, The Washington Post

Arab-Israeli Conflict

See also Israel, Palestinian Territories

Apr. 16: In a New York Times op-ed, Marwan Barghouti, a prominent figure in the Palestinian National Liberation Movement (Fatah) who had been imprisoned in Israel since 2002 after being convicted on five counts of murder, announced a hunger strike along with over 1,000 other Palestinian prisoners held inside Israeli jails. The prisoners demanded better conditions, more family contact, an end to detainments without trials, a stop to solitary confinement, and access to education. Israeli officials rejected the prisoners' demands and condemned The New York Times for promoting Barghouti, whom they considered to be a terrorist. [NYT, 4/16; WP, 4/19]

Apr. 19: Israeli defense officials accused the Syrian government of possessing multiple tons of chemical weapons. The allegations came two weeks after the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons reported that Syrian government forces had used chemical weapons in an attack on April 4 in the Idlib Governorate town of Khan Shaykhun, killing close to 90 people. While Israel had remained neutral and isolated in the conflict, the accusations highlighted increasing Israeli fears as the Syrian Civil War continued. [AP, 4/19]

Apr. 23: Israel Defense Forces (IDF) bombed militias loyal to the Syrian government, killing three soldiers in the Syrian-controlled part of the Golan Heights, near the town of Qunaytira. The attacks were said to be a response to stray rounds that entered Israeli-claimed areas in the Golan two days earlier. While the Golan had been disputed between Syria and Israel since the latter's 1981 annexation of the territory it occupied in 1967, the region had remained fairly stable until the eruption of the Syrian Civil War in 2011. [JP, 4/21]

Apr. 27: The Syrian government accused Israel of striking a weapons facility near the Damascus International Airport by the Lebanese Shi'i group Hizbullah. The accusations were not deliberately denied by Israeli officials, who instead agreed that the attack fit Israel's strategic interests of keeping weapons away from the Syria-aligned militia. The attack escalated tensions between the two countries-at-war as Syria warned Israel against further strikes, asserting that Syria would retaliate if aggressions continued. [NYT, 4/27]

May 1: The Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) announced its dissociation with the international Muslim Brotherhood and announced it would embrace a deal with Israel. Hamas's policy statement did not specify whether the parts of its 1988 charter that called for the destruction of [End Page 629] Israel would be amended. The move was perceived by Israeli officials as an attempt by Hamas to garner support from Gulf states and Egypt, which also rejected the Muslim Brotherhood and were becoming increasingly hostile to Qatar, where the Palestinian Islamic movement's leadership had been based since 2012. Hamas remained the main political power in the Gaza Strip, since its takeover of the area in 2007, and had since fought three wars against Israel in 2008/9, 2012, and 2014. [JP, 5/1]

May 5: More than 1,000 participants in the Palestinian prisoner hunger strike ended their fasting within Israeli prisons after 40 days. The decision came after a majority of the inmates were medically treated for conditions related to their food abstention. While Israeli officials agreed to an additional familial visit for inmates, the rest of their demands went unmet. [AJE, 5/27]

May 31: Israeli finance minister Moshe Kahlon met with the prime minister of the Palestinian Authority (PA), Rami Hamdullah, in the West Bank's de facto capital, Ramallah. This event marked the first time since 2000 that a senior Israeli minister had entered PA-controlled territory. Kahlon and Hamdullah discussed the possibility of suspending...


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