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  • ChronologyJanuary 16, 2012 – April 15, 2012

Arab-Israeli Conflict

See also Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon

Apr. 17: At least 1,200 Palestinians in Israeli jails launched an open-ended hunger strike, coinciding with the release of Khader Adnan, a prisoner and member of Islamic Jihad who refused food for 66 days before being released from custody. Prisoners called for an end to solitary confinement, strip searches for visitors, sparse family visits, and the use of administrative detention. [Reuters, 4/17]

Apr. 24: Israel granted legal status to three previously unauthorized settlement outposts in the West Bank. Bruchin and Rechelim were located in the northern West Bank, while Sansana was located further south. Peace Now, an Israeli anti-settlement group, claimed the government did not have the authority to establish the new settlements. [Reuters, 4/24]

May 1: The Israeli military closed its investigation into the 2009 shelling of a house in Gaza which caused 21 deaths, concluding that IDF soldiers had done no wrong and that accusations of war crimes were “groundless.” [Reuters, 5/1]

May 4: Thousands of Jordanians took to the streets to protest the 18-year-old Wadi ‘Araba peace treaty with Israel. Leftists and Islamists burned Israeli flags, demanded a withdrawal of the Israeli embassy from Jordan, and chanted anti-Israel slogans; popular opinion in Jordan regarded the Wadi ‘Araba treaty as a failure, and many Jordanians felt that Israel failed to live up to its obligations on water sharing, access to Palestinian territories, and Jordanian custodianship over holy sites in Jerusalem. [Haaretz, 5/4]

May 6: The Israeli Supreme Court denied a government-sponsored petition to delay the impending demolition of illegal outposts in the West Bank settlement of Ulpana. The state previously pledged in court to implement demolition orders for the settlement by May 1 but submitted a request in April to delay demolition for 90 days. The court issued a July 1 deadline for the house demolitions. [The Guardian, 5/7]

May 10: An unnamed source noted that Hamas operated a force of about 300 men whose purpose was to stop fringe militant groups like the Isliamic Jihad and the Popular Resistance Committees from firing rockets into Israel. The new group was reported to be under the direct command of Fathi Hammad, the interior minister of Hamas. [Haaretz, 5/10]

May 12: Palestinian Authority president Mahmud ‘Abbas censured Israel for hampering security in the West Bank by holding up a shipment of arms intended for use by PA security forces. ‘Abbas noted that [End Page 683] Israel authorized 3,000 guns from Russia and Egypt to enter the West Bank, but now held up passage of these weapons in Jordan. [NYT, 5/12]

May 14: The 27 foreign ministers of the European Union published a document harshly critical of Israeli settlement policies. The report claimed that Israel’s continued settlement activity posed a serious threat to the viability of a two-state solution. The document censured settler violence against Palestinians, the dramatic uptick in settlement expansion, the Israeli government’s decision to grant legal status to a number of settlements, and the continued demolition of Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem. [Haaretz, 5/14]

May 14: Nearly 1,600 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, who were on a hunger strike for eight months protesting prison policies, ended their fast on May 14. Israeli authorities agreed to end solitary confinement for 19 prisoners, allow visits by family members from Gaza, and free those held under administrative detention for six months at a time without trial, unless they were brought to court before their terms end. [Reuters, 5/15]

May 15: Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza, and Israel commemorated the 64th anniversary of the “Nakba” with widespread demonstrations. At Beitunia checkpoint near Ramallah, youths hurled stones at soldiers who fired rubber bullets, metal pellets, and tear gas. Clashes were also reported at Qalandiya checkpoint in Hebron, at Rachel’s Tomb on the edge of Bethlehem, and at Ofer military prison. The Higher Arab Monitoring Committee called on Arab-Israelis to visit the sites of former Palestinian villages and participate in a general strike. [VOA, 5/15]

May 19: A video from Israeli human rights group...


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