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  • ChronologyApril 16, 2014 – July 15, 2014

Arab-Israeli Conflict

See also Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Palestinian Affairs, Syria

Apr. 22: Palestinian Authority (PA) president Mahmud ‘Abbas warned Israeli journalists that if United States-brokered peace talks between Israel and the PA failed, he might dissolve the Authority and give sole responsibility for the West Bank to Israel. Palestinian spokespeople quickly announced that ‘Abbas would not himself dissolve the PA, but that Israeli policies had left the West Bank government powerless. Peace talks were scheduled to end on April 29; ‘Abbas said he was willing to extend the negotiations if Israel agreed to release prisoners that had been set for release earlier in the month, focus on drawing new boundaries between Israel and a future Palestinian state, and freeze all settlement construction. [NYT, 4/22]

Apr. 24: Israel suspended peace talks with the Palestinians in retaliation for a deal reached between the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Hamas to form a PA unity government. The move further complicated American-brokered peace talks between the Israelis and Palestinians, which were scheduled to expire the following week. Israel said the deal made negotiation impossible. Israeli prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu said PA president ‘Abbas would have to abandon the deal if he wanted peace. [WP, 4/24]

Apr. 29: US-brokered peace talks between Israel and the PA officially failed, as the deadline for the talks passed with no peace deal reached. Both sides blamed the other, and the United States, for the impasse. The talks collapsed on April 24, after the PLO and Hamas signed a pact promising a unity government and new presidential elections. [AP, 4/29]

May 17: Several thousand people attended the funeral of two Palestinians in the West Bank town of Bir Zayt. Israeli forces killed the two men on May 15, near the ‘Ofer prison during large-scale Palestinian demonstrations that marked the 66th anniversary of the creation of the Israeli state. Amnesty International and PA representatives criticized Israel for excessive use of force, and the PA threatened to halt all security cooperation with Israeli forces in the West Bank. [LA Times, 5/17]

June 15: Israel accused Hamas militants of abducting three Israeli teenagers near a Jewish settlement in the West Bank on June 12. Israeli forces arrested more than 80 Palestinians, including seven Hamas members of the PA parliament, in a wide-ranging search for the teenagers. Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri challenged the Israeli accusation, while PA security forces loyal to President ‘Abbas aided Israeli forces in their search for the missing teenagers. [Reuters, 6/15] [End Page 604]

June 18: Israeli authorities approved the construction of 172 new settlement homes in East Jerusalem, in addition to the construction of 3,200 housing units that was previously announced by Israel on June 5. Palestinian officials and the international community criticized the Israeli decision as harmful to the future development of peace talks. [DS, 6/18]

June 20: Israeli forces killed a 15-year-old Palestinian boy in Hebron after he and several other youths threw rocks at Israeli soldiers who were conducting house raids in their neighborhood. Israel forces arrested 330 in the search for three Israeli teenagers who went missing on June 12. President ‘Abbas denounced the presumed abduction of the teenagers, while Hamas officials warned of mounting Palestinian protests in the wake of the Israeli raids. [NYT, 6/20]

June 22: An Israeli youth died and two others were wounded when a mortar launched from inside Syria struck an Israeli vehicle carrying Israeli defense ministry contractors in the disputed Golan Heights. The victim was the teenage son of one of the contractors in the car. The Israel Defense Force (IDF) declared that the attack was purposeful and retaliated by firing on Syrian military posts from tanks. [AJE, 6/22]

June 23: Israel launched air strikes on Syrian military locations that killed ten Syrian soldiers and struck nine positions in total. The attack came in response to the previous day’s firing of an anti-tank missile that killed a teenage Israeli boy in the Golan Heights, which Israel alleged was an intentional act of aggression from inside Syria. [Reuters, 6/23]



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