aside ISRAEL PALESTINE CONFLICT FROM MARCH 2005- 2008

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon (right) with Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon (right) with Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas

The following data was collected from a PBS documentary:

DISENGAGEMENT, HAMAS & OCCUPATION OF GAZA 2005 – 2008

Mar. 10, 2005 Sasson Report

“In March of 2005,Talia Sasson prepared a report at the request of the Prime Minister’s Office, which identified 24 outposts established after March 2001, 71 established before that date, and ten outposts established at an uncertain date. The report created a sensation by documenting the fact that outposts had been creating (sic) in contravention of the laws, often on land of dubious ownership, both before and after the March 2001 cutoff date.

Talia Sasson
Talia Sasson

Most of the facts have been known for a long time, but this was the first time they had been admitted in an official report. Sasson’s report did not discuss the legality of settlements, though some have tried to claim that the report showed that all settlements are illegal according to Israeli law. Prime Minister Sharon vowed to dismantle the outposts. However, a cabinet meeting, a ministerial committee was appointed to study the report, and no action was taken to evacuate settlements. Sasson prepared a summary of the report, which is the only version made public as of March 18. The translation of the summary that is below is the version posted at the Web site of the Prime Minister’s office.”

Palestine Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas talking with Hamas
Palestine Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas (right) making peace with Hamas

Aug. 22, 2005 Gaza Withdrawal

“Israeli soldiers moved the last Jewish settlers and protesters from the Gaza Strip August 22 and have moved on to the final stages of the withdrawal: clearing out four small settlements in the West Bank. Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s Likud Party-led government proceeded with the unilateral withdrawal throughout a week of emotional protests and mostly nonviolent confrontations between settlers and soldiers. Israel has controlled the Gaza Strip and the West Bank since it won the territory during the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, also known as the Six-Day War. Some parts of Gaza and the West Bank were under Palestinian control before the withdrawal; after the Israelis leave, the area formerly occupied by the settlements will fall under Palestinian control.”

Nov. 21, 2005 Sharon Leaves Likud, Establishes Kadima

“Ariel Sharon caused the biggest upheaval in Israeli politics in nearly three decades by resigning as leader of the ruling Likud party yesterday (Nov. 21, 2005), saying that it was unfit to run the country. The prime minister announced the launch of a new party, National Responsibility (Kadima), to compete in the general election in March. Opinion polls suggest it will drive the once dominant Likud to the margins of Israeli politics, because of infighting in the ruling party over the removal of Jewish settlers from the Gaza strip, and compete with the Labor party for power.”

 Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. (Photo by Baz Ratner-Pool/Getty Images)
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. (Photo by Baz Ratner-Pool/Getty Images)

Jan. 5, 2006 Sharon Replaced After Stroke

“Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was in ‘serious’ condition and was expected to undergo several more hours of brain surgery after suffering a major stroke, a hospital official said Thursday (Jan. 5, 2006) morning…

With Sharon in surgery, under anesthesia and on a respirator, his powers were transferred to Deputy Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, a key ally who followed Sharon in bolting from the Likud bloc to form a new centrist party and shake up Israeli politics. Sharon’s stroke plunged the country into political uncertainty less than three months before a pivotal election.”

Jan. 26, 2006 Hamas Wins Palestinian Parliamentary Election

“The radical Islamic movement Hamas won a large majority in the new Palestinian parliament, according to official election results announced Thursday (Jan. 26, 2006), trouncing the governing Fatah party in a contest that could dramatically reshape the Palestinians’ relations with Israel and the rest of the world. In Wednesday’s voting, Hamas claimed 76 of the 132 parliamentary seats, giving the party at war with Israel the right to form the next cabinet under the Palestinian Authority’s president, Mahmoud Abbas, the leader of Fatah.”

Hamas soldiers
Hamas soldiers

Mar. 28, 2006 New Israeli Centrist Party, Kadima, Wins Israeli Parliamentary Election

“Israelis voted Tuesday (Mar. 28, 2006) to bring to power a new centrist party, Kadima, which is committed to a further pullout from the occupied West Bank. Kadima’s leader, Ehud Olmert, will become prime minister, but his support proved tepid and he will find it harder than expected to impose his agenda on a larger coalition. Kadima, founded in November by Ariel Sharon when he broke with the Likud Party, won the most seats in the 120-member Knesset, or Parliament. But with 99.7 percent of the vote counted Wednesday morning, Kadima is expected to win only 28 seats, fewer than voter polls had suggested. At the same time, Israelis turned away from the right, and Mr. Olmert should be able to carry out his plan for another withdrawal, unilaterally if necessary, from the West Bank to reduce the costs of the continuing occupation.”

Lebanon- Israel War
Lebanon- Israel War

July – Aug. 2006 Israel-Lebanon War

July 12, 2006
“Hezbollah fires a pair of rockets into northern Israel from southern Lebanon, and guerrillas capture two Israeli soldiers during an attack along the Lebanese border between the Israeli towns of Zar’it and Shtula. Eight Israeli soldiers also die in fighting that day. In response, Israeli ground, air and naval forces attack at least eight Hezbollah bases and five bridges in southern Lebanon.”

Lebanese Prime Minister Tammam Salam
Lebanese Prime Minister Tammam Salam

July 22, 2006
“Israeli ground forces enter southern Lebanon and take control of Maroun Al-Ras… Hezbollah rockets fall in Haifa, Safed, Nahariya, Carmiel and the area around Avivim.”

Aug 14, 2006
“A cease-fire takes effect at 8 a.m. (1 a.m. ET). Israeli forces kill four Hezbollah fighters during four clashes, one in Farun and another near Hadata, the Israeli military says. About 10 rockets are fired inside Lebanon, but land in Lebanese territory. Thousands of displaced residents of southern Lebanon begin returning to their homes, jamming roads and bridges with traffic, despite Israeli military warnings that the region is not safe. More than 908 Lebanese and 159 Israelis have been killed since fighting began July 12, officials say. The IDF says about 4,000 rockets were fired into northern Israel during 34 days of fighting.”

June 10-15, 2007 Hamas Takes Over Gaza Strip

“An uneasy calm has returned to the Gaza Strip where Hamas is in full control following a series of attacks on key strongholds of its rival, Fatah. Hamas militants seized the presidential compound in Gaza City overnight after a week of factional fighting, which has left more than 100 people dead. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas sacked the Hamas-led government on Thursday (June 14, 2007) and declared an emergency.”

Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas
Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas

June 17, 2007 Abbas Names New Caretaker Government

“The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah, swore in an emergency government Sunday, reasserting his authority over the West Bank days after the rival group Hamas routed his forces in Gaza and seized power there… Under the circumstances, the Palestinian swearing-in ceremony in Ramallah was a somber affair. Salam Fayyad, an internationally respected economist, will serve as prime minister, finance minister and foreign minister in the 12-member cabinet… Hamas has dismissed the emergency government as illegitimate, insisting that the Hamas-dominated unity government, which Abbas dissolved, is still in charge.”

Nov. 27, 2007 Annapolis Peace Conference

“President Bush today announced an agreement by Israeli and Palestinian leaders to work toward a peace pact by the end of 2008. Flanked by the two leaders, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Mr. Bush congratulated them for agreeing to follow a ‘road map to a permanent two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict…’

Israel PM Ehud Olmert, US President George Bush and Palestinian PM Mahmoud Abbas
Israel PM Ehud Olmert, US President George Bush and Palestinian PM Mahmoud Abbas

The gathering at the United States Naval Academy included delegations representing 49 countries and international organizations, and it brought about the highest-level official contacts between Israel and Saudi Arabia, which do not have diplomatic relations.”

June 19, 2008 Israel-Gaza Ceasefire

“The start of a six-month truce between Israel and Hamas, the Palestinian militant group, took effect as scheduled on the Gaza border at 6 a.m. Thursday… If it holds, Israel hopes the cease-fire will halt the recurrent rocket and mortar fire from Gaza that has killed four Israeli civilians this year and caused widespread trauma and disruption of life in Israeli towns and villages close to the Gaza border. For its part, Hamas wants to end the frequent Israeli military strikes and incursions into Gaza. It also wants an easing of the economic blockade that Israel has imposed since Hamas took over the area a year ago.”

Smoke and fire from the explosion of an Israeli strike rise over Gaza City, Photo/Hatem Moussa)
Smoke and fire from the explosion of an Israeli strike rise over Gaza City, Photo/Hatem Moussa)

July 16, 2008 Israel-Lebanon Prisoner Swap

Five Lebanese prisoners have been handed over to the Hezbollah movement by Israel, as part of a swap for the bodies of two Israeli soldiers. The freed men arrived to a heroes’ welcome at the Naqoura border crossing on Wednesday, just hours after Israel received coffins containing the remains of Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, two Israeli army reservists captured in 2006. The prisoners released were Samir Kuntar, who was jailed for three murders in Israel in 1979, and four men captured during the 34-day war sparked by the capture of Goldwasser and Regev… Hezbollah also received the bodies of almost 200 people, including the body of Dalal al-Maghrebi, a female fighter with the Palestinian Fatah movement…”

Hezbollah anti-Israel demonstration
Hezbollah anti-Israel demonstration

Dec. 27, 2008 Israeli Bombardment and Occupation of Gaza

“After seven days of aerial bombardment (that started Dec. 27, 2008)… Following an artillery barrage aimed at detonating buried explosives and mines, Israeli armored columns began moving into Gaza in an apparent attempt to take control of areas used by Palestinian militants to fire rockets into southern Israel. Israeli officials stressed that the objective was to deal further punishing blows to Hamas in the hope of deterring further rocket fire… Although the eight-day air campaign in Gaza has claimed some 450 Palestinian victims, and continues to inflict damage on Hamas fighters — as well as, inevitably, nearby civilians — the attacks have not kept Hamas from launching more missiles. At least 15 rockets fired from Gaza struck southern Israel on Saturday… (Israeli Minister of Defense Ehud) Barak and (Interim Israeli Prime Minister Ehud) Olmert have made clear that their objective is not to wipe out Hamas, but instead to force the radical group to accept a durable cease-fire on Israel’s terms. While they hope to weaken Hamas, Israel’s leaders are aware that a military campaign is unlikely to destroy the organization that remains the most popular political force in Gaza. Any attempt to do so would require not only a massive invasion of all of Gaza, but also an open-ended reoccupation of a hostile population, a trap Olmert and Barak want to avoid at all costs.