MarchThe United Nations World Food Programme states that, because of the restrictions on movement, the Palestinian economy has become an “island economy” of small areas in which the people run a barter economy, with no trade between cities or between Gaza and the West Bank.
March 17Following the Mecca Agreement, signed in February by representatives of Hamas and Fatah, a unity Palestinian government is sworn in. It is headed by Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas, and it contains twenty-five ministers (twelve from Hamas, six from Fatah, and the others independents or from leftist party factions). The objective of the unity government is to stop the internal conflict in the Occupied Territories and to remove the international boycott of the Palestinian Authority following Hamas’s victory in the elections.
June 8The High Court of Justice sustains the state’s position that residents of the Gaza Strip are not allowed to study in Israel. In August, the court rules that residents of Gaza also are not allowed to study in the West Bank. The limited venues of higher education in the Gaza Strip have been further hurt by the prolonged closure of the region.
July 6A report by Peace Now reveals that the jurisdictional area of settlements in the West Bank is ten times greater than the settlements’ built-up area. Despite the potential for expansion, 90 percent of the settlements seize additional land, mostly private Palestinian lands.
July 25Relations are renewed between the Israeli and Palestinian District Coordination Offices for the first time since Hamas rule began.
September 4The High Court orders dismantlement of 1.7 kilometers of the Wall near Modiin Illit and orders that the state return more than one thousand dunams (247 acres) to residents of the village of Bilin. The justices hold that the route was not based on security considerations and was planned to include future neighborhoods in ModiinIllit. Since January 2005, the residents of Bilin, together with Israeli leftist activists, had waged a continuous nonviolent struggle against the Separation Wall.
September 5The day after the court’s decision in Bilin, the High Court rules, with respect to another petition, that the houses built illegally on land belonging to Bilin as part of the Matityahu East neighborhood in the ModiinIllit settlement do not have to be torn down.
September 20In response to the firing of missiles from the Gaza Strip to the city of Sderot and other neighboring townships, Israel declares the Gaza Strip “enemy territory” and threatens to reduce the supply of electricity and fuel to its residents.
October 9The IDF issues an order expropriating 1,129 dunams (279 acres) east of Jerusalem. The land is to be seized in order to build a “life fabric road” that will enable “transportation continuity” for Palestinians and to prepare for the building of three Jewish neighborhoods with thirty-five hundred apartments in zone E-1, between Jerusalem and Ma'ale Adumim.
October 11The High Court of Justice rules that Israeli labor law applies to Palestinians working for Israelis in the Occupied Territories.
October 26The defense minister, Ehud Barak, approves the disruption of the electricity and gas supply to the Gaza Strip. The supply of diesel fuel, which is used in hospitals and public transportation, will not be interrupted. In a later stage, the supply of diesel fuel will be also decreased substantially, causing severe damage to electricity and water supplies in the Gaza strip.
October 29Israel allows trucks loaded with shekels to enter the Gaza Strip. The money is intended for paying the wages of Palestinian Authority employees identified with Fatah.
NovemberThe first criminal indictment is submitted under the charges of illegal construction works in the outposts, accusing a settler of concealing an underground electrical cable connecting the settlement Ma'ale Shomron to the nearby outpost El Matan and passing through private land belonging to a Palestinian from the village Thulth.
November 15The Knesset confirms an amendment to the Basic Law: Jerusalem. A majority of eighty Knesset members will be required for any concessions in territory or authority in the city.
November 27The Annapolis conference convenes. The parties participating are representatives of Israel, the Palestinian Authority, the Quartet, and most of the Arab League nations, including states that do not have diplomatic relations with Israel. The purpose of the conference is to reactivate the peace talks and to set in motion intensive negotiations on a final Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement. It is the first meaningful summit meeting of Israeli and Palestinian leaders since the 2000 Camp David summit and the outbreak of the al-Aqsa intifada.
November 30Attorney Talia Sason, author of the report on unauthorized outposts, warns that the Justice Ministry is preparing the ground for extensive building in the settlements. A ministry proposal presents conduits to legitimize outposts that have been established on private Palestinian lands and to channel governmental funding for illegal outposts. The proposal also acknowledges outposts located several kilometers away from the settlements as “new neighborhoods.”
December 18The IDF reveals that from the beginning of the second intifada, 1,091 criminal investigations were initiated following injury or damage to Palestinian civilians. Indictments were submitted in only 118 cases. Two hundred and thirty-nine shooting incidents were investigated, and in only 30 of them were indictments submitted, resulting in the conviction of sixteen Israeli soldiers. According to Btselem reports, 4,330 Palestinians had been killed since the beginning of the intifada, at least 2,056 of whom did not take part in hostilities.
December 21Brigadier General Zvi Fogel, who served as OC Southern Command in the beginning of the second intifada, reveals that the IDF had declared “death zones” in Gaza and had bombed populated areas with Flechette shells containing thousands of steel arrows.