January 22The Erez checkpoint, at the crossing between the Gaza Strip and Israel, is the first crossing whose operation is handed over to private hands in the framework of a comprehensive program to upgrade the crossings between Israel and the Occupied Territories and turn them into modern terminals. The declared purpose of the plan is to make the crossings more efficient and to improve the service provided to Palestinians. All the crossings, except for one, lie in Palestinian territory, and not along the Green Line.
January 25Hamas wins the elections in the Palestinian Authority. In the months following the elections, Israel and the so-called “Quartet” (the European Union, the United States, the United Nations, and Russia) impose economic sanctions on the PA.
February 17An order prohibits Palestinians from entering Israel on roads designated for entry by Israelis. Palestinians are allowed to cross only at eleven crossings, which are intended solely for them.
February 24Israel’s plan for separate travel on West Bank roads, Everything Flows, is made public. The plan calls for building roads for Palestinians and separate roads for Israelis, covering a distance of about one hundred and forty kilometers. Where the roads intersect, they will be built on different levels. The plan is intended to counter the criticism of Israel for the restrictions it places on Palestinian movement in privately owned passenger cars and to enable steady travel on roads earmarked for Palestinians. Most of the roads intended for Palestinians will be old, narrow roads, and at those sections where the roads are on different levels, an iron gate will be built that will enable Israel to stop the traffic at any time.
AprilThe army reduces the “safety zone” of artillery fire in the Gaza Strip from 300 meters to 100 meters from built-up areas; 100 meters is the range of possible deviation of the shells fired by the Israeli artillery.
April 14For the first time since the disengagement plan was implemented, the IDF enters the Gaza Strip in an attempt to stop the Qassam rocket fire at Sderot and the “Gaza envelope” communities.
June 25Palestinians guerilla forces attack an army post on the Gaza Strip border. Two soldiers are killed, and one, Corporal Gilad Schalit, is injured and abducted. His release is conditioned upon a massive release of Palestinian prisoners, a condition that Israel has so far refused. Following the attack, Israel begins Operation Summer Rains, in which air and land attacks on the Gaza Strip increase.
June 27Israel bombs Gaza’s power station. As a result, seven hundred thousand Palestinians experience severe disruptions of the electricity supply for months. The construction of the power station, as well as its reconstruction after the attack, are paid for by donors’ money.
June 28The IDF arrests dozens of Hamas leaders in the West Bank, including twenty members of the Palestinian Legislative Council and eight Palestinian Authority government ministers. The action was planned a few weeks earlier and carried out in coordination with the Shabak and the State Attorney’s Office. Hamas contends that Israel made the arrests to hold the detainees as bargaining chips for the release of Gilad Schalit.
July 12Two IDF soldiers, Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, are abducted to Lebanon by Hezbollah. In response, Israel mounts a major attack on Hezbollah targets throughout Lebanon, including the Shiite quarter of Beirut. According to IDF reports, the Israeli Air Force carries out more than seven thousand bombing sorties in Lebanon, forcing a million residents of southern Lebanon to evacuate their homes and move to the north and killing eleven hundred people. A large number of land forces are dispatched to Lebanon in a later stage of what has become the Second Lebanon War. The fighting lasts thirty-four days, during which Hezbollah fires thousands of Katyusha rockets at Israel’s northern regions, killing fifty-six civilians and soldiers and injuring thousands. With the world’s eyes on the north, Israel increases its attacks in the Gaza Strip: 136 Palestinians are killed by security forces while the fighting is going on in Lebanon.
November 19The OC Central Command, Major General Yair Naveh, signs an order prohibiting Palestinians from traveling in a vehicle with Israeli license plates. Following harsh criticism, the order is cancelled.
DecemberFighting between Fatah and Hamas take place in the Gaza Strip, with both sides attacking security forces and civilians, resulting in deaths and extensive property damage. After several rounds of fighting, Hamas will take de facto control of the strip in June, further contributing to its severance from the West Bank .
Following what it classifies as a “refreshing of procedures,” Israel prohibits Palestinian residents of the Occupied Territories who hold foreign nationalities from entering the Occupied Territories. Those prohibited include persons who have lived in the Occupied Territories for many years.