A Troubling Timeline: Recent Events and Escalations in Israel-Palestine

While the realities on the ground continue to shift in Israel-Palestine, the temperature is increasing overall. The past weeks have been marked by unprecedented violence, protest, and political upheaval. The following is a timeline in reverse chronological order of recent events in Israel-Palestine, including responses from the U.S. and international community. 

A note that Israel is also experiencing near-daily demonstrations directed towards Netanyahu’s judicial overhaul and violence against Palestinians. However, not all protests are mentioned. 

The timeline will continue to be updated with critical events.

March 1, 2023

  • Protestors stage a “National Day of Disruption” in Jerusalem outside of Netanyahu’s official residence and across Israel as the Knesset continues its plan to overhaul the judiciary. Twenty-two people have been detained by police.
  • Israeli Minister of Finance Bezalel Smotrich calls for the state to wipe out the Palestinian town of Huwara after Sunday’s pogrom. Smotrich was recently given primary authority over the Occupied West Bank, a move that constitutes formal annexation.

  • Israeli police detain eight more settlers suspect of participating in Sunday night’s pogrom in the Palestinian town of Huwara. Three of those arrested were minors. Police arrested those suspected of “rioting, setting fire to vehicles and buildings, assaulting Palestinians, causing damage to property.”

Feb. 26, 2023

  • Israeli settlers stage a pogrom in the Palestinian town of Huwara outside Nablus. Settlers, emboldened by their sympathizers in government, killed one Palestinian civilian and injured hundreds. Settlers also destroyed dozens of homes, cars, and stores. Following the violence, eight settlers were arrested. Five were released and three were put on house arrest.

  • Jordanian, Egyptian, Israeli, Palestinian and U.S. officials meet in Aqaba, Jordan. Officials released the Aqaba Joint Communique, which included Israeli and Palestinian affirmations to deescalation on the ground, upholding the status quo in Jerusalem, and Israel’s commitment to temporarily halt discussion of new settlements and outposts.

  • A Palestinian killed two brothers from the settlement of Har Bracha in Huwara, near Nablus.

Feb. 25, 2023

  • On this day in 1994, Jewish supremacist and settler Baruch Goldstein massacred 29 Palestinians during their morning prayer in the Ibrahimi Mosque. Today, the extremist ideology of Goldstein has become mainstream and his followers lawmakers.

Feb. 23, 2023

  • The Israeli government advances plans for settlement construction in E1, a move which would cut the West Bank in two and damage any future of a be a Palestinian State.

  • Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu grants governing authorities in the West Bank to Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, a measure that is a first step toward formal, de jure annexation of the Occupied West Bank.

Feb. 22, 2023

  • The Israeli military killed 11 Palestinians and wounded over 100 others in a raid in Nablus. Among those killed were a 72-year-old man, a 61-year-old man, and a 16-year-old boy. Members of militant groups were also killed.

Feb. 20, 2023

  • A United Nations Security Council presidential statement publish a statement expressing deep concern over Israel's plans to legalize West Bank outposts and expand settlements.

Feb. 19, 2023

  • The Palestinian Authority agree to suspend efforts to push for a UN Security Council vote on Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank after U.S. mediation.

Feb. 17, 2023

  • Thirteen human rights and civil society organizations in Israel call on the UN Security Council to act against Netanyahu’s plan to expand illegal settlements in Occupied Palestinian Territory.

Feb. 14, 2023

  • The Foreign Ministers of France, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, and the United States release a joint statement strongly opposing Israel’s plants to expand settlements.

Feb. 13, 2023

  • U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken releases a statement regarding Netanyahu’s troubling announcement to expand settlements and calls on all parties to avoid actions that can further escalate tensions.

Feb. 12, 2023

  • Israel announces a plan to advance nearly 10,000 settlement units and to begin a process to retroactively legalize nine outposts in the West Bank that were previously illegal.  

Feb. 9, 2023

  • The U.S. warns Netanyahu that it would consider any transfer of civilian authorities in the occupied West Bank to Bezalel Smotrich as a step toward annexation. If Netanyahu gives Smotrich authority over the military units in charge of civilian policy in the West Bank, the far-right minister would have unprecedented influence on Israeli settlements. 

Jan. 26, 2023

  • Israeli forces killed nine Palestinians in a raid at a Jenin refugee camp. A 61-year-old woman and male civilian were reported among the dead. This was the deadliest raid in the West Bank since 2005. The Palestinian Authority suspended security cooperation with Israel after the raid.