252 / 14704 Results
  • May 2, 2009

    Palestinians fire several mortars fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. The IDF responds with air strikes on several smuggling tunnels on the Rafah border, killing 2 Palestinians...

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  • January 13, 2009

    The IDF significantly increases attacks on Gaza for the 2d straight day, as international mediation efforts led by Egypt to secure a cease-fire also intensify.

    Combat notes: The IDF...

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  • January 12, 2009

    Olmert’s security cabinet revives discussion of opening phase 3 of OCL (see 1/9), agreeing to make a final decision whether to expand or wind down operations within 2–3 days, by which time the IDF...

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  • January 10, 2009

    Israel warns of an expanded ground war in Gaza and begins moving more tanks and reservists to the Gaza border. The IDF drops leaflets and sends out automated phone messages across Gaza, warning of...

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  • January 5, 2009

    As OCL enters day 10, IDF ground forces tighten the circle around Gaza City and continue to operate against Palestinian rocketlaunching units across n. Gaza, still avoiding entering densely...

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  • January 4, 2009

    IDF ground forces backed by naval and air support continue to enter Gaza overnight, with troops taking up positions across n. Gaza (from which most Palestinian rockets have been fired),...

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  • June 10, 2008

    Overnight in Gaza, the IDF sends troops, bulldozers into Shuka to raid and search homes, arresting 1 Palestinian and remanding him to Israel, bulldozing 31 d. of almond and olive trees before...

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  • February 27, 2008

    In the morning, the IDF makes an air strike on a minivan nr. Khan Yunis, assassinating 5 Hamas mbrs. and wounding 1 allegedly responsible for the Izzeddin al-Qassam Brigades’ rocket program; makes...

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  • February 7, 2008

    In keeping with 1/27 pledges, Israel cuts electricity to Gaza by 1%; vows further cuts and intensified strikes on Gaza until rocket fire ceases. Overnight, the IDF sends troops and tanks,...

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  • June 9, 2007

    Four Islamic Jihad and AMB gunmen in an armored jeep marked “TV” and “press, carrying RPGs and supported by mortar fire, break through the Gaza border fence nr. the Kissufim crossing, engage IDF...

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  • May 21, 2007

    The IDF makes air strikes on a car in Bayt Lahiya, assassinating 4 Islamic Jihad mbrs. (Muhammad Abu Nima, Mahmud Awad, Majid al-Batash, ‘Abd al-‘Aziz al-Hilu); on an alleged weapons factory in...

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  • April 6, 2007

    IDF troops on the Gaza border fire on, send a drone to fire missiles at a group of armed Palestinians attempting to cross into Israel e. of Jabaliya, killing 1 armed Palestinian, wounding 4. For...

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  • August 13, 2006

    IDF troops inside Israel fire across the border into Gaza at Palestinian farmers working their fields nr. Bureij r.c., wounding a Palestinian woman and 12-yr.-old child. The IDF also shells...

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  • August 12, 2006

    In Gaza, IDF troops occupy the Dahaniyya airport, seal the Rafah crossing (reopened on 8/10), raze large areas of agricultural land, destroy several greenhouses and sites used by the PA security...

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  • August 11, 2006

    IDF gunboats off the Gaza coast shell the fmr. settlement areas of Ganei Tal, Netzer Hazani in s. Gaza, causing no damage or injuries In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house...

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  • August 10, 2006

    In Gaza, the IDF opens Rafah crossing for departures only, opens Qarni crossing for imports only; makes late-night air strikes destroying a store, house in Jabaliya r.c. (warning the residents in...

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  • August 8, 2006

    The IDF closes the Qarni crossing, Nahal Oz pipeline for the day; fires across the Israeli border at a group of children in a bedouin village nr. Bayt Lahiya, wounding 1. In the West Bank, the IDF...

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  • August 7, 2006

    In the West Bank, the IDF sends undercover units into Azun in a car with Palestinian license plates, surrounds a home, arrests 1 PSF mbr. who surrenders; conducts random ID checks in, fires on...

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  • August 4, 2006

    The IDF continues operations al-Shuka, making air and artillery strikes on buildings allegedly housing Hamas and Islamic Jihad weapons caches, exchanging fire with Palestinian gunmen, conducting...

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  • August 3, 2006

    Overnight, the IDF launches ground operations in al-Shuka, using helicopters, drones, and some 50 tanks, armored vehicles, bulldozers; seals off Dahaniyya airport, the eastern entrance to Rafah,...

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  • July 29, 2006

    In Gaza, the IDF sends troops back into s. Gaza to search for a reported tunnel on the Gaza-Egypt border, cuts power to Rafah, makes an air strike on a building in Gaza City that allegedly holds a...

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  • July 27, 2006

    In Gaza, the IDF closes the Nahal Oz pipeline; shells areas nr. Gaza City, killing at least 1 Palestinian militant, 1 Palestinian farmer working in her field; shells areas nr. Bayt Hanun (killing...

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  • July 25, 2006

    In Gaza, the IDF shells areas nr. Khan Yunis, wounding 2 Palestinians and damaging an ambulance coming to their rescue; fires on a Palestinian family tending their fields nr. the border fence with...

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  • July 24, 2006

    In Gaza, the IDF drops leaflets on and makes automated phone calls to residents in n. Gaza warning them to evacuate areas around rocket launch sites, buildings used by militants; shells Bayt...

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  • July 22, 2006

    The IDF continues to shell n. Gaza, wounding at least 1 Palestinian civilian. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem. A Palestinian militant wounded during...

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  • July 21, 2006

    Overnight, the IDF withdraws fr. alMaghazi r.c., leaving a total of 207 d. of land, 4 Palestinian homes demolished, 9 other homes partially demolished. Also in Gaza, the IDF fires a tank shell at...

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  • July 20, 2006

    In Gaza, the IDF continues operations in al-Maghazi r.c., engaging in heavy clashes with local gunmen, killing 4 armed Palestinians and 1 bystander, wounding at least 32 (in addition, 1...

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  • July 19, 2006

    Overnight, the IDF sends troops back into central Gaza, engaging in heavy clashes with armed Palestinians in al-Maghazi r.c. that last throughout the day, occupying houses as sniper posts, cutting...

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  • July 13, 2006

    Overnight, the IDF makes air strikes destroying the PA FMin. building in Gaza City, wounding 13 bystanders (including 6 children); makes an air strike on Khan Yunis, killing 1 Islamic Jihad mbr.,...

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  • July 12, 2006

    Overnight, the IDF drops 2 quarter-ton bombs on a 3-story building in Gaza City in an attempt to assassinate chief Hamas bomb-maker Muhammad Dayif, 4 times previously the target of Israeli...

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Palestinians fire several mortars fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. The IDF responds with air strikes on several smuggling tunnels on the Rafah border, killing 2 Palestinians inside a tunnel. IDF troops also make an incursion into Gaza e. of Jabaliya, firing on houses and agricultural areas, while artillery inside Israel shells the area; IDF troops withdraw after nearly 5 hrs., causing no reported injuries. IDF troops on the s. Gaza border fire on Palestinian farmers working their fields nr. Khuza village nr. the border, lightly wounding 1. IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire on Palestinian homes and agricultural land northeast of Bayt Hanun, causing no reported injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem. (WT 5/3; OCHA 5/6; PCHR 5/7)

The IDF significantly increases attacks on Gaza for the 2d straight day, as international mediation efforts led by Egypt to secure a cease-fire also intensify.

Combat notes: The IDF tightens the cordon around Gaza City (focusing attacks on the outlying neighborhoods of Shaykh Ajlin, Tal al-Hawa, and al-Zaytun and open areas n. of the city), with troops reportedly taking fire from Palestinian rocket-propelled grenade antitank missiles and mortars. The IDF also launches a major incursion into Jabaliya under heavy shelling, engaging in heavy exchanges of fire with Palestinian gunmen, killing at least 13. In s. Gaza, the IDF continues heavy attacks on Khuza, including air strikes, intense shelling, and widespread bulldozing of some 50 houses and farms; Israeli fire is so heavy and constant that residents report being unable to reach the injured or flee their homes to seek shelter outside the village; IDF troops pull back fr. Khuza after nightfall.

The IDF reports carrying out more than 160 air strikes across Gaza. Air strike target areas include Bayt Hanun, Bayt Lahiya, Gaza City (al-Sabra, Shaykh Ridwan, al-Zaytun), Jabaliya r.c., Khan Yunis, Khuza, Nussayrat r.c., Rafah, al-Shuka, Tal al-Za‘atar, and the Twam area. Israeli gunboats shell Nussayrat r.c. Heavy tank and artillery fire are reported nr. Bayt Lahiya (white phosphorous suspected) and in Dayr al-Balah, Jabaliya town, Khan Yunis (white phosphorous suspected), Khuza, Nussayrat r.c. (confirmed use of flechette shells). For a 2d day, nearly half of the air strikes take place after nightfall, targeting Gaza City. Palestinians report 12 hrs. of constant Israeli bombardment of the Rafah border, with the IDF claiming to destroy 90 smuggling tunnels. (The IDF also demolishes 1 tunnel on the Gaza–Israel border nr. the Nahal Oz crossing.) Specific targets include a Hamas police headquarters in Gaza City, 31 groups of armed men, 25 rocket-launching sites, and 13 suspected weapons manufacturing and storage facilities.

On the ground, the IDF reports a total of 6 soldiers wounded (2 moderately, 4 lightly) in 2 exchanges of gunfire with Palestinians. In a 3d incident, IDF reservists open fire on an IDF paratrooper unit, seriously wounding 1 and moderately wounding 3. Palestinians report around 70 Gazans killed today, putting the estimated Palestinian toll at 971 dead and 4,400 wounded. The Israeli toll stands at 13–14 dead, more than 125 injured. (Israeli military intelligence confirms that 1 soldier killed on 1/6 or 1/8 was targeted by a suicide bomber, stating that several Palestinian suicide bombers, including some women and some dressed as IDF soldiers, have approached combat units.)

Palestinians fire about 11 rockets and 6 mortars into Israel, causing no reported damage or injuries.

Humanitarian notes: The IDF observes another 3-hr. lull, allowing 102 truckloads of aid into Gaza. (The IDF states that 1,028 truckloads of humanitarian goods have been allowed into Gaza since 12/27.) During the lull the ICRC rescues 100 Palestinians trapped in Jabaliya. Heavy IDF attacks in Rafah force UNRWA to close a medical center just n. of the border to ensure the safety of patients and to open more shelters for displaced residents. Human Rights Watch calls Israel’s 3-hr./day breaks to facilitate humanitarian aid “woefully insufficient.” Other aid groups (including Doctors Without Borders, the ICRC, the UN) complain that they are still able to import and distribute only a fraction of the emergency supplies available for Gaza because of Israeli delays and restrictions. (BBC, HA, IDF, IFM, MA, MM, REU, YA 1/13; AYM, IDF, IFM, MM, NYT, WP, WT, YA 1/14; NYT, PCHR, WP, XIN 1/15; ITIC 1/19)

In the West Bank, IDF troops at the Tarqumiyya crossing nr. Hebron fatally shoot a Palestinian who allegedly attempts to grab the gun of a border patrol officer after being denied permission to cross the checkpoint. Late in the evening, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in Bayt Awa, Dura, and Kafr Khalil (all nr. Hebron). A Jewish settler driving nr. Azun village e. of Qalqilya opens fire on Palestinian youths who stone his car, killing 1 Palestinian teenager, wounding 2. (HA 1/13; PCHR 1/15)

A Jordanian soldier fires on an Israeli border patrol unit operating along the Negev border with Jordan n. of Elat. The border police return fire. No injuries are reported. (MM 1/13; WT 1/14; JPI 1/23)

Olmert’s security cabinet revives discussion of opening phase 3 of OCL (see 1/9), agreeing to make a final decision whether to expand or wind down operations within 2–3 days, by which time the IDF believes ground forces will have done all they can from the open and suburban areas they currently hold to weaken Hamas’s ability and desire to fire rockets.

Combat notes: The IDF significantly increases attacks, particularly around Gaza City, and continues to send troops into Gaza. Palestinians report (AYM 1/12) heavy clashes with the IDF n. of Bayt Lahiya, in Daraj and al-Shuja‘iyya neighborhoods on the eastern boundary of Gaza City, and in Dahadih and al-Zaytun to the south of the city. Overnight, the IDF also sends troops back into Khuza (see 1/11) under heavy artillery fire (possibly including white phosphorous), occupying a number of homes as staging posts and prompting 1,000s of residents to flee their homes.

The IDF reports carrying out more than 120 air strikes (half of them after nightfall, targeting Gaza City), uncovering 1 boobytrapped home and 2 booby-trapped tunnels. Targets include the PA Interior Min. offices in n. Gaza, more than 35 tunnels on the Rafah border, homes of Hamas leaders, at least 22 mortar and rocket launching sites, at least 26 groups of armed men, at least 10 “Hamas outposts,” 2 suspected weapons depots and manufacturing facilities, 2 mosques, 2 hotels. Air strike target areas include Bayt Lahiya, Gaza City (city center and Shaykh Ridwan, al-Sudaniyya, Tal al-Hawa, al-Zaytun), Jabaliya town, al-Maghazi r.c., Nussayrat, Rafah, al-Shabura r.c., al-Shuka, Tal al-Za‘atar, the Twam area (northern outskirts of Gaza City), Yibna r.c. IDF gunboats shell Nussayrat, Rafah, a fishing port w. of Rafah. Heavy tank and artillery fire are reported in Bayt Hanun, al-Bureij r.c., Dayr al-Balah, Gaza City (al-Shuja‘iyya, al-Zaytun), Jabaliya town, al-Mughraqa, Twam.

Israeli attacks are so intense that reliable updates on Palestinian casualty estimates are not possible. The IDF estimates killing at least 30 Palestinians in air strikes. UNRWA reports at least 19 Palestinian children killed and 52 children injured in nighttime operations (possibly overlapping with air strikes), 1 paramedic killed by tank fire in Jabaliya during the day. The IDF reports 8 soldiers wounded (1 severely, 1 moderately, 6 lightly) in various incidents, all after nightfall; 3 of the soldiers are injured when they trigger a setup in a booby-trapped house.

Palestinians fire 17 rockets and 7 mortars into Israel, with 1 rocket in Ashqelon and 1 in Sederot causing damage but no reported injuries.

Humanitarian notes: The IDF observes the daily 3-hr. humanitarian lull, allowing 120 trucks carrying humanitarian aid to enter Gaza. UNRWA estimates that internally displaced Gazans number now 90,000: 30,000 seeking shelter in UNRWA schools; 60,000 in the homes of friends and relatives. (AP, AYM, BBC, HA, IDF, IFM, JP, MA, MM, al-Ra’i, REU, RFM, WP, YA 1/12; HA, MM, NYT, REU, WP, WT, YA 1/13; AYM, HA, MM, NYT, WP, WT 1/14; PCHR 1/15; BBC, WJW 1/16; ITIC 1/19)

In the West Bank, unidentified armed Palestinians fire on an IDF patrol nr. Kiryat Arba settlement, wounding 3. In response, the IDF raids, searches Palestinian homes nr. Kiryat Arba, making no arrests. The IDF also conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron. (HA 1/13; PCHR 1/15)

Israel warns of an expanded ground war in Gaza and begins moving more tanks and reservists to the Gaza border. The IDF drops leaflets and sends out automated phone messages across Gaza, warning of an escalation in fighting.

Combat notes: IDF tanks and artillery pound Gaza throughout the day. The IDF reports making air strikes on about 120 targets, including the home of IQB head Ahmad Jabari (presumed to be in hiding), at least 15 rocket-launching sites, 21 suspected weapons depots (including a mosque and school in Rafah, the homes of several Hamas mbrs.), 16 tunnels, 3 Hamas outposts, 1 police station, and 2 vehicles allegedly transporting weapons. In Khan Yunis, an air strike destroys Gaza European Hospital’s fuel depot, electricity generator, and water supply system. Target areas include Bani Suhayla, Bayt Lahiya, al-Bureij r.c., Gaza City (al-Nasser, Shaykh Ridwan, al-Shuja‘iyya), Jabaliya, Khan Yunis, al-Maghazi, Nussayrat, Rafah. IDF ground forces engage in heavy exchanges with Palestinians in and nr. Bayt Lahiya. Heavy IDF tank and artillery fire are reported in Jabaliya (where 8 family mbrs. are killed by an IDF tank shell that lands outside their home), Khuza (possibly involving white phosphorus, burning 15 homes and 100s of individuals), Nussayrat, and Tal al-Hawa in Gaza City. The IDF claims to kill 16 armed Palestinians, including Hamas’s “leading authority on Grad rockets,” IQB cmdr. Amir Mansi, during a strike on a rocket-launching site. The estimated Palestinian toll reaches 820–840 dead.

Palestinians fire 9 rockets and 10 mortars into Israel, the fewest since OCL began on 12/27; 3 Grad rockets strike Ashqelon (each causing damage and light injuries, including shock), others land in open areas nr. Ashdod and in the Negev (causing no damage or injuries). The IDF reports 7 ground troops lightly wounded in various exchanges.

Humanitarian notes: The IDF observes a 3-hr. humanitarian lull to allow relief agencies to recover casualties and distribute food but does not allow new aid through Gaza’s crossings on the Sabbath.

Of note: The IDF reports that ground troops have been facing extensive tunnel networks inside the Strip, especially in Gaza City, which the Palestinian factions are using to try to ambush soldiers. IDF sources and Israeli journalists embedded with IDF troops report recent incidents in which Palestinian fighters tried to lure troops into a boobytrapped building in al-Zaytun; left a weapons cache rigged with explosives where the IDF would find it (the booby trap did not detonate); and sent a suicide bomber on a failed attempt to attack a group of soldiers. The IDF also acknowledges that it has rounded up and interrogated scores of Palestinians to gain knowledge of local Hamas positions and tactics. Israeli intelligence officers acknowledge phoning Gazans, sometimes overtly and sometimes pretending to be sympathetic Arabs fr. abroad, to gain information about conditions and locations of Palestinian forces on the ground. (AP, BBC, IDF, REU 1/10; IDF, NYT, WP, WT 1/11; MM, QA, WP 1/12; al-Akhbar, MM 1/13; NYT 1/14; PCHR 1/15; WJW 1/16; ITIC 1/19; JPI 1/23)

The IDF fires live ammunition at Palestinians demonstrating against OCL in Bayt Awa nr. Hebron, seriously wounding a 13-yr.-old boy; fires live ammunition and rubber-coated steel bullets at Palestinians holding a similar protest in Sa’ir nr. Hebron, wounding 3 Palestinians; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in ‘Askar r.c. nr. Nablus, nr. Hebron. (PCHR 1/15)

As OCL enters day 10, IDF ground forces tighten the circle around Gaza City and continue to operate against Palestinian rocketlaunching units across n. Gaza, still avoiding entering densely populated areas. Troops deploy to segment the Strip into 3 main operational zones: a northern zone running fr. the n. Gaza border south to Netzarim Junction (the Qarni Crossing–Netzarim settlement line drawn on 1/4); a central zone fr. Netzarim Junction to Khan Yunis; and a southern zone fr. Khan Yunis to the Rafah border. While IDF troops are still entering Gaza, IDF reservists have not yet been sent in.

Meanwhile, French pres. Nicholas Sarkozy begins a regional tour to press for a 48-hr. humanitarian cease-fire, meeting with Mubarak in Cairo and Olmert in Israel).

Combat notes: In Gaza City, residents and medical workers report that IDF troops are concentrated in the al-Shuja‘iyya, al-Tuffah, and al-Zaytun neighborhoods (al-Zaytun is a strategic high point, providing a view over the breadth of the Strip) and that fighting is so intense (involving heavy Israeli tank and helicopter fire) that bodies of the dead have been left lying in the street and ambulances are unable to reach the area. IDF troops occupy at least 3 high-rise buildings in eastern areas of Gaza City as observation posts, expelling the residents and exchanging heavy gunfire with Palestinian gunmen. Israeli aircraft drop leaflets over Gaza City warning residents to evacuate their neighborhood; 1,000s of Gazans report receiving automated phone messages form the IDF saying “We are getting rid of Hamas.”

In addition to carrying out air strikes in support of advancing ground troops, the IDF reports making 40 air strikes targeting tunnels on the Rafah border, weapons caches, homes of senior Hamas and PFLP mbrs. (most of whom are in hiding), the Gaza airport site. Target areas include Abasan, Bayt Hanun, Bani Suhayla, Bayt Lahiya, al-Bureij r.c., Dayr al-Balah, Gaza City (the center city, al-Tuffah, al-Shuja‘iyya, Tal al-Hawa, alZaytun), Jabaliya, Khan Yunis, Khuza, the al-Mawasi area (w. of Khan Yunis), Nussayrat, Rafah, al-Shabura r.c. (nr. Rafah), Shati’ r.c., al-Shuka, Yibna r.c. (nr. Rafah).

Of particular note: A home in Gaza City’s al-Zaytun neighborhood, where the IDF placed 110 Palestinians it had rounded up on 1/4, is hit by an air strike and repeatedly shelled, killing at least 30 mbrs. of an extended family (including 5 children age 4 and younger) and wounding scores; the IDF bars relief workers fr. reaching the scene until 1/7. A shell fired from an Israeli naval vessel hits a Palestinian home in Shati’ r.c., killing a family of 7 asleep in their beds. A late-night air strike hits an UNRWA school in Shati’ r.c. being used as a shelter, killing 3 members of a single family. The IDF also makes air strikes hitting the offices of the Hamas-affiliated al-Risala for a 2d time (see 1/3). Photographs and live footage of the ongoing operations clearly show IDF artillery firing white phosphorus shells on densely populated areas, though Israel denies using the munitions. The IDF fires flechette shells on residential areas nr. Bayt Hanun, killing at least 1 Palestinian, wounding at least 3.

Palestinians fire 28 rockets, 5 mortars into Israel, hitting Ashdod, Ashqelon, Beersheba, Sederot, and Shaar Hanegev, damaging an empty kindergarten in Ashdod, injuring 2 Israelis in Shaar Hanegev.

More than 40 Palestinians are killed today (almost half of them children), bringing the estimated Palestinian toll to 550 dead, 2,500 injured. The Israeli toll reaches 9–10 dead, more than 70 wounded: 3 IDF soldiers are killed, 24 wounded (4 seriously) by friendly fire when their unit is hit by an Israeli tank shell outside Gaza City; an IDF officer is killed during an exchange of fire in n. Gaza, possibly by an IDF tank shell; 6 IDF soldiers are wounded in clashes with Palestinians nr. the e. Gaza border.

Humanitarian notes: Israel allows 80 truckloads of food, medicine, and medical equipment into Gaza, but the UN says much more is needed. Relief agencies (including the ICRC, UNRWA, and UNSCO) warn that two-thirds of the Strip is still without power, suffering freezing winter temperatures; 250,000 Gazans are without any running water; and water supplies for another 500,000 Gazans are expected to run out within days because of lack of fuel for pumps and backup generators. Shifa hospital, which has been running fully on generators for 3 days, warns that it has only a 2-day supply of generator fuel. (BBC, CNN, IDF, IDF Radio, MM, NYT, REU, RFM, UNIS, UNOSAT, WT 1/5; AFP, BBC, Guardian, HA, IDF, IFM, Israel Radio News, MA, MM, NYT, WP, WT, YA 1/6; IFM, PCHR, WJW, WT 1/8; Committee to Protect Journalists, MM, YA 1/9; NYT, WP 1/10; NYT 1/17; WP 1/27; BBC 2/23)

The IDF arrests 2 12-yr.-old Palestinians at an OCL protest nr. Hebron; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem and in al-Bireh, Ramallah. Clubwielding PASF officers violently disperse a protest against OCL by students attempting to march fr. Ramallah’s Birzeit University to a main IDF checkpoint at Atarot. (PCHR 1/8)

IDF ground forces backed by naval and air support continue to enter Gaza overnight, with troops taking up positions across n. Gaza (from which most Palestinian rockets have been fired), surrounding Gaza City, retaking the former Netzarim settlement site nr. the Gaza coast south of Gaza City, and bifurcating the Strip into e. and w. (cutting a swath roughly from the Qarni and Nahal Oz crossings to Netzarim on the coast, driving 1,000s of residents from Juhur al-Dik, al-Mughraqa, and al-Zahra’ with heavy artillery and tank fire), but not entering dense urban areas.

Combat notes: IDF-Palestinian ground fighting is described as “fierce,” characterized by heavy IDF artillery fire and heavy Palestinian sniping and mortar fire. Because the IDF stays out of built-up areas, there are few reports of close-quarter combat or heavy exchanges of gunfire. While ground troops concentrate in the north, Israeli air strikes and naval bombardment focus equally on the north and south, hitting more tunnels on the Rafah border and targeting Hamas leaders for assassination. (The IDF claims to assassinate Hamas rocket cmdr. Hussam Hamdan and IQB and long-range rocket cmdr. Muhammad Hilu in Khan Yunis, senior IQB mbr. Muhammad Shalbush in Jabaliya, but there is no independent confirmation.)

The IDF reports hitting 45 sites and carrying out 40 air strikes during the day, striking a produce market in Gaza City, several mosques, a medical building and 3 mobile clinics in Shati’ r.c. run by a Danish charity, homes of at least 4 Hamas mbrs. (most of whom have gone into hiding), and suspected weapons depots across Gaza. Target areas include Abasan, Bayt Hanun, Bayt Lahiya, al-Bureij r.c., Dayr al-Balah, Gaza City (al-Daraj, Tal al-Hawa, al-Tuffah, al-Yarmuk, al-Zaytun), Jabaliya, Juhur al-Dik, Khan Yunis, al-Mughraqa, al-Nasser (n. of Rafah), Rafah, Shati’ r.c., al-Shuka, al-Zahra’. After dark, IDF troops conduct door-to-door searches on the outskirts of Gaza City.

Palestinians fire 29 rockets (including at least 12 Grads) and 5 mortars into Israel, hitting Ashdod, Ashqelon, Netivot, Ofakim, and Sederot; 1 house in Sederot is damaged and 1 Israeli woman lightly injured. 

At least 47 Palestinians (including 4 paramedics) are killed and 400 wounded (including 3 paramedics) during the day; 1 IDF soldier is killed, 1 is seriously wounded in a heavy exchange of gunfire nr. Jabaliya; 15 IDF soldiers are wounded (3 seriously) by Palestinian mortar fire inside Gaza. The UN and Palestinian medical workers estimate the Palestinian toll to have reached at least 507 dead, 2,400 injured. The Israeli toll stands at 5–6 killed, more than 40 injured.

Humanitarian notes: The Israeli FMin. announced a new joint office of the FMin. and Israel’s Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, called the Humanitarian Affairs Coordination Center (HACC), to coordinate humanitarian organizations operating on aid transfers to the Strip. The UN reports that shortages of fuel, electricity, and water are worsening. Gazan hospitals report drastic shortages of anesthesia, surgical equipment, heaters, spare parts. (AP, BBC, IDF, JAZ, National Public Radio, OCHA, REU, WT 1/4; IDF, IFM, NYT, RFM, UNOSAT, WP, WT 1/5; BBC 1/6; IFM, PCHR 1/8; WP 1/27)

In the West Bank, the IDF fatally shoots 1 Palestinian demonstrator who attempts to climb the separation wall nr. Qalqilya; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in al-Arub r.c. nr. Hebron, nr. Jenin. Israel’s High Court rules that the IDF may seal 2 floors of the home of the East Jerusalem Palestinian who killed 8 students at the Mercaz HaRava yeshiva in Jerusalem in 3/6/08, even though the gunman was killed during the attack and sealing the home would serve only to punish his extended family; another floor of the home will not be sealed because it is being rented to an unrelated family. (PCHR 1/8)

Overnight in Gaza, the IDF sends troops, bulldozers into Shuka to raid and search homes, arresting 1 Palestinian and remanding him to Israel, bulldozing 31 d. of almond and olive trees before withdrawing in the morning. During the day, the IDF fires an artillery shell at a rocket-launching site outside Gaza City, killing 3 Hamas mbrs., wounding 2; sends tanks, bulldozers into Gaza to bulldoze 10 d. of olive trees nr. Rafah. Islamic Jihad mbrs. fire several mortars fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries; the IDF responds with artillery fire, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF makes an overnight raid into Dayr Abu Mash‘al nr. Ramallah, occupying a Palestinian home as a military outpost, firing on stone-throwing youths who confront them, wounding 1 Palestinian teenager; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Jenin, Nablus, and nr. Bethlehem, Hebron, Ramallah. A Palestinian seriously injured in a smuggling tunnel collapse in Rafah on 6/2 dies. (OCHA, WP 6/11; PCHR 6/12)

In the morning, the IDF makes an air strike on a minivan nr. Khan Yunis, assassinating 5 Hamas mbrs. and wounding 1 allegedly responsible for the Izzeddin al-Qassam Brigades’ rocket program; makes air strikes on a 2d Hamas vehicle, missing it, allowing the targets to escape. Also in the morning, IDF troops on the Gaza border nr. al-Bureij r.c. fire on a group of Palestinian children who stray nr. the border fence, wounding 1. In response to the air strikes, Hamas fires 25 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, killing 1 Israeli, wounding 2, and damaging a home and factory in Sederot. The IDF responds with air and artillery strikes on suspected rocket-launching sites nr. Jabaliya r.c. and Gaza City, killing 1 Islamic Jihad mbr., 3 Palestinian civilians (including boys ages 12, 13), wounding 12 (including 5 children ages 8–14); fires across the border, wounding a Palestinian in al-Shuka. In response, Palestinians fire another 15 rockets, causing no damage or injuries. In the evening, IDF warplanes drop 3 guided missiles on Gaza’s Interior Min. building (empty at the time), destroying it, killing a 6- mo.-old Palestinian baby, wounding more than 25 Palestinians; also launch air strikes on at least 4 other sites in Gaza City and Khan Yunis suspected of manufacturing rockets, causing no reported injuries. An Islamic Jihad mbr. dies when a roadside bomb he is laying nr. the border fence e. of al-Bureij r.c. explodes prematurely. Gaza municipal authorities warn all Gazans to boil their water to prevent disease, reporting that waterworks still receiving electricity have run out of chlorine to treat sewage; Israel last allowed the import of chlorine on 1/21. In the West Bank, the IDF sends undercover units into Nablus, where they ambush and fatally shoot wanted al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade (AMB) mbr. Ibrahim Masimi in an apparent assassination, wounding and arresting 4 AMB mbrs. and a construction worker nearby; Masimi and 2 of the wounded AMB mbrs. were among those granted amnesty by Israel in 7/07. The IDF also patrols in, fires on residential areas of Balata r.c., exchanging fire with local gunmen, killing 2 armed Palestinians, wounding 2; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Hebron, and nr. Jenin, Ramallah, Tulkarm. (BBC 2/27; NYT, PCHR, WP, WT 2/28; PCHR 3/6; WP 4/10)

In keeping with 1/27 pledges, Israel cuts electricity to Gaza by 1%; vows further cuts and intensified strikes on Gaza until rocket fire ceases. Overnight, the IDF sends troops and tanks, supported by artillery and war planes, into Gaza nr. Jabaliya, killing 1 Hamas mbr. and 1 Islamic Jihad mbr. in clashes, killing 4 Hamas mbrs. in air strikes, wounding at least 4 armed Palestinians. During the day, IDF shells hit a school nr. Gaza City, killing a Palestinian teacher, wounding 3 students. Palestinians fire 7 rockets, 4 mortars fr. Gaza into Israel, with 1 rocket hitting a home in Sederot, wounding 2 Israelis. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in al-Bireh; conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Salfit, Ramallah. Rival PRC factions exchange fire in Bayt Hanun, causing no injuries. A Hamas mbr. dies of injuries sustained in a 2/6 IDF air strike e. of Gaza City. (NYT, WP, WT 2/8; OCHA 2/13; PCHR 2/14)

Four Islamic Jihad and AMB gunmen in an armored jeep marked “TV” and “press, carrying RPGs and supported by mortar fire, break through the Gaza border fence nr. the Kissufim crossing, engage IDF troops for 2 hrs. in what Islamic Jihad describes as an attempt to capture a 2d IDF soldier (Cpl. Gilad Shalit was captured in 6/06 and is still being held); 1 Palestinian is killed. The IDF continues operations in Shuka, bulldozing 33 d. of Palestinian land, exchanging fire with local Hamas mbrs., leaving 1 Hamas mbr. dead. Palestinians detonate a roadside bomb nr. an IDF tank n. of Bayt Hanun, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron and in Jenin town and r.c., Tulkarm. Jewish settlers fr. Hebron severely beat a Palestinian teenager nr. the Ibrahimi Mosque/Tomb of the Patriarchs; an ambulance sent to the scene is barred by the IDF, stoned by settlers; the IDF arrests the teenager. Separately in Hebron, Jewish settlers fr. Ramat Yishai severely beat a 9-yr.-old Palestinian. In Rafah, Fatah, Hamas mbrs. exchange heavy fire (including mortars, RPGs) for several hrs., leaving 2 Palestinians dead, 38 injured. In Bayt Hanun, unidentified gunmen shoot, wound an NSF mbr. (IFM, NYT, WP, WT 6/10; NYT 6/11; OCHA 6/13; PCHR 6/14)

The Lebanese army escalates attacks on FI, sending special forces and armored personnel carriers into areas around Nahr al-Barid r.c. to root out FI mbrs., increasing tank, artillery shelling of FI positions inside the camp to the highest level to date. FI replies with mortar and sniper fire. The army reports 6 soldiers killed, more than 40 wounded during the day. FI reports 4 mbrs. killed, 6 wounded. At least 60 FI mbrs., 49 soldiers, 20 civilians are thought to have been killed since fighting began on 5/20, but figures for casualties inside the camp cannot be confirmed. (WP, WT 6/10)

The IDF makes air strikes on a car in Bayt Lahiya, assassinating 4 Islamic Jihad mbrs. (Muhammad Abu Nima, Mahmud Awad, Majid al-Batash, ‘Abd al-‘Aziz al-Hilu); on an alleged weapons factory in Gaza City, damaging several neighboring houses but causing no injuries; on a group of armed Palestinians in al-Bureij r.c., missing them, hitting a building, damaging 7 homes, injuring 4 bystanders (including a 1-yr.-old child). The IDF also conducts an arrest raid in Bayt Lahiya. Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Popular Resistance Comms. (PRCs) fire 15 rockets fr. Gaza toward Israel (3 land in Gaza), hitting a car in Sederot, killing 1 Israeli woman (the 11th killed by Palestinian rocket fire since rockets came into use in 1/02; the previous deadly strike occurred on 11/21/06), wounding 2 men. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Bethlehem, Hebron, Nablus, and in Balata r.c. (targeting the AMB), Qalqilya, Tulkarm. Jewish settler teenagers fr. Karmi’el nr. Hebron throw stones at a bedouin woman nr. Yatta, injuring her. Fatah mbrs. shoot, wound 2 Hamas mbrs. in Khan Yunis and set fire to a library on the campus of the predominantly Hamas College of Science and Technology. An NSF mbr. dies of injuries received in clashes with Hamas on 5/16. (NYT, WP, WT 5/22; OCHA, WP 5/23; PCHR 5/24)

The Lebanese army’s siege of Nahr al-Barid r.c. continues overnight. During the day, fighting is heavy: Army snipers atop buildings surrounding the camp firing on anyone moving in the streets inside, soldiers open machine gun fire on anyone trying to leave the camp; FI responds with automatic weapons, mortar fire, anti-aircraft guns; the army responds with artillery, tank fire. (The army also surrounds the volatile ‘Ayn al-Hilwa r.c. as a precaution, prompting armed Palestinian factions there to go on alert.) The UN secures a brief cease-fire in the afternoon, allowing the evacuation of 16 wounded Palestinian civilians fr. the camp before FI breaks the truce. Lebanese PM Fuad Siniora asks the U.S. to expedite $280 m. in previously pledged military aid to more effectively combat FI. After dark, army shelling of Nahr al-Barid increases significantly. In Beirut, another car bomb explodes in the predominantly Sunni Verdun area, wounding 6 Lebanese, setting 2 buildings on fire. (AP, NYT, REU 5/21; NYT, WP, WT 5/22; NYT, WP 5/23)

IDF troops on the Gaza border fire on, send a drone to fire missiles at a group of armed Palestinians attempting to cross into Israel e. of Jabaliya, killing 1 armed Palestinian, wounding 4. For the 3d day, the IDF sends bulldozers and tanks into Gaza nr. Bayt Hanun to level land; this time, Palestinian gunmen fire an RPG at a tank, sparking an exchange of gunfire, causing no reported injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF sends troops into Jenin town and r.c. late in the evening, exchanging fire with Palestinian gunmen who confront the troops, wounding local AMB leader Zacharia Zubeidi; conducts arrest raids, house searches in alBireh, Nablus, Qalqilya; fires rubber-coated steel bullets on stone-throwing Palestinians nr. the Qalandia checkpoint, injuring 2; fires rubber-coated steel bullets at 10s of Palestinians and Israeli and international peace activists protest the separation wall nr. Bil‘in, injuring 14; similarly fires rubber-coated steel bullets on Palestinians, international peace activists protesting the construction of the separation wall nr. Um Salamuna nr. Bethlehem, injuring 8. Jewish settlers fr. Ramat Yishai set fire to a Palestinian car in Hebron; the IDF bars fire engines fr. reaching the scene. For a 2d day, Jewish settlers occupying a Palestinian building nr. Kiryat Arba throw bottles and stones at local Palestinians, use trained dogs to scare Palestinian children; the IDF observes but does not intervene. In ‘Abasan, Fatah-Hamas clashes leave 11 Palestinians wounded. A Palestinian wounded in an IDF artillery strike on ‘Abasan on 9/6/06 dies. (OCHA 4/11; PCHR 4/12)

IDF troops inside Israel fire across the border into Gaza at Palestinian farmers working their fields nr. Bureij r.c., wounding a Palestinian woman and 12-yr.-old child. The IDF also shells residential areas of al-Shuka, destroying 1 Palestinian home. In the West Bank, the IDF sends troops into the industrial zone nr. Hebron, searches 20 industrial facilities, holding workers for several hrs.; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Balata r.c., Nablus and nr. Hebron, Jenin. Jewish settlers fr. Kiryat Arba attack Palestinian homes in Hebron for a 2d day. Nr. Jenin r.c., Palestinian gunmen fatally shoot a Palestinian whom they accuse of being a collaborator; no group takes responsibility. (PCHR 8/17)

The Israeli cabinet accepts (24–0, with 1 abstention) UN Res. 1701, but separately Israeli DM Peretz warns that “there is no situation in which Hizballah fires at [Israeli] forces that we will not retaliate,” and Israeli officials warn that the IDF will continue to destroy Hizballah assets in areas it controls until those areas are handed over to the Lebanese army or UNIFIL. In anticipation of the 8/14 truce, both Israel and Hizballah intensify attacks. The IDF escalates air and artillery strikes, particularly on s. Beirut (leveling an area of several 100 sq. yds., including 8 apartment buildings); also hits 50 villages and towns across s. Lebanon, focusing on areas around Tyre (targeting gas stations), Ali al-Nahri in the Biqa‘ Valley, Tiri in s. Lebanon; expands ground offensives in an attempt to take control of as much land as possible by the truce deadline, engaging in major clashes outside Tyre, in Aita alSha‘b, Bint Jubayl, and Rashaf in central s. Lebanon, and in Dayr Sirin, al-Ghanduriyya, Khiyam, Qantara further northwest; shoots down 2 Hizballah drones heading for Israel. At least 20 Lebanese civilians, 2 Lebanese soldiers, 5 IDF soldiers are killed, and 25 IDF soldiers are wounded. Hizballah fires 220–250 rockets into n. Israel, the most in 1 day to date, mostly targeting Haifa (killing 1 Israeli civilian) but also hitting Kiryat Shimona, Yaara. (IFM 8/13; NYT, WP, WT 8/14; NYT 8/15)

In Gaza, IDF troops occupy the Dahaniyya airport, seal the Rafah crossing (reopened on 8/10), raze large areas of agricultural land, destroy several greenhouses and sites used by the PA security forces, blow up what it says is a smuggler’s tunnel. In the West Bank, the IDF raids 2 hospitals in Hebron, conducts random ID checks on the streets in search of wanted Palestinians, but makes no arrests; patrols in, fires on residential areas of Azun, Jenin; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Balata r.c., nr. Bethlehem. Jewish settlers fr. Kiryat Arba attack Palestinian homes in Hebron. Unidentified gunmen shoot, wound a PA General Intelligence officer in Gaza City. (OCHA 8/16; PCHR 8/17)

Hizballah, the Lebanese government endorse UN Res. 1701, Hizballah says it will maintain its “natural right to resist” in keeping with international law as long as IDF troops “are practicing an occupation and acts of aggression” inside Lebanon. Meanwhile, the IDF continues heavy air and artillery strikes across Lebanon, mostly targeting infrastructure and roads, including destroying electricity plants nr. Sidon, a Lebanese army base in the Biqa‘ Valley, 2 homes nr. Bint Jubayl (killing at least 15 Lebanese civilians); air strikes are concentrated around Sidon and Tyre (cutting electricity to Tyre), in the north btwn. Akkar and Arida, and in central s. Lebanon nr. Bint Jubayl. The IDF also rapidly expands ground offensives in the south, sending in additional troops and artillery, with heavy clashes reported in the Bint Jubayl area, in Ghanduriyya and Dayr Sirin s. and w. of Marja’uyun, and s. of Tyre. Hizballah continues to fire rockets into n. Israel (hitting targets in Kiryat Shimona, Ma’alot, Safad and nearby Amirim) and downs an IDF helicopter, killing 5 IDF soldiers (including Israel’s 1st female combat fatality). The casualty toll during the day includes 24 IDF soldiers dead (2 when an IDF tank rolls over them) and 70 wounded, and at least 26 Lebanese civilians, 1 Lebanese soldier killed; the IDF claims to have killed 50 Hizballah mbrs. in the previous 24 hrs. (al-Manar TV 8/12; NYT, WP, WT 8/13)

IDF gunboats off the Gaza coast shell the fmr. settlement areas of Ganei Tal, Netzer Hazani in s. Gaza, causing no damage or injuries In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem and in Abu Dis, Hebron. The IDF also bars Palestinians under age 40 fr. Friday prayers at al-Aqsa Mosque. (OCHA 8/16; PCHR 8/17)

In the afternoon, after seeing a draft UN res. on halting violence that he says he cannot accept, Olmert authorizes the IDF to expand ground operations in s. Lebanon. The IDF quickly begins moving additional troops, armor into s. Lebanon, while troops already in Lebanon prepare to move toward the Litani. During the day, the IDF continues air and artillery strikes, hitting targets in s. Beirut, areas of n. Lebanon (including Abu Diya, Akkar), s. of Sidon, and in the Biqa‘ Valley (including strafing some 1,300 cars evacuating some 3,000 residents of Marja’uyun, occupied by the IDF on 8/10, who chose to follow a convoy of 350 UNIFIL and Lebanese army troops evacuating the area in coordination with the IDF; 6 Lebanese civilians, 1 Lebanese soldier are killed and 36 are wounded). Ground operations continue in Labuna in the east, Aita al-Sha‘b in central s. Lebanon, and Khiyam, Markaba, Qantara, Qlei‘a further to the northeast. Hizballah fires 124 rockets into n. Israel, injuring 5 Israelis and targeting sites in Acre, Carmiel, Ma’alot, Nahariya, Safad, Shlomi. (AP, WP 8/11; NYT, WP, WT 8/12; NYT, WP 8/13; WP 8/24)

Late in the evening, the UN Security Council unanimously passes Res. 1701, calling for Israel and Hizballah to halt violence in place as of 8:00 A.M. on 8/14 local time (1:00 A.M. ET), demanding that Hizballah cease all attacks and that Israel stop offensive operations (allowing “defensive” responses if they perceive a threat). (IFM, NYT, WP, WT 8/12; NYT 8/14; NYT 8/15) 

In Gaza, the IDF opens Rafah crossing for departures only, opens Qarni crossing for imports only; makes late-night air strikes destroying a store, house in Jabaliya r.c. (warning the residents in advance to leave), damaging 3 nearby homes. In the West Bank, the IDF sends undercover units into Tulkarm in a car with Palestinian license plates, surrounds the home of a wanted Hamas mbr., fires on the home, arrests the wanted man when he surrenders; sends troops into Ramallah, occupying offices in the PA Public Works Min. as an observation post, surrounding an apartment building, ordering residents to evacuate, arresting 3 Palestinians, firing on stone-throwing Palestinians who confront the troops, wounding 1; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Aqabat Jabir r.c. nr. Jericho; issues military orders confiscating 8 d. of Palestinian land nr. Qalqilya for the separation wall. (OCHA 8/16; PCHR 8/17)

The IDF drops leaflets on Beirut warning residents of the capital to expect escalated bombing whose “painful and severe results will not be limited” to Hizballah targets, urging residents of 3 neighborhoods (Burj al-Barajneh, Hay Sullum, al-Shiyah) to evacuate immediately (the areas are vacant by the end of the day, with the government bussing residents without transportation to Juniyah); drops leaflets on n. Lebanon, warning truck drivers to stay off roads to Syria. Meanwhile, Israel asks the U.S. to speed delivery of M-26 artillery shells (short-range antipersonnel rockets armed with cluster munitions) along with other unspecified weapons for use against Hizballah. The IDF continues air and artillery strikes across Lebanon, including firing missiles at an unused radio tower in downtown Beirut; targeting traffic on roads nr. Tyre, destroying roads in the Biqa‘ Valley, killing at least 2 Lebanese. Ground operations continue in s. Lebanon, reportedly focusing on areas stretching fr. Marja’uyun to al-Khiyam (with the IDF claiming to have taken control of Marja’uyun) and fr. Aita alSha‘b to Bint Jubayl, leaving at least 1 IDF soldier dead, 2 wounded nr. Qlei‘a. Hizballah fires at least 140 rockets into n. Israel, hitting Acre, Carmiel, Dayr al-Assad (killing an Israeli Palestinian woman, her son and wounding 11), Haifa, Kiryat Shimona, Ma’alot, Nahariya, Safad. (WP 8/10; NYT, WP, WT 8/11; WP 8/13)

The IDF closes the Qarni crossing, Nahal Oz pipeline for the day; fires across the Israeli border at a group of children in a bedouin village nr. Bayt Lahiya, wounding 1. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in Balata r.c., Hebron, Jenin (firing on stone-throwing youths who confront the troops, wounding 5); patrols in Tubas, firing on stone-throwing Palestinians who confront them, wounding 3. (PCHR 8/10)

Israel announces that it will evacuate to s. Israel within 24 hrs. some 15,000 Israelis from the north who cannot afford to leave on their own, suggesting that the IDF intends a major escalation against Lebanon. In Lebanon, the IDF continues air and artillery strikes, hitting targets in s. Beirut, s. Lebanon (including killing 13 Lebanese in Ghaziyya s. of Sidon), the Biqa‘ Valley. Ground offensives also continue in s. Lebanon, with heavy clashes reported in Aytrun, Bint Jubayl (where the IDF claims to have killed 30 Hizballah mbrs.), Dibil (where 1 IDF soldier is killed), Labuna (where 2 IDF soldiers are killed); another 2 IDF soldiers are killed elsewhere and 23 wounded. Hizballah fires 160 rockets into n. Israel, hitting Acre, Fazouta, Ma’alot, Nahariya, Safad, Tiberias. The WHO warns that if within 5 days Israel does not provide safety guarantees for oil tankers bringing fuel shipments to Lebanon (see 8/1), 60% of hospitals in Lebanon will “simply cease to function.” (BBC, Marketplace 8/8; BBC, HA, NYT, WP, WT 8/9)

In the West Bank, the IDF sends undercover units into Azun in a car with Palestinian license plates, surrounds a home, arrests 1 PSF mbr. who surrenders; conducts random ID checks in, fires on residential areas of Kafr Dan nr. Jenin; conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Jenin and Nablus, in Dahaysha r.c., nr. Bethlehem, Hebron; burns 70 d. of agricultural land btwn. the separation wall and the Green Line nr. Tulkarm (see 8/5). In Ramallah, 7 Palestinians working in the PC building are taken to the hospital with breathing difficulties after opening a suspicious letter addressed to PM Haniyeh; the building is evacuated. The PA head of military intelligence for n. Gaza dies of injuries received in an ambush in Jabaliya r.c. on 8/6; no group claims responsibility. (AP 8/7; WP 8/8; OCHA 8/9; PCHR 8/10)

Overnight, the IDF destroys the last remaining bridge over the Litani River linking n. and s. Lebanon; this cuts off access to Tyre. The IDF announces a 10:00 P.M. curfew on Tyre, saying that any movement there after dark and any vehicular traffic s. of the Litani River at any time will henceforth be considered Hizballah activity and a legitimate target. As UN mbrs. narrow differences on a cease-fire res., Olmert’s security cabinet discusses speeding up the IDF’s advance to the Litani River, escalating attacks on Lebanon’s civilian infrastructure. During the day, the IDF continues heavy air, artillery strikes on some 150 targets across Lebanon, hitting s. Beirut (including 47 killed, 70 wounded in the Christian-Shi‘i suburb of al-Shiyah, where Shi‘a are pro-Amal), the Biqa‘ Valley (including Baalbek, Masnaa), in and around Nabatiyya (including 7 civilians killed in air strikes on cars traveling in Qasmiyya; 15 killed, 20 wounded in an air strike on an apartment building in Ghaziyya), and across s. Lebanon (including demolishing a 4-building apartment complex in Tyre), killing at least 69 Lebanese civilians; continues ground operations across s. Lebanon that leave 3 IDF soldiers dead, 7 wounded in Bint Jubayl and include heavy fighting in Hula (the IDF claims to kill at least 15 Hizballah mbrs.); downs an unmanned Hizballah drone off the s. Lebanon coast. Hizballah fires 130 rockets into n. Israel, injuring 10 Israelis, hitting targets in Acre, Carmiel, Kiryat Shimona (70 rockets), Ma’alot, Nahariya, Safad. The ICRC says that the IDF has barred humanitarian aid missions to the south for 3 days. (BBC, NYT, WP 8/7; BBC, NYT, WP, WT 8/8; WP, WT 8/9; WP 8/10)

The IDF continues operations al-Shuka, making air and artillery strikes on buildings allegedly housing Hamas and Islamic Jihad weapons caches, exchanging fire with Palestinian gunmen, conducting house-tohouse searches, prompting residents to flee, leaving 2 Palestinian civilians, 1 Palestinian militant dead, at least 1 Palestinian wounded. Late in the evening, the IDF expands operations deeper into Rafah, making air strikes on militant targets in heavily residential areas, killing 1 Islamic Jihad mbr., 2 other armed Palestinians, a Palestinian woman and her 2 children, wounding at least 3 Palestinians; also destroys the remaining parts of a PA security barracks. Also in Gaza, the IDF makes an air strike destroying a home in Shatti r.c. nr. Gaza City after warning residents to evacuate. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids in Tulkarm town; patrols in Tulkarm r.c.; conducts random ID checks in Hebron. The IDF also bars Palestinians under age 45 fr. attending Friday prayers at al-Aqsa Mosque. (NYT 8/4; WP 8/5; PCHR 8/10)

The IDF calls up more reservists (no details reported), moves additional artillery to the border with Lebanon; escalates air strikes on s. Beirut (killing at least 1 Lebanese soldier, wounding 2 soldiers, 4 civilians), hitting bridges and roads in Christian areas n. of the capital along the coast for the 1st time (killing a least 5 Lebanese civilians, wounding 19; hitting an 8-truck UN convoy, preventing the movement of other aid convoys south); also strikes targets in s. Lebanon (flattening 2 houses, leaving 50 Lebanese missing) as well as in Baalbek, Hermel, Qana (killing at least 28 farm workers, mostly Syrian Kurds) in the Biqa‘ Valley. Ground operations in s. Lebanon continue, with especially intense fighting in Aita al-Sha‘b, Markaba (where at least 3 IDF soldiers are killed and 1 tank is destroyed), Taybeh. Hizballah fires 195 rockets into n. Israel, hitting Buaineh, Carmiel, Hadera (50 mi. fr. the border, the deepest strike to date), Kiryat Shimona (hit by 60 missiles), Ma’alot, Migdal Hamek, Nahariya, Qunaytra, Safad, Shar Yishuv; killing 4 Israelis (including 3 Druze; 1 in Maghir, 2 in Majd al-Krum) wounding 8. (AP, NYT 8/4; NYT, WP, WT 8/5)

Overnight, the IDF launches ground operations in al-Shuka, using helicopters, drones, and some 50 tanks, armored vehicles, bulldozers; seals off Dahaniyya airport, the eastern entrance to Rafah, the main north–south Gaza highway; makes heavy air and artillery strikes on residential areas throughout the day, with Palestinian militants retaliating with antitank and light weapons fire, leaving 2 Hamas mbrs., 2 Islamic Jihad mbrs., 1 PA security officer, 5 bystanders dead and more than 30 Palestinians wounded (including at least 8 militants, 18 civilians). Palestinians fire 4 rockets toward Israel, but all land inside Gaza, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Qalqilya and in ‘Ayn alSultan r.c. nr Jericho, Balata r.c., Hebron, Nablus. (NYT, PCHR, WP, WT 8/3; NYT, WP 8/4; PCHR 8/10)

The IDF operates in 20 villages in s. Lebanon, most of them less than 2 mi. inside the border, engaging in intense clashes with Hizballah (particularly in Bint Jubayl, Maroun al-Ras, Marwahin, Rajmin), with Hizballah killing 4 IDF soldiers, wounding 4, destroying at least 4 APCs in Aita al-Sha‘b and Taybeh. The IDF also continues air strikes across Lebanon, including in s. Beirut (hitting houses of senior Hizballah and Hamas mbrs.), Blat, Nabatiyya, Rashaya, Taybeh, in the Biqa‘ Valley, and in the far n. nr. the border with Syria. Hizballah fires around 180 rockets into n. Israel, killing 5 Israeli civilians in Acre and 3 bedouin in Tarshiha nr. Ma’alot (all 8 killed during a 1- hr. barrage of 40 rockets), also hitting Kiryat Shimona (in another barrage of 30 rockets). (BBC, JAZ, NYT 8/3; AP, NYT, WP, WT 8/4)

In Gaza, the IDF sends troops back into s. Gaza to search for a reported tunnel on the Gaza-Egypt border, cuts power to Rafah, makes an air strike on a building in Gaza City that allegedly holds a weapons cache; makes air strikes destroying 2 Palestinian homes in n. Gaza after phoning residents (at least 1 of them an AMB mbr.) to warn them to evacuate, also destroying 1 home nearby; shells residential areas of n. Gaza without warning (hitting 4 Palestinian homes, injuring 3 Palestinians), al-Shuka (wounding 2 Palestinians); temporarily occupies the Erez industrial zone, withdrawing after nightfall; sends bulldozers into southeastern Khan Yunis to raze 100 d. of agricultural land. UNRWA reports that it is housing in its schools some 1,200 Palestinians who have fled n. Gaza to escape IDF shelling. In the West Bank, the IDF sends undercover units into Nablus to assassinate local Islamic Jihad military cmdr. Hani Uwayjan, a Palestinian civilian with him; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Hebron, Qalqilya; patrols in, fires on residential areas of Jenin, wounding 1 Palestinian. A Palestinian civilian wounded by IDF fire in Gaza City on 7/27 dies. (NYT, PCHR, WP, WT 7/30; PCHR 8/3)

The IDF keeps up intensive air and artillery strikes across Lebanon, targeting the Beirut–Damascus highway (closing the Syrian border crossing for the 1st time since 7/12; though the road is used primarily by civilians trying to flee the country and aid workers bringing in humanitarian assistance, Israel claims it targeted the road to prevent arms smuggling), killing at least 6 Lebanese civilians, wounding 2 UNIFIL monitors. During the day, the IDF withdraws troops fr. Bint Jubayl, claiming to have destroyed Hizballah’s elaborate network of tunnels and storage areas, but continues air and artillery strikes and keeps troops in the area, saying they could be sent back in at any time. Hizballah fires at least 90 rockets into Israel. Israel allows military planes delivering aid fr. Egypt, Jordan, the UAE to land at Beirut airport; a warship fr. Turkey brings medical supplies into Beirut port; a U.S. naval catamaran brings blankets, tarps, medical kits; aid workers in Lebanon complain that it is still too dangerous to transport aid supplies, that the IDF still requires convoy-by-convoy approval to move the aid to hard-hit areas. (NYT, WP, WT 7/30)

In Gaza, the IDF closes the Nahal Oz pipeline; shells areas nr. Gaza City, killing at least 1 Palestinian militant, 1 Palestinian farmer working in her field; shells areas nr. Bayt Hanun (killing 1 Palestinian child outside his home, wounding 5 Palestinians), in al-Shuka; makes air strikes destroying 3 houses nr. Bayt Lahiya (killing 1 Palestinian bystander), in Bayt Hanun, Khan Yunis (also destroying 2 adjacent homes). In Jerusalem, a Palestinian gunman fires on Israeli police, wounding 2 before being shot dead. In the West Bank, the IDF sends undercover units into Jenin r.c. in cars with Palestinian license plates, surrounds a home, opens fire (wounding a Palestinian bystander in an apartment building nearby), occupying several surrounding houses as sniper positions, evacuates and checks IDs of residents, arrests 1 Palestinian, fires on stone-throwing Palestinians who confront the troops, wounding 8 Palestinians (including 2 journalists covering the incident for al-Jazeera, Reuters); patrols in al-Bireh; begins construction of a new segment of the separation wall in Bayt Jala that will cut Palestinians off fr. 5,000 d. of agricultural land and cut off the access of Battir and Husan Nahalin villages to Bethlehem. The body of a Jewish settler fr. Yakir missing since early in the morning is found in a burnt-out vehicle nr. a West Bank Palestinian village; the AMB takes responsibility for kidnapping, killing him. In Israel, Israeli police free dual Israeli-Canadian citizen Falah after a Haifa District Court orders the police and/or Shin Bet to file formal charges against him or let him go (see 7/26). A Palestinian wounded during the 7/26 IDF raid on Kafr Qadim dies. A 2d Palestinian dies of injuries received during IDF operations in Nablus on 7/19. (OCHA 7/27; NYT 7/28; NYT 7/29; PCHR 8/3)

Israel’s security cabinet approves call-ups for up to 3 divisions of reservists (15,000–30,000 reserves) for the war on Lebanon. The IDF makes some 180 air and artillery strikes on targets across Lebanon, including hitting radio and TV relays in Amshit n. of Beirut, 3 trucks in the Biqa‘ Valley carrying emergency food supplies to Beirut. Ground clashes continue in Bint Jubayl, 2 residential apartment buildings nr. an Amal headquarters in Tyre; a Lebanese army base in n. Lebanon; roads, buildings in s. Lebanon and the Biqa‘ Valley, including al-Khiyam, Kafr, Nabatiyya, Sidon, Tuffah, Riyaq, Zahleh. The IDF broadcasts radio warnings to s. Lebanon residents that their villages would be “totally destroyed” if rockets are fired fr. them. Hizballah fires some 110 rockets into n. Israel, wounding 7 Israelis and hitting an empty factory in Haifa, also hitting sites in Carmiel, Nahariya Safad, Tiberias. (IFM 7/27; NYT, WP, WT 7/28)

In Gaza, the IDF shells areas nr. Khan Yunis, wounding 2 Palestinians and damaging an ambulance coming to their rescue; fires on a Palestinian family tending their fields nr. the border fence with Israel e. of al-Qarara, killing a Palestinian teenager; bulldozes 7 d. of agricultural land nr. al-Maghazi r.c. Palestinians fire several rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF sends undercover units into al-Bireh for a day-long operation, imposes a curfew, surrounds 2 apartment buildings, occupies neighboring homes as sniper and observation posts, orders all residents out for ID checks, then raids the building arresting a wanted Palestinian; conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem, Hebron (firing on stone-throwing Palestinians who confront the troops, wounding 1), Nablus; bulldozes 10s of d. of agricultural land nr. Bethlehem for construction of the separation wall. To protest U.S. Secy. of State Condoleezza Rice’s mtg. with Abbas today, Palestinians in Ramallah observe a general strike, 100s conduct a protest march (some waving Lebanese flags). A Jewish settler fr. Beitar Ilit nr. Bethlehem fires on a 47- yr.-old Palestinian walking nearby, wounding him with a live bullet in the jaw. A Jewish settler fr. Tene Oranim in Hebron throws a grenade at Palestinian shepherds tending a flock nearby, wounding 1 Palestinian, killing 3 sheep. A Palestinian civilian injured during IDF operations in al-Maghazi r.c. on 7/19 dies. (NYT, WP, WT 7/26; PCHR 7/27)

The IDF conducts air and artillery strikes on a UNIFIL post in al-Khiyam, hitting the area 21 times (at least 11 of them air strikes), killing 4 UNIFIL mbrs., continuing the aerial assault while rescue efforts are underway; continues air strikes in s. Beirut and across s. Lebanon, especially in Nabatiyya (where at least 6 Lebanese civilians are killed when 2 homes are hit by missiles), Tyre. Ground battles involving IDF tank and Hizballah antitank fire, fierce house-to-house combat supported by IDF artillery and helicopter fire continue in Bint Jubayl and Maroun al-Ras and are reported in Yaron to the west; by nightfall, the IDF claims to have secured control of Bint Jubayl, killed senior Hizballah cmdr. Abu Jaafir and 20–30 Hizballah mbrs., though there is no independent confirmation; at least 3 IDF soldiers are wounded. Hizballah fires more than 90 rockets into n. Israel, killing an Israeli Druze in Maghir, injuring 30 Israelis (mostly suffering fr. shock); other targets include Haifa, Ma’alot, Nahariya, Safad, Tiberias. (NYT, WP, WT 7/26; NYT 7/27)

In Gaza, the IDF drops leaflets on and makes automated phone calls to residents in n. Gaza warning them to evacuate areas around rocket launch sites, buildings used by militants; shells Bayt Lahiya, killing 3 Palestinian civilians, wounding 11 others (the IDF says a shell may have misfired); repeatedly shells Bayt Hanun and perimeter, killing 3 Palestinian civilians, wounding 8; shells a shed on a farm nr. Gaza City, allegedly serving as a weapons depot. IDF troops stationed at the Dahaniyya airport fire on residential areas of nearby al-Shuka, wounding 1 Palestinian woman outside her home. Palestinians fire 8 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. Late in the evening, the IDF conducts air strikes destroying 2 Palestinian homes in Gaza City and Khan Yunis (belonging to an Islamic Jihad mbr.), damaging surrounding stores and residences, wounding 3 bystanders; in both cases, the IDF phoned the homes 20 min. before the attack to warn residents to evacuate. The IDF also makes an air strike destroying a house of a Hamas mbr. under construction in Brazil r.c., also destroying 2 neighboring homes, damaging several others, wounding 15 bystanders (including 7 children). In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Beitunia nr. Ramallah; conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Jericho, Tulkarm, and in ‘Askar r.c., Azariyya, Jenin town and r.c.; bulldozes 35 d. of Palestinian land for construction of the separation wall nr. Jerusalem. (WP 7/24; NYT, WP 7/25; PCHR 7/27; B’Tselem 8/3)

IDF ground forces advance another halfmile into s. Lebanon, using bulldozers to clear roads and demolish buildings, engaging Hizballah mbrs. in Bint Jubayl and encountering artillery fire, antitank weapons, land mines, leaving 2 IDF soldiers dead, 14–20 IDF soldiers wounded, 2 Hizballah mbrs. captured, an unknown number of Hizballah casualties, up to 5 IDF tanks disabled; an IDF helicopter returning fr. Bint Jubayl crashes in the n. Galilee, killing another 2 IDF soldiers. Meanwhile, IDF-Hizballah clashes continue in Maroun al-Ras. The IDF also continues air strikes across Lebanon, targeting at least 70 Hizballah sites (particularly around Tyre), killing at least 7 Lebanese civilians; also hitting a UN post, injuring 4 UNIFIL soldiers. Hizballah fires around 80 rockets into n. Israel, injuring 20 Israelis, 2 seriously, and starting brush fires. (JAZ, NBC Nightly News, Slate, Wall Street Journal 7/24; NYT, WP, WT 7/25; WP 7/26)

The IDF continues to shell n. Gaza, wounding at least 1 Palestinian civilian. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem. A Palestinian militant wounded during the 7/19–20 IDF raid on al-Maghazi r.c. dies of his injuries. (PCHR 7/27)

The IDF continues its troop build-up on the n. Israel border, artillery strikes and heavy air raids across Lebanon, incursions by small special forces units into the south. In its 1st major ground operation, the IDF sends some 2,000 soldiers, a tank brigade, armor into Maroun al-Ras (a Hizballah stronghold, reportedly largely depopulated since fighting began) on the central s. Lebanese border, stating later that after heavy, close combat, it has taken control of the town and several surrounding villages; at least 3 Hizballah mbrs., as many as 7 IDF soldiers may have been killed, several tanks disabled. Meanwhile, the IDF continues to warn s. Lebanon residents to move northward; Sidon reports some 35,000 displaced Lebanese arriving in the city today; Tyre, the largest s. Lebanese town, reports that only around 5,000 of its 175,000 residents remain. Among the targets hit in IDF air strikes are TV and cell phone transmission towers n. of Beirut (killing at least 1 Lebanese); 2 ICRC ambulances nr. Qana, killing 1 patient and injuring 6 medics, 2 patients; Hizballah targets in Baalbek, s. Beirut, Hermel, Sidon, Tyre. At least 8 Lebanese are killed during the day. Hizballah fires some 130 rockets into n. Israel, wounding 10–20 Israelis (3 seriously); targets include Carmiel, Haifa, Kiryat Shimona, Nahariya, Safad. Israel allows some ships bearing humanitarian aid to enter Lebanese ports. (AFP 7/22; NYT, WP, WT 7/23; NYT 7/24; WP 7/25)

Overnight, the IDF withdraws fr. alMaghazi r.c., leaving a total of 207 d. of land, 4 Palestinian homes demolished, 9 other homes partially demolished. Also in Gaza, the IDF fires a tank shell at a home in Gaza City, alleging that a Hamas mbr. on the roof was preparing to fire an RPG, killing a handicapped Palestinian on the roof, 3 relatives inside, wounding 2; shells areas nr. Khan Yunis and the Sufa crossing in the south and in n. Gaza, wounding at least 6 Palestinian civilians. In the West Bank, the IDF withdraws troops fr. Nablus, ending a 3-day operation; before leaving, troops blow up the main government offices (killing a Palestinian bystander), fire on stone-throwing Palestinians youths, wounding 21. The IDF also conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Qalqilya. (WP 7/21; NYT, PCHR 7/22; PCHR 7/27; B’Tselem 8/3)

The IDF calls up 3 battalions (several 1,000) additional reserves, positions troops and armor on the n. Israel border in preparation for “limited” ground operations to “mop up” Hizballah strongholds and weapons sites, continues pinpoint special forces operations inside s. Lebanon, urges residents to evacuate n. of the Litani River immediately (see 7/20; local officials estimate that 70% of the southern population has left). The U.S. approves Israel’s request to expedite delivery of precision-guided missiles (including at least 25, possibly 100, 5,000-lb GBU-28 bunker busters) to maintain the intensity of IDF air strikes. IDF artillery hits a UN observation post in Zarit, s. Lebanon, causing extensive damage but no injuries; makes air strikes on the Beirut–Damascus highway and several bridges, targeting empty passenger busses returning fr. Syria after evacuating foreigners; continues air strikes on Baalbek (killing at least 5 Lebanese civilians, wounding 20) and on s. Lebanon. At least 12 Lebanese are killed during the day. Hizballah fires 35–50 rockets into n. Israel, 10 of them hitting Haifa (injuring 3 Israelis) and others hitting Carmiel, Kiryat Shimona, Nahariya, Safad, Tiberias, and several n. Israeli villages. Hizballah acknowledges that 6 Hizballah mbrs. have been killed since 7/12, whereas Israel claims that around 100 have been killed. UN humanitarian relief coordinator Jan Egeland estimates that 500,000 Lebanese are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, but says that the UN cannot provide it without Israel, Lebanon guaranteeing safe corridors for movement of civilians and aid. Today, Israel allows 1 Greek ship carrying 22 tons of humanitarian goods to enter Beirut. (AP 7/21; NYT, WP, WT 7/22; NYT 8/11)

In Gaza, the IDF continues operations in al-Maghazi r.c., engaging in heavy clashes with local gunmen, killing 4 armed Palestinians and 1 bystander, wounding at least 32 (in addition, 1 Palestinian child wounded in al-Maghazi on 7/19 dies of her injuries); drops leaflets across Gaza warning that “anyone who has . . . an arsenal, ammunition, or weapons in their house must destroy them or will face dangerous consequences.” The IDF also continues to shell n. and s. Gaza to prevent rocket fire; makes air strikes on 2 groups of Palestinians allegedly laying roadside bombs (no injuries are reported); fires warning shots fr. gunboats to keep Palestinian fishermen fr. going out to sea. Palestinians fire at least 1 rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, lightly wounding 1 Israeli. In the West Bank, the IDF continues major operations in Nablus, surrounding the local PA headquarters where a number of wanted Palestinians have taken refuge since fighting began on 7/19; 15 give themselves up during the day, but 10 remain inside, as IDF tanks shell the building and bulldozers begin to demolish the structure, troops fire on stone-throwing Palestinians who confront them (wounding 5). Also in Nablus, some 4,000 Palestinians demonstrate in support of Hizballah. The IDF also conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron; clears Palestinian trees nr. Har Homa settlement. (NYT, WP 7/21; IFM 7/22; PCHR 7/27)

Israel warns Lebanese s. of the Litani River that they have 24 hrs. to evacuate to the north. The IDF increases pinpoint ground operations in s. Lebanon, engaging in fierce clashes with Hizballah, leaving at least 2 IDF soldiers, 2 Hizballah mbrs. dead and 6 IDF soldiers injured; sends tanks, bulldozers across the n. border to destroy tunnels, bunkers, posts used by Hizballah (Hizballah claims to destroy 2 tanks; the IDF does not comment); continues air and artillery strikes on 150 targets across Lebanon, including Baalbek, Hermel, and al-Khiyam (destroying the infamous jail there, formerly run by Israel’s proxy, the South Lebanon Army). Late in the evening, 2 IDF helicopters collide over n. Israel nr. the Lebanese border, killing at least 4 IDF soldiers. Hizballah fires some 40 rockets at n. Israel, hitting Carmiel, Kiryat Shimona, Safad, Tiberias; there are no reported injuries. Syria reports that more than 140,000 people have crossed over fr. Lebanon since the violence began. Some 10,000 foreigners are evacuated by sea fr. Beirut and Tyre (including some 2,250 Americans and many Southeast Asian laborers evacuated by the Indian navy); UNIFIL evacuates its post at Naqura. Lebanese report that the cost of basic goods has risen 500% in some areas. (BBC, UNIS, WP 7/20; AP, NYT, WP, WT 7/21; WP 7/22)

Overnight, the IDF sends troops back into central Gaza, engaging in heavy clashes with armed Palestinians in al-Maghazi r.c. that last throughout the day, occupying houses as sniper posts, cutting electricity to central Gaza, conducting air and artillery strikes, leaving 5 Hamas mbrs., 4 Palestinian bystanders dead and 5 IDF soldiers, 93 Palestinians wounded (mostly militants, most with shrapnel fr. tank fire; also including 20 children). The IDF also continues to shell n. Gaza fr. land and sea. In the West Bank, the IDF sends around 50 armored vehicles into Nablus in a major raid allegedly to search for Palestinian militants “activated by Hizballah” to stage attacks on Israel, laying siege to the Nablus governorate building, the government compound (mostly destroyed during Operation Defensive Shield in 2002), 3 security force buildings, the central prison; forcing out and detaining around 150 Palestinians (many PA security officers); killing 3 armed AMB mbrs. and 2 bystanders (including a medic), wounding 33 (including 16 children, 2 Palestinian); demolishing the main PA security compound, at least 6 other PA buildings; occupying the Palestinian Red Crescent Society offices, preventing the movement of ambulances. The IDF also patrols in, fires on residential areas of Anabta nr. Tulkarm. (NYT, WP, WT 7/19; Guardian, ICRC press release, NYT, PCHR, WP, WT 7/20; NYT 7/21; IFM, NYT 7/22; PCHR 7/27)

The IDF continues to escalate air and artillery strikes across Lebanon. At least 58 Lebanese (including at least 35 civilians) and 4 Israelis (2 soldiers, 2 civilians) are killed during the day, bringing the comprehensive toll to at least 310 Lebanese (overwhelmingly civilian) and 29 Israelis (at least 15 civilians, 13 soldiers). Sites hit include Srifa nr. Tyre, where air strikes level at least 20 buildings, killing at least 21 Lebanese, wounding 30, leaving as many as 80 unaccounted for; a Christian neighborhood in e. Beirut, hitting 2 well-drilling machines mistaken for rocket launchers in Ashrafiyya, causing no injuries; a bunker in s. Beirut believed to be housing Hizballah leaders, hit with 23 tons of explosives according to the IDF (Hizballah says the site was vacant); 2 PFLP-GC bases in the Biqa‘ Valley. The IDF also makes ground incursions into s. Lebanon, engaging Hizballah fighters; 2 Hizballah mbr. and 2 IDF soldiers are reportedly killed, 9 IDF soldiers injured, and 1 Israeli tank destroyed nr. Naqura. The IDF also clashes with Hizballah mbrs. who try to cross into n. Israel nr. Metula, chasing them back across the border, killing 2 Hizballah mbrs. Hizballah retaliates by launching more than 100 rockets on n. Israel, hitting Haifa and, for the 1st time, Nazareth, where 2 Israeli Palestinian boys are killed and 8 are wounded; 10s of light injuries occur elsewhere. Residents in s. Lebanon begin receiving tape-recorded phone messages fr. the IDF ordering them in Arabic to evacuate. Israel also interrupts Lebanese radio broadcasts to warn that any truck, including pickups, traveling s. of the Litani River would be assumed to be transporting weapons and targeted. (AP, REU 7/19; NYT, WP, WT 7/20)

Overnight, the IDF makes air strikes destroying the PA FMin. building in Gaza City, wounding 13 bystanders (including 6 children); makes an air strike on Khan Yunis, killing 1 Islamic Jihad mbr., wounding a 2d; sends troops into al-Qarara, firing on residential and agricultural areas. During the day in Gaza, the IDF continues to shell n. Gaza, wounding at least 2 Palestinians; fires on residential areas nr. Sufa crossing, wounding a Palestinian child outside his home. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Salfit; uproots 50 Palestinian trees nr. the separation wall in Bayt Jala for “security reasons.” A Palestinian teenager wounded in a 7/10 IDF air strike on Bayt Hanun dies. (NYT, WP 7/13; PCHR 7/20)

Officially launching Operation Just Reward (ca. 7/18 renamed Operation Change of Direction), the IDF makes predawn air strikes on s. Lebanon that kill at least 44 Lebanese civilians, wound around 100. Hizballah responds by firing some 60 Katyusha rockets on n. Israel, hitting a home in Nahariya (killing 1 Israeli woman, wounding 29), wounding 11 in Safad, and hitting the northern towns of Carmiel, Majdal Qrum, Zarit. During the day, the IDF intensifies its attacks on Lebanon to cut Hizballah supply lines and prevent internal transportation of weapons and fighters, imposing a naval blockade on Lebanese ports north to Beirut and making air strikes on Beirut International Airport, the Lebanese army’s main Rayak air base nr. the Syrian border, a small military airport in Qulayat in n. Lebanon, Hizballah’s al-Manar TV station outside Beirut (wounding 6) and a relay tower in Baalbek (killing 1 Lebanese, wounding 4), a major oil depot in Jiyeh, numerous roads and bridges. AfterIsrael warns Lebanese to evacuate Hizballah-dominated areas of s. Beirut, Hizballah threatens to strike Haifa if Beirut is targeted. When the IDF conducts overflights of Beirut shortly afterward, Hizballah fires 2 Katyushas at Haifa, damaging a hotel but causing no injuries. Israeli-Hizballah exchanges continue late into the evening, with Hizballah firing around 90 rockets and mortars into Israel, hitting some 20 northern towns and killing a 2d Israeli, whileIsrael attacks 100s of targets across Lebanon (mostly in the south, but including hitting Beirut airport a 2d time, with artillery reportedly fired at a rate of 1 shell per minute throughout the day), killing at least another 10 Lebanese. Total casualties for the day are estimated at 54 Lebanese (overwhelmingly civilians) killed and 103 wounded, and 2 Israelis killed and 90 injured (1 seriously, two-thirds being treated for shock). Israel also warns UNIFIL that the IDF will target anyone moving nr. the Blue Line, including UNIFIL observers, prompting UNIFIL to confine its 2,500 troops (who are either unarmed or lightly armed for personal defense only) to barracks. (AP, HA, MSNBC, National Public Radio, REU 7/13; NYT, UNIS, WP, WT 7/14)

Overnight, the IDF drops 2 quarter-ton bombs on a 3-story building in Gaza City in an attempt to assassinate chief Hamas bomb-maker Muhammad Dayif, 4 times previously the target of Israeli assassination since 2000, wounding Dayif, killing senior Hamas mbr. Nabil al-Salima,his wife and 7 children, wounding Izzeddin al-Qassam Brigades n. Gaza cmdr. Ahmad al-Gander and at least 33 bystanders, seriously damaging 15 surrounding homes. At the same time, the IDF also expands Operation Summer Rains with a major incursion into central Gaza, sending 10s of tanks, APCs, armored bulldozers across the Kissufim crossing under helicopter and drone escort and moving troops north fr. positions nr. Abasan, cutting the Strip in half, ordering PA security forces to leave the area, shelling and bulldozing surrounding areas. During the day, the IDF reportedly kills at least 22 other Palestinians and wounds at least 14 in major gun battles nr. Dayr al-Balah in central Gaza and in air and artillery strikes around Dayr al-Balah and Khan Yunis; the PRC’s Salah al-Din Brigades Khan Yunis leader Hisham Abu Nusayra, a PA policeman are killed in separate air strikes in Khan Yunis and a police station in alQarara is hit. The IDF also bulldozes 65 d. of agricultural land, partially demolishes 8 Palestinian homes and a car, and occupies 10 Palestinian homes as military posts in Dayr al-Balah; withdraws fr. the Qarni industrial estate (held since 7/8), allowing humanitarian and commercial imports to resume, and from Dahaniyya airport (held since 6/28), allowing PA security forces to enter the airport and the Rafah crossing and around 1,000 displaced Palestinians (see 7/8) to return to their homes. Palestinians try to fire rockets fr. Gaza toward Kissufim, but they fall short, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF sends undercover units into Dura, Nablus to conduct arrest raids. A Palestinian militant dies of injuries received during the 7/7 IDF air strikes on Bayt Lahiya. (BBC, HA, IMEMC, NYT, OCHA, PCHR, WP, WT 7/12; NYT, PCHR, WP, WT 7/13; PCHR 7/20; NYT 7/21; B’Tselem 8/3)

Before dawn, Hizballah launches a crossborder attack on Israel, dubbed Operation True Promise, firing rockets across the Blue Line into n. Israel as a diversion; sending fighters in to n. Israel to attack an IDF patrol btwn. Zarit and Shetula, capturing 2 IDF soldiers, killing 3 soldiers, wounding 2. The IDF sends troops into Lebanon to search for the missing soldiers, where an IDF tank hits a mine, killing 4 IDF soldiers and marking Israel’s 1st ground incursion into Lebanon since its 5/00 withdrawal. (An 8th IDF soldier is killed, 2 others are wounded in Lebanon late in the evening as they try to recover the remains of the 4 tank occupants.) The IDF also launches air strikes and directs heavy artillery, tank fire on some 40 Hizballah positions, roads, bridges, power stations in s. Lebanon, killing at least 2 Lebanese civilians, 1 Lebanese soldier, wounding at least 10. The Lebanese government requests that UNIFIL broker a cease-fire, but Israel says a cease-fire would be contingent upon return of the captured soldiers. Hizballah leader Shaykh Hasan Nasrallah says the group plans to hold the 2 soldiers for the release of 3–4 Lebanese held by Israel. During the day, IDF Chief of Staff Dan Halutz calls up a reserve infantry division for deployment to the n. Israel border and sends the Israeli navy into Lebanese waters, threatening a massive invasion of Lebanon; makes air strikes on a Palestinian guerrilla base s. of Beirut. (BBC, HA, IFM 7/12; HA, IFM, NYT, WP, WT 7/13; UNIS 7/14)