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  • May 10, 2008

    Overnight, the IDF sends troops, bulldozers into Khuza, exchanging fire with local gunmen (wounding 1) and bulldozing 62 d. of agricultural land, 20 greenhouses before withdrawing in the early...

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  • May 9, 2008

    Hamas mbrs. fire 4 mortars fr. Gaza into Israel, killing 1 Israeli civilian, wounding 3, in what may be the 1st fatal Palestinian mortar strike. The IDF retaliates with air strikes on Gaza...

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  • May 7, 2008

    Israel begins wk.-long celebrations leading up to its 60th anniversary on 5/14, while Palestinians solemnly prepare to mark the Nakba; more than a dozen foreign heads of state, including U.S. Pres...

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Overnight, the IDF sends troops, bulldozers into Khuza, exchanging fire with local gunmen (wounding 1) and bulldozing 62 d. of agricultural land, 20 greenhouses before withdrawing in the early morning. Palestinians shut down 2 of 3 turbines at Gaza’s power plant for lack of fuel. Hamas mbrs. fire 15 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing damage but no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in, fires on residential areas of Jaba’ nr. Jenin, firing on stonethrowing youths who then confront the troops, wounding 6; fires rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas at Palestinian, Israeli, and international peace activists holding a nonviolent demonstration nr. Tulkarm against Israeli restrictions on Palestinian movement, injuring 2 demonstrators and 2 journalists covering the event; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron. (NYT, WT 5/11; PCHR 5/15)

Hizballah begins to pull back from areas captured on 5/9. Army commander Gen. Michel Suleiman orders all gunmen to leave the street, but some Future Movement supporters angry over their perceived loss in Beirut attack Hizballah and SSNP offices in n. Lebanon and the Biqa‘ Valley, leaving 12 Lebanese dead (at least 11 of them SSNP mbrs.), 20 wounded; heavy clashes are also reported in Tripoli (btwn. supporters of Future Movement and Alawi mbrs. of the Arab Democratic Party seeking to settle Sunni-Alawi scores fr. the 1980s). (WT 5/10; NYT, WP 5/11; see also REU 5/8)

Hamas mbrs. fire 4 mortars fr. Gaza into Israel, killing 1 Israeli civilian, wounding 3, in what may be the 1st fatal Palestinian mortar strike. The IDF retaliates with air strikes on Gaza Interior Min. security offices in Rafah (killing 2 Hamas-affiliated security officers, wounding 5 civilians) and a naval police post on the s. Gaza shore (killing 3 policemen). In a mysterious incident northeast of Jerusalem, Ofra settlement guards fire on 2 Palestinians whom they claim approached the settlement fence carrying a hunting rifle, killing 1 Palestinian and detaining the other, turning him over to the IDF, which quickly seals the area; later, the AMB claims responsibility for an attack on Ofra but says the man killed was an innocent bystander and that its mbrs. escaped unharmed. Also in the West Bank, the IDF fires rubber-coated steel bullets, percussion grenades, tear gas at Palestinian, Israeli, international activists taking part in the weekly nonviolent demonstration against the separation wall in Bil‘in (10s suffer tear gas inhalation) and beat demonstrators at a similar protest al-Masa’ra (lightly injuring 3). (WP 5/10; NYT 5/11; PCHR 5/15)

Hizballah and its allies take control of streets in west Beirut, attacking and shutting down media outlets owned by Saad Hariri’s Future Movement, as the army steps aside, saying soldiers will keep peace but not take sides. Hizballah also takes over several government offices, but immediately turns them over to army. Clashes abate somewhat after Hariri orders his forces not to fight. (BBC 5/9; NYT, WP, WT 5/10; Los Angeles Times 5/12; NYT 5/18)

Israel begins wk.-long celebrations leading up to its 60th anniversary on 5/14, while Palestinians solemnly prepare to mark the Nakba; more than a dozen foreign heads of state, including U.S. Pres. George W. Bush, plan to make official visits to Israel in the next wk. Overnight, in Gaza, IDF tanks and troops raid Abasan under cover of air support, cutting electricity to the area, exchanging heavy fire with Palestinian gunmen, making numerous air strikes and firing tank shells in the densely populated residential area, killing 1 armed Palestinian and 1 Palestinian civilian (a woman killed when soldiers detonate explosives outside her door and storm her home, detaining her children, ages 2–12, in a room for 6 hrs. before releasing them), wounding 19 armed men and 4 civilians (including 1 woman, 2 children), arresting 60 Palestinians (55 are released on 5/8), demolishing 2 Palestinian homes, and bulldozing large areas of agricultural land before withdrawing late in the evening. The IDF also makes an air strike on a group of armed Palestinians in Jabaliya r.c., killing 1 Palestinian resistance mbr., seriously wounding a 2d. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron. (PCHR, WP 5/8; PCHR 5/15)

Hizballah mbrs. and their supporters in Amal and the Syrian Social Nationalist Party (SSNP) set up roadblocks leading to Beirut International Airport, other major roads in an effort to press the government to reverse its 5/6 decisions. They clash with gunmen affiliated with Saad Hariri’s Future Movement, leaving 5 civilians, 2 soldiers wounded. (NYT, WP 5/8)