Occupied Palestine/Israel: IDF open al-Far'a prison to foreign journalists, deny 1/30 allegations of torture made by Intl. Commission of Jurists, but admit 2 cases...
In the West Bank, Israeli settlers with military escort obstructed a Palestinian protest march near Tubas against the establishment of a settlement outpost; no injuries were reported. Israeli settlers with military escort also threw stones at Palestinian houses in al-Twana. Elsewhere, Israeli settlers attacked journalists in the Tel Rumeida neighborhood of Hebron. Israeli settlers also attacked employees of the Palestinian Land Settlement Authority in Umm al-Shaqhan and stole 1 GPS device. Meanwhile, Israeli settlers attacked 1 Palestinian man working on his house near Qaryut. In East Jerusalem, 1 Palestinian demolished a structure added to his house in 2011 in Beit Safafa. 2 Palestinians were arrested in the Old City. (WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 7/24; HA 7/25; PCHR 7/29)
The IDF makes 7 air strikes on Gaza, targeting 2 Hamas rocket-launching sites in n. Gaza, killing 3 Palestinian shepherds, 1 Palestinian child; hitting a car driving in Gaza City, assassinating Hamas’s Muhiy al-Din al-Sirhi, also killing 2 civilians traveling with him; destroying the Gaza City home of Hamas mbr. Imad Dallul in an apparent assassination attempt, wounding him and 3 other Hamas mbrs.; destroying 4 alleged weapons factories in Bayt Hanun, Bayt Lahiya, and Nussayrat r.c., damaging nearby homes. The IDF also shells residential areas in Bayt Hanun, injuring a Palestinian woman, 4 children. In Gaza City, 3 Palestinians are injured by IDF UXO; 3 Hamas mbrs. are injured when explosives they are handling detonate prematurely. Hamas fires an RPG at an IDF bulldozer leveling land along the Gaza border fence, injuring 2 IDF soldiers; fires 5 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, starting a brush fire but causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in, fires on residential areas of Nablus. Jewish settlers fr. Tel Rumeida in Hebron beat 2 international peace activists escorting Palestinian children nr. Beit Hadasah settlement. Jewish settlers fr. Itamar nr. Nablus burn Palestinian olive trees in nearby Bayt Furik. Meanwhile, at least 6 Palestinians are wounded in factional fighting in Gaza that includes a gun fight btwn. ESF and NSF mbrs. in Gaza City, a Hamas attack on a PSF base in Rafah, and Fatah’s kidnapping and malicious wounding of 2 Hamas mbrs. in Gaza City. NSF officers manning several checkpoints reportedly harass observant Muslims, ordering women to remove their head coverings and arresting bearded men on suspicion of being Hamas mbrs., raising public outrage against Fatah. Another Egyptian-brokered cease-fire (involving 3 phone conversations btwn. Abbas, Damascus-based Hamas leader Khalid Mishal) that was to go into effect at 3:00 P.M. local time is ignored by Hamas and Fatah. (NYT, WP 5/20; PCHR 5/21; OCHA 5/23; PCHR 5/24)
In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Jenin, Ramallah. In Hebron, a Palestinian teenager stabs, wounds 2 IDF soldiers nr. the Ibrahimi Mosque/Tomb of the Patriarchs before being shot, wounded by soldiers. Jewish settler teenagers fr. Tel Rumeida beat, injure a handicapped Palestinian in Hebron. (NYT 4/9; OCHA 4/11; PCHR 4/12)
As the quarter opened, Israel and the Palestinians both stated they were observing a cease-fire in Gaza that went into effect on 11/26/06, though near-daily cross-border incidents occurred. Israel’s siege of Gaza, in place since Hamas took control of the Palestinian Authority (PA) on 3/28/06, remained, as did heavy restrictions on Palestinian movement in the West Bank. Today, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) troops on the n. Gaza border fire on several Palestinians collecting scrap metal nr. the border fence n. of Bayt Lahiya, wounding a 12-yrold boy. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in ‘Aida refugee camp (r.c.) nr. Bethlehem, Azun nr. Qalqilya, Qalandia r.c. (exchanging fire with Palestinian gunmen, leaving 2 IDF soldiers wounded), Tulkarm and nr. Hebron, Jenin; fires on stone-throwing Palestinians in and nr. Hebron demonstrating against Israel’s new construction at the Haram alSharif/Temple Mount (see 2/6/06 in the Chronology in JPS 143); fires rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, percussion grenades at 10s of Palestinians, as well as Israeli and international activists, taking part in the weekly nonviolent demonstration against the separation wall in Bil‘in, injuring 8. Jewish settlers fr. Tel Rumeida in Hebron occupy a Palestinian home next to the settlement; the IDF evicts the settlers but declares the area a closed military zone, barring the Palestinian family fr. returning. Jewish settlers fr. Kiryat Arba in Hebron vandalize Palestinian homes, shops; the IDF observes but does not intervene. A Fatah mbr. dies of injuries received in recent clashes in Jabaliya with members of the PA Interior Min.’s predominantly Hamas Executive Support Force (ESF). PA health sector employees in the West Bank begin an open-ended strike to protest the PA’s failure to pay their salaries. (OCHA 2/21; PCHR 2/22)
Occupied Palestine/Israel: P.M. Peres criticizes U.S. Asst. Sec. of State Richard Murphy's plan for preliminary meeting with joint Jordanian-Palestinian delegation and vetoes another suggested Palestinian delegate Nabil Sha'th. Peres expresses confidence in King Hussein's desire for peace, says Israel wants to open negotiations with joint Jordanian-Palestinian delegation immediately [JP 9/6]. Negev Bedouin given o.k. to elect 15-member delegation to the soon-to-be-established regional committee on Bedouin affairs [JP 9/6].
Other Countries: Washington Post reports U.S. administration is considering sending Asst. Sec. of State Richard Murphy to meet with Jordanian-Palestinian delegation that would include Nabil Sha'th, a close personal advisor to Arafat. Israel vehemently protestshe proposal [WP 9/3, 9/7]. Jerusalem Post reports Reagan administration iformed Congress in July in classified 17-page report that Israel's "qualitative" military edge over the Arabs is "secure and likely to grow stronger, under present policy, at least through the rest of this decade" [JP 9/6].
Occupied Palestine/Israel: Israeli truck driver Moshe Fitusi, 28, is critically stabbed in Gaza City; Israeli settlers torch Palestinian home in the West Bank in retaliation. Gaza City sealed off and 500 residents reportedly detained by army for questioning. Home of Palestinian exprisoner freed in 5/20 prisoner exchange set afire in Dura village by Israeli settlers, home of another painted with threatening slogans and its windows smashed in Balata refugee camp near Nablus. Groups of armed settlers reported roaming streets of Ramallah and Nablus. Israeli authorities briefly detain 9 Tehiya members who squat at Tel Rumeida in Hebron [CSM, PI, NYT, JP 9/6; JTA 9/9].
Occupied Palestine/Israel: Pol of Israelis (excluding kibbutz residents, settlers) indicates 43.5% oppose any territorial compromise as part of peace process, 33.6% support partial compromise, 16.6% would return entire W. Bank; same poll indicates 63.3% favor immediate withdrawal from S. Lebanon [JTA 4/10]. Herut party Betar youth movement holds ceremony in Hebron marking opening of Betar office at Tel Rumeida; IDF forbade [4/8] holding of ceremony at Tel Rumeida itself [JP 4/10].
Arab World: Action in Lebanon: IDF planes bomb alleged Popular Struggle Front base in Shamlan; 4 killed, 4 wounded. IDF seal Tyre; over 25 arrested [NYT, PI 4/10]. 16-yr. -old Sana Mheidleh drives explosives-laden car into IDF position at Bater al-Shouf, killing herself and 2 Israelis; 2 others wounded [PI 4/10].
Occupied Palestine/Israel: IDF open al-Far'a prison to foreign journalists, deny 1/30 allegations of torture made by Intl. Commission of Jurists, but admit 2 cases of abuse occurred in the past [WP 4/9]. Body of 21-yr.-old IDF soldier found near Beit Ayre settlement; apparently victim of political violence [LAT 4/9]. Herut party youth movement Betar cancels attempt to hold opening ceremonies for office on Tel Rumeida, Hebron, after IDF threaten intervention [JP 4/9]. In discussions with UN Undersec. Gen. Brian Urquhart, DM Rabin asserts Israel does not object to extention of UNIFIL mandate (due to expire 4/19) but doubts UNIFIL's usefulness in border areas [JP 4/7, 4/9].