Thursday, August 5, 2004

The IDF pulls out of Bayt Hanun, pulls back from the outskirts of Jabaliya r.c., ending Operation Active Shield, revealing the widespread destruction (including an estimated 3,900 dunams bulldozed, 10,000s of trees razed) wrought since it entered and sealed the area on 6/28. At the Bayt Hanun municipal office, 6 armed, masked AMB mbrs. break up a news conference called by 3 PC mbrs. to discuss the pullout, denounce the PA for failing to do anything while the area was under siege. After the pullout, Palestinians fire at least 7 Qassam rockets toward Sederot and the Negev, causing no damage or injuries. The IDF also fires on, shells residential areas of Khan Yunis (wounding a Palestinian inside a hospital nearby, seriously damaging a home), nr. Gaza City; fires on, demolishes 3 Palestinian homes in Khuza nr. Khan Yunis; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Bethlehem, Halhul nr. Hebron, Ramallah. A 12-yr.-old Palestinian dies of injuries received earlier. Some 150 Jewish settlers erect tents on a new unauthorized settlement outpost nr. Hebron, harass local Palestinians. Sharon orders 3,700 acres of Palestinian land to be annexed to Ma’ale Adumim settlement for construction of a new neighborhood, linking the settlement to Jerusalem 4 mi. to the west. (AP, BBC, HA, MA, MM, REU 8/5; VOI, VOP 8/5 in WNC 8/7; VOI 8/5 in WNC 8/10; AFP, MM, NYT, WT 8/6; al-Quds 8/6 in WNC 8/10; PR 8/11; PCHR 8/12; NYT 8/18)