Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Announcing the start of a “sustained” campaign against Islamic Jihad, the IDF imposes 24-hr. curfews on Tulkarm town and r.c., al-Til, and Nur al-Shams r.c.; reinvades Tulkarm (turned over to PA security control on 3/22) and al-Til in its largest military operation since Israeli and the Palestinians agreed to an unofficial cease-fire on 2/8, fatally shooting a PA policeman, leaving a 2d PA policeman clinically dead, arresting at least 6 Palestinians with Islamic Jihad ties; 2 IDF soldiers are injured. Israel says it was forced to act in Tulkarm because the PA had not reined in militants there, citing the bombing as proof; the PA says the assault on Tulkarm is unjustified, since the 7/12 bomber came fr. al-Til, 5 mi. away, under Israeli military control. Late in the evening, the IDF raids Nablus, fatally shoots Islamic Jihad cmdr. Muhammad al-Assi when he attempts to elude arrest; detains an Islamic Jihad mbr., a British woman with him. The IDF also demolishes 2 Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem; razes 4 bedouin tents, 6 animal pens outside Bethlehem; conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem, Hebron, Jenin, Nablus. Jewish settlers fr. Kiryat Arba stone a Palestinian vehicle driving the Palestinian section of Hebron, injuring the driver. Jewish settlers fr. Yitzhar vandalize a Palestinian home, burn a Palestinian car nr. Nablus. In Bureij r.c., the PA security forces secure the release of 2 international aid workers (1 British, 1 Australian) kidnapped by a Palestinian family that hoped to use them as bargaining chips to secure the release of relatives jailed by the PA. An Israeli dies of injuries received in the 7/12 bombing. (AFP, IMEMC, JTA, NYT, PR, XIN 7/13; VOP 7/13 in WNC 7/13; VOI, VOP 7/13 in WNC 7/14; NYT, PCHR, PRCS, WP, WT 7/14; VOI 7/14 in WNC 7/15; JAZ 7/17; OCHA, PR 7/20; PCHR 7/21)