Sunday, May 8, 2005

The IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in Askara nr. Bethlehem, Burkin nr. Jenin. Jewish settlers fr. Neve Dekalim seize 18 d. of Palestinian lands in al-Mawasi in s. Gaza. Jewish settlers fr. Avraham Avino chase Palestinians, throw stones at Palestinian homes in Hebron. PA police reportedly fire on the car of Jenin AMB head Muhammad Abu Araj, hitting him in the leg; AMB mbrs. return fire, without causing injuries. The IDF jails the 1st IDF reservist, Arkadi Moter (who is also a Jewish settler) for refusing to serve in protest of Gaza disengagement. Separately, the IDF places a Jewish settler, Niria Ofen, in administrative detention until 9/30/05 for suspected militant activity related to disengagement. Armed AMB mbrs. shut down the central Gaza PA Central Election Comm. (CEC) offices apparently in effort to overturn what they call “fraudulent election returns” in Bureij, Rafah that favor Hamas. Later they occupy the CEC offices in Bayt Lahiya, where Hamas already officially had been declared winner, and refuse to leave. (JAZ, MM, NYT, WP 5/9; AP, MM, NYT 5/10; AP, OCHA, PR 5/11; PCHR 5/12)