Sunday, August 13, 2006

IDF troops inside Israel fire across the border into Gaza at Palestinian farmers working their fields nr. Bureij r.c., wounding a Palestinian woman and 12-yr.-old child. The IDF also shells residential areas of al-Shuka, destroying 1 Palestinian home. In the West Bank, the IDF sends troops into the industrial zone nr. Hebron, searches 20 industrial facilities, holding workers for several hrs.; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Balata r.c., Nablus and nr. Hebron, Jenin. Jewish settlers fr. Kiryat Arba attack Palestinian homes in Hebron for a 2d day. Nr. Jenin r.c., Palestinian gunmen fatally shoot a Palestinian whom they accuse of being a collaborator; no group takes responsibility. (PCHR 8/17)

The Israeli cabinet accepts (24–0, with 1 abstention) UN Res. 1701, but separately Israeli DM Peretz warns that “there is no situation in which Hizballah fires at [Israeli] forces that we will not retaliate,” and Israeli officials warn that the IDF will continue to destroy Hizballah assets in areas it controls until those areas are handed over to the Lebanese army or UNIFIL. In anticipation of the 8/14 truce, both Israel and Hizballah intensify attacks. The IDF escalates air and artillery strikes, particularly on s. Beirut (leveling an area of several 100 sq. yds., including 8 apartment buildings); also hits 50 villages and towns across s. Lebanon, focusing on areas around Tyre (targeting gas stations), Ali al-Nahri in the Biqa‘ Valley, Tiri in s. Lebanon; expands ground offensives in an attempt to take control of as much land as possible by the truce deadline, engaging in major clashes outside Tyre, in Aita alSha‘b, Bint Jubayl, and Rashaf in central s. Lebanon, and in Dayr Sirin, al-Ghanduriyya, Khiyam, Qantara further northwest; shoots down 2 Hizballah drones heading for Israel. At least 20 Lebanese civilians, 2 Lebanese soldiers, 5 IDF soldiers are killed, and 25 IDF soldiers are wounded. Hizballah fires 220–250 rockets into n. Israel, the most in 1 day to date, mostly targeting Haifa (killing 1 Israeli civilian) but also hitting Kiryat Shimona, Yaara. (IFM 8/13; NYT, WP, WT 8/14; NYT 8/15)