Sunday, August 27, 2006

Overnight, the IDF launches a major raid into eastern neighborhoods of Gaza City to look for “terrorist infrastructure,” sending in troops, tanks, bulldozers, accompanied by helicopters; making an air strike on a clearly marked Reuters TV truck covering the incursion, saying it was “acting suspiciously,” seriously wounding 2 Reuters journalists; during the day, the IDF fires on residential areas, warns residents to leave, exchanges fire with and conducts air strikes on Palestinian gunmen (killing 3 Palestinian gunmen, 1 Palestinian civilian; wounding 2 Palestinian militants, 10 civilians), occupies houses as observation posts. Also in Gaza, the IDF closes the Rafah crossing, Nahal Oz pipeline. In the West Bank, the IDF fatally shoots a Palestinian guard outside a school in Jenin, claiming he was acting suspiciously; raids, searches the Ramallah home of Hamas-affiliated PC mbr. Mahmud Muslih, arresting him; patrols in Jenin town and r.c., Nablus (firing on residential areas in both cases, causing no injuries); conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Hebron and nr. Bethlehem, Jenin, Qalqilya. Jewish settlers in Hebron break into the Ibrahimi Mosque/Tomb of the Patriarchs, violating agreements that this day is reserved for Muslims to pray there. After 13 days, the Holy Jihad Brigade releases unharmed 2 Fox News Journalists; the PA says that none of the group’s 8/23 demands were met, the group is not linked to al-Qa‘ida but is a group of “young men who carried out the action out of private beliefs.” (AFP, HA 8/27; NYT, WP, WT 8/28; PCHR 8/31; PMG 9/1)