Friday, June 30, 2006

Overnight in Gaza, the IDF makes air strikes on at least 20 targets, including PA Interior Min. offices (saying they were used to plan terrorist attacks), buildings used by the AMB and Hamas, an ESF training camp, a PA intelligence office, several roads, and open areas; continues to shell n. Gaza, to break the sound barrier over the Strip; conducts arrest raids in Rafah. The only reported casualties are 1 Islamic Jihad mbr. killed in an air strike on a rocket launching site in Rafah, 3 Palestinian gunmen (AMB or Islamic Jihad) wounded nr. Jabaliya r.c., and 7 Palestinian bystanders (including 5-yr.- old Palestinian girl) wounded in shelling of n. Gaza. Israel also revokes the residency rights of Hamas-affiliated PA Jerusalem Affairs M Khalid Abu ‘Arafa and Change and Reform PC mbrs. Muhammad Abu Tir, Ahmad Attoun, Muhammad Totah (detained on 6/28–29), giving them 30 days to appeal or renounce their positions within the PA. The PRCs fire at least 3 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF sends an undercover unit into Nablus, surrounding a cemetery, fatally shooting 1 Palestinian teenager, wounding and arresting a 2d Palestinian, arresting 2 others, firing on stonethrowing youths who confront the troops, wounding 31; also raids an Islamic charity in Nablus, confiscating a computer, files; conducts additional arrest raids in and around Nablus, in Jenin. IDF Central Command head Maj. Gen. Ya’ir Naveh says that the main crossing between Jerusalem and Bethlehem is now closed to Palestinians who hold Israeli IDs (including 237,000 East Jerusalem residents), enforcement (which reportedly is irregular at present) may be expanded to other crossings into the West Bank soon. (HA, IMEMC, MM, PCHR, WP, YA 6/30; OSC, XIN 6/30 in WNC 7/1; IMEMC, NYT, WP 7/1; VOP 7/1 in WNC 7/2; PCHR 7/6)