Thursday, May 18, 2006

The IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Bethlehem, Jenin, Nablus, and Tulkarm, firing on residential areas. Palestinians fire 6 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. Unidentified Palestinians fire on a Jewish settler vehicle nr. Tapuach settlement, injuring 2 Jewish settlers. In Tulkarm, Fatah gunmen surround a building where PA Dep. PM Nasir al-Sha‘ir (Change and Reform) is meeting with the Tulkarm governor, forcing the mtg. to end, and Sha’ir to leave under police escort. Some 2,000 Fatah mbrs. parade through Gaza City in a show of force in reaction to the deployment of the Interior Min.’s predominantly Hamas ESF. The National and Islamic Higher Comm. for the Follow-up of the Intifada (NIHC) sponsors a rally in Gaza calling for the immediate dissolution of the new ESF, activation of the PA security forces to prevent lawlessness, and holding of national unity talks. Late in the evening, Hamas, Fatah gunmen exchange fire outside the Palestinian Council (PC) building in Gaza City, leaving 2 Fatah mbrs., 1 Hamas mbr. wounded. (HA, MM, XIN 5/18; MM 5/19; HJ 5/20 in WNC 5/21; PCHR 5/25)