Saturday, November 11, 2006

In Gaza, the IDF fires on residential areas of Khan Yunis, wounding 1 Palestinian. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in Askar r.c. and Jenin town and r.c., in and around Tulkarm (raiding the offices of the Palestinian Center for Media and Studies, vandalizing them, confiscating computers and electronic equipment, and sealing the offices), nr. Bethlehem. Jewish settlers in Hebron attack a group of 40 Palestinian children on their way to school, injuring several, stealing some of their school bags. Separately, Jewish settlers fr. Hebron prevent Palestinian farmers fr. reaching their land nr. Ma’on settlement. (OCHA 11/15; PCHR 11/16)

In Lebanon, 5 Hizballah and Amal cabinet mbrs. quit the cabinet over the failure of the national dialogue over 4 days to reach a new power sharing agmt. PM Siniora says he will not accept their resignations, though he may not be able to enforce his decision. The 4 days of talks broke down over Hizballah’s demands that it, with its allies, be allocated a third of cabinet seats, so it would have veto power over cabinet decisions. The governing coalition is willing to allow Hizballah’s ally, the Free Patriotic Movement led by Christian leader Michel Aoun, to enter the cabinet, but not with enough seats to have automatic veto power. (Eight ministers would need to resign to collapse the Siniora government.) The governing coalition portrays Hizballah’s attempts to obtain a veto as an effort to block creation of an international tribunal on the Hariri assassination (see 11/10). (NYT, WP, WT 11/12; NYT 11/13)