Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Israel releases fmr. Education M Nasser al-Sha‘ir (arrested 5/24, dismissed by Abbas on 6/14) after he signs a pledge renouncing his ties to Hamas, vowing never to hold an official position representing the group. In Gaza, 2 Palestinian children are injured by a roadside bomb planted nr. an ESF post. In the West Bank, the IDF demolishes 2 Palestinian homes nr. Jerusalem (in Anata, Bayt Hanina); conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Nablus and Ramallah, nr. Bethlehem, in Hebron. Some 3,500 Jewish settlers bring construction materials to the Homesh settlement site with the intention of rebuilding the settlement vacated under Israel’s 9/05 disengagement plan; settlers set fire to 10s of nearby Palestinian olive trees, vandalize fuel tanks and cars at a nearby Palestinian gas station. The IDF closed several main checkpoints (nr. Hebron, Qalqilya, Ramallah) and stretches of Route 60 to block settlers fr. reaching the site, causing major obstacles to Palestinian movement. (OCHA, WT 7/18; PCHR 7/19)