Friday, May 18, 2007

In Gaza, the IDF assassinates IQB mbrs. Ra’ed Habib and Munir al-Jamal in an air strike on their car in Gaza City, wounding 6 bystanders; makes 5 other air strikes on Hamas and ESF targets in Bayt Lahiya, Dayr al-Balah, and Gaza City, wounding 10 bystanders, destroying 2 alleged weapons factories, damaging several homes. In retaliation, Hamas fires 17 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, injuring 2 Israelis in Sederot. The Israeli navy fires on Palestinian fishermen off the Gaza City coast, forcing them to return to shore. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in, fires on residential areas of Kafr Dan nr. Jenin, wounding 3 Palestinians; conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Nablus and neighboring Balata r.c.; fires rubber-coated steel bullets, percussion grenades, tear gas at Palestinian, Israeli, and international activists holding a weekly nonviolent protest against the separation wall in Bil‘in nr. Ramallah, injuring 2. Jewish settlers scuffle with Palestinian, Israeli, and international activists demonstrating against the wall in Bani Na‘im nr. Hebron; the IDF intervenes, detaining 5 activists. Meanwhile, Fatah-Hamas fighting in Gaza continues, leaving 4 Palestinians dead and more than a dozen wounded. Incidents include Abbas’s presidential guard firing RPGs and mortars at the predominantly Hamas Islamic University in Gaza City. A 7-yr.-old Palestinian boy dies of injuries received in the 5/17 Fatah attack on a funeral in Rafah. (AP, WP 5/18; NYT, WP, WT 5/19; PCHR 5/21; OCHA 5/23; PCHR 5/24)