Friday, November 2, 2007

For the 1st time since 6/07, Abbas meets with 4 West Bank Hamas officials in an effort to encourage them to split fr. their Gaza counterparts. In Nablus, the PA deploys a new 308-mbr. policing unit trained by Western advisers at a multimillion dollar training facility in Jericho; they will form part of a new National Security Force unit set up to “operate in coordination with Israeli forces to fight crime and terrorism” as part of Abbas’s new security effort “to restore law and order” in the West Bank, in keeping with road map requirements; the unit will patrol during the day only, while the IDF will continue night operations. In Gaza, the IDF makes an air strike on an ESF post nr. Rafah, killing 1 ESF officer, wounding 3. Nr. Bayt Hanun, 2 Palestinians are injured when a mortar they are preparing misfires. A Palestinian is injured when a smuggling tunnel under the Rafah border collapses. In the West Bank, the IDF lifts the round-the-clock curfew on ‘Azun imposed on 10/31; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Tulkarm town, r.c. and nr. Qalqilya; fires rubber-coated steel bullets, percussion grenades, tear gas at Palestinian, Israeli, international activists taking part in the weekly nonviolent demonstration against the separation wall in Bil‘in (injuring 1 demonstrator, 1 journalist). Jewish settlers fr. Kiryat Arba and Harsina in Hebron attack, vandalize nearby Palestinian homes, also beating 1 Palestinian. (NYT, WT 11/3; NYT 11/6; OCHA 11/7; PCHR 11/8; NYT 11/14)