Thursday, October 25, 2007

Israeli human rights groups petition the Israeli High Court to halt the government’s 10/24 plan to cut electricity to Gaza to pressure Hamas, arguing collective punishment, forcing the IDF to suspend implementation.Israelsays that it will continue to cut 1% of Gaza’s electricity for 15 mins. at a time as a “symbolic” response to Palestinian rocket fire until Israel’s atty. gen. rules otherwise. Overnight and into the afternoon, IDF troops conduct arrest raids, house searches in Khan Yunis, also bulldozing 30 d. of agricultural land. During the day, the IDF sends infantry units into the Bayt Lahiya area (to engage several armed Palestinians laying a roadside bomb, killing 1 Palestinian, arresting another), the border area e. of Jabaliya r.c. (where they clash with armed Palestinians, killing 1 Palestinian), and areas nr. Abasan (where they engage with armed Palestinians, killing 1 Palestinian, wounding 4). Palestinians fire an RPG at an IDF jeep patrolling the Gaza border nr. al-Bureij r.c., missing the target, causing no damage or injuries. A Palestinian is injured in Dayr al-Balah when explosives he is handling detonate prematurely. In the West Bank, the IDF fires rubber-coated steel bullets on Palestinian children holding 2 peaceful demonstrations in Hebron and nearby al-Arub r.c. in support of Palestinian prisoners, injuring 3 (ages 13, 16, 17) and arresting 1 (age 14); conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Nablus, and in Tulkarm (also firing on residential areas, causing damage but no injuries). In Ramallah, Palestinians demonstrate for the release of Hamas mbrs. held by the PA; PA security forces disperse the protesters. An ESF officer dies of injuries received in the 10/18 clash with the Fatah-affiliated Hillis clan in Gaza City. (NYT, WT 10/29; OCHA 10/31; PCHR 11/1)