Saturday, December 26, 2009

In the West Bank, IDF undercover units raid the Nablus homes of 3 AMB mbrs. (Nadir al-Sarkaji, Ghassan Abu Sharikh, and ‘Anan Sobeh) allegedly behind the fatal shooting of a settler on 12/24, killing all 3 and wounding 1 bystander. The deaths constitute assassinations, as the men could have been detained: 2 of them are called to surrender and are fatally shot as they leave their homes unarmed; in the 3d case, soldiers enter the home, and when the wanted man refuses to exit a closet and surrender, soldiers rig the closet door with explosives and detonate the charge, killing him. IDF soldiers surrounding the buildings fire tear gas to disperse stone-throwing Palestinian youths who confront them, hitting 2 (ages 12 and 19) with tear gas canisters, injuring them. PA PM Fayyad denounces the IDF’s failure to coordinate the raids with the Dayton-trained PASF units responsible for security in Nablus, which were in the process of conducting a police investigation of the 12/24 killing. IDF troops in the West Bank also conduct late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron, Nablus. (NYT, WP, WT 12/27; JPI 12/28; PCHR 12/30; OCHA 1/6)

Hamas officials in Lebanon confirm that 2 senior Hamas bodyguards and a 3d person (possibly a Hamas mbr.) were killed and 5 people wounded late on 12/26 in a large explosion at a Hamas office in the Dahiya neighborhood of s. Beirut (Hizballah’s stronghold). (HA 12/26; Associated Press, Wall Street Journal, WT, XIN 12/27; AFP, Kuwait News Agency, Middle East News Agency, MNA, YA 12/28; MNA, al-Nahar, al-Sharq al-Awsat 1/6)