Thursday, December 31, 2009

Mbrs. of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) claim responsibility for firing 2 manufactured Grad rockets fr. Gaza into Israel; the missiles hit nr. Netivot, causing no damage or injuries. Egypt allows a token delegation of around 85 international activists to cross into Gaza to demonstrate with Gazans for an end to Israel’s siege, while in Cairo, Egyptian authorities disperse another 1,000 international activists calling on Egypt and Israel to open the Gaza border. Inside Israel, about 1,000 Israeli Palestinian and Jewish peace activists march to the Erez crossing in solidarity with the internationals in Egypt. Israeli police arrest a Jewish settler teenager connected to the outlawed right-wing group Kahane Chai suspected in the 12/11 arson of a mosque in Yasuf. In the West Bank, the IDF demolishes 2 animal shelters on a Palestinian farm located nr. an unauthorized Israeli settlement outpost northeast of Hebron, saying they had been erected illegally; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron. Jewish settlers fr. Shavei Shomron and Einav settlements set up an outpost on a hill nr. Nablus overlooking the spot where a settler was ambushed and killed on 12/24. Jewish settlers at another settlement outpost northwest of Hebron raze 1,500 d. of surrounding Palestinian agricultural land, saying they plan to build a park and swimming pools. (JP 12/31; NYT, WP 1/1; HA 1/2; OCHA, PCHR 1/6; WJW 1/7)