Tuesday, January 27, 2009

In the 1st serious breach of the Gaza cease-fire, 1 IDF soldier is killed, 3 are wounded when Palestinians remotely detonate a roadside bomb nr. an IDF patrol near the Gaza border inside Israel, e. of Dayr al-Balah, nr. Kissufim crossing; Hamas denies involvement and says it is unclear who staged the attack; no group asserts responsibility. IDF soldiers make a brief incursion into Dayr al-Balah under cover of helicopters to bulldoze land along the border fence, directing heavy helicopter and machine-gun fire on nearby residential areas, wounding 1 Palestinian. Later, an IDF drone fires a missile at a Hamas-affiliated police officer riding a motorcycle in Khan Yunis (wounding him and 2 Palestinian children, ages 5 and 13, nearby) and briefly sends troops into Khan Yunis, withdrawing after several hrs. (Israel claims that the targeted man broke fr. Hamas to start a new faction, called Global Jihad, and was responsible for planning the Kissufim bombing earlier in the day.) Separately, IDF troops on the s. Gaza border fire on Palestinian farmers working land nr. the border fence, killing 1 Palestinian. Israel seals Gaza’s borders completely, denying entry to humanitarian aid (14 truckloads of goods entered before the closure) and, late in the evening, makes air strikes on smuggling tunnels on the Rafah border for the first time since OCL. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron. (AFP, FT, IHY, MM, NYT, al-Quds, WP, WT, YA 1/28; PCHR 1/29; HA, IDF Radio, MM, NYT, YA 1/30)