Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The IDF makes a brief incursion into Gaza e. of Gaza City to level land nr. the border fence. The UN reports that 9 Palestinians were killed and 16 injured in tunnel collapses in the previous wk. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Tulkarm. Jewish settlers evicted fr. Inbalim on 7/27 set up 3 new mobile homes in Givat Egoz outpost nr. Talmon settlement, also nr. Ramallah. An Israeli court reverses its 7/27 temporary injunction on construction at the Farhan-Hijazi properties in Shaykh Jarrah, ruling that Jewish settlers may keep building and living on the site until the next court session to discuss the case on 9/23/09. Meanwhile, Israeli police raid 2 other Palestinian homes in Shaykh Jarrah (the Ghawi and Hanun properties) where ownership is contested by Jewish groups, ordering residents to vacate the homes by 8/10/09 or face expulsion; settlers attempt to occupy the Hanun home but are fended off by the family; both families immediately file an appeal to the Israeli High Court. Timed with Mitchell’s visit (see 7/26), Jewish settlers, as a protest message to Obama, set up 11 new unauthorized settlement outposts, symbolizing the 11 settlements established by Zionists in the Negev in 1946 in defiance of British prohibition. The settlers hold a press conference inaugurating the new outposts in Neria settlement, established in 1991 to protest a visit by Secy. of State James Baker who was then pressuring Israel to halt settlement construction. (NYT 7/29; OCHA, PCHR 7/30; OCHA 8/18)

U.S. NSA Jones and his chief Middle East adviser Dennis Ross begin a 3-day trip to Israel, with talks focused on Iran. (WP 7/27; NYT 7/29)