Tuesday, August 17, 2010

In the morning, members of the Palestinian Popular Resistance Comm. (PRCs), retaliating for the death of an Islamic Jihad mbr. on 8/16, fire 2 mortars across the s. Gaza border at IDF troops operating inside Israel, lightly injuring 2; the IDF returns fire but no injuries are reported. Late in the evening, the IDF responds with 6 air strikes targeting a deserted house near the c. Gaza border e. of Gaza Valley village (destroying it, a well, and damaging a nearby factory) and several smuggling tunnels on the Rafah border, causing no injuries. During the day, IDF troops make a brief incursion in to s. Gaza to level lands e. of Abassan to clear lines of sight; fire warning shots at Palestinians staging a nonviolent march to the Erez crossing to protest Israel’s imposition of a no-go zone along the border, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, Jewish settlers fr. Karnei Shomron settlement nr. Qalqilya stone passing Palestinian vehicles, causing no injuries. An Israeli court rules that Israel is responsible for the 1/2007 death of a 10-yr.-old Palestinian girl who was fatally shot by Israeli border police while observing a Palestinian demonstration from a distance; the border police alleged she was hit by a rock thrown by protesters, but the court finds that “there cannot be any dispute . . . that Abir was hit by a rubber bullet fired by border police, meaning the fire was conducted either due to negligence or violation of the rules of engagement.” (JP 8/17; AFP 8/18; PCHR 8/19; OCHA 8/20)

Lebanon passes a law granting the country’s approximately 400,000 Palestinian refugees the same rights to work as other foreigners and giving them access to social security benefits, easing decades of restrictions that had barred them from all but menial jobs. (NYT 8/18)