Tuesday, December 21, 2010

AOI mbrs. fire a Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel that lands nr. an empty school nr. Ashqelon, causing light damage and injuring 1 Israeli. In the afternoon, an IDF drone makes a missile strike on a Hamas building in Rafah, injuring 2 IQB mbrs.; an hr. later, Israeli war planes make 3 air strikes on the same site, destroying it but causing no further injuries. IDF chief of staff Gabi Ashkenazi warns that the tension along the Gaza border is “fragile and explosive,” adding that while small Palestinian groups seem to be behind the recent rocket fire, Israel will hold Hamas responsible. Meanwhile, IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire warning shots at Palestinians scavenging for construction materials in the fmr. settlement sites, wounding 1. In the West Bank, the IDF demolishes a Palestinian home in al-Nu‘man village nr. East Jerusalem’s Har Homa settlement (Jabal Abu Ghunaym), firing tear gas and beating Palestinians who attempt to stop the demolition, moderately injuring 1; the family had already been fined more than $13,500 for building without a permit. IDF troops also patrol in Silat al-Harithiyya nr. Jenin in the afternoon, firing tear gas at stone-throwing Palestinians who confront them and then raiding several Palestinian homes, summoning 1 Palestinian for questioning. The IDF also conducts latenight arrest raids, house searches in Nur Shams r.c. nr. Tulkarm and nr. Hebron. In East Jerusalem, Israeli authorities force a Palestinian to demolish his own home in Ras al-Amud or pay the government nearly $5,500 for doing the job. Israeli authorities demolish a 2d Palestinian home in Sur Bahir, southeast of Jerusalem; the family had already paid nearly $1,750 for building without a permit. (JP, REU, UPI, YA 12/21; NYT 12/22; OCHA, PCHR 12/23)