Friday, November 19, 2010

Overnight, unidentified Palestinians fire 3 Qassam rockets and 1 manufactured Grad rocket fr. Gaza into Israel; the Qassams land harmlessly (1 inside Gaza, 2 in Israel), while the Grad strikes nr. a cattle farm, causing damage and injuring some livestock. In the afternoon, unidentified Palestinians fire 3 mortars into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. Later in the afternoon, the Popular Resistance Comms. (PRCs; an umbrella group comprising all Gaza factions) fire another 4 mortars into Israel containing white phosphorous scavenged fr. unexploded IDF ordnance (UXO), causing no damage or injuries. Israel files an official complaint with the UN over the serious escalation and retaliates in the evening with 4 air strikes in and around Bani Suhayla village s. of Khan Yunis, targeting and destroying an Islamic Jihad training site, 1 Palestinian home, and an agricultural storehouse, causing heavy collateral damage to another 2d home, and injuring 6 Palestinian civilians (including children ages 2 and 14). Late at night, 2 more air strikes destroy a smuggling tunnel on the Rafah border. Meanwhile, in the morning, IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire warning shots at Palestinians scavenging for construction materials in the abandoned settlement sites nr. the border, wounding 1. Late at night, IDF troops make an incursion 1,500 m into al-Shuka in s. Gaza, firing on residential areas to keep Palestinians in their homes, monitoring the area, and withdrawing after 3 hrs.; IDF troops on the s. Gaza border open heavy fire on the demolished Dahaniyya airport site, causing no reported injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Nablus. Palestinians (sometimes accompanied by Israeli and international activists) hold weekly nonviolent demonstrations against the separation wall, land confiscations, and settlement expansion in Bil‘in, Ni‘lin, Nabi Salih/Dayr Nizam nr. Ramallah. IDF soldiers fire rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at the protesters, leaving 5 Palestinians lightly injured (3 by tear gas canisters, 1 by a rubber-coated steel bullet) and 10s suffering tear gas inhalation. (JP, REU, YA 11/19; WP, YA 11/20; PCHR 11/25; OCHA 11/26)