Thursday, April 7, 2011

In retaliation for a 4/1 air strike that killed 3 senior Hamas mbrs., Hamas militants fire an advanced Russian-made laser-guided Kornet antitank missile fr. Gaza into Israel, hitting a school bus and wounding the bus driver and 1 student and marking a serious escalation of crossborder violence. During the rest of the day, Palestinians fire around 45 rockets and mortars into Israel, damaging 1 house but causing no injuries; the barrage includes 2 Grad rockets that were intercepted by Israel’s new Iron Dome missile defense system. The IDF retaliates with heavy artillery fire (10s of rounds fired) and more than 20 air strikes (including missiles dropped fr. war planes and fired fr. helicopters and drones) against at least 16 targets across the Gaza Strip, killing 5 Palestinians (1 Hamas mbr. and 4 civilians) and wounding 20 (at least 19 civilians), and collaterally damaging 10s of homes. In the West Bank, the IDF bulldozes 3 roads, 10 electricity poles, 2 walls surrounding a home, and part of a room of a house nr. Tubas; patrols in and around Tulkarm town and r.c., in al-Bireh, and in 3 villages nr. Qalqilya and Ramallah (firing rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at stone-throwing youths who confront them, causing no serious injuries); conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Qalqilya in the afternoon. (IsRN, JP 4/7; NYT, WP 4/8; IFM 4/9, 4/10; HA 4/11; PCHR 4/14; OCHA 4/15)

After 4 days of violent protests in Yemen (at least 12 dead, more than 270 injured), the GCC begins efforts to broker a deal for Saleh’s rapid transition fr. power. (NYT 4/8; see also NYT, WP 4/4; NYT, WP, WT 4/5–6)