Monday, February 21, 2011

In the West Bank, the IDF tears down Palestinian’s tents in Khirbat Tana, where the IDF demolished homes and other structures on 2/9/11 (see Quarterly Update and Settlement Monitor in JPS 159); conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches, and patrols in 6 villages nr. Qalqilya, as well as nr. Bethlehem and Jenin. More than 80 Palestinian nonprofit organizations from the West Bank, Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip issued a statement calling on Fatah and Hamas to take practical steps toward ending their rift. (MNA 5/23; PCHR 2/24; OCHA 2/25)

The Knesset passes the Foreign Govt. NGO Funding Transparency Law tightening requirements on groups that accept foreign funding, widely seen as an effort to undermine left-wing Israeli organizations. (MNA 2/23; WJW 2/24)

After a week of violent clashes, the Libyan govt. has lost control of most of the eastern part of the country to armed antigovernment protesters. Qaddafi responds with overwhelming force, dispatching warplanes, helicopters, special forces, and heavily armed mercenaries (paid and flown in to Tripoli by the planeload in recent days to shore up the regime) to hunt down demonstrators. Fighting has also reached Tripoli, where there are reports of strafing fr. the air, combat in the streets, burning buildings, and looters ransacking police stations. Dozens of senior Libyan officials and diplomats resign in outrage, and widespread defections by the military nationwide are reported. (WP, WT 2/21; NYT, WP, WT 2/22)