Thursday, February 24, 2011

In response to the cross-border exchange on 2/23, Palestinians fire 3 manufactured Grad rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, striking Beersheba for the 1st time since Operation Cast Lead (OCL; 12/27/08–1/18/09), damaging a house but causing no injuries. The IDF retaliates with multiple air strikes on Hamas and Islamic Jihad targets, killing 2 Hamas mbrs. in Rafah and wounding 3 Islamic Jihad mbrs. elsewhere. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in Qalqilya and 4 nearby villages, in Jericho and 1 nearby village, as well as in 2 villages nr. Salfit and Tulkarm. In Ramallah, up to 1,500 Palestinians rally in support of national unity and an end to the Hamas-Fatah divide, which they say “opens the door for the occupiers to do whatever they want”; though representing Fatah, Hamas, and leftist factions, they show only the Palestinian flag—a rare gesture in recent years. Hamas authorities in Gaza ban a similar planned rally. (HA, JP, MNA 2/24; WP 2/25; PCHR 3/3; OCHA 3/4)