Monday, January 23, 2012

In the morning, IDF troops on the n. Gaza border w. of the Erez crossing direct gunfire and 1 artillery shell at open areas around the former Nisanit settlement site, causing no reported injuries. IDF troops on the n. Gaza border nr. Bayt Lahiya launch 4 artillery shells at open areas near the border, causing no reported injuries. Late at night, Israeli warplanes make a total of 7 air strikes on greenhouses and open areas nr. the Bayt Lahiya border in the north, a suspected weapons factory in c. Gaza, and a smuggling tunnel on the Rafah border, causing no injuries. A Palestinian civilian dies of injuries sustained in a 11/14/01 IDF air strike on a UNRWA school in Khan Yunis. In the West Bank, the IDF demolishes 9 Palestinian stores in al-Oja village in the Jordan Valley, n. of Jericho; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Ramallah (where they target the home of Hamas-affiliated Reform and Change PC mbr. ‘Abd al-Jabir Fuqaha, arresting him, summoning his son for interrogation, and confiscating his computer, phone, and files), in Nablus, and nr. Hebron; conducts late-night patrols in 1 village nr. Qalqilya (summoning 3 Palestinians for interrogation). In East Jerusalem’s Shaykh Jarrah neighborhood, Israeli security forces raid the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) office and a protest tent outside, detaining Hamas-affiliated PC mbrs. Muhammad Toutah and Khalid Abu Arafa, who had been living at the ICRC offices since 6/2010 to protest Israel’s 9/2009 decision to revoke their Jerusalem IDs on the grounds that they are affiliated with a “terrorist organization” (i.e., Hamas); Israeli authorities expel them to the West Bank. Hamasaffiliated PC mbr. Ismail Ashkar comments, “Every time we move toward reconciliation and reactivating the Palestinian parliament, we see Israel targeting our lawmakers.” (AFP, JP, NYT, YA 1/24; WP, WT 1/25; PCHR 1/26; OCHA 1/27)

Israeli embassies and mission in the Hague, Brussels, London, New York, Boston, and Houston receive envelopes containing a suspicious white powder that turns out to be flour, raising fears of an anthrax attack. No one takes responsibility. (DS 1/24; JPI 2/3)