Monday, July 9, 2012

An Israeli government-appointed commission headed by former Israeli supreme court justice Ephraim Levy issues a nonbinding legal judgment that Israel’s presence in the West Bank is not occupation and that the government should grant retroactive approval to unauthorized settlement outposts. The commission states that unauthorized outposts were established with the knowledge and encouragement of senior government officials that amounted to ‘‘implied agreement’’ by the government. (NYT 7/10) (see Doc. C1 in JPS 165)

During the day, unidentified Palestinians fire 1 Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the evening, Palestinian gunmen inside Gaza fire into Israel, hitting a parked civilian vehicle, but causing no injuries. Late at night, Israeli warplanes and helicopters carry out 3 air strikes on Khan Yunis and Rafah in s. Gaza, causing no reported casualties. The targets include a training site used by the al-Ansar Brigades (military wing of a small faction called al-Ahrar Movement, which was formed shortly after Hamas’s 2007 takeover of Gaza by disaffected Fatah members who aligned themselves with Hamas), and 2 open areas used by rocket-launching teams. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Ramallah in the morning; in Tulkarm in the afternoon; and in Qalqilya, 1 nearby village, and 1 village nr. Jenin late at night. The IDF also bulldozes a plot of Palestinian agricultural land outside Qalqilya and conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Bayt Umar. Jewish settlers stone Palestinian cars driving nr. Hebron. Jewish settlers also enter a Palestinian area (exact location not reported) to pray at a local religious site without proper coordination with the IDF; the IDF intervenes to remove the settlers. (TOI 7/9; WT 7/11; PCHR 7/12; OCHA 7/13; JPI 7/20)