Thursday, June 14, 2012

Israeli naval vessels fire warning shots at Palestinian fishing boats off the n. Gaza coast, forcing them to return to shore. IDF troops make a brief incursion into Khuza village in s. Gaza, firing on residential areas (causing no injuries), demolishing a house under construction, and leveling 5 d. of agricultural land. Late at night, IDF troops on the s. Gaza border fire several artillery shells at armed Palestinians operating nr. the border e. of Khan Yunis, wounding 2. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts synchronized patrols in 4 villages nr. Jenin in the morning. Other IDF patrols are conducted in Tulkarm, 2 villages nr. Qalqilya, and 1 nr. Ramallah in the morning; in 1 village nr. Tulkarm in the afternoon; and in 1 village nr. Qalqilya in the evening. The IDF also conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Ramallah; 1 of the Palestinians arrested was released during the 2011 prisoner swap that freed captured IDF soldier Gilad Shalit. (PCHR 6/21; OCHA 6/22)

On the 5th anniversary of Israel’s sealing of Gaza’s borders after Hamas’s 2007 takeover, 50 international aid groups and UN agencies (including UNICEF and the WHO) sign a petition urging Israel to lift the siege of Gaza. The petition reads in full: ‘‘For over five years in Gaza, more than 1.6 million people have been under blockade in violation of international law. More than half of these people are children. We the undersigned say with one voice: end the blockade now.’’ (OCHA 6/14; MNA, NYT 6/15)