Thursday, November 22, 2012

Israeli leaders defend the 11/21 Gaza cease-fire in the face of strong criticism from politicians like Yesh Atid’s Yair Lapid and Kadima’s Shaul Mofaz, who believe that the operation had not successfully restored ‘‘deterrence.’’ DM Barak asserts that ‘‘it is still not time to enter Gaza in a very wide operation and conquer it.’’ Barak also reveals that Israel dropped 1,000 times as many explosives on the Gaza Strip as landed on its soil. FM Lieberman (Yisrael Beiteinu) states that Israel will ‘‘eventually need to overthrow the Hamas regime.’’ (INN, JP, REU, YA 11/22)

In Gaza, Palestinian factions organize a major rally in Gaza City to celebrate the cease-fire and call for national reconciliation. On a rare visit to Gaza since the Hamas takeover in 2007, Fatah Central Comm. mbr. Nabil Shaath tells the crowds that Israel failed to isolate them from the West Bank. PM Ismail Haniyeh tells the rally that the ‘‘resistance fighters changed the rules of the game’’ but that the fighters should ‘‘guard’’ the truce ‘‘as long as Israel respects it.’’ (AP, MNA 11/22)

Meanwhile, the toll of Operation Pillar of Defense continues to climb: an Israeli soldier dies from injuries sustained by a Palestinian rocket attack during the operation, becoming the 2d soldier and 6th Israeli to die in the fighting. In the Gaza Strip, rescue workers pull the bodies of 2 more Palestinians from the rubble of the Dalou family home (bombed on 11/18), raising the Palestinian toll to 160. Though the ceasefire generally continues to hold, the IDF opens fire on Palestinians who protest at the border fence nr. Khan Yunis, injuring 1 man. (AP, MNA 11/22; PCHR 11/29)

In the West Bank, Israeli authorities transfer 30 Palestinian prisoners to administrative detention, apparently because of their involvement in solidarity events for Gaza. (MNA 11/22)

The IDF patrols in 1 village each nr. Jenin and Tulkarm in the afternoon; conducts house searches and arrests in 1 village nr. Jenin in the morning and in Qalqilya, al-Bireh, Balata r.c. nr. Nablus, 3 villages nr. Hebron, 1 village nr. Jenin, 1 village nr. Qalqilya, 1 village nr. Tulkarm, Nur Shams r.c. nr. Tulkarm, 1 village nr. Ramallah, and Bethlehem, 4 nearby villages, and Dahaysha r.c. and al-Azza r.c. (both nr. Bethlehem) at night. Those detained overnight include at least 5 mbrs. of the Palestinian parliament affiliated with Hamas. Right-wing Jewish extremists chop down 300 olive trees belonging to Palestinians nr. Hebron, leaving graffiti nearby reading ‘‘price tag’’ and ‘‘regards from Beersheba and Tel Aviv.’’ (MNA 11/22; MNA, ToI 11/23; PCHR 11/29)

The European Parliament passes a resolution expressing support for ‘‘Palestine’s bid to become a UN nonmember observer.’’ (EJP 11/22)

The Lebanese army disables a rocket aimed at Israel and say 2 others were fired but fell short of the border. No group claims responsibility. (REU 11/22)