Saturday, February 17, 2018

Along Gaza’s southern border, an improvised explosive device (IED) planted on the Palestinian side of the border fence detonates near an IDF jeep, injuring 4 Israeli soldiers (2 seriously). The IED was reportedly installed during demonstrations along the border on 2/16. Israeli forces in the area attack and destroy a local armed group’s observation post in southern Gaza and shell 5 other Hamas targets. After the initial wave of strikes, unidentified parties fire a rocket from Gaza into southern Israel, causing minor damage to an Israeli home. Late at night, Israeli jets conduct air strikes on 12 Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Palestine (PIJ) sites near Gaza City and Rafah, injuring 2 Palestinians and causing an unknown amount of damage. Amid the exchange, IDF troops open fire on 4 Palestinian youths approaching the border fence near Rafah, killing 2 and seriously injuring the other 2. In the West Bank, IDF troops violently disperse Palestinian mourners in Halhul near Hebron after a funeral procession for 1 of the Palestinians whose body the IDF returned to his family on 2/16; there are no serious injuries. Meanwhile, IDF troops arrest 1 Palestinian during a late-night raid in Nablus and patrol near Hebron. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces arrest 4 Palestinians during late-night raids in Hizma and Issawiyya. (HA, JP, MNA, NYT, WAFA, YA 2/17; HA, WAFA 2/18; HA 2/19; EI 2/20; PCHR 2/22)