Sunday, June 17, 2012

IDF troops under helicopter escort make a predawn incursion into Wadi alSilqa in c. Gaza to level Palestinian land to clear lines of sight. During the 12-hr. operation, Israeli helicopters repeatedly fire on surrounding areas to keep Palestinians away, wounding 1 Palestinian and starting a brush fire that destroys 15 d. of wheat. Late at night, unidentified Palestinians fire at least 1 Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel. Israeli helicopters respond by firing 2 missiles at a Palestinian workshop in Rafah, injuring 5 Palestinian civilians (1 seriously) and damaging 7 nearby houses. IDF troops stationed on the Israeli side of the Erez crossing fire on open areas along the border inside Gaza, causing no reported injuries. Meanwhile, Israeli naval vessels fire warning shots at Palestinian fishing boats off the n. Gaza coast 3 separate times and off the s. Gaza coast once, forcing the boats to return to shore. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts 2 sets of synchronized morning patrols in 3 villages nr. Jenin and 3 nr. Ramallah. Other IDF patrols are conducted in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning; in Tulkarm and 2 villages nr. Qalqilya in the evening; and in Jenin and 1 village each nr. Jericho and Tulkarm late at night. The IDF also conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Tulkarm and nr. Tubas. A Jewish settler driving nr. Hebron fatally shoots 2 Palestinians standing at an intersection, saying he felt threatened. Jewish settlers fr. Keddumim settlement nr. Qalqilya set fire to Palestinian olive and almond trees on a nearby plot of Palestinian land. A Palestinian demolishes his own home and farm in Bayt Iksa village just n. of Jerusalem after being given orders to tear down the structures or face a fine and fee for having the IDF do the job. (IDFS 6/18; PCHR 6/21; OCHA 6/22)