Monday, May 30, 2011

The IDF conducts a major late-night operation targeting Islamic Jihad in and around Jenin, raiding and searching the homes of at least a dozen local Islamic Jihad figures (arresting all but 1) and raiding, searching, and confiscating the files of 2 charities affiliated with Islamic Jihad. The Jenin offices of the Palestine People’s Party are also searched. During the day, the IDF demolishes a Palestinian construction company building in Jinsafut nr. Qalqilya; sends undercover units in a civilian vehicle with Palestinian license plates into al-Bireh to raid and search a restaurant, arresting 4 Palestinians and seizing surveillance tapes; conducts early morning patrols in Silat alDahir nr. Jenin (photographing old houses and alleys), Iraq Burin nr. Nablus (firing rubber-coated steel bullets, stun grenades, tear gas at stone-throwing youths who confront them, seriously wounding 1), and Tulkarm; conducts afternoon and evening patrols in ‘Azun nr. Qalqilya (without incident) and in Bayt Liqya and Nabi Salih (in both cases firing live ammunition, rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at stonethrowing youths who confront them, causing no serious injuries); conducts late-night patrols in Alar nr. Tulkarm and late-night arrest raids, house searches in ‘Azun. Jewish settlers fr. Yitzhar set fire to Palestinian crops s. of Nablus; the IDF hinders Palestinian fire crews from reaching the scene. The IDF escorts 1,600 Jewish worshipers to visit Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus; some 200 Israelis who did not have authorization for the visit sneak in with the group, refuse to leave, and are forcibly removed by soldiers. (MNA 5/30; PCHR, WJW 6/2; OCHA 6/3)

At a massive rally in Istanbul commemorating the 1st anniversary of Israel’s 5/2010 attack on the aid flotilla to Gaza that killed 9 Turkish activists aboard the Mavi Marmara, the flotilla organizers, the U.S.-based Free Gaza Movement (FGM), and the Turkish charity Humanitarian Relief Foundation (known by its Turkish acronym IHH), announce plans for at least 1,500 activists and 10 boats to set sale in late 6/2011 as part of the “Freedom Flotilla II” to break the Gaza siege. Israel denounces the effort as supporting “a designated terrorist group” (Hamas) and warns it will use force if necessary to halt the flotilla. (DPA, REU 5/30)