Friday, January 7, 2011

Chile recognizes “a sovereign Palestine,” but says the borders must be agreed with Israel. (JP 2/5)

In the West Bank, the PASF releases fr. a Hebron jail 6 Hamas mbrs. who had been on hunger strike for 43 days, protesting their detention without charge. Hrs. later, late at night, IDF undercover units raid Hebron to detain 5 of the 6 men. Storming 1 apartment, undercover units fatally shoot a 66-yr.-old Palestinian man asleep in his bed, mistaking him for the most wanted of the 5 Hamas mbrs. they sought, who lived in another apartment in the same building. The IDF initially says the man ran at soldiers when they entered and soldiers shot in self-defense, but the blood-stained pillow and mattress confirm his wife’s story that he was asleep when soldiers entered firing, raising questions about the IDF’s rules of engagement. Hamas accuses the PA of colluding with Israel to rearrest the men. IDF troops also patrol in villages nr. Ramallah and Tulkarm. Meanwhile, IDF troops on the Gaza border shell armed Palestinians laying a roadside bomb nr. the border fence, causing no Palestinian injuries; at least 1 mortar goes astray hitting an IDF unit, killing 1 Israeli soldier and wounding 4. Unidentified Palestinians fire 1 mortar fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. Israeli naval vessels fire on Palestinian fishing boats off the n. Gaza coast, forcing them to return to shore. West Bank Palestinians (accompanied by Israeli and international activists in some areas) hold weekly nonviolent demonstrations against the separation wall, land confiscations, and settlement expansion in Bil‘in, Ni‘lin, and Dayr Nizam/ Nabi Salih. Fmr. EU official Luisa Morgantini and 5 observers from the office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights take part in the Bil‘in demonstration. IDF soldiers fire rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at the protesters; 4 Palestinians are lightly injured and 1 is arrested. (AFP 1/7; NYT, WP 1/8; PCHR 1/13; OCHA 1/14)