Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Hamas’s military wing, the Izzeddin al-Qassam Brigades (IQB), takes responsibility for shooting at a Jewish settler vehicle driving nr. Hebron (in area C, under full Israeli control, where the PASF is not allowed to operate), killing 4 Jewish settlers, including a pregnant woman, marking the deadliest West Bank attack on Israelis in more than 2 yrs. and the first staged by Hamas since before the 1/2006 elections. Both Abbas and Netanyahu say the attack should not derail peace talks. The YESHA settlement council vows to renew construction in West Bank settlements immediately, before the temporary freeze ends, to demonstrate Israelis’ “resolve against terrorism.” Following the attack and throughout the night, the IDF seals the entrances to Hebron, Halhul, and al-Fawar r.c. and imposes a curfew on nearby Bani Na‘im village, raiding and searching homes and detaining Palestinians with suspected connections to Hamas. Meanwhile, Jewish settlers implementing their “price-tag” doctrine to punish Palestinians for any state acts against settlers, beat Palestinian farmers working their land nr. Emanuel settlement nr. Salfit and stone Palestinian vehicles traveling on the Nablus–Qalqilya road (2 separate incidents) as well as on a road bypassing Yitzhar settlement nr. Nablus. Jewish settlers fr. Kiryat Arba in Hebron attempt to break into a nearby Palestinian home but are prevented by the IDF. Late at night, the IDF patrols 2 villages nr. Salfit; no incidents are reported. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reports that in the previous wk. 3 Palestinians were killed in 2 separate tunnel collapses on the Rafah border. (NYT, WP, WT 9/1; PCHR 9/2; OCHA 9/3)