Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Abbas, Netanyahu, Clinton, and Mitchell continue direct talks at Netanyahu’s residence in Jerusalem, meeting for 2 hrs. They allow a joint photo opportunity but do not address the press. (WP 9/15; NYT, WP, WT 9/16; PCHR 9/23; OCHA 9/24)

Just as the Jerusalem talks begin, Gaza’s PRCs fire 1 rocket and 9 mortars fr. Gaza into Israel (the highest 1-day total since 3/09), causing no damage or injuries. Israeli police claim 2 of the mortars contained white phosphorous and that the rocket, which landed in Ashkelon, appeared to be a manufactured Grad type, rather than a homemade Qassam; the IDF, however, calls the rocket a Qassam. (Ashkelon is in range of both Qassams and Grads.) The Israeli daily Yedi’ot Aharonot (9/16) cites an unidentified mbr. of an unnamed Gaza militant group as confirming that 2 mortars contained white phosphorous taken from unexploded IDF ordnance (UXO) from Operation Cast Lead, saying the Gaza factions are experimenting with modifying Israeli UXO for use against Israel. The IDF retaliates with air strikes on a smuggling tunnel on the Rafah border (killing 1 Palestinian civilian, wounding 3), a factory n. of Khan Yunis (destroying it and damaging several surrounding homes, greenhouses, and businesses, but causing no reported injuries), and a vacant home southwest of Khan Yunis (destroying it). IDF troops also make a brief morning incursion 400 m. into s. Gaza e. of Khan Yunis to level land to clear lines of sight. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts separate synchronized late-night patrols in 2 villages e. of Qalqilya and 2 villages nr. Ramallah, making no arrests; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Hebron, nr. Jenin. (HA, JP, YA 9/15; CNN, JP, PCHR, WT, YA 9/16)