Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Ansar al-Sunna, a Salafist militant group opposed to Hamas, fires a Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. The IDF responds with air strikes on 2 open areas along the s. Gaza border and on a Hamas training site in central Bayt Hanun in n. Gaza; no casualties are reported, but significant damage to surrounding civilian buildings is noted in Bayt Hanun. The IDF also conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around East Jerusalem and nr. Bethlehem, Ramallah. (JP 5/19; PCHR 5/20; AFP, JP 5/21; OCHA, PCHR 5/27)

U.S. special envoy George Mitchell arrives in the region for 2 days of indirect Israeli-Palestinian talks, marking the first full round of “proximity talks” since their launch on 5/9. The sides continue to differ on the agenda for talks and which issues should be negotiated first. (CSM, IFM, WP 5/20; WSJ 5/21)