Friday, January 1, 2010

Overnight, the IDF carries out air strikes on smuggling tunnels on the Rafah border in retaliation for the PFLP’s 12/31 Grad strikes, lightly injuring 4 Palestinians. Later in the day, after the Popular Resistance Committees (PRCs) fire at least 2 mortars toward the Kerem Shalom crossing (the IDF records 2, while the PRCs claim 5; only 1 lands inside Israel, causing no damage or injuries), the IDF carries out air strikes on an open area e. of Jabaliya in n. Gaza and on a farm in al-Qarara in s. Gaza, causing no damage or injuries. Of note: Israel permanently closes the Nahal Oz crossing, meaning that with the exception of the grain belt operating at Qarni crossing, Kerem Shalom will be the sole transit point for goods coming in and out of Gaza; all fuel shipments will also henceforth go through Kerem Shalom. In the West Bank, the IDF fires rubber-coated steel bullets, stun grenades, tear gas at stone-throwing Palestinians and nonviolent international (and, in the case of Bil‘in, Israeli) activists taking part in protests against the separation wall in Bil‘in (injuring 1 Palestinian) and Ni‘lin (injuring 2 Palestinians); prevents Palestinian and international activists fr. planting trees on Palestinian land declared a closed military zone by the IDF, confiscating the trees; patrols in al-‘Arub r.c. in the evening, stopping and questioning a group of Palestinian children, arresting 3 teenagers; conducts synchronized late-night house searches in 3 villages southwest of Jenin, making no arrests; later makes a raid on a 4th village in the same area, also making no arrests. Jewish settlers fr. Yakir nr. Salfit stone a Palestinian car driving on the road to Qalqilya, injuring 2 Palestinians. (YA 1/1; HA 1/2; OCHA, PCHR 1/6)