Sunday, January 10, 2010

Netanyahu and his cabinet approve plans to build 2 barriers rigged with surveillance equipment along approximately half of Israel’s 150-mi. border with Egypt to prevent illegal border crossings; 1 segment will be nr. the Rafah border with Gaza, the other will be nr. Elat; construction is expected to take several years and cost NIS $1 b. In the afternoon, unidentified Palestinians fire 4 mortars toward Israel, but all land inside Gaza, causing no damage or injuries. In the evening, the IDF carries out an air strike on a group of Islamic Jihad mbrs. nr. the c. Gaza border e. of Dayr al-Balah as they are preparing to fire a rocket into Israel, killing 3 Islamic Jihad mbrs. (including senior field cmdr. Awad Abu Nasir). In the West Bank, the IDF demolishes the only elementary school, 11 Palestinian homes, 10 animal pens, and a greenhouse in Khirbat Tana, displacing at least 120 Palestinians (mostly children) and marking the apparent first stage of Israel’s implementation of a 2/09 court order to raze the village (see 12/10/09); demolishes another Palestinian home in al-Tur nr. East Jerusalem; conducts late-night house searches in several villages around Jenin and nr. Hebron and Tubas, making no arrests; conducts similar late-night searches in the al-Bustan quarter of Silwan in East Jerusalem, beating and detaining 4 Palestinian children (ages 11–13) for 11 hrs. of questioning before releasing them. (HA, IFM, JP, Reuters, YA 1/10; NYT, WP, WT 1/11; NYT, WT 1/12; OCHA 1/13; PCHR, WJW 1/14; JPI 1/29)