Thursday, February 12, 2009

Final Israeli election results are posted, showing Kadima maintaining a 1-seat lead over Likud. The close race means that Kadima’s Livni and Likud’s Netanyahu will have to compete to form a governing coalition. (al-Ahram, AY, IHY, JP, Jordan Times, MA, MM, NHR, QA, al-Ra’i, YA, 2/12; NYT, WP 2/13)

During the day, the IDF makes an air strike on a lumber store in Gaza’s Jabaliya r.c., destroying it, heavily damaging 20 other stores, wounding 11 Palestinians (including 5 children ages 1–6). Late in the evening, an IDF drone fires on 2 PRC mbrs. riding a motorcycle nr. Khan Yunis, assassinating PRC mbr. Ali al-Qidra, wounding a 2d PRC mbr. Israel allows 109 truckloads of humanitarian aid and commercial goods into Gaza, as well as a limited amount of fuel for Gaza’s power plant. In addition, Israel permits Gazans to export 25,000 carnations to Europe via the Kerem Shalom crossing and Ben-Gurion Airport, marking the 1st permitted exports in nearly a yr. The IDF says no further Gazan exports are planned, though the situation will be reviewed periodically. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Qabatya and nr. Hebron, Ramallah, Salfit. (WP 2/13; PCHR 2/19)