Monday, April 28, 2008

In Gaza, the IDF sends tanks, armored vehicles, bulldozers, and helicopters into Bayt Hanun, exchanging fire with local armed men and making air strikes on residential areas, leaving a total of 8 Palestinians dead, 17 Palestinians and 1 IDF soldier wounded; most casualties are the result of a missile that hits a home, killing a Palestinian woman, 4 of her children (ages 18 mos. to 5 yrs.), an unrelated teenager, and wounding 10 bystanders (including 2 more of the woman’s children). Palestinians fire 7 rockets, 9 mortars fr. Gaza into Israel, causing light damage but no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF raids and searches a car repair shop in Hebron, confiscating 3 cars; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Nablus and Tulkarm, in Qalqilya, and nr. Hebron. As Israel begins preparations to move its Jerusalem police headquarters from the predominantly Arab neighborhood of Ras al-Amud to the controversial new E-1 site in occupied East Jerusalem, police officials sign an agmt. giving a right-wing Jewish settler group the right to occupy the vacant Ras al-Amud building, which will serve as the nucleus of a new Jewish settlement; the settlers have already filed with the Jerusalem Planning Comm. to construct 110 housing units on the site. In addition, the Israeli High Court rejects a petition by Palestinians in al-‘Aqaba village nr. Tubas seeking repeal of an IDF order for the demolition of 60% of the village’s homes and confiscation of all but 100 d. of the village 3,000 d. of land, supporting the IDF’s position that the land is “strategically important” to the military. Jewish settlers fr. Kiryat Arba vandalize Palestinian homes and cars in Hebron. (HA, IFM, PCHR 4/28; NYT, WP, WT 4/29; OCHA, PCHR 4/30)