Saturday, December 15, 2007

In the West Bank, the IDF conducts largescale arrest raids in Nablus, detaining 25 Palestinians affiliated with Hamas, including Reform and Change PC mbr. Ahmad al-Hajj Ali Mutair, 2 mbrs. of the municipal council, an al-Najah University dean and 2 professors; bars a Palestinian woman in labor fr. crossing a checkpoint to reach a Qalqilya hospital, forcing her to give birth at the checkpoint (see 12/12 for similar incident). Some 200,000 Hamas supporters rally peacefully in Gaza City to mark the movement’s 20th anniversary. Suspected Fatah mbrs. detonate a roadside bomb nr. a bus carrying Hamas supporters to the rally; no injuries are reported. The PA bans Hamas rallies in the West Bank. In Gaza City, the Hamas-affiliated security forces for unknown reasons exchange fire with mbrs. of a Fatah-affiliated family, causing no injuries. (WP 12/15; NYT 12/16, 12/17; OCHA 12/19; PCHR 12/27; NYT 12/29)