Thursday, January 17, 2008

The IDF makes an air strike on a car in Bayt Lahiya, assassinating PRC cmdr. Raed Abu al-Ful, also killing a Palestinian woman traveling with him; makes an air strike on another car in Bayt Lahiya carrying suspected militants, missing the car, killing a Palestinian woman and child nearby, seriously wounding 6 bystanders (including 3 children); makes an air strike on Gaza City, killing 2 Hamas mbrs., wounding 4; fires on unarmed Palestinians who stray nr. the border fence e. of Dayr al-Balah, wounding 1; sends tanks, a bulldozer into Gaza to level land nr. al-Maghazi r.c. and nearby alMusaddar. Palestinians fire about 40 rockets fr. Gaza toward Israel, half of which land inside Israel, hitting 2 houses, damaging a road, lightly injuring 4 Israelis. Olmert vows to wage “war” on Gaza to stop rocket attacks, orders Gaza’s crossing sealed completely for several days to punish Gazans. The PA warns that escalated IDF offensives in Gaza jeopardize peace talks. In the West Bank, the IDF sends undercover units into Balata r.c. nr. Nablus, where they surround and fire on a Palestinian home (wounding a 3-yr.-old boy), sparking an exchange of gunfire that leaves 1 wanted Palestinian dead, another wounded, 4 Palestinians under arrest; sends undercover units into Tulkarm, detaining 25 Palestinians; conducts additional arrest raids, house searches in villages nr. Tulkarm, Hebron, Ramallah; sends troops into al-Bireh and Jenin to set up roadblocks and conduct ID checks, making no arrests; patrols in ‘Aqaba nr. Tubas. An AMB mbr. wounded in a 1/15 IDF missile strike dies. (NYT, WP 1/18; NYT, PCHR 1/19; OCHA 1/23; PCHR 1/24)