Thursday, September 6, 2007

Overnight in Gaza, the IDF sends troops and tanks, supported by helicopters, into areas around Khan Yunis and al-Qarara, searching and occupying homes, temporarily detaining 150 Palestinians, bulldozing 66 d. of agricultural land, clashing with and shelling local gunmen, killing 4 armed AMB and Hamas mbrs.; troops withdraw in the afternoon. In central Gaza, 6 Islamic Jihad mbrs. attempt to break through the border fence to attack an IDF post inside Israel but are shot dead by IDF soldiers. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Tulkarm, in Jenin (firing on residential areas and stone-throwing youths who confront them, wounding 3 children ages 10–13). Some 30,000 Hamas supporters rally in Gaza City in support of ousted PA PM Ismail Haniyeh. ESF officers raid al-Hadath press office in al-Bureij r.c., confiscating documents, computers. (BBC 9/6; NYT, WP, WT 9/7; OCHA 9/12; PCHR 9/13)

Overnight, the IDF sends at least 5 war planes over Turkey and into n. Syria to make an air strike on an industrial building under construction in an open area nr. the Euphrates river, causing no injuries. Syria responds with antiaircraft fire, causing no damage. Syria denounces Israel’s actions and says it is measuring its response, while Israeli PM Ehud Olmert’s office imposes a news blackout. By late in the day, Israel, Syria issue statements declaring that neither side intends to be drawn into a war. (BBC, REU 9/6; NYT, WP 9/7; WT 9/8; WP 9/13; NYT 9/18; HA 11/22)