Monday, July 9, 2007

The UNRWA announces that because of Israel’s continued closure of the Gaza crossing to all but limited humanitarian aid, it must halt about $93 m. of construction projects in Gaza (including schools, water and sewage treatment facilities, health centers) that employ 121,000 Palestinians for lack of construction materials; also warns that UNRWA food stocks are running low. Hamas says it is willing to allow the PA presidential guard to monitor the crossings, but Israel says it will not deal with the presidential guard if they operate under Hamas command. Hamas demands that Egypt, Israel allow some 6,000 Palestinians stranded on the Rafah border without aid or shelter to enter Gaza; Egyptsays it will allow them through the Israeli-controlled Kerem Shalom crossing as a 1-time solution, but Hamas rejects this as an affront to Palestinian sovereignty; Hamas mbrs. fire mortars at Kerem Shalom in protest, causing light damage but no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF sends undercover units into Jericho, raiding a billiard club, shooting, wounding, arresting 2 Palestinians; sends undercover units into Burkin nr. Jenin in a civilian vehicle with Palestinian plates to raid a caf´e, arresting 13 Palestinians; conducts other arrest raids, house searches in Nablus, nr. Bethlehem, Hebron. (NYT, WT 7/10; OCHA 7/11; PCHR 7/12)