Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Overnight the IDF raids the PA Military Intelligence headquarters in Ramallah, arrests 18 wanted AMB mbrs. who had been taking refuge there, 50 other PA Military Intelligence officers and employees (most of whom are released after interrogation); the IDF claims that the 18 were funded by Iran through Hizballah to carry out attacks on Israeli targets but offers no proof. During the day, IDF troops on the n. Gaza border send bulldozers 500 m into the border area nr. Bayt Hanun to level land, while IDF troops in the West Bank seal a Hamas-affiliated social services office and kindergarten in Bayt Fajjar nr. Bethlehem, another charitable society and kindergarten in neighboring al-Khadir. Late in the evening, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in Azariyya nr. Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Hebron, Nablus, al-Til nr. Tulkarm, Tulkarm r.c. In Israel, Israeli police arrest Shaykh Raed Salah, leader of the Islamic Movement in Israel, on suspicion of provocative behavior for attending a rally in East Jerusalem protesting Israel’s construction at the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount. In Gaza’s Nussayrat r.c., 4 unknown gunmen kidnap, break the hands of, then release a PA security officer. A PA General Intelligence Service mbr. dies of injuries sustained in interfactional fighting in Jabaliya on 2/2. (NYT, PCHR 3/8; OCHA 3/14; PCHR 3/15)