Monday, March 26, 2007

IDF troops on the Gaza border fire a tank shell at a Gaza municipality truck nr. Juhur al-Dik, injuring 4 municipal workers; send tanks, bulldozers into Gaza nr. Bureij r.c. to level land. The Israeli navy fires on Palestinian fishing boats off the Rafah coast, forcing them to return to shore. In the West Bank, the IDF temporarily occupies several buildings in Nablus, exchanging fire with Palestinian gunmen, leaving 2 armed Palestinians dead; patrols in and around Jenin town and r.c.; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Hebron, Kafr Dan and Qabatya nr. Jenin, Tulkarm; issues military orders confiscating 10 d. of Palestinian land e. of Tulkarm for military training purposes. In tandem with a visit by U.S. Secy. of State Condoleezza Rice, 2,000 right-wing Jewish settlers and activists march to and reoccupy the Homesh settlement site in the n. West Bank, evacuated during disengagement in 2005, with plans to stay at the site for 2 days and eventually to rebuild the settlement; the main YESHA settlers group does not endorse the action; the IDF mobilizes 4 brigades to monitor marchers and take action should they or local Palestinians become violent, saying they will forcibly remove the settlers if they do not leave on 3/27 as planned. Fatah-Hamas clashes leave 5 Palestinians wounded in Rafah. Hamas mbrs. fire an antitank missile at, then occupy the Fatah-affiliated Bayt Hanun Sports Club; no injuries are reported. (WT 3/26; NYT, WT 3/27; OCHA 3/28; PCHR 3/29)