Thursday, August 17, 2006

In Gaza, the IDF fatally shoots a deaf Palestinian working a field nr. the Gaza border e. of al-Bureij r.c.; shells residential areas of Bayt Hanun; conducts air strikes on a workshop in Gaza City, destroying it, damaging 2 nearby homes, wounding 2 bystanders. In the West Bank, the IDF issues military orders confiscating 10s of dunams (d.; 4 d. = 1 acre) of Palestinian land s. of Tulkarm. Late in the evening in the West Bank, the IDF closes all crossings to Jerusalem; raids al-Ubidiyya nr. Bethlehem, fatally shoots wanted Islamic Jihad mbrs. ‘Uqla Shanayta,Khalid Shanayta in an apparent assassination; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Askar r.c., neighboring Nablus, Yatta nr. Hebron. (PCHR 8/24)

Early in the morning, the IDF begins withdrawing fr. areas of s. Lebanon, giving UN Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) control. (The IDF does not confirm how many troops are in Lebanon, though at the peak, observers estimated there were as many as 30,000.) Soon after, the Lebanese army begins deploying troops s. of the Litani. In Naqura, 2 Lebanese children are killed when they accidentally detonate unexploded bomblets fr. an Israeli cluster bomb; UN deminers say they have identified 10 locations in s. Lebanon where the IDF used cluster bombs and may pose similar hazards for civilians, saying the 10 sites could be the “tip of the iceberg.” Beirut airport received its 1st commercial flight since it was bombed on 7/13; hopes to be able to resume normal service within a wk. (NYT, WP, WT 8/17; NYT, WP, WT 8/18)