Monday, August 21, 2006

The IDF sends troops into Gaza City to arrest a wanted Palestinian, bulldozing 13 d. of agricultural land belonging to his family, exchanging fire with armed Palestinians, wounding 2; conducts an air strike destroying the home of an Islamic Jihad mbr. in Gaza City, allegedly used as a weapons depot, damaging 2 nearby homes, causing no casualties. (The IDF sends the owners a cell phone text message in advance to warn them to evacuate.) The IDF conducts an air strike destroying the home of a senior Hamas mbr. in Rafah, damaging 5 nearby homes and an Islamist charity (the IDF phones the residents to warn them to evacuate); fires shells at, kills 3 Islamic Jihad mbrs. attempting to cross the Gaza border fence nr. al-Qarara. In Khan Yunis, 4 Palestinians, including 2 children, are injured when they accidentally trigger unexploded IDF ordnance. In the West Bank, the IDF sends undercover units into Azun to arrest several wanted al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade (AMB) mbrs.; conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Nablus, in Jericho, and nr. Bethlehem, Hebron, Jenin. A Jewish settler fr. Haggai injures 2 Palestinian children in a deliberate hit-and-run nr. Hebron. Also in Gaza, 3 Palestinians are wounded in clashes btwn. rival groups of PA security force officers. (WP 8/22; OCHA 8/23; PCHR 8/24; PMG 9/1)

Israel declares that all reservists have been pulled out of Lebanon, leaving 8,000– 10,000 regular troops in place, waiting for the deployment of an expanded UN force. During the day, the IDF shoots, wounds 3 Hizballah mbrs. who approach them in a “threatening manner” (within their rights under the UN-brokered cease-fire; there is no return fire); continues overflights of Lebanon. (AP 8/21; NYT, WP, WT 8/22; NYT 8/23)