Saturday, October 14, 2006

In response to Palestinian rocket fire on 10/13, Israeli DM Amir Peretz approves an escalation in IDF border operations in Gaza. Overnight, the IDF pulls out of Abasan but sends tanks, troops into n. Gaza nr. Jabaliya r.c., exchanging fire with Palestinian gunmen, conducting air strikes on a house, engaging in armed clashes nearby, killing at least 4 Hamas mbrs., 2 bystanders, wounding 15 before withdrawing; launches air strike on Rafah, which destroys a Palestinian house (warning the residents in advance to evacuate, damaging several nearby houses); bulldozes a Palestinian home in Bayt Hanun. The IDF also sets up a new Palestinian detention center inside Israel nr. the Gaza border. In the West Bank, the IDF sends troops into Tubas nr. Jenin, firing on downtown areas, wounding 3 Palestinian children; conducts arrest raids, house searches, random ID checks in and around Hebron. IDF soldiers, Jewish settlers wall off 50 d. of Palestinian land around an IDF base outside Kiryat Arba. (NYT 10/14; NYT, PCHR, WP, WT 10/15; PCHR 10/19)