Friday, July 7, 2006

As Operation Summer Rains continues, the IDF pushes deeper into populated areas of n. Gaza. During the day, the IDF engages in heavy clashes (including air strikes) with the AMB, Hamas around Bayt Lahiya, killing at least 7 Palestinians (mostly AMB mbrs. but including a 6-yr.-old girl). Palestinians fire 13 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, hitting an empty schoolyard and factory in Sederot, lightly injuring 3 Israelis; a 14th rocket lands inside Gaza, causing no damage or injuries. The Palestinian groups holding Shalit issue a statement confirming that he is in good condition, calling for negotiations to end the fighting and release him; Olmert rejects any bargaining. In the West Bank, the IDF surrounds, raids a Palestinian home in ‘Askar r.c., fatally shooting wanted AMB mbr. Tamir Kandil in an apparent assassination, firing on stone-throwing youths who confront the troops, wounding 5; fires on residential areas nr. Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem, causing no injuries; patrols in Qabatya; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Hebron. Unknown gunmen kidnap, kill a PSF officer nr. Gaza City. A 12-yr.-old Palestinian wounded by IDF fire nr. Erez on 7/5 dies, as do 3 Palestinian militants wounded by IDF fire in Bayt Lahiya on 7/6. (HA, NYT, PCHR, WP, WT 7/8; NYT, WT 7/9; PCHR 7/13; OCHA 7/18)