Saturday, July 15, 2006

Overnight, the IDF pulls troops out of central Gaza; makes air strikes on the PA Economics Min. offices in Gaza City (causing no injuries), a factory in Gaza City (killing 1 Palestinian, wounding at least 9), a bridge nr. Bureij r.c.; fatally shoots an unarmed Palestinian who strays close to the Kissufim crossing. Palestinians fire several rockets into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron. A Palestinian dies of injuries received during the IDF’s 7/6 failed assassination attempt on Zubaydi and Sadi. (NYT, WP 7/15; NYT 7/16; PCHR 7/20)

The IDF escalates its attacks on Lebanon, completing the naval blockade of the coast; making air strikes on Hizballah offices, homes of Hizballah leaders and a senior Hamas official; hitting scores of civilian infrastructure targets, particularly in pro-Hizballah neighborhoods in s. Beirut and s. Lebanon, and roads and bridges in e. and n. Lebanon (including destroying the last bridge on the Beirut–Damascus highway), also destroying numerous gas stations, fuel depots (including hitting Jiyeh terminal for a 2d day, creating a major oil slick), a major power plant s. of the capital; shelling ports in Amshit, Batrun, Beirut, Juniyah, Sidon, Tripoli, and Tyre and hitting a radar installation in the new Manara lighthouse in Beirut to disable Lebanon’s coast radar defenses. At least 16 Lebanese civilians are killed in an air strike on a civilian convoy fleeing Marwahin village in s. Lebanon after Israel warned residents to evacuate, bringing the estimated death toll since the start of the crisis to 92 Lebanese killed and at least 250 wounded, almost all of them civilians. Hizballah fires some 90 Katyushas at n. Israel during the day, hitting Tiberias for the 1st time, as well as Carmiel and Nahariya, lightly injuring at least 11 Israelis. Italy begins evacuating its citizens fr. Lebanon; Britain, France, the U.S. say they have plans to do the same. (HA, NYT, WP, WT 7/16; NYT 7/29; WP 8/1; NYT 8/3)