Sunday, July 23, 2006

The IDF conducts air strikes on the home of a Hamas mbr. in Gaza City, causing severe damage; the IDF phoned the target’s cell phone and local PA police before the strike to warn them to evacuate the house. The IDF also sends troops, bulldozers into the Erez industrial zone, firing on residential areas inside Gaza, wounding at least 1 Palestinian civilian. Palestinians fire around 12 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries; also fire on an IDF post at Erez crossing, causing no injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem, Hebron, Jenin. Just after dawn, 3 armed Jewish settlers break into a Palestinian home in Haris nr. Salfit, threaten residents; the IDF intervenes, stating that the Palestinians had “threatened the security of settlers.” The PA makes payments of $330 to each of 165,000 civil servants who have not received salaries since 3/06. (NYT, WP, WT 7/24; OCHA, PCHR 7/27)

The IDF continues air strikes across Lebanon, hitting Hizballah leadership posts in Beirut, targets in Sidon and the eastern Biqa‘ Valley, road traffic in s. Lebanon (including convoys of civilians heading north); ground troops in Maroun al-Ras move 2 mi deeper into Lebanon, engaging Hizballah mbrs. in Bint Jubayl. At least 8 Lebanese (including a press photographer) are killed and 45 wounded during the day. Hizballah fires nearly 100 rockets on n. Israel, hitting Haifa (killing 1 Israeli, 1 Israeli Palestinian; wounding 18). Israel says it has fired more than 20,000 artillery shells into Lebanon since 7/12. (NYT 7/23; NYT, WP, WT 7/24)