Tuesday, August 8, 2006

The IDF closes the Qarni crossing, Nahal Oz pipeline for the day; fires across the Israeli border at a group of children in a bedouin village nr. Bayt Lahiya, wounding 1. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in Balata r.c., Hebron, Jenin (firing on stone-throwing youths who confront the troops, wounding 5); patrols in Tubas, firing on stone-throwing Palestinians who confront them, wounding 3. (PCHR 8/10)

Israel announces that it will evacuate to s. Israel within 24 hrs. some 15,000 Israelis from the north who cannot afford to leave on their own, suggesting that the IDF intends a major escalation against Lebanon. In Lebanon, the IDF continues air and artillery strikes, hitting targets in s. Beirut, s. Lebanon (including killing 13 Lebanese in Ghaziyya s. of Sidon), the Biqa‘ Valley. Ground offensives also continue in s. Lebanon, with heavy clashes reported in Aytrun, Bint Jubayl (where the IDF claims to have killed 30 Hizballah mbrs.), Dibil (where 1 IDF soldier is killed), Labuna (where 2 IDF soldiers are killed); another 2 IDF soldiers are killed elsewhere and 23 wounded. Hizballah fires 160 rockets into n. Israel, hitting Acre, Fazouta, Ma’alot, Nahariya, Safad, Tiberias. The WHO warns that if within 5 days Israel does not provide safety guarantees for oil tankers bringing fuel shipments to Lebanon (see 8/1), 60% of hospitals in Lebanon will “simply cease to function.” (BBC, Marketplace 8/8; BBC, HA, NYT, WP, WT 8/9)