Thursday, August 10, 2006

In Gaza, the IDF opens Rafah crossing for departures only, opens Qarni crossing for imports only; makes late-night air strikes destroying a store, house in Jabaliya r.c. (warning the residents in advance to leave), damaging 3 nearby homes. In the West Bank, the IDF sends undercover units into Tulkarm in a car with Palestinian license plates, surrounds the home of a wanted Hamas mbr., fires on the home, arrests the wanted man when he surrenders; sends troops into Ramallah, occupying offices in the PA Public Works Min. as an observation post, surrounding an apartment building, ordering residents to evacuate, arresting 3 Palestinians, firing on stone-throwing Palestinians who confront the troops, wounding 1; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Aqabat Jabir r.c. nr. Jericho; issues military orders confiscating 8 d. of Palestinian land nr. Qalqilya for the separation wall. (OCHA 8/16; PCHR 8/17)

The IDF drops leaflets on Beirut warning residents of the capital to expect escalated bombing whose “painful and severe results will not be limited” to Hizballah targets, urging residents of 3 neighborhoods (Burj al-Barajneh, Hay Sullum, al-Shiyah) to evacuate immediately (the areas are vacant by the end of the day, with the government bussing residents without transportation to Juniyah); drops leaflets on n. Lebanon, warning truck drivers to stay off roads to Syria. Meanwhile, Israel asks the U.S. to speed delivery of M-26 artillery shells (short-range antipersonnel rockets armed with cluster munitions) along with other unspecified weapons for use against Hizballah. The IDF continues air and artillery strikes across Lebanon, including firing missiles at an unused radio tower in downtown Beirut; targeting traffic on roads nr. Tyre, destroying roads in the Biqa‘ Valley, killing at least 2 Lebanese. Ground operations continue in s. Lebanon, reportedly focusing on areas stretching fr. Marja’uyun to al-Khiyam (with the IDF claiming to have taken control of Marja’uyun) and fr. Aita alSha‘b to Bint Jubayl, leaving at least 1 IDF soldier dead, 2 wounded nr. Qlei‘a. Hizballah fires at least 140 rockets into n. Israel, hitting Acre, Carmiel, Dayr al-Assad (killing an Israeli Palestinian woman, her son and wounding 11), Haifa, Kiryat Shimona, Ma’alot, Nahariya, Safad. (WP 8/10; NYT, WP, WT 8/11; WP 8/13)