Friday, August 11, 2006

IDF gunboats off the Gaza coast shell the fmr. settlement areas of Ganei Tal, Netzer Hazani in s. Gaza, causing no damage or injuries In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem and in Abu Dis, Hebron. The IDF also bars Palestinians under age 40 fr. Friday prayers at al-Aqsa Mosque. (OCHA 8/16; PCHR 8/17)

In the afternoon, after seeing a draft UN res. on halting violence that he says he cannot accept, Olmert authorizes the IDF to expand ground operations in s. Lebanon. The IDF quickly begins moving additional troops, armor into s. Lebanon, while troops already in Lebanon prepare to move toward the Litani. During the day, the IDF continues air and artillery strikes, hitting targets in s. Beirut, areas of n. Lebanon (including Abu Diya, Akkar), s. of Sidon, and in the Biqa‘ Valley (including strafing some 1,300 cars evacuating some 3,000 residents of Marja’uyun, occupied by the IDF on 8/10, who chose to follow a convoy of 350 UNIFIL and Lebanese army troops evacuating the area in coordination with the IDF; 6 Lebanese civilians, 1 Lebanese soldier are killed and 36 are wounded). Ground operations continue in Labuna in the east, Aita al-Sha‘b in central s. Lebanon, and Khiyam, Markaba, Qantara, Qlei‘a further to the northeast. Hizballah fires 124 rockets into n. Israel, injuring 5 Israelis and targeting sites in Acre, Carmiel, Ma’alot, Nahariya, Safad, Shlomi. (AP, WP 8/11; NYT, WP, WT 8/12; NYT, WP 8/13; WP 8/24)

Late in the evening, the UN Security Council unanimously passes Res. 1701, calling for Israel and Hizballah to halt violence in place as of 8:00 A.M. on 8/14 local time (1:00 A.M. ET), demanding that Hizballah cease all attacks and that Israel stop offensive operations (allowing “defensive” responses if they perceive a threat). (IFM, NYT, WP, WT 8/12; NYT 8/14; NYT 8/15)