Tuesday, April 4, 2006

After Palestinians fire rockets fr. Gaza into Israel (causing no damage or injuries), the IDF launches Operation Southern Arrow (as warned on 3/30), making air strikes on a PA security compound (wounding 2 Palestinians; see 3/30) and Abbas’s helicopter pad in Gaza City, firing at least 30 shells at residential areas nr. the n. Gaza no-go zone (hitting 2 houses, killing 1 Palestinian and wounding at least 5), flying mock air raids over Gaza (repeatedly breaking the sound barrier), reducing the distance that artillery fire may be targeted nr. Palestinian homes fr. 300 m to 100 m. The IDF also recloses the Qarni commercial crossing; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Bethlehem, Dura, Nablus. (WP 4/5; VOP 4/5 in WNC 4/6; PCHR 4/6; HA 5/14)

According to the biography of fmr. Mossad chief Efraim Halevy, released today in Britain, just before Israel’s 1997 attempted assassination of Hamas political leader Khalid Mishal in Amman, King Hussein transmitted a message offering a 30-yr. cease-fire fr. Hamas to then Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu via a local Mossad rep. The message did not reach Netanyahu until after the hit was made. (JAZ 4/4)