Saturday, December 17, 2005

Senior Abu Rish Brigades (ARB) leader Khalid Abu Sitta is killed, 3 bystanders are wounded when his car mysteriously explodes nr. Khan Yunis; ARB claims it is an assassination, but the IDF denies involvement. Palestinians fire 2 mortars fr. Gaza towards Israel, causing no damage or injuries. The IDF fires 3 missiles at a rocket launching site nr. Khan Yunis, causing no damage or injuries; fires a missile at the main Rafah–Khan Yunis road, creating large crater; fatally shoots a PRC mbr. laying a roadside bomb nr. Erez crossing; fatally shoots 1 Palestinian, wounds a 2d who attempts to sneak into Israel fr. Bayt Lahiya to find work; fires on, wounds a mentally handicapped Palestinian who strays close to the Israeli border nr. Khan Yunis; fires on residential areas of Kafr al-Labad nr. Tulkarm, wounding, arresting, evacuating to an Israeli hospital a member of the PA security forces; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Issawiyya, Tulkarm (shooting and wounding a wanted Islamic Jihad mbr.) and nr. Hebron, Jenin. In response to the AMB–Islamic Jihad drive-by shooting on 12/16, the IDF closes some 50 roads in Hebron with sand barriers, blocks the main northern and southern entrances to Hebron with cement barriers. Jewish settlers fr. Yitzhar cut down more than 150 Palestinian olive trees nr. Nablus. (BBC, HA, IMEMC, NYT 12/18; AFP 12/19; PLO press release 12/21; PCHR 12/22)