Friday, September 9, 2005

The IDF blows up its last posts and observation towers in Gaza, completes removal of its equipment in preparation for a handover to the PA; the only settler or IDF structures left standing are the IDF division headquarters nr. Neve Dekalim, which will be turned over to the PA, and the synagogues (see 9/8). In Gaza, the IDF shoots, wounds a mentally handicapped Palestinian who strays close to a checkpoint outside Khan Yunis. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts arrest raids, house searches in Aqaba nr. Jenin; patrols in, fires on residential areas of Qabatya. In Gaza City, 1,000s of Palestinians attend Musa Arafat’s funeral; Abbas was expected to address the ceremony but does not attend because of the high number of gunmen present. The PRCs issue a further statement on the assassination, restating that the PRCs as an organization are not responsible but that some PRC mbrs. as individuals carried out the plot, which the PRCs claim was orchestrated by PA Civil Affairs M Muhammad Dahlan. (HA 9/9; NYT, WP, WT 9/10; PCHR 9/15)