Monday, January 17, 2005

Overnight, the IDF fatally shoots 2 Islamic Jihad mbrs. who allegedly attempted to attack an IDF patrol in central Gaza. During the day, the IDF halts Operation Eastern Step outside Gaza City; demolishes 5 Palestinian homes in Walaja nr. Bethlehem, begins bulldozing land for a new road; fires on residential areas of Jenin town and r.c.; conducts arrest raids, house searches nr. Hebron and Ramallah, and in Bayt Hanun, Bayt Jala, Bayt Lahiya, Jericho, Tulkarm r.c. and town. The PRCs fire 2 Nasir 3 rockets fr. n. Gaza toward Sederot, 1 lands inside Gaza, the other inside Israel; neither causes damage or injuries. Hamas fires 3 mortars at Nisanit, 1 mortar at Aley Sinai, causing no damage or injuries. (HA, MM 1/17; VOI, VOP 1/17, JTA, NYT, WT 1/18; VOI, VOP 1/18 in WNC 1/20; OCHA 1/19; PR 1/20; PCHR 1/27)

After holding emergency sessions with the PA national security council and cabinet, Abbas orders the PA security forces to make “maximum efforts” to stop Palestinian attacks on Israelis, to investigate the 1/13 Qarni attack. PA Negotiation Affairs M Saeb Erakat says that security forces in Gaza would “create security zones and road blocks” to prevent rocket and mortar fire. Israel says the steps are “a small but positive sign.” (VOP 1/17 in WNC 1/20; NYT, WP, WT 1/18; PR 1/20)