Monday, February 7, 2005

The IDF conducts arrest raids in Tulkarm and nr. Jenin, Jerusalem, Ramallah. Palestinians fire a mortar at Neve Dekalim, fire on an IDF vehicle patrolling the Gush Katif security fence, causing no damage or injuries. An IDF official says that in the last few days, the PA security forces have taken positive steps to stop rocket and mortar launches from Gaza; confirms they have destroyed 2 smugglers’ tunnels linking Rafah and Egypt. (VOI 2/7; NYT 2/8; JP 2/8 in WNC 2/9; PCHR 2/10)

In response to a petition filed with the Israeli High Court in 3/04, the Israel Lands Administration (ILA) admits to aerially spraying bedouin agricultural land in the Negev with chemical agents (some of them not approved by the Agriculture Min. for aerial use), with the aim of effectively and cost-efficiently decreasing Arab “encroachment” on “huge swaths of land belonging to the state,” saying that further spraying operations are needed. From 2002 through 2004, the ILA sprayed and destroyed 1,000s of dunams of bedouin agricultural land. (Adalah press release 2/05)