Gaza: towards re-occupation?

An Israeli airstrike targeting a minivan supposedly carrying a Hamas fighter in northern Gaza City killed three people and wounded 12 on May 18. Israeli tanks also fired five shells near a housing project in the northern Gaza town of Jebaliya, wounding five. (AP, May 19) On May 17, Israel moved tanks and troops over the Gaza border and launched eight airstrikes, killing at least seven Palestinians. Some 14 rockets fired by Hamas militants in Gaza May 17 landed in Israel, six near the border town of Sderot. The government bused some Sderot residents to hotels, calling it a “respite,” not an evacuation. (NYT, May 18)

The Palestinian Center for Human Rights (PCHR) says 38 Palestinians have been killed in Hamas-Fatah factional violence over the past week, in addition to dozens wounded. The casualties have included several civilians, including women and children. The situation exploded after a leader of the ‘Izziddin al-Qassam Brigades (the armed wing of Hamas), Ibrahim Suleiman Maniya (Ghanem) was killed during an armed clash May 15, between members of the Palestinian National Security Forces and Fatah movement on one side, and those of Hamas on the other side, near al-Mentar (Karni) crossing, east of Gaza City. (Electronic Intifada, May 17)

Jordan’s King Abdullah II, opening the World Economic Forum meeting in Shuneh, urgently called for a negotaited peace in Gaza. (AFP, May 18) Malaysia, chair of the 57-nation Organization of the Islamic Conference, has demanded UN intervention in Gaza to end the internecine strife. (AFP, May 18)

See our last post on Israel/Palestine and Gaza.