Gaza Strip

Israel bombs Sudan —again?

The Sudanese government charged Oct. 23 that Israeli airstrikes were responsible for explosions overnight at the Yarmouk Military Industrial Complex, an armaments plant in the south of the capital Khartoum. Information Minister Ahmed Bilal Osman said four Israeli warplanes struck the factory, causing a huge fire and killing two. The Israel Defense Forces said that the military "will not comment on the report"; while the Prime Minister's office refused to say anything at all. Israel's daily Haaretz cited "opposition sources" in Sudan as saying the Yarmouk complex belongs to Iran's Revolutionary Guard, and is producing arms intended for use by Hamas. The account also claims that after the fall of Libyan leader Moammar Qaddafi last year, the Revolutionary Guard's elite al-Quds Force succeeded in smuggling dozens of anti-aircraft and SA-24 missiles from the Libyan army's crumbling arsenals to Sudan, in order to later pass them on to Hamas in the Gaza Strip. (BBC News, YNet, Haaretz, Oct. 24)

Israel releases 'red line' document

After a three-and-a-half-year legal battle waged by Israeli human rights group Gisha, Israel's Ministry of Defense turned over a document entitled "Food Consumption in the Gaza Strip—Red Lines," detailing the policy of restricting the entrance of food to the Gaza Strip. Two versions of the document, in the format of PowerPoint presentations, were provided to Gisha over the Sukkot holiday, after the Israeli Supreme Court rejected the state’s appeal against disclosing the document on Sept. 5. The documents, produced in January 2008, established the minimum caloric intake required for the survival of residents. They cited a daily average of 2,279 calories per person, which could be supplied by 4 pounds of food, or 2,575.5 tons of food for the Gaza Strip's entire 1.7 million population. The Israeli Defense Ministry, which fought to keep the Red Lines documents classified, had argued to the court that Israel had a right "to adopt a policy of economic warfare" against Gaza's Hamas leadership. (UPI, Oct. 18; Gisha, Oct. 17)

Israeli high court orders release of Gaza 'red lines' document

Israel's Supreme Court on Sept. 5 ordered the state to release the "red lines document" in which it purportedly established the minimum caloric intake required for the survival of residents of the Gaza Strip, as part of a policy in place until June 2010 that restricted the entrance of goods into Gaza. The document, dated January 2008, reportedly details the minimum number of grams and calories that Gaza residents would be permitted to consume, according to demographic data such as gender and age. The release date of the document has not yet been determined.

Rachel Corrie family: 'black day for human rights'

There was no middle ground in reactions to the Haifa District Court ruling Aug. 28 rejecting a lawsuit brought by the parents of Rachel Corrie, a US Palestine solidarity activist crushed to death by an army bulldozer in the Gaza Strip in 2003. Israeli officials are welcoming the ruling as a long-due exoneration, while the Corrie family and their attorney denounced it as a "black day for human rights." Attorney Hussein Abu-Hussein said that the ruling showed that there was injustice across the Israeli legal system. At a press conference, he displayed photographs which had been presented in court, and which he said proved that the bulldozer operator must have seen Corrie. He also said the photos disproved the court's finding that the bulldozers were active, but not demolishing homes at the time of the incident. Hussein also argued that there was no basis for applying the "combatant activities" exception in the case, because there was no battle going on at the time of Rachel's death.

Gaza: Hamas joins Egyptian crackdown on Salafists

Hamas security forces on Aug. 15 arrested a senior Salafi sheikh who was injured in an Israeli airstrike in June . Sheikh Abu Suhaib Rashwan was detained as he left a hospital, where he was recovering from wounds sustained in the June 20 airstrike in Rafah. The missile strike on a motorcycle wounded Rashwan and a companion, Ghaleb Ermilat, who the IDF described as a "global jihad operative." Israel accused the two of being behind an ambush along the Egyptian border two days earlier that killed an Israeli civilian, and said they were members of Tawhid wal Jihad, a "global jihad terror movement that is responsible for ongoing terror attacks against Israeli civilians and soldiers."

Rafah attack: Muslim Brotherhood blames Mossad; IDF blames 'global jihad'

Reacting to the Aug. 5 armed attack on an Egyptian military post near the Rafah crossing on the border with the Gaza Strip, the Muslim Brotherhood website that the attack "can be attributed to Mossad," Israel's foreign intelligence service. Read the statement: "Evidently, this crime may well be the work of Israel's Mossad, which has sought to abort the revolution ever since its launch, and which issued instructions to Israeli citizens in Sinai to leave immediately, just days ago. It is clearly noticeable that every time a warning like this is issued, a terrorist incident takes place in the Sinai." More than 15 Egyptian soldiers and border guards were killed in the night attack, and the assailants reportedly seized two armored personnel carriers. The militants briefly penetrated Israeli territory, before their vehicle was shelled by an Israeli air force helicopter. A statement on the Israeli Defense Forces website said the attack was carried out by "global jihadists"—a term the IDF uses to describe members of Salafist groups linked to al-Qaeda's network in the region. 

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