The Kerem Shalom crossing
Rocket and mortar shell fire into Israeli territory
Rocket Fire 2010, Monthly Distribution
The Julia anchored in the Tripoli harbor (LBC, June 29, 2010).
The Kerem Shalom crossing (IDF Spokesman, July 6, 2010). The number of trucks entering the Gaza Strip has been increased from 80 to 150, and will be increased to 250 over the coming weeks.
This past week one rocket hit was identified in a community in the western Negev. In response the Israeli Air Force attacked terrorist targets in the northern and southern Gaza Strip.
The State of Israel adopted a new policy of easing restrictions on the Gaza Strip. As part of the policy the activity of the crossings was broadened and the number of trucks entering the Gaza Strip was increased. A list has been drawn up of materials not allowed into the Gaza Strip for security reasons. It includes weapons and dual-use materials (which can be used for both military and civilian purposes) which are subject to control.
The flotilla from Lebanon is still in port. "Lebanese sources" claim that international pressure has been exerted on the Lebanese government and the organizers to prevent the flotilla from sailing. The organizers stated that the sailing date of the Nagi al-Ali from the port of Tripoli will be determined after administrative and legal arrangements have been finalized.
The Gaza Strip
This past week one rocket hit was identified in Israel territory in a community in the western Negev (June 30). There were no casualties. A local factory was damaged.
On June 28 a mortar shell was fired at an IDF force engaged in routine security activities in the northern Gaza Strip. An armored vehicle sustained slight damage (IDF Spokesman, June 28, 2010).
Rockets and Mortar Shells Fired into Israeli Territory 1
Rocket Fire 2010, Monthly Distribution *
*Rocket hits identified in Israeli territory. A similar number misfire and
Israeli Air Force Strikes
In response to the mortar shell fire Israeli Air Force planes attacked a number of targets on the night of June 30, among them a site for the manufacture of weapons in the northern Gaza Strip and a tunnel in the southern Gaza Strip. The tunnel was dug about a kilometer, or 6/10 of a mile, from the security fence and was intended for attacks (IDF Spokesman, July 1, 2010). In addition, IAF planes attacked a terrorist operative who fired an anti-tank missile at an IDF force near the security fence (IDF Spokesman, June 28, 2010).
Judea and Samaria
The Israeli security forces continued their counterterrorism activities this past week, detaining Palestinians suspected of involvement in terrorist activities and seizing weapons. Palestinians continued throwing stones at Israeli vehicles.
The Flotilla to the Gaza Strip
New Flotillas � Update
Jamal al-Khudari, chairman of Hamas’ Gaza Strip "Popular Committee to Break the Siege," said that he expected the two ships from Lebanon to reach the Gaza Strip in the coming days. He said international solidarity was growing daily and that what he called the "Zionist threats do not frighten the organizers of the flotilla" (Al-Ayam, July 4, 2010).
In effect, in the meantime the ships have been delayed. According to "Lebanese sources" international pressure is being exerted on the Lebanese government and the organizers of the flotilla to prevent the ships from setting sail. For example, representatives from various embassies asked the Lebanese government to report the names of their nationals who planned to participate in the voyage (Al-Akhbar, June 29 2010). There are also problems concerning the next port of call, since Cyprus has refused to accept them� (Al-Resalah.net, July 1, 2010).
The state of the ships, as of June 29, was the following (Al-Akhbar, June 29, 2010):
The Nagi al-Ali was anchored in the port of Tripoli under heavy guard. Lebanese sources reported that if the ship remained in port it would be forced to leave the wharf because the port was crowded. According to the organizers of the flotilla, in the coming days the administrative and legal procedures will be completed and a date will be set for the voyage. They added that they intended to lower their media profile to lessen the pressure exerted on the Lebanese government.
The Maryam (originally the Jawdat), according to the organizers, is still plagued by technical and administrative problems which prevent it from reaching the port of Tripoli. Other sources claim that the original ship will apparently be replaced by one expected to reach Lebanon in the coming days. According to Al-Nahar one of the reasons for the delay is the ambition to find a crew of women to sail the ship, all of whose passengers will be women (Al-Nahar, June 30 2010). Rim Haydar, one of the organizers, said that all the participants had made preparations for the voyage, such as taking first aid courses. She said the changes were the result of the large number of people who want to participate in the flotilla. She also said she wanted to take one of Hassan Nasrallah’s robes with her as a symbolic present (Al-Resalah.net, July 1, 2010).
The Julia anchored in the Tripoli harbor (LBC, June 29, 2010).
Dr. Omar Tulabi, deputy head of the Algerian society of Muslim sages, said that a flotilla sponsored by the society would set sail from Algeria on July 5 with a cargo of 2,500 tons of humanitarian equipment. It is expected to sail through the Suez Canal and dock in El-Arish. He said the society had already received authorization from Egypt (Al-Shuruq, June 23, 2010). Note: There were 32 Algerians on board the Mavi Marmara, the second largest delegation (after the Turks).
Delegations from foreign countries continue arriving in the Gaza Strip following the incidents of the previous flotilla. An Egyptian delegation arrived which included members of the Parliament, including from the opposition Al-Wafd party (Arabic News website, July 4, 2010). A delegation from Malaysia is also currently in the Gaza Strip (Iranian news website, July 5, 2010). The foreign ministers of France, Italy and Spain (invited by Israel) are also expected to arrive (Jerusalem Post, July 5, 2010)
Easing the Restrictions on the Gaza Strip
Following an Israeli Cabinet decision taken June 20, Israel has begun implementing a new policy of easing restrictions on the Gaza Strip. It was decided to broaden the scope of the activity at the crossings currently in operation to significantly increase the volume of merchandise entering the Gaza Strip and to expand its economic activity. Thus the number of trucks entering the Strip has been raised:
The Kerem Shalom crossing � The number of trucks entering the Gaza Strip has been increased from 80 to 150 daily. The intention is to gradually raise the number to 250 over the next few weeks.
The Karni crossing � The number of trucks entering the Gaza Strip has been increased to 120 daily.
Among merchandise allowed to enter are building materials for 45 projects authorized by the Palestinian Authority and subject to international oversight (including educational, health, water and sanitation institutions). The entrance of building materials for residential dwellings has also been authorized, such as those under construction by the UN in Khan Yunis (Israeli Foreign Ministry press conference, July 5, 2010; the coordinator of government activities in the territories , June 2010).
A list of materials whose entrance into the Gaza Strip is subject to control has also been drawn up, and which are prohibited until authorization has been given. They include weapons and dual-use equipment which can have both civilian and military purposes(such as optical instruments, light aircraft, and vehicles not intended for private use). Materials used in the manufacture of weapons are also prohibited (such as certain types of fertilizers, various chemicals, carbon fibers and drilling equipment). However, the entrance of dual-purpose materials will be permitted into the Gaza Strip after authorization has been received (Israeli Foreign Ministry press conference, July 5, 2010; the coordinator of government activities in the territories, June 2010)
1 The statistics do not include the mortar shells fired at IDF soldiers patrolling the border fence which fell inside the Gaza Strip.