Tuesday, April 3, 2001

Israel launches 1 of its most severe strikes since 9/28 after Palestinians fire 3 homemade mortars at a Jewish settlement in Gaza, wounding a 10-mo.-old boy. IDF helicopter gunships, tanks shell 4 PA targets in Gaza City and nr. Dayr al-Balah, Khan Yunis, and Rafah, injuring 70 Palestinians, destroying the Force 17 complex at the fmr. Ansar II Israeli prison. Sharon says the strike "exacts a price from those who were supposed to maintain security . . . and didn't." Elsewhere in the West Bank and Gaza, the IDF notes an increase in Palestinian drive-by shootings and sniper, grenade, and Molotov cocktail attacks. The IDF also demolishes 7 Palestinian homes in Anata; 2 homes, 1 shed in Azariyya; 1 in Zu`aym. Israel releases 3 Force 17 abducted fr. area A on 4/1, saying they have no connection to "terrorism." (HP 4/3; LAW, MM, NYT, PMC, WP 4/4; Interfax 4/4 in WNC 4/5)