Tuesday, August 28, 2001

Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue, leaving 4 Palestinians dead. The IDF declare a curfew, reinforces its positions in Bayt Jala, saying forces will remain in the town indefinitely--marking Israel's 1st reoccupation of West Bank area A. State Dept. spokesman Richard Boucher warns Israel that it is inflaming the conflict, urges Syria to keep a rein on Hizballah. Among the buildings taken over by the IDF are 5 Palestinian homes and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America's orphanage, where troops turn the upper floors into a firing base for heavy machine guns. Residents of the occupied homes, orphanage are confined to a single room of their homes; the Lutheran bishop accuses the IDF of using the 45 children in the home as human shields. Troops also level a number of Palestinian houses; skirmish with Palestinians at Aida refugee camp, nr. Bayt Jala. Fighting around Bayt Jala and Gilo intensifies throughout the day, leaving 1 Palestinian dead, at least 6 injured. Palestinians fire 6 mortars at Gilo, causing damage but no injuries, marking the 1st sustained mortar attack in the West Bank. The IDF also sends undercover units into Hebron to capture PSF Hebron cmdr. Abdallah Salim; sends forces into Rafah refugee camp to demolish another 14 homes, wounding 12 Palestinians; sends troops into Dayr al-Balah camp, touching off gun battles; bulldozes part of a school, 50 olive trees in Abu Najim; shells residential areas of Dayr Samit, Dura, Kharsa; conducts arrests raids in Jalbun; seals a main north+nsouth Gaza road. (AP, BDL, HA, LAW, MM, REU 8/28; XIN 8/28 in WNC 8/29; BDL, NYT, WP, WT 8/29; PMC, WJW 8/30; MEI, WT 8/31; JP 9/7)

In Ramallah, 10,000s of Palestinians attend the funeral of PFLP leader Mustafa. In refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, 1,000s of Palestinian refugees protest Mustafa's assassination. In Amman, 100s of demonstrators call for the Israeli amb. to be expelled. Outside the Israeli DMin. in Tel Aviv, 100s of Israelis demonstrate against the IDF incursion into Bayt Jala, Bethlehem. (AP, GS, JP 8/28)