Sunday, May 19, 2002

A Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) suicide bomber dressed as an IDF soldier detonates a device in a Netanya market, killing 2 Israelis, wounding 50. The PFLP says the attack is to protest the PA's continued detention of the group's leader, Ahmad Saadat, under U.S.-British supervision in connection with the 10/01 PFLP assassination of Tourism M Rehavam Ze'evi. The IDF sends tanks, APCs into Ramallah after shots are fired at a Jewish settler driving nearby; troops withdraw to the outskirts of the city a short time later. The IDF also makes incursions into several villages nr. Hebron, Tulkarm; partially demolishes 2 factories, bulldozes a strip of agricultural land, 7 greenhouses nr. Qarni crossing in Gaza; lifts a week-long 24 hr. curfew on the al-Mawasi area of Gaza. (AP, Palestine Media Center 5/19; AFP 5/19 in WNC 5/20; NYT, WP, WT 5/20; Interfax 5/20 in WNC 5/21; WT 5/21; LAW 5/22; JPI 5/31)

Israel releases tenders for the construction of 957 housing units in Jewish settlements. (HA 5/19; WT 5/21)

The European Union (EU) says that Belgium, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Portugal, Spain have agreed to take the 13 Palestinians deported to Cyprus on 5/10 as part of the Israeli-PA deal to end the Church of the Nativity stand-off. (AFP, CNA 5/19 in WNC 5/20; NYT 5/20)

Around 90 Peruvian converts to Judaism are airlifted to Israel to take up residence in Alon Shvut, Karmei Tzur settlements. The Ashkenazi chief rabbinate sent a delegation of rabbis on a 2 wk. mission to impoverished rural areas Peru in early 5/02 to convert anyone "who said they were willing to immigrate to Israeli immediately." (HA 7/19; WT 7/24)