Monday, May 27, 2002

Before dawn, the IDF sends troops back into Aida r.c., Bayt Jala, Bethlehem, Dahaysha r.c. in the largest incursion since Israeli PM Ariel Sharon declared the end of the 1st stage Operation Defensive Shield on 4/21, conducting house-to-house searches; occupying the UNRWA school in Dahaysha r.c.; arresting 10s of Palestinians, including wanted Fatah mbr. Ahmad Mughrabi, blowing up his home; declaring the area a closed military zone, barring entry to journalists; occupying Bethlehem Radio 2000 offices, seriously damaging, confiscating equipment; directing shells, heavy machine gun fire at residential areas, seriously damaging several homes. The IDF also conducts arrest raids in Hebron, Umm al-Sharayit; withdraws to the outskirts of Tulkarm, but maintains a curfew; tightens controls on Palestinian movement across the West Bank. In the evening, a AMB suicide bomber (a cousin of AMB Nablus cmdr. Titi, assassinated on 5/22) detonates a device in cafe in Petah Tikva, killing 2 Israelis, injuring 37. A bomb is found, neutralized in French Hill settlement. (HP, LAW, NYT 5/27; MM, NYT, WP, WT 5/28; ITAR-TASS 5/28 in WNC 5/29; LAW 5/29; MEI 5/31)