Thursday, November 21, 2002

A Palestinian suicide bomber fr. Bethlehem detonates a device on a bus in Jerusa-lem, killing 11 Israelis, wounding 48 (8 of them seriously). Hamas, Islamic Jihad both take responsibility, but family, friends of the bomber say he supported Islamic Jihad. Sharon convenes his security cabinet; does not invite fmr. PM and current FM Benjamin Netanyahu, who is challenging him for the PM candidacy in the upcoming Likud primaries on 11/28. Fearing that Sharon will stage a major retaliatory attack, the PSF evacuates its offices in Bethlehem. After the mtg., Sharon spokesman Raanan Gissin states that in light of U.S. military intentions against Iraq, “We are not going to allow any kind of escalation.” The IDF shells a PA military intelligence post nr. Netzarim settlement, killing 1 PA intelligence officer; makes a predawn raid on 3 villages nr. Khan Yunis in s. Gaza, demolishing the home of a senior DFLP mbr., firing on residential areas, wounding 4 Palestinians; bulldozes 39 dunams of Palestinian land e. of Dayr al-Balah, 11.5 dunams and several structures nr. Bayt Lahia. (HA, MM, NYT, WP 11/21; ATL, Interfax 11/21 in WNC 11/22; MM, NYT, WP, WT 11/22; QA 11/22, MA 11/24 in WNC 11/25; LAW, PCHR 11/27)