Monday, October 7, 2002

Before dawn, the IDF sends 40 tanks and helicopters into Khan Yunis, occupying and blowing up buildings, firing on residential areas, killing a total of 14 Palestinians; in one incident a missile fired by an IDF helicopter at a Palestinian crowd kills 10 Palestinians, wounds more than 100; in a 2d incident, troops fire on a hospital where 100s of Palestinians are gathered to check on the status of relatives, leaving a hospital worker clinically dead, seriously injuring 3 (including a child shot in the neck), and firing grenades at the admin. office, equipment and supplies dept., training dept., and other facilities. The IDF the raid is part of its new strategy to put pressure on Hamas (see 9/24), calling Khan Yunis a "nest of terror." The IDF lifts the day curfew on w. Nablus; shoots at, mortally wounds a Palestinian motorist on the Nablus + n. Qalqilya road, blocks an ambulance fr. reaching him, allowing him to bleed to death; shells around an elementary school in Jenin while class is in session, causing damage to the school but no injuries; raids a school in the al-Mawasi area of Gaza, arresting 1 staff mbr.; bulldozes 78 dunams of olive groves nr. Jabaliya r.c. In Gaza City, masked Palestinian gunmen kidnap, murder PSF riot police chief Raghib Abu Lahiya. An attempt by PSF officers to arrest the assailants sparks a clash that leaves 5 Hamas mbrs. dead, 30 other Palestinians injured; Hamas denies involvement, says one of its mbrs. whose brother was killed by Abu Lahiya on 10/1/01 arranged the murder as a personal vendetta. (AP, HA, JTA, MM, PM, WP, WT 10/7; AFP 10/7 in WNC 10/8; MM, NYT, WP, WT 10/8; AFP, MENA, al-Quds, XIN 10/8 in WNC 10/9; AP, MM, NYT, PCHR, PR, WP, WT 10/9; AKH, SA 10/9 in WNC 10/15; NYT, PM, WP 10/10; MEI 10/11; JPI 10/18; MEI 10/25; JPI 11/8)