Friday, October 25, 2002

The IDF launches Operation Vanguard in response to the 10/21 Hadera bombing, sending 100s of troops (including 90 snipers), heavy vehicles into Jenin town and r.c., where the bombers lived. Troops occupy 50 buildings; conduct house-to-house searches, arrest raids; meet some resistance in the r.c., exchanging gunfire with residents, leaving 6 Fatah mbrs. seriously wounded. The IDF says the incursion is expected to last several days, troops are prepared to stay indefinitely. The IDF also shells residential areas nr. Erez crossing; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Hebron; bulldozes 2 Palestinian homes in Rafah, 23 dunams of olive groves in Dayr al-Balah; begins construction of a new IDF post nr. Netzarim; makes a limited pullout fr. Palestinian areas of Hebron; eases curfews in Nablus, Qalqilya, Tulkarm. Palestinian residents of Yanun harvesting their olive groves are chased off by Jewish settlers just 2 days after the IDF promised them protection. Jewish settlers complete rebuilding Havat Gilad. (HA, MM, NYT, WP 10/25; NYT, WP, WT 10/26; MENA 10/27 in WNC 10/28; WP 10/28; LAW, PCHR 10/30)