Sunday, February 23, 2003

Overnight, the IDF launches a raid on Bayt Hanun that it expects to last for several days, demolishing 5 Palestinian homes, bulldozing 6 dunams of land, clashing with local Palestinians, killing 7 Palestinians (1 crushed in his home when it is demolished), wounding 28, detaining a Palestinian Reuters cameraman for involvement in “terrorist activity”; during the day, troops commandeer houses as outposts, fortify their positions, patrol streets, destroy bridges and roads, dig trenches, erect barricades. The IDF also fatally shoots 3 Palestinians elsewhere— an armed Palestinian attempting to infiltrate Netzarim settlement, a 15-yr.-old Palestinian on a playground in Khan Yunis, a Palestinian who fails to heed orders to halt; arrests DFLP Ramallah head Ibrahim Abu Hijla; bulldozes 24 dunams of land, 2 Palestinian homes in Rafah; shells residential areas of Khan Yunis; conducts arrest raids in Jenin, Khan Yunis. An 11th Palestinian dies of injuries received in Nablus on 2/22. A PFLP sniper fatally shoots 1 IDF soldier in Khan Yunis. Palestinians fire 3 Qassam rockets at Sederot, causing no damage. (AP, HA, LAW 2/23; HA, NYT, WP, WT 2/24; NYT, PMC 2/25; PR 2/26; LAW, PCHR 2/27)