Monday, March 17, 2003

The IDF sends 30 tanks, troops into Nussayrat r.c. to capture wanted Islamic Jihad mbr. Muhammad SaaŽn, fatally shooting 7 Palestinians, including Saafin and a 4-yr.-old girl, and demolishing Saafin’s home. The IDF also fires on a funeral procession in Khan Yunis, killing 1 Palestinian, injuring 10s; fires on, seriously damages 2 ambulances in Jabaliya r.c.; raids Balata r.c. (arresting Fatah Palestinian Council mbr. Hussam Khadir on charges of “involvement in terrorism,” confiscating his computer), Bayt Lahia (ordering all men btwn. 15 and 40 to turn themselves in, detaining 100s, fatally shooting 4 Palestinians, including 2 naval police officers); conducts house-to-house searches in Jenin town. In Tulkarm, 2 Fatah mbrs. are killed, 3 injured in a mysterious explosion. Hamas fires 5 Qassam rockets at Sederot, causing no damage or injuries. (HA, MM 3/17; NYT, WP 3/18; MM 3/19; PCHR 3/20)

After wks. of negotiations with other UNSC mbrs, the U.S., Britain abandon efforts to pass a new UN res. on Iraq, determining it would certainly fail. In the evening, Bush makes an address stating that “Saddam Hussein and his sons must leave Iraq within 48 hours. Their refusal to do so will result in military confiict commencing at a time of our choosing,” and urging all foreign nationals, including inspectors and journalists, to leave Iraq immediately for their own safety. (AP 3/17; MM, NYT, WP, WT 3/18; IDF Radio, ITV 3/18 in WNC 3/19)