Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Unidentified Palestinians detonate a roadside bomb outside Erez crossing as a U.S. emb. convoy (carrying the cultural attache, en route to interview Fulbright scholarship candidates) passes, destroying 1 of 4 armored cars, killing 3 U.S. security officers, wounding 1 U.S. diplomat; the convoy passes along a route and at a time a CIA detail involved in monitoring road map progress usually passes through the area, despite mos. of warnings fr. the PA of the dangers of routine movements, conspicuous bodyguards. AMB, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Popular Resistance Comms. (PRC) deny responsibility, though a phone call to the press claims the attack on the PRCs’ behalf. After this 1st successful targeted attack against Americans by Palestinians, the U.S. for the 1st time discloses that in 6/03 a roadside bomb went off nr. a CIA vehicle in Gaza, causing damage but no injuries. Palestinians also detonate a smaller roadside bomb nr. an IDF convoy in Gaza, injuring 3 IDF soldiers. The IDF sends troops back into Brazil r.c., fatally shooting 1 Palestinian, searching and occupying homes, bulldozing land, demolishing a number of houses, shelling residential areas; arrests a Palestinian woman who attempts to stab a soldier at a Tulkarm checkpoint; conducts arrest raids in Bethlehem; fires on residential areas of Khan Yunis, Tulkarm; imposes a curfew on Nablus, escorts 100s of ultra-Orthodox Jews on a pilgrimage to Joseph’s Tomb. Israel orders another 3 West Bank Palestinian administrative detainees expelled to Gaza (see 10/14). An Israeli Arab dies of injuries received in the 10/4 Haifa bombing, bringing that toll to 21. (BBC, HA, MM, PR, PRCS 10/15; XIN 10/15, al-Ra’i 10/16 in WNC 10/18; AP, HA, MM, NYT, PCHR, WP, WT 10/16; MM, WP 10/17; AYM 10/18 in WNC 10/25; PR 10/22; WJW 10/23; JPI, MEI 10/24; JPI 10/31)