Tuesday, March 23, 2004

The IDF discovers, disarms a bomb underneath a truck with Israeli license plates at a checkpoint outside Nablus; fatally shoots 2 armed Palestinians attempting to infiltrate Morag settlement; fires tear gas to disperse a group of Palestinians in Hebron demonstrating against the Yasin assassination, causing an elderly Palestinian to suffocate, die; fires on stone-throwing youths outside al-Fawwar r.c. nr. Hebron, on residential areas of Rafah (wounding a Palestinian construction worker at an UNRWA school site, a Palestinian inside her home); conducts arrest raids, house searches in Jayyus nr. Qalqilya; bulldozes 62 dunams of Palestinian land in al-Qarara. In the Hebron area, Palestinians throw stones at IDF troops, Jewish settler vehicles on bypass roads, causing no injuries but forcing the IDF to close the bypass routes temporarily. The Israeli navy fires on a “suspicious object” in the water 2 mi. off Gaza’s shore; Palestinian fishermen say they were targeted. Palestinian gunmen fire at a Jewish settler bus nr. Ofra, causing no injuries. Palestinians also fire a mortar at Gush Katif settlement, an antitank rocket at an IDF patrol in Gaza, causing no damage or injuries in either incident. In Israel, 1,000s of Israeli Arabs in Nazareth march in protest of Yasin’s assassination. A Palestinian dies of injuries received in the IDF missile attack on Rafah on 3/17. (AFP, AP, HA 3/23; HA, WT 3/24; PCHR 3/25)

Hamas names hard-line spokesman ‘Abd al-‘Aziz Rantisi as acting political head in Gaza and Hamas politburo chmn. Khalid Mishal, currently in exile in Damascus, acting head of the whole movement. (HA, MM 3/23; VOP 3/23 in WNC 3/25; al-Arabiyya TV [Dubai] 3/23 in WNC 4/27; HA, MM, NYT, REU, WP, WT 3/24; IDF Radio, LBC, MA, al-Quds, SA, VOI 3/24 in WNC 3/26; WP, WT 3/25; AYM 3/25, al-Quds 3/26 in WNC 3/30)