Wednesday, March 24, 2004

The IDF catches a 16-yr.-old Palestinian boy wearing a suicide bomb at a checkpoint s. of Nablus, defuses the bomb, detains the boy; the Balata r.c. AMB takes responsibility, angering many Palestinians. The IDF also sends 25 tanks, bulldozers into Khan Yunis to raze 5 farms, 7 Palestinian homes that allegedly “provided cover” for Palestinian gunmen, also demolishing a main road and effectively dividing the town in half; fires on stone-throwing Palestinians in Hebron (wounding 8), residential areas nr. Qalqilya; conducts arrest raids in Aida r.c., ‘Ayn Bayt al-Ma’a r.c., Balata r.c., Dahaysha r.c., Jayyus, Nablus, Tubas nr. Jenin; temporarily occupies a Palestinian home nr. Nablus as an observation post. Palestinian gunmen fire on an IDF patrol outside Gaza’s Gadid settlement, lightly injuring 1 soldier; also fire on IDF soldiers nr. Ramallah, nr. Netzarim settlement, causing no damage or injuries. A Palestinian dies of injuries received on 2/11. (BBC, HA, REU, WT 3/24; VOP 3/24 in WNC 3/26; MM, NYT, PCHR, WP, WT 3/25; AYM 3/26 in WNC 3/30; PR 3/31; PCHR 4/1; MEI 4/2; PR 4/7)

In Washington, Weisglass, Eiland present U.S. officials (including Rice) Sharon’s “preferred plan” for unilateral disengagement fr. Gaza plus 6 settlements in the West Bank (Ganim, Hermesh, Homesh, Mevo Dotan, Qadim, Sa-Nur). (MM 3/24; MM 3/26; HA 3/28)