Monday, November 22, 2004

The IDF sends troops into Salfit, raids Prisoners’ Support Society offices, confiscates files and a computer, vandalizes furniture; raids offices, confiscates documents of 2 cultural societies in Bethlehem, Qarawat Bani Hassan; conducts arrest raids, house searches in al-Bireh, Haris and nearby Nablus, al-Mughraqa, Qalqilya, Tulkarm r.c.; shells agricultural areas of al-Qarara. The IDF platoon cmdr. responsible for the deliberate shooting of a 13-yr.-old Palestinian girl in Gaza on 10/5/04 is indicted on charges of misuse of a firearm, ordering subordinates to lie about the shooting, violation of military regulations. Palestinians fire 6 mortars at a Jewish settlement in s. Gaza, 5 mortars at an IDF post on the Gaza-Egypt border, causing no damage or injuries. (XIN 11/22; VOI 11/23 in WNC 11/25; PCHR 11/25; WP 11/28)

The Fatah Central Comm. votes (13– 0, with 2 mbrs. not voting) to nominate PLO head Mahmud Abbas as the party’s candidate in the upcoming PA presidential elections, slated for 1/9/05; calls on the PA to hold legislative elections before mid-2005. (XIN 11/22; JAZ 11/22 in WNC 11/24; MM, WP 11/23; QA 11/23 in WNC 11/25; PR 11/24; al-Ahram 12/3; BBC 12/10)

U.S. Secy. of State Colin Powell ends a 2-day trip to Israel, Ramallah to discuss ways to accelerate the peace-making process and revitalize the Palestinian economy. He presses the sides to do everything possible to ensure that the maximum number of Palestinians, including those in East Jerusalem, are able to participate in the PA presidential elections on 1/9/05. Sharon says he will consider withdrawing troops fr. population centers, will do all he can to facilitate Palestinian movement during voting. (NYT, REU, WP, WT 11/22; JAZ, VOI, VOP 11/22 in WNC 11/24; al-Arabiyya TV 11/22 in WNC 12/25; MM, NYT, WP, WT 11/23; WP 11/28; MEI 12/3)