Friday, October 15, 2004

Ramadan begins; the IDF restricts access to Jerusalem for Friday prayers. The IDF shells Jabaliya r.c. fr. the surrounding hills to the east; carries out an air strike on the camp, killing 1 Hamas mbr., 2 AMB mbrs; fatally shoots a 65-yr.-old Palestinian woman eating dinner in her Jabaliya home. In the evening, the IDF withdraws troops to the periphery of most n. Gaza population centers, formally ending Operation Days of Penitence. The UN estimates that during the 17-day operation, the IDF killed 114 Palestinians, demolished as many as 95 Palestinian homes, leveled more than 1,000 d.; Palestinian Center for Human Rights puts the figures at 112 Palestinians killed, 87 houses demolished, 839 d. leveled. The IDF says that soldiers killed a number of AMB, Hamas, Islamic Jihad military cmdrs. and destroyed a number of factories and workshops where Qassams could be made, that Palestinians fired 14 Qassam rockets fr. the area during the 17-day period. Palestinians fire 2 Qassams at Sederot today, causing no damage. Late in the evening, the IDF bulldozes another 3 Palestinian homes, 2 stores in Bayt Hanun. The IDF also shells residential areas of Rafah; conducts arrest raids in Nablus; arrests 2 Jewish settlers who attack Palestinians harvesting olives outside Hebron. Jewish settlers fr. Shilo nr. Ramallah attack Palestinians harvesting olives in neighboring al-Mughayyir; IDF soldiers observe but do not intervene. (BBC 10/15; IDF Radio, VOI, VOP 10/15 in WNC 10/19; NYT, WP, WT 10/16; HA, NYT 10/17; B’Tselem press release 10/18; PR 10/20; PCHR 10/21; MEI 10/22)