Tuesday, March 8, 2005

The IDF fires on residential areas of Rafah; conducts arrest raids, house searches in al-Simba nr. Hebron; arrests 6 Islamic Jihad mbrs. in Jenin in connection with the 2/25 Tel Aviv bombing; raids, ransacks the home of a PA police officer in Qalqilya, arrests him and 3 other Palestinians without explanation. Separately, Shin Bet announces it has captured a PA policeman wanted in connection with the lynching of 2 IDF reservists in Ramallah in 10/00. Armed Jewish settlers fr. Keddumim nr. Qalqilya bar Palestinian farmers fr. working their fields near the settlement. Jewish settlers fr. Ramat Yishai in Hebron attack Palestinian property in Tal Rumayda, causing damage but no injuries. Jewish settlers fr. Kiryat Arba threaten Palestinians in Wadi al-Nasara neighborhood, block Palestinians from moving on the road that leads to the Ibrahimi Mosque/Tomb of the Patriarchs. (VOI 3/8; VOP 3/8 in WNC 3/9; HA 3/9; PCHR 3/10; OCHA 3/16; PCHR 3/17)

Syria begins redeploying its troops in Lebanon to the Biqa‘ Valley in preparation for the withdrawal of all 14,000 soldiers and 1,000 intelligence officers. The move comes under international pressure on Syria to comply with UN Res. 1559 in the wake of the 2/14 assassination of fmr. Lebanese PM Rafiq Hariri. (JAZ, MM, NYT, WP, WT 3/8; AFP, DUS, JAZ, MENA 3/8, JAZ 3/9 in WNC 3/9; MM 3/9; JAZ, MM 3/10; MEI 3/18, 4/1)