Monday, May 16, 2005

With implementation of Israeli PM Ariel Sharon’s disengagement plan to evacuate troops and settlers fr. Gaza and 4 West Bank settlements slated to begin in mid-8/05, some 1,500 right-wing Israeli disengagement protesters, mostly young Jewish settlers, try to block around 100 intersections across Israel in one of the largest demonstrations to date. Israeli police deploy 1,000s of officers to keep roads open, demonstrations peaceful; arrest around 400 protesters. In the occupied territories, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) fatally shoots a Palestinian who allegedly attempts to stab a solider at a checkpoint outside Tulkarm (Palestinian observers dispute this, saying the man was angry, but merely approached the soldiers to question delays at the checkpoint); conducts arrest raids, house searches in Askar refugee camp (r.c.; targeting wanted al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade [AMB] mbrs), al-Mughayyir n. of Ramallah, Sawahara e. of Jerusalem. Jewish settlers fr. Keddumim bulldoze 30 dunams (d.; 4 d. = 1 acre) of olive trees nr. Qalqilya. A Palestinian dies of injuries received earlier. (IMEMC, MM, PRCS 5/16; JTA, MM 5/17; OCHA, PR, WP 5/18; PCHR 5/19)