Sunday, October 16, 2005

What the IDF describes as an Israeli “special police unit” operating outside Jenin ambushes, assassinates wanted Islamic Jihad military cmdr. Nahid Abu Ghanim, seriously wounds a bystander. Hrs. later, the AMB kills 3 Jewish settlers, wounds at least 5 in drive-by shootings outside Gush Etzion settlement nr. Bethlehem and Eli nr. Nablus; the IDF seals Bethlehem and Hebron, bars Palestinian traffic in those areas, says arrest raids will increase; YESHA settlers council calls on Sharon to close all West Bank roads to Palestinian traffic. During the day, the IDF also handcuffs and severely beats a Palestinian shepherd nr. Tulkarm for no apparent reason; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Kafr Qalil nr. Nablus. Late in the evening, the IDF launches arrest raids that continue overnight in villages around Hebron, Jenin, Ramallah, Tulkarm. An unnamed IDF spokesman confirms that the IDF has sent undercover officers who can pass as Arabs into the weekly nonviolent demonstrations against the separation wall in Bil`in to encourage Palestinians to throw stones; troops then use force to disperse crowds. Jewish settlers cut down 30 Palestinian olive trees in Salim. (HA, PCHR 10/16; NYT, PM, WP, WT 10/17; CSM, HA 10/18; PCHR 10/20)