Thursday, November 23, 2006

A 64-yr.-old Palestinian woman detonates a suicide bomb nr. IDF soldiers in Bayt Lahiya, lightly wounding 3; the attack is claimed by Hamas, marking its 1st suicide bombing in 2 yrs., in retaliation for the 11/8 shelling of Bayt Hanun that killed 19 Palestinians; the woman’s family says that she was motivated to stage the attack because her son had been killed, a grandson severely injured, and her mother’s house demolished by the IDF. (Separately, Israel reportedly is considering paying compensation to the families of those killed on 11/19; Israel has previously refused to pay compensation for such artillery errors.) Also in n. Gaza, the IDF makes an air strike on a car, assassinating PRC cmdr. Fa’iq Abu alQumsan, whom Israel claims have been responsible for rocket fire into Israel, his dep. Mahmud al-Basyuni, and Ahmad Abu al-Qumsan, also a PRC mbr.; kills 4 Palestinians (at least 2 of them armed, 1 a bystander), wounds at least 18 (at least 17 of them bystanders) in clashes, shelling related to ongoing operations in which 4 IDF soldiers are lightly wounded by an antitank rocket. The IDF also fires on Palestinian fishermen on the Gaza shore, causing no damage or injuries. Palestinians fire at least 5 rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF demolishes a Palestinian home, an animal farm in Qarawat Bani Hassan nr. Salfit; fires on stonethrowing Palestinian children nr. Hebron, seriously wounding 1; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Jenin town and r.c. PA security forces demonstrate in Gaza City against the Hamas-led government’s failure to pay back salaries. (MM, NYT, WT 11/24; OCHA 11/29; PCHR 11/30)