Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Palestinian construction worker Hussam Dweikat (who has Israeli residency status in East Jerusalem) commandeers a Caterpillar bulldozer (symbolic, as the IDF uses Caterpillar D9 bulldozers to level Palestinian homes and land in the occupied territories) from the Jerusalem construction site where he works, plows through midday traffic in West Jerusalem’s business district, overturning a bus, running over at least 2 cars, killing 3 Israelis, injuring more than 40 before a police officer fatally shoots him. Israeli officials believe Dweikat acted alone. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Bethlehem, in Tubas, and nr. Jenin, Nablus (also raiding a mosque and its library, taking computers, documents, books), Ramallah. Jewish settlers fr. Massu’a in the Jordan Valley attempt to fence off and confiscate a plot of land in Jiftlik village, but the Palestinian owners drive them away. Palestinian youths stone a Jewish settler bus nr. Ramallah, causing damage but no injuries. In Gaza, 1,000s of Palestinians storm the Rafah crossing, demanding entry to Egypt and throwing stones at Egyptian security forces, who respond by pushing the crowd back with water cannons and tear gas; Hamas-affiliated police bring the situation under control. Hamas-affiliated police launch a campaign to removed small shops and huts erected along the Gaza shoreline without municipal permission. Nr. Shuka, 2 Palestinian teenagers are injured when they accidentally trigger IDF unexploded ordnance (UXO). (AP, BBC, HA, IFM, Israel Radio, MA, MM, PCHR, REU, YA 7/2; NYT, WP, WT 7/3; MM, WP 7/4; OCHA 7/9; PCHR 7/10)