Wednesday, July 20, 2005

The IDF begins dismantling 1 of its main posts in Khan Yunis in preparation for disengagement; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Aida r.c. and Wadi al-Silqa, around Hebron, nr. Qalqilya. Major Hamas-Fatah clashes erupt in Gaza City when PA preventive security force officers outside the force’s headquarters open fire on a car driven by an Izzeddin al-Qassam Brigades mbr. Within the hr., Hamas political leaders, senior PA officials hold a press conference appealing for calm, say they are ready to put aside all differences and hold talks on improving relations. Hrs. later unidentified gunmen (some reports say Hamas mbrs.) fire on the Gaza City homes of PA police cmdr. Abu Shibak (see 6/10), Fatah Gaza head Abdallah Franji, Fatah Revolutionary Council mbr. Majid Abu Shammala, Force 17 head Faisal Abu Sharkh, PA security forces Col. Nabil Tamus, and the offices of leading Fatah mbr. Samir Masharawi and the PA preventive security forces headquarters; exchange gunfire with Abu Shibak’s and Franji’s bodyguards, leaving at least 7 Palestinians (at least 2 Franji bodyguards, 2 Abu Shibak bodyguards, 1 attacker) injured. In Jericho and Ramallah, 10s of Palestinians, including some political leaders and heads of organizations, organized by the National and Islamic Higher Committee for the Follow-up of the Intifada (NIHC) stage marches to demand that the PA take action to end lawlessness, support rule of law. A PA police officer dies of injuries received during the IDF incursion into Tulkarm on 7/13. In s. Israel, 1,000s of Israeli protesters observe a 3d and final day of demonstrations against disengagement. (AFP, IMEMC, PCHR, PR, REU, XIN 7/20; AYM 7/20 in WNC 7/21; NYT, PCHR, WP 7/21; OCHA 7/27; PCHR 7/28)