Thursday, March 17, 2005

The IDF fires on stone-throwing Palestinians nr. Ramallah; shoots, wounds a Palestinian who strays too close to Rafiah Yam settlement in s. Gaza; conducts arrest raids, house searches in the Wadi al-Husayn area of s. Hebron, rounding up all men and holding them for 5 hrs. of interrogation; places temporary curfews on Bardala and Kardala e. of Jenin, orders all Palestinian males ages 15– 60 to surrender for ID checks; also conducts arrest raids in al-Mawasi nr. Khan Yunis. Jewish settlers fr. Kiryat Arba beat a Palestinian in Hebron; the IDF observes but does not intervene. (HA 3/18; JP 3/28; OCHA, PR 3/23; PCHR 3/24)

Palestinian factions meeting in Cairo pledge to extend the unofficial truce until the end of 2005, provided that the lull in violence continues and that Israel follows through on its Sharm al-Shaykh pledges to turn over security control of West Bank cities and release a significant number of Palestinian prisoners.Abbas and the factions agree to form a comm. to study rebuilding the PLO on new foundations that would allow Hamas, Islamic Jihad to join. (Daily Star, MM, REU 3/17; BBC, HA, MM, NYT, VOP, WP, WT 3/18; JAZ 3/19; AP, JAZ 3/21; PR 3/23; MEI 4/1)