Friday, April 2, 2004

Israeli riot police clash with Palestinian worshipers at al-Aqsa Mosque after Friday prayers in the greatest violence there since Sharon’s 9/00 visit that sparked the al-Aqsa intifada; after some worshipers throw stones at police guarding Jews praying at the Wailing Wall, Israeli police wielding batons, firing stun grenades and rubber bullets charge the al-Aqsa Mosque compound, injuring at least 45, arresting 14, driving 1,000s of worshipers into the mosque; Palestinians are allowed to leave after more than an hr. when Waqf officials negotiate their peaceful dispersal. An armed Palestinian infiltrates Avnei Hefetz settlement nr. Tulkarm, fires on a house, killing 1 Jewish settler, wounding 1 before being shot dead by the IDF. The IDF also fires on stone-throwing youths in Bethlehem, killing a 16-yr.-old Palestinian; fires on 2 “suspicious figures” nr. the Gaza boundary fence with Israel, killing 1 Palestinian;stages a major raid into Rafah, demolishing 38 Palestinian homes; conducts arrest raids in Aida r.c. and nr. Hebron, Ramallah. (MM 4/2; WP, WT 4/3; NYT, WT 4/4; PCHR 4/8)