Wednesday, February 11, 2004

The IDF stages a major raid on Gaza City (reportedly in response to recent attacks on nearby Jewish settlements that caused no injuries), sparking an intense exchange of gunfire with Hamas, Islamic Jihad gunmen, leaving 12 Palestinians (5 Hamas mbrs., 2 Islamic Jihad mbrs., 2 PSF officers, 3 bystanders) dead and 60 (33 of them children) wounded; no IDF soldiers are injured. In an apparent assassination during the raid, the IDF surrounds the home of wanted Hamas mbr. Ashraf Abu Hassanain; orders his family to evacuate; shoots into the home, killing Abu Hassanain and 2 other Hamas mbrs.; blows up the home atop their bodies. In response, Palestinians fire 2 mortars at Karnei settlement, 2 Qassam rockets toward Sederot, causing no damage or injuries. The IDF also stages a major incursion into Rafah, fatally shooting 3 Palestinians, wounding 17 (including 10 children), demolishing 24 Palestinian homes and 3 schools; fires on residential areas of Khan Yunis, seriously wounding a 9- yr.-old Palestinian inside his home; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Bayt Sahur, in Tulkarm, nr. Nablus; demolishes a Palestinian home in Wadi al-Silqa. Later in the day, 1,000s of Palestinians attend the funeral for 1 of the Hamas mbrs. killed today, senior military cmdr. Hani Abu Shukayla, who had survived 2 previous Israeli assassination attempts. An IDF warplane malfunctions, crashes outside Hebron, causing no damage or injuries; the pilot ejects safely. (BBC, HA, MM, PR 2/11; IDF Radio, VOI, VOP, YA 2/11 in WNC 2/13; MM, NYT, PCHR, WP, WT 2/12; al-Hayat al-Jadida, al-Quds 2/12 in WNC 2/18; PR 2/18; PCHR 2/19; MEI 2/20)