Thursday, September 4, 2003

The IDF fires on residential areas of Rafah; sends tanks into Bayt Furik and Silat al-Harith, firing on stone-throwing Palestinians, wounding 3; bulldozes 19 dunams of land in al-Mughraqa; conducts arrest raids in Salfit. Palestinian gunmen ambush, fatally shoot an IDF soldier nr. Jenin; AMB, Islamic Jihad both take responsibility. Palestinian gunmen fire o n an IDF patrol nr. Rafah, wounding 1 soldier. An Israeli court releases 2 Jewish settler terrorism suspects without pressing charges; 13 others are still under arrest. (HA 9/4; NYT, WP 9/5; PCHR 9/11)

Abbas convenes the Palestinian Council (PC) to present a report on his 1st 100 days in office; asks PC mbrs. to affirm unequivocally his policies (including unification of the PA security forces under his command) or demand his resignation. Outside the PC session, at least 50 Palestinian protesters (some reports say 200), including 5 masked, armed AMB mbrs., call on Abbas to resign. (BBC, HA, MM, NYT, WT 9/4; AFP, QA 9/4 in WNC 9/6; HA, MM, NYT, WP, WT 9/5; MENA 9/5 in WNC 9/9; MEI 9/12)