Saturday, May 17, 2003

A Hamas suicide bomber detonates a device in Hebron, killing 2 Jewish settlers. Nr. Qalqilya, 2 Palestinian gunmen infiltrate a settlement, wound 2 Jewish settlers before being killed; no group takes responsibility. The IDF continues operations in Bayt Hanun, fatally shooting an Islamic Jihad mbr., wounding 24, bulldozing land, firing on residential areas; demolishes 7 Palestinian homes in Rafah refugee camp (r.c.), 2 in al-Mughraqa; bulldozes 120 dunams (4 dunams = 1 acre) of Palestinian agricultural land in Khan Yunis. The IDF also fires flares e. of Khan Yunis, staring a fire in a wheat field; bars Palestinian firefighters fr. reaching the area, allowing 32 dunams to burn. In Hebron, Jewish settlers beat a pregnant Palestinian, causing her to suffer a miscarriage; set fire to a Palestinian home. (NYT, WP 5/18; MM 5/19; PR 5/21; LAW, PCHR 5/22; NYT 5/30)

Despite the Hebron bombing, new Palestinian Authority (PA) PM Mahmud Abbas, Israeli PM Ariel Sharon meet in Jerusalem regarding the road map, marking their 1st meeting and the 1st senior-level PA-Israeli talks since 9/26/00. Sharon says he cannot accept the road map but offers to redeploy the IDF from 1 (unnamed) West Bank Palestinian city and fr. n. Gaza in exchange for a commitment to crack down on militant groups. (NYT, WP, WT 5/18; MM 5/19; AYM 5/20 in WNC 5/23; NYT, PR 5/21; HA 5/23; al-Musawwar 5/23 in WNC 5/27; HA 5/28; MEI 5/30)