Thursday, March 6, 2003

The IDF continues operations in Jabaliya r.c., demolishing 8 Palestinian homes, shelling an apartment building and attached store; as firemen fight the blaze and Palestinians gather at the scene, an IDF tank fires a shell, possibly containing flechettes, at the crowd, killing 8 Palestinians (including 1 firefighter, 3 children), wounding more than 60 (including 2 Reuters journalists; another 60 Palestinians are wounded in Jabaliya during the day); the IDF pulls out of the camp later in the morning. The IDF also fatally shoots a Palestinian demonstrator in Nablus; fatally shoots a Palestinian during an arrest raid in Bethlehem; returns gunfire directed at an IDF patrol outside Hebron, killing a Palestinian shepherd tending her flock nearby; demolishes a Palestinian home outside Jenin; fires on residential areas of Nablus, al-Qarara. A 13th Palestinian dies of injuries received on 2/5/03. Late in the evening, the IDF fatally shoots a Palestinian allegedly attempting to infiltrate Hamra settlement; arrests Islamic Jihad Jenin head Muhammad Abu Rub. Palestinians fire 2 Qassam rockets at Sederot, causing no damage or injuries. (AP, HA, MM, REU 3/6; MENA 3/6 in WNC 3/7; MM, NYT, WP, WT 3/7; al-Quds 3/7 in WNC 3/10; PR 3/12; LAW, PCHR 3/13; MEI 3/21)

Arafat nominates Abbas as his candidate for PM. Abbas says he would accept only if it is not merely a symbolic post. The PM’s duties have yet to be defined. (HA, MM, NYT 3/7; AYM, al-Quds 3/8 in WNC 3/10; PR 3/12; WJW 3/13)

In a rare speech to the nation, Bush prepares the public for imminent war with Iraq, claiming that Iraq has trained and financed “al-Qa‘ida and al-Qa‘ida-type organizations” and is building new missiles and weapons of mass destruction (WMDs) rather than destroying them. (NYT, WP, WT 3/7)