Tuesday, March 18, 2003

Senior Hamas mbr. Ali Alan, an IDF soldier are killed in an exchange of gunfire nr. Bethlehem; a 2d IDF soldier is injured. The IDF fatally shoots senior Hamas mbr. Nasir Assida nr. Nablus in what may be an assassination. A 3d Palestinian dies of injuries received on 3/17. The IDF also demolishes a Palestinian home nr. Bethlehem; occupies a Palestinian home, bulldozes 12 dunams of land in Dayr al-Balah. (HA 3/18; NYT, WP 3/19; PCHR 3/20)

The Palestinian Council (PC) approves (69–0, with 1 abstention) a bill creating the position of PM. Arafat immediately issues a presidential decree officially nominating Abbas as PM. (HA 3/18; XIN 3/18 in WNC 3/19; MM, NYT, PR, WT 3/19; MENA, al-Quds 3/19 in WNC 3/20)