Friday, March 21, 2003

After Friday prayers in Jerusalem, some Palestinians demonstrate against the U.S.-led attack on Iraq; Israeli police use stun grenades, tear gas to disperse the crowd, causing only light injuries. The IDF fires on Palestinians in Qalqilya who defy the 24-hr. curfew to attend Friday prayers, injuring 4; demolishes a Palestinian home in Bethlehem; bulldozes 64 dunams of land nr. Dayr al-Balah. (AFP, HA 3/21; al-Quds 3/22 in WNC 3/24; PCHR 3/27; LAW 3/28)

U.S.-led coalition forces launch the “shock and awe” air campaign across Iraq, intended to precede a major ground offensive toward Baghdad. Ground troops launch operations to capture Umm Qasr, Basra ports and the Rumayla oil field in the south, meeting significant resistance. (CNN 3/21; NYT, WP, WT 3/22)