Wednesday, April 9, 2003

Hamas mbrs. fire 2 Qassam rockets toward Sederot (1 lands near the town, the other inside Gaza), causing no damage or injuries. The IDF then sends tanks into Bayt Hanun, sparking stone-throwing protests by Palestinians; the IDF fires on demonstrators, killing 5 Palestinians, wounding at least 10. The IDF also raids Nur al-Shams r.c.; detains all men, arresting 16, busing others outside the camp; conducts house-to-house searches, breaking through walls; demolishes 1 Palestinian home. The IDF also demolishes 1 Palestinian home in Silwan, 1 in Ramallah; detains, beats 2 Palestinian cameramen working for AFP and Reuters for filming troops in Hebron forcing Palestinians to close their stores; conducts arrest raids in Abud. In Jaba‘, a bomb explodes in a Palestinian high school, wounding 19 students; although the Jewish militant group Revenge of the Innocent Babes, which has staged at least 1 (3/5/02, possibly 9/17/02) similar bombing, claims responsibility for the attack, the IDF says it is “confident” that a Palestinian brought the bomb to school. A 12-yr.-old Palestinian dies of injuries received earlier. (AFP, HA 4/9; HA, LAW, NYT, PCHR, PM 4/10; QA 4/10 in WNC 4/11; al-Quds 4/11 in WNC 4/14; PR 4/16; LAW, PCHR 4/17)

Coalition forces secure control of most of Baghdad. By evening, the U.S. declares that Hussein’s government has “collapsed,” but warns that the military struggle may continue for some time, as troops continue to meet significant resistance in some areas. Looting is pervasive in Basra and Baghdad, mostly targeting government buildings, state-owned companies, hotels. (BBC, MM 4/9; NYT, WP, WT 4/10; XIN 4/10 in WNC 4/11; MA 4/11, XIN 4/13 in WNC 4/14; MM 4/14; MEI 4/18; MM 4/22; NYT 4/24)