Thursday, May 8, 2003

The IDF assassinates senior Hamas mbr. Iyad al-Bik, whom Israel claims is tied to al-Qa‘ida, firing 3 missiles at his car as he drives through Gaza City, causing no other injuries. The IDF fatally shoots 1 Palestinian riding a donkey nr. Nablus; fires on residential areas of Rafah, killing 1 Palestinian; fires on stone-throwing youths in Balata r.c., injuring 5; bulldozes 30 dunams of land s. of Khan Yunis; raids the Ramallah central bus station, arresting a wanted Hamas mbr.; conducts additional arrest raids in Tulkarm, nearby refugee camps. A 13-yr.-old Palestinian dies of injuries received on 3/3/03; another Palestinian dies of injuries received in 4/29/03. Palestinian gunmen fire on an IDF patrol nr. Kefar Darom, luring an IDF tank to the scene; a Palestinian suicide bomber drives up to the tank, detonates a car bomb, killing only himself; no IDF soldiers are injured in the incident; the IDF demolishes a PSF office in retaliation. Palestinians fire a mortar at a Jewish settlement in Gaza, causing no damage or injuries. (BBC, HA, JP 5/8; HA, NYT, WP 5/9; AYM 5/9 in WNC 5/12; PCHR 5/15)

U.S. officials say that the 11/02 ruling by a secretive 3-judge federal appeals panel interpreting the 2001 Patriot Act as permitting the use of classified wiretaps and intelligence reports fr. foreign security agencies against terrorism suspects has allowed the FBI to intensify greatly its decades old investigations of alleged U.S. supporters of Hamas, Hizballah. Investigations reportedly have been focusing on U.S. mosques. (WP 5/8)