Monday, May 12, 2003

The IDF fatally shoots 2 AMB mbrs. laying a roadside bomb nr. the Rafah border; fatally shoots a Palestinian farmer tilling a field nr. Khan Yunis; raids a hospital in Nablus, closing it for 3 hrs., but leaving without arresting anyone; conducts arrest raids in Nablus (targeting the tanz im), Qalqilya (targeting the PFLP). A Palestinian dies of injuries received earlier. Jewish settlers set up a tent at the site of the fatal 5/5 shooting of a Jewish settler on the Nablus–Ramallah road, vowing to erect a permanent settlement at the location. Palestinians fire a mortar at a Jewish settlement in Gaza, causing no damage or injuries. Israel releases another 35 Palestinian prisoners—significantly less than the 120 Israel had said it would release today. (HA 5/12; NYT, WP 5/13; PCHR 5/15)

Powell meets briefly with Quartet reps. in Jerusalem before meeting with Egyptian pres. Husni Mubarak in Cairo, King Abdallah of Jordan in Amman to rally Arab support for a PA crackdown on Palestinian militant groups. Powell says that it makes “no difference” whether or not Israel has declared acceptance of the road map; the important thing is for both sides to begin implementation. (HA, NYT, WP 5/12; MENA 5/12 in WNC 5/13; HA, WP, WT 5/13)

Late in the evening, on the eve of Powell’s arrival in Saudi Arabia, suicide bombers in Riyadh simultaneously detonate 3 car bombs outside residential compounds for foreigners and 1 outside a Saudi-U.S.-owned business, killing 34 persons (including8 Americans, 5 Saudis), wounding around 200 (including at least 40 Americans), many seriously. Most of the bombers appear to be Saudi, but no group takes responsibility; the U.S., Saudi Arabia suspect al-Qa‘ida. (BBC, NYT, WP, WT 5/13; NYT, REU, WP, WT 5/14; NYT, WP 5 /15)