Thursday, May 15, 2003

The IDF launches a major predawn raid on Bayt Hanun, sending 70 tanks and armored vehicles into the area, firing on residential areas, killing 5 Palestinians (including a 12-yr.-old Palestinian boy who is allowed to bleed to death over 3 hrs., as the IDF bars access to medical workers), wounding 20, demolishing at least 4 Palestinian homes, bulldozing 100s of orange trees, conducting house-to-house searches; says troops plan to stay in the town for several days. The IDF also surrounds the adjacent town of Bayt Lahia, Jabaliya r.c. A Palestinian gunman opens fire at the Qarni crossing, killing 2 Israeli civilians before being shot dead by the IDF. Another Palestinian gunman fires on a vehicle nr. Neve Tzuf settlement, lightly injuring 1 Jewish settler. Palestinians fire a Qassam rocket nr. Jabaliya, which lands in the Negev desert. Palestinians across the West Bank, Gaza hold rallies, marches to mark the 55th anniversary of the Nakba. (AFP, AP, HA, JP, WT 5/15; MENA 5/15 in WNC 5/16; HA, MM, NYT, WP 5/16)