Sunday, January 12, 2003

The IDF makes a failed assassination attempt on wanted Hamas mbrs. Muhammad Abu Shammala, Ra’id al-Attar, firing missiles fr. a helicopter at their car as they drive past a hospital in Khan Yunis, killing 2 Palestinian bystanders, wounding 1; the wanted men escape unharmed. 2 Palestinian gunmen infiltrate Moshav Gadish nr. Afula, inside Israel, killing 1 Israeli civilian, wounding 1 civilian, 3 border police, before being killed by police. Nr. the s. Negev town of Nitzana, 3 gunmen infiltrate the Israeli border, fatally shooting 1 Israeli, wounding 3, before 2 gunmen are shot dead by IDF troops and 1 escapes; the IDF says the gunmen may have come fr. Egypt. A senior Islamic Jihad mbr. is killed, a 2d Islamic Jihad mbr. is wounded in a mysterious explosion in a home in Nussayrat r.c.; the IDF claims they were building a bomb. A 12-yr.-old Palestinian dies of injuries received on 12/24/02. The IDF also bulldozes 10 dunams of land n. of Rafah; occupies an empty house nr. Dayr al-Balah, demolishes a nearby poultry farm. Jewish settler guards escorting an oil tanker nr. Hebron fatally shoot 1 Palestinian. Palestinian children playing in Askar r.c. accidentally trigger unexploded IDF ordnance, leaving 4 of them injured. In response to raids on Bayt Hanun, Khan Yunis on 1/11, Hamas fires 3 mortars (possibly Qassam rockets) at the Negev town of Sederot, injuring 2 Israelis “very lightly.” Palestinians in Gaza note that there has been a sharp increase in the cost of fuel (up 9%) and basic foodstuffs (flour up 53%, cooking oil up 24%, bread up 17%) since 1/1/03; urge the PA to subsidize prices. Hamas spiritual leader Shaykh Ahmad Yasin says Hamas will consider kidnapping Israelis to hold them in exchange for the release of Hamas mbrs. in Israeli custody. (HA, PCHR 1/12; LAW, MM, NYT, PCHR, WP 1/13; HA 1/14; LAW, MM, PCHR 1/15)