Friday, January 24, 2003

IDF helicopters fire 11 missiles a metal workshop in Gaza City, destroying it; 2 of the missiles are duds that go astray hitting, damaging an Anglican church, a hospital. The IDF also demolishes 1 Palestinian home in the city. In response, Hamas fires 3 Qassam rockets fr. n. Gaza into the Israeli border town of Sederot, lightly injuring 1 Israeli. Late in the evening, the IDF begins demolish 4 bridges on the main roads linking Bayt Hanun to Gaza City; says the demolitions will facilitate its “control over main transportation axes,” ability to prevent Palestinians fr. firing rockets, mortars into Israel; the IDF clashes with local Palestinians protesting the demolitions, killing 1 Palestinian, wounding 14. The IDF fires on a group of Palestinians traveling close to a settler bypass road nr. Bayt Iba checkpoint nr. Nablus, killing 2 Palestinians; fires on residential areas of Beitunia, Ithna, Jenin; demolishes at least 14 Palestinian homes in Rafah. The IDF also fatally shoots 2 AMB mbrs. involved in the fatal shooting of 3 IDF soldiers nr. Hebron on 1/23, wounds and captures a 3d, while the 4th escapes. A Haifa district court convict senior Islamic Jihad mbr. Tabith Mardawi of responsibility for the deaths of 21 Israelis in several attacks. (AP, HA, MM 1/24; AFP 1/24 in WNC 1/25; AP, HA, NYT, WT 1/25; LAW, NYT, WT 1/26; LAW, PCHR 1/29)