Sunday, January 26, 2003

IDF operations in Gaza City continue until early morning, destroying much of the central market, 13 workshops, and 6 Palestinian homes, injuring 10s of Palestinians. Soon after troops pull out, Hamas fires 6 Qassam rockets into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. Israel DM Mofaz says that the government is considering a full military reoccupation of Gaza. Nr. The IDF also shells “suspicious figures” nr. the Egypt-Gaza border, killing a 50-yr. old. Palestinian outside his home, a 7-yr.-old Palestinian playing in an open field, seriously wounding his 5-yr.-old brother; demolishes a Palestinian home nr. Hebron. This evening the IDF places a “total closure” on the West Bank and Gaza, confining Palestinians to their towns, villages under curfew until the morning of 1/29, after the 1/28 Israeli elections. The Shomron military court sentences an Islamic Jihad mbr. to 17 consecutive life sentences for participation in a 6/02 bombing at Megiddo Junction. (HA, LAW, WP 1/26; HA, MM, NYT, WP 1/27; LAW, PCHR, PR 1/29; MEI 2/7)

At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Powell says that Israel must do more to ease the Palestinian humanitarian situation, offer the Palestinians more than a "phony state diced into a thousand different pieces"; that a Palesitnian state must be a “real state.” (HA 1/26; al-Quds 1/27 in WNC 1/29; MM 1/28)