Wednesday, May 22, 2002

The IDF openly assassinates wanted AMB Nablus cmdr. Mahmud Titi, firing rockets at him in Balata r.c., also killing 2 AMB mbrs, 1 Palestinian bystander, seriously damaging a nearby home. Hrs. later an AMB suicide bomber detonates a device in Rishon Letzion, killing 2 Israelis, injuring 25. Nr. Bethlehem, the IDF fires on a group of 20 Palestinian laborers attempting to circumvent a checkpoint, killing 1 Palestinian. In Jenin, Islamic Jihad mbr. Khalid Zakarni dies in a mysterious explosion; the IDF claims explosives he was carrying detonated prematurely, Palestinian sources say he was hit by an IDF tank shell. The IDF also bars a Palestinian woman needing kidney dialysis, a Palestinian man suffering a heart attack fr. crossing checkpoints to reach hospitals, allowing them to die; conducts house-to-house searches, directs heavy gunfire at residential areas in Salfit, detaining 100s of Palestinian men aged 15 to 50, arresting 13 PSF mbrs.; conducts arrest raids in Burkin (firing several shells at the home of a Hamas mbr.), Hebron, Husan, Nahalin, Tulkarm. In Gaza, the IDF shuts the main north and south road, claiming the action is in response to Palestinian mortar fire at Gaza settlements. The IDF also begins issuing magnetic cards to al-Mawasi residents; only residents with cards will be allow to cross through the al-Mawasi checkpoint. (MM 5/23; Interfax 5/23 in WNC 24; AP, JP, LAW 5/22; LAW, NYT, UPMRC, WP, WT 5/23; PCHR 5/30)

Under an agmt. reached on 5/21, 12 of the 13 Palestinians deported to Cyprus are sent on to 3d countries (3 each to Italy, Spain; 2 each to Greece, Ireland; 1 each to Belgium, Portugal). They will be treated as refugees, given 1-yr. residency permits; if they leave their host country, they will not be allowed to return. The 13th, PA Bethlehem intelligence chief Abdallah Daoud, considered by Israel the "most dangerous" of the 13 men, will remain in Cyprus until a country can be found that will take him. (NYT, WP 5/22; CNA 5/22 in WNC 5/23; NYT, WP 5/23; MEI 5/31; CNA 8/6 in WNC 8/8)