Tuesday, March 12, 2002

In another escalation, Israel sends as many as 20,000 troops, 150 tanks and APCs into Amari, Ramallah. Palestinians fight back with guns, hand grenades, rocket propelled grenades (RPGs), lightly injuring 2 IDF soldiers. The IDF orders all Palestinian men age 15+n45 to surrender, but few comply. The PA which previously instructed PSF officers to comply, orders all Palestinians to ignore the order. IDF troops direct heavy machine gun fire at City Inn hotel, where foreign journalists are based to cover the fighting, hitting an ABC camera at least 7 times, including one shot through the lens; soldiers claimed there were gunmen in the hotel despite journalists' denials. The Palestinian Red Crescent Society (PRCS) suspends operations in Ramallah, citing numerous attacks on medical workers by the IDF, even in cases where PRCS movements were coordinated with the IDF in advance. The IDF bulldozes Ramallah's main water line; tanks crush cars. At least 30 Palestinians are killed during the day, including at least 2 shot by IDF snipers inside their Ramallah homes for no apparent reason, a PA naval policeman killed when the IDF shells his Dayr al-Balah post, 4 killed in Khan Yunis when the IDF shells a metal workshop thought to be a mortar factory, 1 fatally shot and allowed to bleed to death in Hebron. In Ramallah, the AMB kills 1 Palestinian collaborator. Outside Shlomi in n. Israel, 2 gunmen open fire, killing 5 Israeli civilians, 1 IDF soldier before being shot dead; the IDF believes the gunmen may be Hizballah mbrs. who infiltrated fr. Lebanon. A Jewish settler is fatally shot in the West Bank. The IDF says that since 2/28, it has confiscated 10s of light weapons, some rockets and mortars; destroyed at least 12 bomb-making workshops; detained more that 2,500 Palestinians. (MM, PRCS press release, REU 3/12; HA, MM, NYT, Palestine Report, WP, WT 3/13; LAW 3/20; MEI 3/22)

The UNSC passes (14-0, with Syria abstaining) Res. 1397, for the 1st time explicitly endorsing the creation "two states, Israel and Palestine," living side by side in secure and recognized borders. (MENA 3/12, AFP, XIN 3/13 in WNC 3/14; AP, NYT, WP, WT 3/13; MM, NYT, WP, WT 3/14; AN, JT, MENA, SA 3/14 in WNC 3/15; DUS 3/14, MENA 3/15, JT 3/17 in WNC 3/18; MM 3/15; MM 3/21; MEI 3/22; al-Majallah 3/24 in WNC 3/29)