Tuesday, April 16, 2002

The IDF makes a predawn incursion into Tulkarm to arrest 4 wanted Hamas mbrs., pulls out later in the day. IDF tanks encircle Askar. In Bethlehem, the IDF allows 2 Palestinians to be evacuated fr. the Church of the Nativity, 1 who has suffered a severe abdominal wound since the siege began, another who has epilepsy; captures, questions, releases a Palestinian youth who sneaks out of the church to find food. Later, heavy IDF gunfire is reported around the church, sparking a fire in the Greek Orthodox monastery in the church complex. Hamas reportedly fires rockets at a Jewish settlement in Gaza, causing no damage; the IDF directs tank, machine gun fire at the suspects, killing 1 Palestinian, wounding 2. The IDF also fatally shoots a Palestinian outside Hebron, a Palestinian boy play in his yard in Nablus. The UNRWA is able to distribute food to 20-30% of the estimated 3,000 refugees still in Jenin r.c.; PRCS says that 7 Palestinians have been rescued fr. demolished buildings there in the past 24 hrs. Aid workers try to deliver food to Balata but are barred, assaulted by IDF soldiers. (AP, NYT, PRCS press release, UNRWA press release, UPMRC, WP 4/16; B'Tselem press release 4/17)

Powell holds a final mtg. with Sharon, says an international peace conference may be held in 6/02. (NYT, WP, WT 4/17)