This day in the History of the 2nd Intifada

March 23 2001

Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue. The IDF fires a stun grenade at an Amnesty International delegation examining damage nr. Salah al-Din Gate in Gaza. (al-Awda news group 3/24)

Israel reportedly completes plans for a new 6,000-unit settlement s. of Jerusalem, to be called Givaot. (NYT 3/24)

March 23 2002

6 Palestinians killed.

Israel sends bulldozers, tanks, troops into Rafah refugee camp, demolishing 3 Palestinian homes; troops fire a tank shell at stone-throwing Palestinians, killing 3 Palestinians, including 1 bystander. The IDF fatally shoots 2 Palestinians nr. Dugit settlement (allegedly Hamas mbrs. preparing to throw a hand grenade). A Palestinian child shot by the IDF on 3/21 dies. (HP, PMC 3/23; WP, WT 3/24; PCHR 3/27)

Palestinians throw a grenade at troops nr. Rafah, try to set off a roadside bomb in the West Bank, causing no damage or injuries.

March 23 2003

The IDF fires on stone-throwing Palestinians in al-Bireh, wounding 2; fires on, wounds a Palestinian nr. an IDF checkpoint nr. Khan Yunis for no apparent reason; fires on Palestinians at a roadblock outside Ramallah, injuring 2 children; conducts arrest raids in Dayr al-Balah, Rafah (arresting the 5 brothers of 2 wanted men who could not be found). Nr. Katzir, (HA 3/23; PCHR 3/27; LAW 3/28)

2 Palestinians fire on Jewish settler vehicles, causing no damage or injuries; Israeli border police capture 1 gunman.

March 23 2004

4 Palestinians killed.

The IDF discovers, disarms a bomb underneath a truck with Israeli license plates at a checkpoint outside Nablus; fatally shoots 2 armed Palestinians attempting to infiltrate Morag settlement; fires tear gas to disperse a group of Palestinians in Hebron demonstrating against the Yasin assassination, causing an elderly Palestinian to suffocate, die; fires on stone-throwing youths outside al-Fawwar r.c. nr. Hebron, on residential areas of Rafah (wounding a Palestinian construction worker at an UNRWA school site, a Palestinian inside her home); conducts arrest raids, house searches in Jayyus nr. Qalqilya; bulldozes 62 dunams of Palestinian land in al-Qarara. In the Hebron area, Palestinians throw stones at IDF troops, Jewish settler vehicles on bypass roads, causing no injuries but forcing the IDF to close the bypass routes temporarily. The Israeli navy fires on a “suspicious object” in the water 2 mi. off Gaza’s shore; Palestinian fishermen say they were targeted. A Palestinian dies of injuries received in the IDF missile attack on Rafah on 3/17. (AFP, AP, HA 3/23; HA, WT 3/24; PCHR 3/25)

Palestinian gunmen fire at a Jewish settler bus nr. Ofra, causing no injuries. Palestinians also fire a mortar at Gush Katif settlement, an antitank rocket at an IDF patrol in Gaza, causing no damage or injuries in either incident. In Israel, 1,000s of Israeli Arabs in Nazareth march in protest of Yasin’s assassination.

Hamas names hard-line spokesman `Abd al-`Aziz Rantisi as acting political head in Gaza and Hamas politburo chmn. Khalid Mishal, currently in exile in Damascus, acting head of the whole movement. (HA, MM 3/23; VOP 3/23 in WNC 3/25; al-Arabiyya TV [Dubai] 3/23 in WNC 4/27; HA, MM, NYT, REU, WP, WT 3/24; IDF Radio, LBC, MA, al-Quds, SA, VOI 3/24 in WNC 3/26; WP, WT 3/25; AYM 3/25, al-Quds 3/26 in WNC 3/30)

March 23 2005

The IDF seals the West Bank, Gaza for 5 days for the Purim holiday; conducts arrest raids in `Aba and `Ayn al-Bayda nr. Jenin, al-Til nr. Tulkarm (temporarily occupying 7 Palestinian homes). (HA 3/23; NYT, PCHR 3/24; PCHR 3/31)

March 23 2006

2 Palestinians killed.

The IDF allows wheat, flour, rice, sugar into Gaza through the Kerem Shalom crossing; fatally shoots 2 Palestinians planting a bomb on the Gaza border nr. Kerem Shalom; conducts arrest raids, house searches in and around Tulkarm. Unidentified gunmen raid the broadcast studio of the leftist, anti- PA al-Ru’ah TV nr. Bethlehem, destroying its equipment. (OCHA 3/23; NYT 3/24; al-Quds 3/25; PCHR 3/30)

March 23 2007

IDF troops on the n. Gaza border shoot, wound a 14-yr.-old Palestinian boy who apparently strays nr. the border fence nr. Jabaliya r.c. In the West Bank, the IDF demolishes 2 Palestinian homes w. of Bethlehem nr. Kefar Etzion settlement; patrols Burkin southwest of Nablus (setting up a checkpoint, checking Palestinian IDs), Tulkarm; fires tear gas, percussion grenades at 10s of Palestinians as well as Israeli and international activists taking part in the weekly nonviolent demonstration against the separation wall in Bil‘in, beats others, injuring 8; fires on stone-throwing Palestinians at the Qalandia checkpoint protesting Israeli excavations at the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount, wounding 1. Jewish settlers fr. Negohot settlement nr. Hebron stalk, beat, seriously injure an 11-yr.-old Palestinian boy. (OCHA 3/28; PCHR 3/29)

In Bayt Lahiya, 3 Palestinians are injured in a family feud with factional overtones. In Gaza City, Hamas mbrs. fatally shoot a Fatah mbr.

March 23 2008

1 Palestinian killed.

In the West Bank, the IDF conducts daytime arrest raids, house searches nr. Jenin and late-night raids and searches in and around Tubas, in `Aqbat Jabir r.c. and `Ayn al-Sultan r.c. nr. Jericho. For a 3d day, Jewish settlers in Hebron vandalize Palestinian property and attack local Palestinians; the IDF observes but does not intervene; 3 Palestinians have been injured since 3/21. Jewish settlers fr. Eli nr. Nablus kidnap 2 Palestinian boys herding sheep nr. the settlement, release them hrs. later after PA security forces request IDF intervention. Jewish settlers in Efrat nr. Bethlehem begin construction of 3 apartment buildings (54 units). Islamic Jihad mbr. Nidal Shaqqura, wounded in an IDF assassination attempt on 3/18, dies of his injuries. (OCHA 3/26; PCHR 3/27)

In Khan Yunis, Hamas officials dismiss the Fatah-affiliated admin. officer at the College of Science and Technology and name a pro-Hamas officer to replace him, sparking a fight with local Fatah supporters; police intervene to disperse the crowd, with no injuries reported; classes are suspended until the issue can be resolved btwn. Hamas and Fatah.

March 23 2009

1 Palestinian killed.

Israeli ships opened fire at houses in the Al-Mawassi coastal area in western Khan Yunis, eyewitnesses said. No injuries were immediately reported. Meanwhile, explosions were heard in the Al-Farahin area in the east of the city, when an Israeli unit attempted to invade the area, residents said. Palestinian fighters reportedly clashed with soldiers. (Ma’an News Agency)

Palestinian medical sources reported that an 18 year-old Palestinian fisherman was seriously wounded when the Israeli navy shelled an area north-east of Gaza City. (Ma’an News Agency, IMEMC)

Israeli troops detained three Palestinians during a raid in Hebron. (Ma’an News Agency)

Deputy head of the PLO in Lebanon Kamal Medhat and three others were killed in a roadside bombing near the Mieh Mieh refugee camp in southern Lebanon, security sources said. They were there to pay condolences to the family of a Fatah leader in the camp killed in clashes over the weekend. PA President Abbas condemned the killing. (AFP, Haaretz, Ma’an News Agency, Reuters)

Physicians for Human Rights - Israel said its new report “gives room for concern that during the operation in Gaza, Israeli soldiers repeatedly acted in violation of the army’s code of ethics, the medical code of ethics, and basic human values. These actions suggest repeated violations of the international law regarding the treatment of the ill and the wounded and the protection of medical personnel.” Such incidents reflected a general demonization of Palestinians, a process that “reached its nadir when soldiers in an army that flaunts its morality declined to help evacuate injured civilians and trapped families, when soldiers acted in a trigger-happy manner as they opened fire on ambulances, medical installations and medical personnel,” according to the report. (AFP, AP, Reuters, www.phr.org.il)

The chair of the committee coordinating imports into Gaza, Raed Fattuh, confirmed that Israeli authorities had opened the Kerem Shalom and Karni crossings to allow in goods and aid. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli Prime Minister Olmert had told the US and the EU that Israel would lift restrictions on food items, such as pasta and cheese, entering the Gaza Strip, diplomats said. The Obama Administration had protested these and other seemingly random Israeli restrictions. In one case, Israel blocked for weeks a World Food Programme shipment of chickpeas, used to make hummus, according to the agency. Western diplomats, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Mr. Olmert’s office had informed Washington and Brussels that all types of food would be allowed into the Gaza Strip. (Reuters)

Israeli forces opened the Qusin-Nablus gate to allow Palestinians to move freely after five years of closure. There were currently 13 military checkpoints, 39 earth mounds, 12 road blocks, and 26 road gates preventing Palestinians from moving freely in the Nablus area alone. (Ma’an News Agency)

Israeli soldiers had used an 11-year-old Palestinian boy as a human shield during the war in the Gaza Strip, and they ordered the boy to walk in front of soldiers being fired on in the Gaza neighbourhood of Tel al-Hawa and enter buildings before them, said the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, Radhika Coomaraswamy. Ms. Coomaraswamy said the incident on 15 January was a violation of Israeli and international law. It was included in a 43-page report to the Human Rights Council, compiled by a group of UN Special Rapporteurs, and was just one of many human rights atrocities during the three-week Gaza war. Ms. Coomaraswamy accused Israeli soldiers of shooting Palestinian children, bulldozing a home with a woman and child still inside, and shelling a building they had ordered civilians into a day earlier. (AP, www.ohchr.org)

A Palestinian Embassy would open in Caracas, Venezuela on 27 April, PA Minister for Foreign Affairs Riad Malki said. (Ma’an News Agency)

Saudi Interior Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz signed four agreements with several UN agencies, pledging more than $20 million in assistance to implement urgent humanitarian relief programmes and humanitarian projects to help Gazans. (Ma’an News Agency)

NEWS

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