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  • February 10, 2002

    The IDF conducts a predawn arrest raid in Nablus's Askar refugee camp, detaining at least 3 Palestinians, seizing 1 Palestinian apartment as an observation post, and exchanging gunfire with...

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  • February 8, 2002

    In Jerusalem, a group of Palestinian teenagers fatally stabs an Israeli woman. Israeli police shoot at, captured 4 of the teenagers, 1 of whom dies at the scene. Police say the 14-yr.-old boy...

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  • February 7, 2002

    The IDF fires missiles at a PA prison in Nablus for a 2d time; fires tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets at demonstrators outside Arafat's Ramallah headquarters, wounding 3; begins bulldozing...

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  • February 3, 2002

    Senior Fatah mbr. Imad Assaf is seriously injured in a mysterious explosion in Dahaysha; the PA accuses Israel of attempting to assassination him. Palestinians fire 2 mortars at a Jewish...

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  • February 1, 2002

    Palestinians fire mortars at an IDF checkpoint, detonate a bomb outside Kefar Darom settlement in Gaza, causing no damage. In response, the IDF shells the PA naval police headquarters in Dayr al-...

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  • January 31, 2002

    In Gaza, the IDF fatally shoots 2 Hamas mbrs. who detonated a roadside bomb nr. a bus carrying Thai laborers to a Jewish settlement, causing no damage or injuries. Nr. Nablus, a Jewish settler,...

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  • January 30, 2002

    Palestinian collaborator Murad Abu al-Asal detonates a suicide bomb nr. Taibeh, Israel, injuring his 2 Shin Bet handlers. A 2d Palestinian dies of injuries received on 1/21. The IDF conducts...

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  • January 26, 2002

    In Ramallah, IDF soldiers shoot, seriously wound a Hamas mbr. at a checkpoint, bar an ambulance fr. reaching him for 45 mins., allowing him to bleed to death. The PA terms the incident an...

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  • January 25, 2002

    An Islamic Jihad suicide bomber detonates a device on a street in Tel Aviv, wounding at least 18 Israelis, 3 of them critically. 1 Palestinian dies of injuries received earlier. In Gaza, the IDF...

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  • January 24, 2002

    The IDF assassinates senior Hamas mbr. Adli Hamdan (Bakr Hamdan), firing missiles at his car in Khan Yunis, injuring 2 passengers. Another 5 Palestinians are killed in separate incidents,...

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  • January 23, 2002

    2 Israelis wounded in the 1/22 AMB attack die. In Nablus, 15,000 angry Palestinians attend the funeral of 3 of 4 Hamas mbrs. killed by the IDF on 1/22, demand revenge. Israel bars officials of the...

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  • January 20, 2002

    1,000s of Palestinians in Gaza City, 100s of Palestinians in Ramallah march in support of Arafat, protesting his confinement in Ramallah. The DFLP says it will resume attacks on Israeli targets....

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  • January 19, 2002

    The IDF continues to reinforce blockades around major Palestinian cities, towns. Palestinians in Ikrama report some 70 IDF tanks moving toward Tulkarm. Arafat appeals to the international...

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  • January 17, 2002

    Early this morning, the Israeli inner cabinet orders the IDF to seal Bethlehem, Jenin, Nablus, Qalqilya, Tulkarm. The IDF also fatally shoots wanted AMB mbr. Khamis Abdallah in an apparent...

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  • December 31, 2001

    The IDF raids Qalandia, arresting 5 Hamas mbrs.; evacuates, seals a Palestinian school nr. Tulkarm. Ignoring Arafat's cease-fire pleas, the PRCs vow retaliation for the IDF's killing of 6...

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  • December 27, 2001

    Israel says it will ease travel of Christian pilgrims (fr. the territories, Israel, abroad) to Bethlehem but says Arafat still may not leave Ramallah. The IDF conducts arrest raids in the PA-...

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  • December 26, 2001

    During clashes nr. Jinin, 1 Palestinian is killed, a mosque is partially damaged by IDF helicopter gunfire. The IDF also seizes a Palestinian home nr. Jinin as an outpost; sends 300 soldiers into...

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  • December 24, 2001

    Sharon denies Arafat permission to leave Ramallah to attend Christmas celebrations in Bethlehem. Instead, a delegation of prominent Christian leaders goes to Ramallah to visit Arafat. The Vatican...

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  • December 18, 2001

    The PA continues to close Hamas offices, says it has arrested over 180 Palestinians since 12/2. Israel says it is not enough; more senior mbrs. of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and individuals on Israel's...

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  • December 16, 2001

    In a televised address, Arafat again urges Palestinians to halt attacks on Israeli targets, especially suicide bombings; vows that "any violation . . . will be seen as a trespass of our supreme...

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  • December 13, 2001

    The IDF cuts electricity to Gaza City, Ramallah; sends tanks and F-16s to shell the control tower at Gaza airport, the PA headquarters in Gaza City and Ramallah (Arafat is unharmed), the PA naval...

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  • December 12, 2001

    Overnight, IDF helicopters rocket a residential area of Khan Yunis, killing 4 Palestinians, wounding 21, destroying 2 Force 17 buildings. This evening, AMB, Hamas gunmen jointly detonate a...

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  • December 10, 2001

    The IDF attempts to assassinate senior Islamic Jihad mbr. Muhammad Sidir by firing missiles at his car in Hebron; Sidir is injured, 2 Palestinian children are killed, 6 others are injured. (1 of...

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  • December 7, 2001

    Israel continues strikes on PA targets, destroying 2 PSF buildings in Gaza City, wounding 18 Palestinians, and damaging al-Azhar University buildings, Palestine Bank offices, the UNRWA school for...

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  • December 6, 2001

    Israel resumes attacks on PA targets, with F-16s dropping bombs on a PSF post in Gaza, injuring 18 Palestinians. Under the force of continued Palestinian demonstrations, PSF pulls back fr. Shaykh...

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  • December 5, 2001

    Due to severe weather, violence tapers off noticeably, though an Islamic Jihad suicide bomber lightly injures 5 Israelis outside a hotel in Jerusalem. The IDF demolishes 2 Palestinian homes, a...

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  • December 4, 2001

    Israel strikes PA targets for a 2d day, shelling Arafat's Ramallah compound (though not hitting the building housing his office, where he is staying), sending F-16s to hit PSF, Force 17 offices in...

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  • December 3, 2001

    Upon his return fr. the U.S. Sharon meets with his security cabinet, then his full cabinet to discuss how to respond to the 12/1+n2 attacks. The full cabinet votes to declare the PA "an entity...

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  • December 2, 2001

    A Hamas suicide bomber detonates a powerful device on a bus in Haifa, killing 14 Israelis, 1 Filipino, and injuring more than 40. Arafat condemns the attack, outlaws "any movement, organization,...

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  • November 29, 2001

    As U.S. envoy Zinni meets with PA officials, an Islamic Jihad suicide bomber detonates a device on a bus in Hadera, Israel, killing 3 Israelis, wounding 7. The bomber reportedly boarded the bus in...

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The IDF conducts a predawn arrest raid in Nablus's Askar refugee camp, detaining at least 3 Palestinians, seizing 1 Palestinian apartment as an observation post, and exchanging gunfire with residents, leaving 1 soldier wounded. The IDF conducts another predawn arrest raid in Dayr al-Balah, shelling residential areas, occupying 2 Palestinian homes as observation posts. In Beersheba, 2 Hamas gunmen open fire outside an IDF base, killing 2 IDF soldiers, wounding 4 before being shot dead by troops. In response, the IDF F-16s drop bombs on a PSF headquarters in Gaza and Ansar 2 prison; helicopter gunships fire missiles on targets around Gaza City and Jabaliya, injuring 20 Palestinians, including employees of the UN Special Coordinator's Office (UNSCO), which is damaged in the attack. UNSCO protests. Later, Palestinians fire 2 objects fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no injuries; at least 1 of the devices leaves a 7-ft. hole, leading the IDF to suspect that it was a Qassam-2 rocket, rather than a mortar, which would mark the 1st time Palestinians have fired one of the homemade missiles. The IDF later reports it has confiscated 3 empty rocket launchers in Gaza. Jewish settlers severely beat a Palestinian teenager nr. Tal Rumayda; beat, rob another teenager nr. Nablus; bulldoze 12 dunams of olive groves nr. Antalia settlement. (MEZ, WP 2/10; XIN 2/10 in WNC 2/11; MM, NYT, WP 2/11; CSM 2/12; JT 2/12 in WNC 2/13; LAW, PCHR 2/13; MEI 2/22)

Sharon returns fr. the U.S., immediately calls for a mtg. of his inner cabinet to discuss how to respond to recent Palestinian attacks. (NYT 2/11)

The State Dept. confirms that Powell has received correspondence fr. Arafat regarding the Karine A affair, saying he was not involved but that as leader of the PA, he will take responsibility for the incident, punish those responsible. (WT 2/11; NYT 2/12, 2/14)

An IDF autopsy performed in the presence of a Palestinian doctor confirms that the 14-yr.-old Palestinian who died in Jerusalem on 2/8 was killed by an IDF bullet. (LAW 2/10, 2/13)

In Jerusalem, a group of Palestinian teenagers fatally stabs an Israeli woman. Israeli police shoot at, captured 4 of the teenagers, 1 of whom dies at the scene. Police say the 14-yr.-old boy dropped dead of no apparent cause; witnesses say he was beaten, perhaps shot by soldiers. In n. Israel, a car mysteriously explodes killing 2 Palestinians; the IDF claims they were Islamic Jihad mbrs. en route to stage a car bombing. The IDF again fires tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets at demonstrators nr. Arafat's Ramallah headquarters, injuring 6; conducts arrest raids in Birzeit and in Tamun, where troops detain 7, wound 10 with live ammunition, occupy 12 Palestinian homes as IDF outposts, uproot 150 olive trees. The PA again calls for adherence to Arafat's cease-fire. At a pro-Hamas rally in Jabaliya attended more than 10,000 Palestinians, Hamas spokesman Rantisi vows more suicide attacks against Israel, says that anyone who seeks to stop the intifada "wants to tear us apart." The NIHC organizes a separate protest march fr. Shati` to the PC building in Gaza City, denouncing the U.S.'s biased policy, calling on Arab states to take a strong, unified stand on the Palestinian situation. (AYM 2/8 in WNC 2/11; NYT, WP, WT 2/9; LAW, PCHR 2/13; MA 2/15 in WNC 2/19)

The IDF fires missiles at a PA prison in Nablus for a 2d time; fires tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets at demonstrators outside Arafat's Ramallah headquarters, wounding 3; begins bulldozing Palestinian land in Za'atra for creation of a new settler bypass road. In Jenin, 10s of armed Palestinians raid a makeshift PA jail in an apartment building, freeing 10-15 detainees without meeting resistance. Israel extends the closure of Orient House for 6 mos. (MM 2/7; NYT, WT 2/8; NYT 2/9; GS 2/12; LAW, PCHR 2/13)

Sharon meets with Bush in Washington for the 4th time in less than a yr.; says Arafat is an obstacle to peace, who ideally should be replaced. Bush says the U.S. will not sever ties with Arafat but will keep pressure on him to halt Palestinian violence. Sharon also asks Bush to give Israel the $800 m. in aid that the Clinton admin. promised Israel to cover costs of its withdrawal fr. Lebanon. (MM 2/7; al-Quds 2/7, XIN 2/8, al-Ra'i 2/9 in WNC 2/11; HA, JP [Internet], MM, NYT, WP, WT 2/8; HA 2/10)

Senior Fatah mbr. Imad Assaf is seriously injured in a mysterious explosion in Dahaysha; the PA accuses Israel of attempting to assassination him. Palestinians fire 2 mortars at a Jewish settlement in Gaza, causing no damage. In response, the IDF directs heavy machine gun fire on residential areas of Khan Yunis, Rafah (leaving 1 Palestinian clinically dead). The IDF also fires tear gas, concussion grenades to disperse a peaceful protest by Palestinians, international peace activists in Ramallah; conducts arrest raids in Osrin, firing on Palestinian homes; bulldozes Palestinian agricultural land along secondary roads in the Bethlehem, Jenin areas; imposes closures on 10 villages around Ramallah. (HP 2/3; AFP 2/3 in WNC 2/4; NYT, PCHR, WT 2/4; LAW 2/6)

In a New York Times op-ed, Arafat outlines the Palestinians' vision of peace as a 2-state solution, with an independent Palestinian state in all of the West Bank and Gaza, and a secure Israel within its 1967 borders. He also affirms that any solution to the refugee issue must consider Israel's demographic concerns and denounces "attacks carried out by terrorist groups against Israeli civilians." (HA, JP [Internet], NYT 2/3; AP, HA, NYT, WT 2/4; JT, MA, MM, QA, al-Quds 2/5 in WNC 2/6; PR 2/6; MEI 2/8)

Palestinians fire mortars at an IDF checkpoint, detonate a bomb outside Kefar Darom settlement in Gaza, causing no damage. In response, the IDF shells the PA naval police headquarters in Dayr al-Balah, residential areas of Khan Yunis; sends tanks, troops into Khan Yunis for 3 hrs. to conduct extensive searches. The IDF also conducts arrest raids in Abu Dis, Azariyya. Some 2,000 Palestinians in Gaza City and 15,000 Palestinians in Nablus rally in support of Arafat. The PFLP announces it is suspending its membership in PLO in protest over the PSF's continued detention of Saadat. (WP 2/2; AFP 2/2 in WNC 2/4; NYT, WT 2/3; SA 2/3 in WNC 2/4; PCHR 2/4; LAW 2/6)

In Gaza, the IDF fatally shoots 2 Hamas mbrs. who detonated a roadside bomb nr. a bus carrying Thai laborers to a Jewish settlement, causing no damage or injuries. Nr. Nablus, a Jewish settler, angry over Palestinian youths throwing stones at his car, stops and shoots 1 of the youths at point blank range, killing him. A 4th Palestinian dies of injuries received earlier. Palestinians fire 3 mortars at Gush Katif, causing some damage but no injuries. In Azariyya, the IDF closes the PA Information Min.'s temporary offices (opened after the IDF shut the main offices on 11/21), the al-Quds Open University Student Union office. The IDF also shells residential areas of al-Bireh, Ramallah; conducts arrest raids in Azun, Khan Yunis, Ramallah; detains 10 Palestinians at a Gaza checkpoint. (AP 1/31; BBC, NYT, WT 2/1; LAW, PCHR 2/6)

In an interview with Ma'ariv, Sharon says that he regrets that Israel did not kill Arafat in Beirut in 1982. The State Dept. says that the U.S. does not have "any particular comment" on Sharon's statement. (MA 1/31 in WNC 2/1; BBC, MM, NYT, WP, WT 2/1)

Palestinian collaborator Murad Abu al-Asal detonates a suicide bomb nr. Taibeh, Israel, injuring his 2 Shin Bet handlers. A 2d Palestinian dies of injuries received on 1/21. The IDF conducts arrest raids in Bethlehem, East Jerusalem, Nablus, Ramallah, and Tulkarm, detaining 9 Palestinians fr. Hamas, Islamic Jihad, PFLP; shells residential areas of Tulkarm. (HA, MM, PCHR 1/30; NYT, WT 1/31; MA 1/31 in WNC 2/4; LAW 2/6)

The Israeli cabinet approves the Enveloping Jerusalem plan. (WP, WT 1/31) (see 1/28)

The Palestinian woman who carried out a suicide bombing on 1/27 is identified as Wafa Idriss, a Red Crescent volunteer medical worker who reportedly was distraught over the Palestinian casualties inflicted by the IDF. Most recently, a boy she treated, who had been shot by the IDF and left in a coma died, on 1/25. AMB claims she was "one of our female fighters," but family and friends say she had no connection to the group; she also was not religious, never attended al-Najah University. Her brother, Khalil Idris, is a local Fatah leader wanted by Israel. (AP, REU 1/30; HA, NYT, Red Crescent press release, WP 1/31; SA 2/2 in WNC 2/4; WT 2/3; JP 2/8; WP 2/9; NYT 2/11)

Sharon meets secretly in Jerusalem with Qurai`, PA senior negotiator Mahmud Abbas, Arafat economic adviser Muhammad Rashid, marking his 1st mtg. with PA officials since his election in 2/01; reportedly says he accepts the idea of an interim agmt. along the lines of the Peres-Qurai` plan, with implementation taking 7 yrs. (XIN 2/1, AYM, al-Ra'i 2/2 in WNC 2/4; NYT, WP, WT 2/2; AFP, JP [Internet] 2/3; MM, NYT, WT 2/4; AYM 2/4 in WNC 2/6; WP, WT 2/5; MA 2/9 in WNC 2/11)

Ben-Eliezer meets with Egyptian pres. Husni Mubarak in Sharm al-Shaykh, says Israel currently sees no partner for peace on the Palestinian side, asks Egypt to inform Damascus that Israel is ready to renew peace talks with Syria. (HA, MM 1/30; MENA 1/30 in WNC 1/31; WT 1/31; MM 2/1; MENA 2/5 in WNC 2/6; MM 2/7)

In Ramallah, IDF soldiers shoot, seriously wound a Hamas mbr. at a checkpoint, bar an ambulance fr. reaching him for 45 mins., allowing him to bleed to death. The PA terms the incident an assassination. In the West Bank, Palestinian gunmen fatally shoot a Jewish settler driving in the West Bank. Some 2,000 Palestinians in Ramallah, 1,000s of Palestinians in Bethlehem rally against Israel's continued confinement of Arafat, vowing to continue the intifada despite his cease-fire appeals. The IDF also shells 3 PSF posts nr. Jabaliya; arrests 3 PSF officers in Jinin. (REU 1/26; JT [Internet], NYT, WT 1/27; PCHR 1/30)

Israeli Arabs hold demonstrations in Sakhnin protesting Israel's military actions. (al-Quds 1/28 in WNC 1/29)

An Islamic Jihad suicide bomber detonates a device on a street in Tel Aviv, wounding at least 18 Israelis, 3 of them critically. 1 Palestinian dies of injuries received earlier. In Gaza, the IDF reports that Hamas fired locally made Qassam-1 rockets at Erez crossing, causing no injuries. In retaliation, the IDF launches F-16 air strikes on PA security targets in Gaza City and Tulkarm, injuring at least 7 Palestinians. The IDF also shells residential areas of Khan Yunis; bulldozes 600 m2 of Palestinian land in Khan Yunis; conducts arrest raids in Nablus. In Ramallah, 1,000s of Palestinians rally in support of Arafat. The IDF pulls out of Tira neighborhood in Ramallah, which it reoccupied on 1/17. (AP 1/25; NYT, WP, WT 1/26; JT [Internet] 1/27; PCHR 1/30)

56 officers, soldiers in the IDF combat reserves publish a petition in Ha'Aretz publicly refusing to "fight beyond the Green Line for the purpose of occupying, deporting, destroying, blockading, killing, starving, and humiliating an entire people." (HA 1/25; HA 1/28; WP 1/29; WT 1/30; BBC, MM, WJW 1/31; MA 2/1 in WNC 2/4; NYT 2/2; MM 2/4; MM, NYT 2/5; MEI 2/8)

Senior White House, State Dept., CIA, Pentagon officials meet again to discuss the possibility of severing ties with Arafat, the PA/PLO. Bush, his advisers decide to increase public criticism of Arafat and to "redouble" efforts to get Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia to put pressure on Arafat. (AP, HA, MM, WP 1/25; WP, WT 1/26; al-Quds 1/26, DUS 1/27 in WNC 1/28; MM 1/28; AKH 1/28 in WNC 1/29; HA 1/29; MA, al-Quds 2/1 in WNC 2/4)

The IDF assassinates senior Hamas mbr. Adli Hamdan (Bakr Hamdan), firing missiles at his car in Khan Yunis, injuring 2 passengers. Another 5 Palestinians are killed in separate incidents, including a PA intelligence officer fatally shot by the IDF in Ramallah. A 6th Palestinian dies of injuries received earlier. In Hebron, the IDF raids, occupies a Palestinian bakery, shooting, wounding, detaining 1 Palestinian. The IDF also conducts arrest sweeps in the Bethlehem area, Tulkarm; occupies a Palestinian home in al-Khadir as an observation post. (LAW, NYT, WP 1/25; PCHR 1/30)

     The U.S. invites Sharon to come to Washington to meet with Bush on 2/7. White House also issues a statement regarding Israel's confinement of Arafat to his office in Ramallah, saying, "The president understands the reason that Israel has taken the action that it takes, and it is up to Chairman Arafat to demonstrate the leadership to combat terrorism." Bush meets with senior national security advisers to reassess U.S. Middle East policy. Some senior admin. officials (including VP Dick Cheney, Defense Secy. Donald Rumsfeld) are reportedly leaning toward sanctioning or severing ties with Arafat, the PA/PLO. (MM, WJW 1/24; AP, CNN, JP [Internet], MM, NYT, WP, WT 1/25; al-Quds 1/26, DUS 1/27 in WNC 1/28; MM 1/28)

2 Israelis wounded in the 1/22 AMB attack die. In Nablus, 15,000 angry Palestinians attend the funeral of 3 of 4 Hamas mbrs. killed by the IDF on 1/22, demand revenge. Israel bars officials of the Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem fr. leaving Israel to attend the Vatican's Day of Prayer for Peace in Italy. (AP, MM 1/23; WP, WT 1/24)

The IDF announces the results of its investigation into the 12/30 death of 3 Palestinians, whose mutilated bodies were not turned over to the PA until 1/3, raising suspicions that the 3 had been tortured and autopsied without permission. The IDF admits that the tank shells fired at the teenagers were packed with flechettes (banned internationally) and that 1 body was then driven over by a tank. (PCHR 1/30) (see 1/3)

The U.S. steps up pressure on the PA: The White House blames continuing violence on the Palestinians, says cease-fire efforts were derailed by the "arms shipment received and paid for by the Palestinian Authority," and states that the "justifying of the targeting of innocents in return for land is an argument for terrorism." The State Dept. says there is no excuse for the PA "not taking effective steps to stop that terrorism." Powell phones Arafat to demand his full report on the Karine A affair. (AP 1/23; AP, NYT, WJW, WT 1/24; NYT, WP 1/25)

Hizballah fires mortars, rockets at 3 IDF posts in the occupied Shaba` Farms region of the Golan Heights, causing no damage or injuries. The IDF responds by conducing air strikes against Hizballah targets in s. Lebanon. (MM, WP 1/24; al-Nahar 1/24 in WNC 1/25; MM 1/29, 1/30; al-Safir 2/7 in WNC 2/11)

1,000s of Palestinians in Gaza City, 100s of Palestinians in Ramallah march in support of Arafat, protesting his confinement in Ramallah. The DFLP says it will resume attacks on Israeli targets. IDF troops fire on Palestinians who throw stones at a tank that gets stuck in a narrow Ramallah street; 1 IDF soldier, 12 Palestinians are injured. The IDF also directs heavy machine gun fire at residential areas of Nablus; conducts an arrest raid in Bani Suhayla. (AP 1/20; WP, WT 1/21; PCHR 1/26)

The IDF continues to reinforce blockades around major Palestinian cities, towns. Palestinians in Ikrama report some 70 IDF tanks moving toward Tulkarm. Arafat appeals to the international community to intervene with Israel, warning the situation in the territories is extremely dangerous. (WT 1/20)

Early this morning, the Israeli inner cabinet orders the IDF to seal Bethlehem, Jenin, Nablus, Qalqilya, Tulkarm. The IDF also fatally shoots wanted AMB mbr. Khamis Abdallah in an apparent assassination in Nablus; fires a tank shell at 3 teenagers trying to sneak across the Gaza border into Israel to work, killing 1 Palestinian, wounding 2. This evening, an AMB gunman opens fire with an M-16 on a bat mitzvah celebration in Hadera, Israel, killing 6 Israelis, wounding at least 25 before being beaten unconscious by the celebrants and then fatally shot by an Israeli policeman. In retaliation, the IDF sends 20 tanks, APCs, paratroopers into Ramallah to tighten the encirclement of Arafat's headquarters to within 100 yds., placing Arafat under de facto house arrest; sends F-16s to shell PA Interior Min., administrative, and security offices in Tulkarm, killing 2 PSF officers, injuring 61 officers and civilians, damaging 20 homes and 50 stores; reinforces troops nr. Jinin, fatally shooting 1 Palestinian. (AP 1/17; LAW, MM, NYT, WP, WT 1/18; AFP, Interfax 1/18 in WNC 1/22; CNN, WP, WT 1/19; MM 1/21; PCHR 1/23; WJW 1/24; JP, MEI 1/25; JP 2/1)

The IDF raids Qalandia, arresting 5 Hamas mbrs.; evacuates, seals a Palestinian school nr. Tulkarm. Ignoring Arafat's cease-fire pleas, the PRCs vow retaliation for the IDF's killing of 6 Palestinians on 12/30. Some 2,000 Palestinians, 300 foreign nationals, and 100s of Israelis take part in a day of nonviolent protests against the ongoing Israeli siege. (AFP 12/31; WT 1/1; LAW, WP 1/2)

Sharon denies Israeli pres. Moshe Katsav's request for permission to appear before the PC and offer a cease-fire bid. (AP 12/31; AP, JP [Internet], WT 1/1; WP, WT 1/2; MA 1/2 in WNC 1/3; HA, MM 1/3; MEI 1/11)

Israel says it will ease travel of Christian pilgrims (fr. the territories, Israel, abroad) to Bethlehem but says Arafat still may not leave Ramallah. The IDF conducts arrest raids in the PA-controlled section of Hebron (arresting 8 Palestinians) and in Rafah (occupying 6 Palestinian homes); fires on residential areas of Nablus. In Ramallah, the IDF fires tear gas, sound grenades, rubber bullets at 1,000s of Palestinians and 350 foreign peace activists protesting the Israeli siege, injuring 15 Palestinians, 10 foreigners. The PSF shuts 2 metal workshops in Gaza that allegedly made homemade mortars for Hamas. (AP 12/27; WT 12/28; PCHR 1/2)

During clashes nr. Jinin, 1 Palestinian is killed, a mosque is partially damaged by IDF helicopter gunfire. The IDF also seizes a Palestinian home nr. Jinin as an outpost; sends 300 soldiers into Azun in area A in a predawn raid to arrest 17 Palestinians; fires on bedouin collecting fire wood nr. Nissanit settlement, wounding an 8-yr.-old child. (PCHR, REU 12/26; NYT, WP, WT 12/27)

Israeli, PA security officials meet at Erez crossing. Israel says the PA may repair Gaza airport (though Israel will continue to bar Arafat fr. leaving Ramallah), extends the hours of the Rafah crossing to Egypt, eases restrictions on Palestinian businessmen entering Israel. (NYT, WP, WT 12/27)

Sharon denies Arafat permission to leave Ramallah to attend Christmas celebrations in Bethlehem. Instead, a delegation of prominent Christian leaders goes to Ramallah to visit Arafat. The Vatican denounces Israel's action as "arbitrary." In protest, the AMB ambushes a car outside Nablus, seriously injuring 1 Jewish settler. The IDF fires on residential areas of Hebron, Khan Yunis. (Interfax, ITAR-TASS, JT, MENA 12/24, AFP, AKH, MENA, al-Quds 12/25 in WNC 12/26; BBC, NYT, WP, WT 12/25; PCHR, WT 12/26)

The PA continues to close Hamas offices, says it has arrested over 180 Palestinians since 12/2. Israel says it is not enough; more senior mbrs. of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and individuals on Israel's most-wanted list must be apprehended. The Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) says it will not adhere to Arafat's cease-fire call. Palestinians toss a grenade at an IDF post on the Gaza-Egypt border, causing no injuries; the IDF directs heavy machine gun fire at residential areas of Rafah in response. The IDF also fires on a PSF post nr. Jenin, wounding 1 PSF officer. (LAW, NYT, PCHR, WP 12/19; MM, WJW 12/20)

In a televised address, Arafat again urges Palestinians to halt attacks on Israeli targets, especially suicide bombings; vows that "any violation . . . will be seen as a trespass of our supreme national interest. . . [and] will be penalized firmly and strongly." Arafat also notes that he has already declared illegal the military wings of Hamas, Islamic Jihad (see 12/2). The PA says it has shut at least 25 Hamas, Islamic Jihad offices in the past 3 days, including the groups' newspapers. The U.S. says the PA must now take "all the steps it can to bring to justice those responsible for terrorist attacks and to destroy the organizations that would launch future attacks." (HA 12/16; MENA 12/16 in WNC 12/17; AFP, AP, HA, MM, NYT, WP, WT 12/17; Interfax, XIN 12/17 in WNC 12/18; MM 12/18; QA 12/18 in WNC 12/19; MA 12/18 in WNC 12/21; AP 12/19; MEI 12/21; HA 12/24)

After Arafat's speech, Palestinians fire a mortar at a Jewish settlement in Gaza, causing no damage. The IDF shells residential areas of Khan Yunis; occupies 3 Palestinian homes in Shaykh Ajlin, Shufa as military outposts. 1 Palestinian dies of injuries received on 12/8. The Israeli cabinet approves a request by the Agricultural Min. to issue work permits for 6,000 Palestinians to enter Israel to help with harvests. (HA 12/16; AFP, AP, HA, NYT, WP, WT 12/17; AP, LAW, PCHR 12/19; HA 12/24)

The IDF cuts electricity to Gaza City, Ramallah; sends tanks and F-16s to shell the control tower at Gaza airport, the PA headquarters in Gaza City and Ramallah (Arafat is unharmed), the PA naval police offices in Bayt Lahia, and PSF and Fatah offices nr. Gaza City, Ramallah, and Jinin; blows up the main radio, TV transmitters in Ramallah; bulldozes the Palestinian Media Center offices in Ramallah; occupies the home of Fatah tanzim leader Marwan Barghouti (who is not there at the time); makes incursions into PA-controlled areas of Bayt Hanun, Bayt Lahia, Beitunia, Jinin, Nablus, Ramallah, Sudaniyya, Tulkarm, al-Zahra; bulldozes Palestinian land in Rafah. A total of 4 Palestinians are killed during the day; shells strike the Friends Boys School, damaging 3 classrooms. In Gaza City, 2 Israeli missiles land nr. a mosque while Hamas spiritual leader Shaykh Yasin, Hamas spokesman Mahmud Zahar are inside. Israel declares that the Zinni cease-fire talks are over, though Zinni had already planned to leave on 12/14 for Jordan and Egypt, then return to Washington. (AP, HP, MM, NYT, WP 12/13; MENA 12/13 in WNC 12/14; JP, HA, HP, NYT, WP, WT 12/14; HA 12/16; LAW, PCHR 12/19; MEI 12/21)

Overnight, IDF helicopters rocket a residential area of Khan Yunis, killing 4 Palestinians, wounding 21, destroying 2 Force 17 buildings. This evening, AMB, Hamas gunmen jointly detonate a roadside bomb nr. a Jewish settler bus outside Emmanuel settlement nr. Nablus, then open fire on the bus, 2 cars traveling with it, the medical workers who come to the scene, killing 9 Jewish settlers, 1 Israeli border police officer, wounding 30; 1 Hamas mbr. is run over, shot dead by the IDF. In Gaza, 2 Hamas suicide bombers detonate devices outside a Jewish settlement, wounding 4. Sharon severs all contacts with the PA, declares Arafat "irrelevant," says Israel will no longer wait for the PA to "wipe out terror networks" but will do the job itself. The IDF immediately begins F-16 air strikes on targets in al-Bireh, Gaza City, Jinin, Nablus, Qalqilya, Ramallah, and Tulkarm, killing 1 Palestinian; tightens its encirclement of major Palestinian population centers; enters Jinin's area A with tanks, injuring 19 Palestinians before withdrawing; fires on a funeral procession in Khan Yunis, injuring 3. The Israeli inner cabinet agrees to "rapidly deploy" the IDF for "massive and continuous" operations "in cities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip." Arafat orders the closure of all Hamas, Islamic Jihad offices, schools, clinics. (AP, LAW, MEZ, PMC 12/12; AFP, AP, HA, HP, JP [Internet], MM, NYT, WJW, WP, WT 12/13; AFP, MENA, XIN 12/13 in WNC 12/14; ATL 12/13 in WNC 12/17; JP, JT [Internet], MM 12/14, 12/17, 12/18; JP, MEI 12/21)

The IDF attempts to assassinate senior Islamic Jihad mbr. Muhammad Sidir by firing missiles at his car in Hebron; Sidir is injured, 2 Palestinian children are killed, 6 others are injured. (1 of the dead, 5 of the injured are bystanders.) A 3d Palestinian is killed in al-Bireh by an IDF tank shell. The IDF also shells, destroys a PSF headquarters in n. Gaza; enters Rafah to bulldoze 3 Palestinian homes; uproots 200 olive trees in Sinjil. Palestinians fire a mortar at a Jewish settlement in Gaza, lightly injuring 1 Jewish settler. Jewish settlers in Hebron severely beat 2 Palestinian girls. Palestinians, Israeli peace activists stage a nonviolent protest at an IDF roadblock in Qalandia. (HP, LAW, MM 12/10; AP, MM, NYT, WP, WT 12/11; WT 12/12; AYM 12/12 in WNC 12/13; HA, LAW 12/13)

Arafat, Sharon meet separately with Zinni, urge him not to cut his trip short. Powell says that Zinni will indeed stay, that he never really intended to leave but just wanted to pressure the sides to act. (AP, MM, NYT, WT 12/11) (see 12/9)

In Washington, Bush hosts the White House's 1st menorah-lighting and Hanukkah party. Speaking privately with American Jewish leaders, Bush reportedly assails Arafat and the State Dept., identifies with Sharon, says that winning the war on terror means getting rid of groups like Hamas, Hizballah. (MM 12/12; MM, WJW 12/13; NYT 12/14; AYM 12/14 in WNC 12/17; WP 12/15; JT [Internet] 12/19; JP 2/1)

In Brussels, EU FMs call on Arafat to dismantle the "terrorist networks" of Hamas and Islamic Jihad; to declare, in Arabic, the end to the "armed intifada." Also call on Israel to halt assassinations, settlement expansion, attacks on the Palestinian infrastructure. (AFP 12/10; NYT, WT 12/11; IRNA, MA, SA 12/11 in WNC 12/12; AFP, MM, WT 12/12; Le Monde 12/12 in WNC 12/13; DUS 12/12 in WNC 12/14; MEI 12/21)

Israel continues strikes on PA targets, destroying 2 PSF buildings in Gaza City, wounding 18 Palestinians, and damaging al-Azhar University buildings, Palestine Bank offices, the UNRWA school for the blind. In the West Bank, the IDF ambushes, fatally shoots 2 Palestinians. The funeral for a Hamas mbr. killed outside Shaykh Yasin's house on 12/5 turns into an anti-Arafat protest. The PA bars the press fr. covering a large pro-Hamas rally in Hebron. (AFP, REU 12/7; NYT, REU, WT 12/8; WP 12/9; LAW 12/12)

At Zinni's request, CIA, PA, Israeli security officials hold a "heated" trilateral security comm. mtg. in Tel Aviv. Separately, Ben-Eliezer meets with Arafat financial adviser Muhammad Rashid to discuss ways of achieving a cease-fire. (NYT, WP, WT 12/8; MENA 12/8, MA 12/9 in WNC 12/11; HA, WT 12/9)

Israel resumes attacks on PA targets, with F-16s dropping bombs on a PSF post in Gaza, injuring 18 Palestinians. Under the force of continued Palestinian demonstrations, PSF pulls back fr. Shaykh Yasin's house. The NIHC ultimately brokers an informal agmt. btwn. Hamas and the PA under which Yasin agrees to observe a "voluntary house arrest," leaving only to go attend prayer services at a nearby mosque. Sharon claims PA is not making a serious effort to arrest wanted Palestinians. In Gaza, Palestinians fire 6 mortars at 2 Jewish settlements and toss grenades at an IDF post, causing no injuries. The IDF returns fire killing 1 Palestinian; a 2d Palestinian dies of a heart attack at an IDF checkpoint when soldiers refuse him passage to a hospital. A Palestinian woman gives birth at an IDF checkpoint when soldier refuse to let her ambulance pass. Fatah stages a pro-Arafat rally in Gaza, but only 1,000 Palestinians take part. (NYT, WP, WT 12/7; al-Quds 12/7 in WNC 12/11; MM 12/10; IRNA 12/10 in WNC 12/12; NYT 12/21)

Egyptian FM Ahmad Maher meets with Sharon, Arafat in a new cease-fire effort, presses Israel to relax its demand for a 7-day quiet period. Instead, Sharon hands Maher a list of demands to transmit to Arafat. U.S. envoy Zinni, still in the region, also meets with Arafat today. (HA 12/6; MENA 12/6 in WNC 12/7; WT 12/7; MENA 12/7, 12/9 in WNC 12/11; AKH 12/13 in WNC 12/17; MEI 12/21; MEI 2/8; al-Majallah 2/9 in WNC 2/11)

Due to severe weather, violence tapers off noticeably, though an Islamic Jihad suicide bomber lightly injures 5 Israelis outside a hotel in Jerusalem. The IDF demolishes 2 Palestinian homes, a water network in Rafah, nr. Morag settlement; directs shells, heavy machine gun fire a residential areas of Jinin, Nablus, Rafah; confiscates Palestinian land in Dayr al-Balah; reinforces positions around Nablus, Qalqilya. In the afternoon, Israel, which had already curtailed operations due to the weather, announces it is halting strikes on PA targets for 12 hrs. to give Arafat a chance to demonstrate he is cracking down on opposition groups; names 36 Palestinians it wants arrested immediately, vowing to resume strikes on the morning of 12/6 unless the PA shows progress. Meanwhile, in a briefing to Likud MKs, Sharon vows to step up Israel's assassination campaign, bans all Palestinian vehicles on interurban West Bank roads, bars Arafat fr. leaving Ramallah, bans VIP passage for PA officials, promises continued attacks on PA military and symbolic targets. Late this evening, the IDF raids the PA Central Bureau of Statistics, vandalizing the building and confiscating computers, financial records, raw survey data (especially on political and social issues), and the names and addresses of survey respondents. Attempting again to implement Arafat's 12/3 arrest order, the PSF takes up positions around the Gaza City home of Hamas's Shaykh Yasin, confiscates his car, cuts his telephone service. In reaction, 100s of Palestinians converge on Yasin's home to challenge the PSF; the sides exchange gunfire leaving 1 Hamas mbr. dead, 2 wounded. A Palestinian dies of injuries received on 11/28. (AP, HA, HP, JP [Internet], LAW, MM 12/5; LPA, XIN 12/5 in WNC 12/6; AFP, MM, NYT, WP, WT 12/6; MM, NYT, WP, WT 12/7; PR 12/12; WP 12/21)

Israel strikes PA targets for a 2d day, shelling Arafat's Ramallah compound (though not hitting the building housing his office, where he is staying), sending F-16s to hit PSF, Force 17 offices in Gaza City. The IDF also shells PSF, Force 17, PA military intelligence offices in Bayt Lahia, Jabaliya, Khan Yunis, Salfit, Qalqilya, and Tulkarm and the Information Min. offices in Ramallah; reoccupies the village of Iktaba and areas of al-Bireh, Nablus, Ramallah; fires on the home of PLO Exec. Comm. mbr. Ghassan Shaka`. A total of 3 Palestinians are killed, over 150 wounded, including 60 schoolchildren; a 4th Palestinian, an ill baby, dies when the IDF prevents his transportation through a checkpoint to a hospital. The PA dismisses Tulkarm's PSF head Brig. Gen. Mahmud Awadala for releasing prisoners fr. Tulkarm's jail, including 6 Islamic Jihad mbrs., in fear that the IDF would shell the prison. (AFP, AP, HA, HP, MEZ, MM, NYT, PMC, WP, WT 12/4; MENA 12/4 in WNC 12/5; HP, LAW, MM 12/5)

Upon his return fr. the U.S. Sharon meets with his security cabinet, then his full cabinet to discuss how to respond to the 12/1+n2 attacks. The full cabinet votes to declare the PA "an entity that supports terrorism," adds Force 17 (Arafat's "presidential guard") to its list of terrorist groups, authorizes Sharon to escalate military action. FM Shimon Peres, other Labor MKs walk out of the cabinet mtg. in protest but do not formally withdraw fr. the governing coalition. (AP, CNN, HA, MM 12/3; MM, NYT, WP, WT 12/4; MM, WJW 12/6; MEI 12/7; MA 12/7 in WNC 12/12; WP 12/9)

While the cabinet meets, the PSF continues to arrest mbrs. of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, risking confrontations with hostile Palestinian crowds. Arafat also orders the arrest of Hamas spiritual leader Shaykh Ahmad Yasin, but when PSF officers arrive around midnight, crowds of Palestinians force them to retreat. The PSF says it has arrested more than 100 Palestinians since 12/2. Arafat asks Peres for a 4-day grace period, during which he vows he would crack down on opposition groups. Israel refuses, dismissing the arrests as a "show for international consumption." The U.S. says the PA must "root out the infrastructure of the groups that support terrorists." (HA 12/3; NYT, WP, WT 12/4; AKH 12/4 in WNC 12/5; MEI 12/7; MA 12/7 in WNC 12/11; WT 12/10)

Soon after the cabinet mtg., the IDF launches air raids against Arafat's headquarters and other PA sites around Gaza City, destroying the PSF barracks, Arafat's 2 personal helicopters, injuring 12 Palestinians; sends tanks into Gaza airport to bulldoze runways; sends troops into Ramallah to surround the PA's West Bank headquarters, where Arafat is staying. In Jinin, U.S.-supplied F-16s destroy the Palestinian governate building, jail, PSF headquarters. The IDF also fatally shoots 1 Palestinian nr. Jinin; raids Beitunia, attacking several homes and arresting an Arafat adviser, several Islamic Jihad mbrs. In Bethlehem, Fatah mbrs. Rafat al-Bajali and Nidal al-Dirbani, both on Israel's wanted list, are killed in a mysterious explosion thought to be an IDF assassination. The White House spokesman Ari Fleischer says Israel "obviously has the right to defend itself. The president understands that very clearly." (AFP, AP, CNN, HA 12/3; XIN 12/3 in WNC 12/4; MENA 12/3, AN, MA 12/4 in WNC 12/5; HA, HP, NYT, WP, WT 12/4; HP, LAW 12/5; AYM 12/5 in WNC 12/7; AYM 12/6, al-Safir 12/7 in WNC 12/11; MEI 12/7; WJW 12/14; MEI 12/21)

A Hamas suicide bomber detonates a powerful device on a bus in Haifa, killing 14 Israelis, 1 Filipino, and injuring more than 40. Arafat condemns the attack, outlaws "any movement, organization, or gathering" that does not abide by his cease-fire order, orders confiscation of illegal weapons, reiterates plans for a crackdown, saying that around 90 Palestinians have already been arrested. Israel dismisses the arrests as "a stunt," seals PA areas, bans all Palestinian vehicular traffic, shells residential areas of Jinin. In one of several similar incidents in the Bethlehem area, 20 PSF officers attempting to arrest journalist Issa Zawahara, who has ties to Islamic Jihad, are chased off by an angry crowd of Palestinians. Arafat later meets with PA security heads, convenes the Palestinian Council (PC) to discuss the recent attacks. (AFP, AP, HA 12/2; AFP, ATL, Interfax, LPA, XIN 12/2 in WNC 12/3; HA, MM, NYT, WP, WT 12/3; DUS, MA 12/3 in WNC 12/4; WT 12/4; AYM 12/4 in WNC 12/5; LAW 12/5; WJW 12/6; MEI 12/7; JP 12/14)

Sharon, Bush meet at the White House. Sharon says he does not expect Arafat to take serious steps to arrest those responsible for recent suicide attacks, says Israel will "do what we have to do to protect our citizens." Neither Bush nor U.S. officials urge Israeli restraint. (JP [Internet] 12/2; LPA 12/2 in WNC 12/3; MM, WP, WT 12/3; WT 12/4; VIRI 12/4 in WNC 12/5; MM 12/5)

Meanwhile, Hamas also takes responsibility for a drive-by shooting in Gaza, which leaves 1 Jewish settler dead. In the Jordan Valley, 7 settlers are wounded in a 2d drive-by shooting. Palestinians in Bayt Jala fire on Gilo, injuring 2 settlers. Armed Jewish settlers accost Palestinians in Hizma. An Israeli security guard outside an East Jerusalem bank fatally shoots a Palestinian, apparently fearing that he was about to stage an attack. The IDF fatally shoots 4 Palestinians nr. a Jinin checkpoint, 1 Palestinian in Tulkarm; fires a tank shell at a Palestinian in Qabatiyya, killing him. The IDF also directs shells/heavy machine gun fire at residential areas of Aida, Jinin, Khan Yunis, Salim; conducts arrest raids in Abu Dis, Azariyya, Burqa. In Gaza, some 1,000 Hamas supporters rally in support of continued attacks on Israeli targets. In Nablus, 300 Palestinians attend a rally against political arrests sponsored by the National and Islamic Higher Comm. for the Follow-up of the Intifada (NIHC). (HA 12/2; XIN 12/2 in WNC 12/3; PMC, REU, WP 12/3; LAW 12/5)

As U.S. envoy Zinni meets with PA officials, an Islamic Jihad suicide bomber detonates a device on a bus in Hadera, Israel, killing 3 Israelis, wounding 7. The bomber reportedly boarded the bus in the Israeli Arab town of Umm al-Fahm. A Palestinian gunman also kills 1 IDF soldier in a drive-by shooting at a West Bank checkpoint. The IDF opens fire on a Palestinian car at a Jordan Valley checkpoint, killing 2 Palestinians that "acted suspiciously" by making a U-turn to avoid the congested crossing. The IDF also opens fire on a French delegation (135 politicians, journalists, intellectuals) touring homes demolished by the IDF in Khan Yunis; seals Hebron; sets up more roadblocks, especially on the road to Bethlehem; tightens the closure on Tulkarm, bulldozing areas along the Green Line; raids a Palestinian factory nr. Qarni crossing, confiscating electrical equipment; directs heavy machine gun fire on residential areas of Jinin; shells residential areas of Khan Yunis. Jewish settlers, under IDF protection, place caravans on a new settlement site nr. Dayr al-Balah. (AFP, HP 11/29; AFP, AP, HP, MM, NYT, WT 11/30; al-Quds 11/30 in WNC 12/3; LAW 12/5)

Sharon arrives in the U.S. on an official visit, accuses Arafat of having built a "coalition of terror" against Israel. (MM 11/30; NYT 12/1)