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  • July 22, 2001

    Palestinians fire a mortar at a Jewish settlement in Gaza, causing no damage. Afterward, PSF officers attempt to arrest the group at a checkpoint, exchanging gunfire with them, wounding 3. In...

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  • July 15, 2001

    The IDF sends tanks into PA-controlled Hebron fr. 3 directions to destroy 5 Force 17 posts, wounding 9 Palestinians. Armed Jewish settlers occupy a Palestinian building in the city, fire on...

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  • July 12, 2001

    Israeli-Palestinian clashes increase sharply. Palestinian gunmen shoot at a vehicle nr. Nablus, wounding 3 Jewish settlers. In retaliation, the IDF temporarily reoccupies a hill inside PA-...

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  • June 27, 2001

    The IDF directs shells/heavy machine gun fire at residential areas of Rafah, Salim; tightens the closures on Salim, Tulkarm, several villages nr. Ramallah; places new checkpoints at 2...

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  • June 25, 2001

    In Hebron, a Fatah sniper, retaliating for the Jawabiri assassination on 6/24, shoots and wounds a 7-yr.-old Jewish settler, sparking a firefight in which 12 Palestinians, 4 IDF soldiers are...

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  • June 20, 2001

    IDF soldiers fatally shoot 1 Palestinian at a roadblock nr. Ramallah. (Soldiers say the man was "moving suspiciously," they fired at his legs but "somehow struck" him in the heart.) IDF sends...

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  • June 17, 2001

    Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue at a low level, prompting Israel, the PA to exchange accusations that the other has violated the cease-fire agmt. Islamic Jihad detonates 2 roadside bombs nr....

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  • June 14, 2001

    An IDF intelligence officer is fatally shot by his Palestinian informant, who in turn is shot dead by the officer's bodyguard. The Brigade of Shalhavet and Gilad takes responsibility for killing 1...

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  • June 8, 2001

    Palestinians fire mortars at Jewish settlements in Gaza, causing no damage. A Palestinian sniper injures an Israeli civilian driving nr. Ramallah. 2,000 Palestinians take part in a nonviolent...

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  • June 7, 2001

    2 Palestinians die of injuries received earlier, including senior Fatah mbr. Bardawil who was wounded on 6/5 in a possible assassination attempt. The IDF directs shells, heavy machine gun fire at...

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  • June 4, 2001

    As Israeli-Palestinian clashes pick up slightly, Israel says it is not satisfied with the PA's cease-fire efforts. A serious exchange of gunfire, grenades, missiles takes place in Rafah, leaving...

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  • June 3, 2001

    A relative calm prevails in the West Bank and Gaza given the exceptionally tight closure. The IDF records only 3 Palestinian shooting incidents. Another Israeli injured in the 6/1 bombing dies,...

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  • June 2, 2001

    Overnight, international leaders press Israel, the PA to show restraint, deescalate tensions in light of the 6/1 suicide bombing. Powell phones Arafat to warn him to declare a cease-fire and...

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  • June 1, 2001

    A Hamas suicide bomber detonates a device outside a nightclub in Tel Aviv, killing 16 Israelis and injuring more than 80, mostly teenage Russian immigrants on a Friday night out. Arafat's...

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  • May 23, 2001

    Israeli-Palestinian clashes abate slightly but are still at a relatively high level, leaving 1 Israeli civilian (a worker on a road crew nr. Ariel settlement) dead in a West Bank shooting. Bush...

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  • May 21, 2001

    Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue, leaving 2 Palestinians dead. Under police surveillance, Israelis, Jewish settlers march through Jerusalem to celebrate Jerusalem Day, marking Israel's capture...

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  • May 15, 2001

    Palestinians mark Nakba commemoration day by observing 3 minutes of silence. Large rallies are held in every major Palestinian city in the West Bank and Gaza, after which a recorded...

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  • May 9, 2001

    As Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue, 2 Jewish settler teenagers (1 of whom is a dual U.S.-Israeli citizen) are found beaten to death in a cave nr. Bethlehem; the pair have been...

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  • April 29, 2001

    Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue. A Palestinian suicide bomber detonates a car bomb nr. a Jewish settler school bus in the West Bank, killing himself but causing no other injuries...

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  • April 28, 2001

    Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue to escalate, leaving 1 Palestinian, 1 Jewish settler dead in separate shooting incidents. Claiming revenge for the death of Fatah mbrs. on 4/25, a group...

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  • April 25, 2001

    Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue to abate. In Rafah, 4 Fatah mbrs. are killed, 5 are wounded in a mysterious explosion. Though some reports claim the men were assembling a bomb when it...

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  • April 24, 2001

    Israeli-Palestinian clashes abate slightly, though 2 Palestinians are killed. Observers note that Palestinian mortar attacks have tapered off since Arafat's 2d call for a halt on 2/19...

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  • April 20, 2001

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  • April 19, 2001

    Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue. A mysterious explosion rips through a Force 17 office in Ramallah, injuring 3 officers. Israel denies responsibility, though the attack comes...

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  • April 18, 2001

    Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue. Hrs. after the IDF completes its pulls out of PA-controlled areas of n. Gaza, Palestinians again fire 7 mortars fr. Bayt Hanun toward a Jewish...

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  • April 7, 2001

    Arafat phones Sharon, Peres to wish them a happy Passover, to call on Israel to resume talks soon. Sharon reiterates his demand that Palestinians 1st halt all violence. Meanwhile,...

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  • March 27, 2001

    2 bombs, the 4th and 5th since Sharon's 2/6 election, explode outside the Jewish settlements of Talpiot, French Hill in East Jerusalem, killing an apparent Palestinian suicide bomber...

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  • March 10, 2001

    Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue, leaving 1 Palestinian dead. The IDF shells residential areas of Bayt Hanun, Hebron, Nablus. Also in Hebron, Jewish settlers stone Palestinians,...

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  • February 25, 2001

    Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue, leaving 1 Palestinian dead. A 2d, ailing Palestinian dies at an IDF checkpoint after soldiers bar him fr. crossing to reach a hospital in...

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  • February 9, 2001

    Israeli-Palestinian clashes intensify, leaving 1 Palestinian dead. The IDF shells residential areas of al-Bireh, severely damaging the Local Government Min., Palestinian Central...

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Palestinians fire a mortar at a Jewish settlement in Gaza, causing no damage. Afterward, PSF officers attempt to arrest the group at a checkpoint, exchanging gunfire with them, wounding 3. In Haifa, Israeli police arrest a Palestinian for planting a bomb nr. a building complex, dissemble the device. Israel announces that several days ago, the Shin Bet arrested Arafat bodyguard Anis Namura on charges of organizing a group to carry out attacks on Israeli targets in the West Bank. The PA denies Namura is a Force 17 mbr. Palestinians report that the IDF has recently moved more helicopters into Jewish settlements in the West Bank. (WP 7/22; MM 7/23; REU, WT 7/24; MEI 7/27)

At a Likud Central Comm. mtg. in Tel Aviv, Sharon is criticized for "being soft," not "crushing" Arafat, the PA. Leading the criticism is fmr. PM Benjamin Netanyahu. (MM, NYT, WP 7/23; MA 7/23 in WNC 7/24; MM 7/25, 7/26; MEI 7/27; JP 8/3)

The IDF sends tanks into PA-controlled Hebron fr. 3 directions to destroy 5 Force 17 posts, wounding 9 Palestinians. Armed Jewish settlers occupy a Palestinian building in the city, fire on Palestinians, wounding 1. Inside Israel, 2 Palestinians are killed while they are allegedly preparing a bomb nr. the stadium where the Maccabiah Games are scheduled to open today. In Bethlehem, Israeli undercover agents kidnap senior Islamic Jihad mbr. Mahmud Hamdan. (MM, WP 7/16; MM 7/17; AP 7/21; al-Haq press release 7/23)

During Sharon's address opening the Maccabiah Games, 8 Jewish women silently stand and hold signs saying "War Criminals" and "Stop Ethnic Cleansing." They are beaten by other Israeli spectators, removed by Israeli police, arrested, charged with "improper behavior," and released. The women also distribute a leaflet at the games denouncing Israeli actions. (Bat Shalom press release, HP 7/17; MEI 7/27)

In Cairo, Peres, Arafat meet after holding separate talks with Pres. Mubarak on the deteriorating Israeli-Palestinian situation. Peres warns Arafat that Israel will not hold back if there is another major bombing. (ITAR-TASS 7/15 in WNC 7/16, 7/17; MM, WT 7/16; MM 7/19; MENA 7/19 in WNC 7/23)

The Israeli cabinet approves construction of new communities in a vacant Negev area of Halutza Sands, bordering the southeast corner of the Gaza Strip, that the previous government had considered giving to the PA in a land-swap deal as part of a final status agmt. (NYT, WP, WT 7/16)

Israeli-Palestinian clashes increase sharply. Palestinian gunmen shoot at a vehicle nr. Nablus, wounding 3 Jewish settlers. In retaliation, the IDF temporarily reoccupies a hill inside PA-controlled Nablus and shells PSF buildings in the city, killing 1 PSF officer, wounding 2 officers and a child. The IDF also occupies 3 Palestinian homes in nearby Kafr Khalil, which it does not surrender when troops withdraw fr. Nablus. Outraged settlers attack a nearby Palestinian village, smashing windows of Palestinian cars and an ambulance with stones and rifle butts, burning olive groves. After 1 Jewish settler is killed, 1 is wounded by a Palestinian sniper in Hebron, the IDF shells several Palestinian buildings, destroying a PSF post, injuring 2 PSF officers, up to 92 Palestinian civilians, and cutting off power to the PA-controlled area of the city. Angry settlers stone Palestinian homes, set fire to a garage, 1 car in Hebron; smash taxi windows, slash tires in the nearby Palestinian village of Halhul. (AP 7/12; MM, NYT, WP 7/13; MA, al-Quds 7/13 in WNC 7/16; In Focus 7/18)

Sharon sends his son Omri to Ramallah to stress to Arafat "the absolute need to stop the terror and violence," reportedly warns that Israel is prepared to launch a major strike if Palestinian attacks do not cease. (HA, MM, NYT 7/13; WP, WT 7/14; SA 7/14 in WNC 7/17; MM 7/16; MM 7/19)

The IDF directs shells/heavy machine gun fire at residential areas of Rafah, Salim; tightens the closures on Salim, Tulkarm, several villages nr. Ramallah; places new checkpoints at 2 intersections outside Tulkarm, a new observation tower at al-Muntar crossing in Gaza; extends the curfews on PA-areas of Hebron for the 3d day, on Silat al-Dahir for the 8th day; imposes a curfew on Dayr Istya; opens fire on a PSF checkpoint at the entrance to Qalqilya, causing no injuries; conducts an arrest sweep in Abruqin; fires on Palestinian fishermen off the coast of Rafah. Palestinians fire on Jewish settlers in the West Bank, causing no damage; fire antitank grenades at an IDF post in Gaza and detonate a roadside bomb nr. an IDF patrol nr. Nablus, causing no injuries. Jewish settlers open fire on a bus transporting Palestinian workers, injuring 9; set fire to Palestinian trees in Dayr Istya. A Palestinian, possibly a collaborator, is found shot dead in Qalqilya; 1 Palestinian dies of injuries received earlier. (HP, JT [Internet] 6/27; HP, NYT 6/28)

After a brief stop in Egypt to confer with Mubarak and urge him to press Arafat to halt violence, Powell opens mtgs. with Israeli, PA officials on strengthening their cease-fire. Powell reiterates that, while the U.S. does not believe that complete quite is likely or necessary for implementation of Tenet's plan to move forward, only Sharon can decide what level of violence is low enough. (MM 6/27; MM, NYT, WP, WT 6/28; WP 7/1; MEI 7/13)

Survivors of the Sabra-Shatila massacre file a suit against Israeli PM Sharon in Lebanese court. (Daily Star [Internet] 6/28; JT 7/29 in WNC 7/30)

In Hebron, a Fatah sniper, retaliating for the Jawabiri assassination on 6/24, shoots and wounds a 7-yr.-old Jewish settler, sparking a firefight in which 12 Palestinians, 4 IDF soldiers are wounded. In response, the IDF seals, places a curfew on the Palestinian section of Hebron, bulldozes Palestinian land s. of Hebron; Jewish settlers place more caravans at a new illegal outpost site nearby. Jewish settlers also place caravans on Palestinian land nr. Qalqilya, attack Palestinian cars in Wadi al-Juz, cut off water to Palestinian villages nr. Halmish settlement. Palestinians fire on a settler bus nr. Jerusalem. A gunfight erupts nr. Neve Dekalim settlement, wounding an 11-yr.-old Palestinian. The IDF tightens closures on Qalandia, Tulkarm; confiscates 20 dunams of Palestinian land nr. Qalqilya; bulldozes Palestinian land in Tulkarm; continues to impose curfews on Bayt Lahia, Bayt Lid, Safarin. Shin Bet announces that 11 days ago, it captured Aziz Salha, who has confessed under interrogation to being involved in the murder of 2 IDF reservists in Ramallah on 10/12/00. (PMC 6/25; AP, HP, MM, WP, WT 6/26; MA 6/26 in WNC 6/27; MM 6/27; JP 7/6; WP 7/7)

Fmr. U.S. senator George Mitchell, head of the Mitchell Comm., recommends that in order to move the cease-fire forward, Israel should immediately implement a full settlement freeze, the U.S. should invite Arafat to the White House. Meanwhile, in Israel, DM Ben-Eliezer says Israel plans to remove 15 illegal settler outposts that have been set up since the al-Aqsa intifada began, noting that they are a danger to security and cannot be defended adequately. (HA, HP, MM, WT 6/26; MA 6/26 in WNC 6/27; MM, WT 6/27; WJW 6/28)

IDF soldiers fatally shoot 1 Palestinian at a roadblock nr. Ramallah. (Soldiers say the man was "moving suspiciously," they fired at his legs but "somehow struck" him in the heart.) IDF sends troops into PA-controlled al-Qarara; flies low-level F-16 sorties over Jinin, breaking the sound barrier; bulldozes 3 Palestinian homes in Gaza City, nr. Netzarim settlement; tightens the closures on Ramallah, Tulkarm (digging more trenches across roads leading to the city). The PSF arrests 2 Palestinians in the shooting death of a Greek monk on 6/12. Inside Israel, a pipe bomb hidden in a trash can explodes in a bus station in Hadera, causing no injuries. A Palestinian sniper kills a Jewish settler nr. Nablus. In response, Jewish settlers enter a nearby Palestinian village, damage buildings, set fire to an olive grove. Settlers also raze an olive grove nr. Tulkarm. 10s of armed Jewish settlers protest outside Sharon's offices in Jerusalem. (HA, JP [Internet], PMC 6/20; MM, NYT, WP, WT 6/21; MA 6/21 in WNC 6/22; QA 6/21 in WNC 6/25; MEZ 6/24; MEI 6/29)

After further talks with his security cabinet, Sharon decides not to abandon the Tenet plan but says Arafat has "done nothing" to stop violence, warns that plans for a major military strike are ready but will be held in abeyance for now. Arafat accuses Israel of focusing on isolated incidents while ignoring PA successes in controlling violence; notes that the IDF has not stopped using tanks, machine guns against Palestinians or prevented Jewish settlers fr. harassing, attacking Palestinians. EU, U.S. say the PA is making a noticeable effort but should do more. (AP 6/20; NYT, WP, WT 6/21; DUS 6/25 in WNC 6/27)

At the weekly trilateral security comm. mtg., Israel presents a timetable for the IDF to completely lift its blockades in the West Bank, Gaza and to redeploy to 9/28/00 positions, but says it will not implement it until all violence ceases. Several District Coordination Offices (DCOs) have reopened in the West Bank as required in stage 2 of the cease-fire, which ends today. Israel has also reopened 5 mi. of sea off to Gaza fishermen; allowed 1,000s of Palestinian workers to return to an industrial park on the Gaza border; left 2 of 9 Palestinian homes in Rafah that the IDF occupied as security outposts. (NYT, WT 6/21; AYM 6/23 in WNC 6/26)

After phone calls to Arafat, Mubarak, and Sharon, Bush announces he will send Powell to the region next wk. to reinforce the shaky cease-fire. (MM 6/20; MENA 6/20 in WNC 6/21; MM, NYT, WP, WT 6/21; JT 6/22 in WNC 6/25)

Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue at a low level, prompting Israel, the PA to exchange accusations that the other has violated the cease-fire agmt. Islamic Jihad detonates 2 roadside bombs nr. IDF patrols in the West Bank and Gaza, causing no injuries. IDF soldiers fire on Palestinian demonstrators in Khan Yunis, killing a 12-yr.-old Palestinian boy. However, the IDF pulls back troops fr. sensitive points in Gaza; Israeli, PA security teams conduct joint patrols for the 1st time in mos.; IDF, PSF cmdrs. in Gaza jointly oversee IDF efforts to dismantle roadblocks, remove tanks fr. Netzarim Junction. (NYT, WP, WT 6/18; AKH 6/18 in WNC 6/19)

In Ramla, Israel, Israeli police demolish an Israeli Arab home built without a permit. (HA 6/21)

Sharon refuses a UN request to allow FM Peres to joint a mtg. btwn. Arafat, UN Secy.-Gen. Annan in Ramallah today, saying there can be no PA-Israeli negotiations without a complete cessation to Palestinian violence. Sharon's decision sparks a sharp exchange with Peres, who supports holding the mtg., during a Knesset session. (MM, NYT, WP, WT 6/18)

Syrian troops continue their redeployment fr. posts in and around Beirut. (al-Quds 6/17, al-Ra'i 6/18 in WNC 6/19; MM, NYT, WP, WT 6/18; RMC 6/19 in WNC 6/20; MEI 6/29)

An IDF intelligence officer is fatally shot by his Palestinian informant, who in turn is shot dead by the officer's bodyguard. The Brigade of Shalhavet and Gilad takes responsibility for killing 1 Palestinian, wounding 3 in a 2d drive-by shooting. Jewish settlers also attack Palestinians in Sha'r and Tammun, severely injuring 3. The IDF directs shells and heavy machine gun fire at residential areas of Nablus; confiscates 100s of dunams of land nr. Khan Yunis to create a buffer zone around Gush Katif bloc, set up a new IDF post; confiscates 10s of dunams nr. al-Mintar crossing; conducts an arrest raid into Nablus. (AP, HP, MM 6/14; MA [Internet], NYT, WP, WT, YA [Internet] 6/15; al-Quds 6/15 in WNC 6/19; AYM 6/18 in WNC 6/20; WJW 6/21)

The PA-Israeli cease-fire implementation begins. The IDF moves tanks out of most PA-controlled areas; moves troops out of Netzarim Junction; reopens major Gaza roads to Palestinian traffic; reopens the Gaza+nEgypt border crossing. The IDF does not redeploy forces fr. Nablus, Rafah, and Ramallah, where most of the day's clashes occur; Sharon says Israel will not lift closures in areas where the cease-fire has not been implemented or has been violated. West Bank PSF head Rajub announces on IDF Radio that Arafat has called on all Palestinian security forces to abide by the cease-fire. (AP 6/14; HA, NYT, WP, WT 6/15)

Syrian troops turn over to the Lebanese army 5 strategic positions in and around Beirut. (RL 6/14 in WNC 6/15; MM, WT 6/15; AFP, RL 6/15 in WNC 6/18; NYT 6/16, 6/20; MEI 6/29)

Palestinians fire mortars at Jewish settlements in Gaza, causing no damage. A Palestinian sniper injures an Israeli civilian driving nr. Ramallah. 2,000 Palestinians take part in a nonviolent demonstration to reopen the Ramallah-Birzeit road. When demonstrators cross the IDF barricades, troops open fire with rubber-coated steel bullets, injuring 17. Jewish settlers place caravans on a hill nr. Surif, outside Hebron, in an attempt to establish a new enclave. (HA, NYT, WP, WT 6/9; HP 6/10; MM 6/11)

Tenet presents Israeli, PA security officials with a U.S.-drafted cease-fire plan. Meanwhile, Burns meets with Israeli, PA officials (including Arafat) to try to reopen a political dialogue. (MM 6/8; ITAR-TASS 6/8 in WNC 6/11; NYT, WP, WT 6/9; NYT, WT 6/10; HJ 6/10, HJ, MENA 6/11 in WNC 6/12; SA 6/10 in WNC 6/13; NYT, WP, WT 6/11; HJ 7/1 in WNC 7/3)

In Jerusalem, 3,000 Israeli, Palestinian women hold a rally for peace on the anniversary of the occupation of the West Bank, Gaza. At least 144 similar rallies, vigils are staged in 15 countries, 27 U.S. cities. (Women in Black press release 6/18)

2 Palestinians die of injuries received earlier, including senior Fatah mbr. Bardawil who was wounded on 6/5 in a possible assassination attempt. The IDF directs shells, heavy machine gun fire at residential areas of Khan Yunis, Rafah; raids 3 PA-controlled areas in Gaza, 1 in Hebron; occupies an uninhabited building in Nablus for use as an IDF post. Palestinians fire mortars at 2 Gaza settlements, causing no damage. Jewish settlers attempt to set up a new enclave nr. Nablus, where a settler was killed a wk. ago, but the IDF intervenes, declares the area a closed military zone. IDF troops bar an ambulance carrying a Palestinian man suffering a heart attack fr. crossing a checkpoint to reach a hospital; the man dies en route to the hospital via a 2d, longer path. Troops also bar a Palestinian woman in labor from crossing a checkpoint to reach Jericho hospital 40 m. away; after she gives birth, the soldiers allow her to walk through the crossing with her newborn. Israeli security forces arrest a number of Palestinian fr. Hebron working illegally inside the Green Line; escort them to Gaza, where they are barred fr. returning to Hebron. (HA, HP 6/8; HA 6/11)

CIA Dir. Tenet holds preliminary mtgs. with Sharon in Tel Aviv, Arafat in Ramallah. Israel presents two lists of Palestinians it wants arrested immediately: 34 Palestinians who committed anti-Israeli attacks and were released fr. PA prisons since the intifada began; some 300 Palestinians that "participated in the recent violence against military and civilian targets." The PA says it will coordinate with Israel and act on tips to prevent attacks, noting that it has already passed information to Israel regarding 2 possible suicide bombings since 6/1, but will not make preventive arrests without probable cause. (HA, MM 6/7; HJ, MENA, al-Quds, SA 6/7 in WNC 6/8/; MM, NYT, WP 6/8; DUS 6/8 in WNC 6/11; NYT 6/9)

In Ramallah, reps of the nationalist and Islamist groups give PLO Exec. Comm. secy. Mahmud Abbas a memorandum calling on Arafat to open a "national dialogue" to discuss forming an emergency government that includes all Palestinian factions. (AYM 6/8 in WNC 6/11; HJ 6/10 in WNC 6/12; AYM 6/12 in WNC 6/14)

As Israeli-Palestinian clashes pick up slightly, Israel says it is not satisfied with the PA's cease-fire efforts. A serious exchange of gunfire, grenades, missiles takes place in Rafah, leaving 22 Palestinians, 3 IDF soldiers wounded. Another Israeli injured in the 6/1 bombing dies, raising the toll to 20. The PSF arrests 2 Palestinians in connection to the 6/1 bombing. Palestinians fire 1 mortar in Gaza, causing no damage. The IDF bulldozes 50 dunams of Palestinian land nr. Kefar Darom settlement; shells residential areas of Asira. Jewish settlers shoot at Palestinian homes, vehicles in Hebron, Jinin; attack Palestinians nr. Dahiyat al-Barid, Tulkarm. (AFP [Internet], HP 6/4; NYT, WP, WT 6/5; MM, PMC 6/6; MM 6/11)

In light of today's Gaza gun battle, the Bush admin. concludes the Israeli-Palestinian situation is on the verge of spinning out of control. After securing Sharon's consent, the State Dept. announces that CIA Dir. George Tenet will head to the region to seek a more durable cease-fire but emphasizes that the pressure will be on Arafat to demonstrate he is serious. Powell demands the PA arrest Islamists who may be planning attacks, resume security cooperation with Israel. (NYT, WP, WT 6/5; MM, NYT, WP 6/6; JT 6/7 in WNC 6/8; MEI 6/15)

A relative calm prevails in the West Bank and Gaza given the exceptionally tight closure. The IDF records only 3 Palestinian shooting incidents. Another Israeli injured in the 6/1 bombing dies, raising the toll to 19. The PA accuses the IDF of attempting to assassinate senior Islamic Jihad mbr. Muhammad Bisharat, 1 of Israel's most wanted, by detonating a remote controled bomb nr. his car in Tulkarm. The IDF fires tank shells at residential areas of Tal al-Sultan; bulldozes 15 dunams of Palestinian land nr. Kefar Darom settlement. Jewish settlers occupy 10s of dunams of Palestinian land nr. Bethlehem. (HP, WP, WT 6/4; PMC 6/6; NYT 7/2)

PA security officials meet with reps. of all Palestinian factions to press Arafat's cease-fire call. (NYT, WP, WT 6/4; SA 6/5, MENA 6/6 in WNC 6/7; HJ 6/7 in WNC 6/11; MEI 6/15)

After an "intense internal debate," the Bush admin. decides not to send a high-level diplomatic mission to work with Israeli, PA officials to secure a more durable cease-fire, deciding instead to press Arafat to act more forcefully to suppress violence. Powell praises Israel for its restraint. When asked if he has urged Israel to avoid retaliation, Powell says, "I have not given that direct comment to the Israeli government." (NYT 6/4; WP 6/6)

Overnight, international leaders press Israel, the PA to show restraint, deescalate tensions in light of the 6/1 suicide bombing. Powell phones Arafat to warn him to declare a cease-fire and immediately arrest Hamas and Islamic Jihad mbrs., or the U.S. would sever all relations with the PLO and would not intervene with Israel to prevent a massive retaliation. German FM Joschka Fischer, in Israel on other matters, races to Ramallah to meet with Arafat, whom he warns to make a statement in is own words calling for a halt to violence or lose all EU political and economic support to the PA. During a heated session, Fischer, UN special coordinator Terje Larsen work with Arafat to draft a statement condemning the bombing and ordering an immediate and unconditional cease-fire, which Arafat reads publicly this morning. (MENA 6/2, AFP, Interfax, ITAR-TASS, MENA 6/3 in WNC 6/4; NYT, WT 6/3; MM, NYT, WP 6/4; WP 6/5; XIN 6/5 in WNC 6/6; al-Ahram [Internet] 6/9; JP, MEI 6/15)

Meanwhile, Sharon holds a 7 hr. mtg. with his security cabinet to discuss how to respond to the 6/1 bombing. According to an anonymous U.S. admin. official, they draw up plans to "carry out a massive, full-force invasion" of PA-controlled territory lasting up to a wk. After Arafat reads his cease-fire call, the security cabinet places its strike plan in reserve but declares that the IDF will resume instigating actions against Palestinians (see 5/22). (NYT, WT 6/3; JT 6/3 in WNC 6/4; MM, NYT, WP 6/4; Interfax 6/4 in WNC 6/5; MM, WP 6/5; al-Ahram [Internet] 6/9; UPI 6/12 JP, MEI 6/15)

The U.S. ambs. to Egypt, Israel, Jordan send an urgent cable to Powell, appealing to him to come to the region to firmly urge against violence, in favor negotiations. Powell says the time is not right. (NYT 7/5)

Meanwhile, 2 Israelis injured in the 6/1 bombing die, bringing the Israeli toll to 18. Nr. the site of the bombing, 100s of Israeli Jews surround a mosque, chanting "Death to Arabs!" stoning the mosque, breaking windows, trapping some 20 worshipers inside, attacking journalists, setting fire to 2 cars outside. Although the situation builds for hrs., Israeli police look on but do not intervene, saying, "We don't have enough manpower, and we won't use tear gas against Jews." Israelis also gather at the disco where the bombing occurred, carrying signs saying, "Enough passivity. We want war." In Jaffa, a mob of Israeli Jews sets fire to a restaurant owned by Israeli Arabs. The IDF tightens internal closures on PA areas, reports only a handful of incidents of sniping at Jewish settlements. Hamas says it will not abide by Arafat's cease-fire. (HA, NYT, WT 6/3; AN 6/3 in WNC 6/4; NYT, WP 6/4; WP 6/5; HA 6/7; al-Ahram [Internet] 6/9; JP, MEI 6/15)

The EU dispatches up to 24 security experts to Bayt Jala, Rafah to monitor the PA's cease-fire compliance. The experts, coordinated by Alistair Crooke, security adviser to EU special envoy Miguel Moratinos. (MA 6/6 in WNC 6/7; NYT 6/8; AFP 6/8 in WNC 6/11; MA 6/11 in WNC 6/12)

A Hamas suicide bomber detonates a device outside a nightclub in Tel Aviv, killing 16 Israelis and injuring more than 80, mostly teenage Russian immigrants on a Friday night out. Arafat's spokesman condemns the attack, calls on all parties to show restraint. The PA orders Palestinians to close offices and stores and return to their homes, fearing a massive retaliation. Israel seals the West Bank and Gaza; reinforces internal closures on all Palestinian population centers, dividing the West Bank into 8 enclaves, Gaza into 4. Meanwhile, Jewish settlers set up a new enclave on Batn al-Masi hill in the West Bank. A Palestinian known for selling land to Jews is found murdered in Bethlehem. (CNN, HA, IGPO, JP [Internet] 6/1; NYT, WP, WT 6/2; MA 6/2, JT, SA 6/3 in WNC 6/4; NYT 6/3; MM 6/4; DUS 6/4 in WNC 6/5; WJW 6/7; AFP [Internet] 6/8; MEI 6/15)

Before the bombing, Israel allows 10,000s of Palestinians into Jerusalem to attend Faisal Husseini's funeral in Jerusalem. He is buried in a family tomb in the al-Aqsa Mosque compound. As Israeli police stand back and watch, Palestinians make their largest open display of Palestinian nationalism in the city since 1967. Some Palestinians throw stones at Sharon's East Jerusalem residence, and a Jewish tourist fires a teargas canister at mourners, but generally the event is peaceful. (AP, HA, YA [Internet] 6/1; MA, Radio France International 6/1, al-Quds 6/2 in WNC 6/4; HP, NYT 6/2; WJW 6/7; JP, MEI 6/15)

Israeli-Palestinian clashes abate slightly but are still at a relatively high level, leaving 1 Israeli civilian (a worker on a road crew nr. Ariel settlement) dead in a West Bank shooting. Bush phones Arafat, Sharon to urge both sides to contain violence. Sustained gun battles are reported nr. Gilo settlement outside Jerusalem, in Rafah. Palestinians fire 4 mortars, 12 homemade grenades at targets in Gaza; detonate a roadside bomb in the West Bank. IDF tanks enter 4 PA-controlled areas nr. Khuza in Gaza to bulldoze agricultural land, shell a PSF post; conduct an arrest sweep in Atil village. The PSF arrests the Palestinian owner of an iron-casting company on charges of manufacturing mortars. (AP 5/23; WP, MM, NYT, PCHR, WT 5/24)

Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue, leaving 2 Palestinians dead. Under police surveillance, Israelis, Jewish settlers march through Jerusalem to celebrate Jerusalem Day, marking Israel's capture of East Jerusalem in the 1967 war. IDF helicopter gunships shell PSF post, a factory in Gaza where Israel claims mortars have been made. The IDF also sends tanks into al-Qarara to fire on several Palestinian homes; bulldozes Palestinian agricultural land nr. Netzarim settlement; fires heavy machine guns at residential areas of Bayt Jala, al-Bireh, Hebron, Gaza City, al-Tira. (NYT, WT 5/21; London Press Association 5/21 in WNC 5/22; HP 5/22; NYT 5/23; PCHR 5/24; LAW 5/25; MEI 6/1)

Powell urges Israel, the PA to implement the Mitchell Comm. recommendations by declaring an unconditional cease-fire but does not endorse the comm.'s call for a settlement freeze (saying Israel should "restrain" settlement expansion as a confidence building measure after violence halts). Powell says he will not meet with Arafat or Sharon as discussed on 5/16; instead charges U.S. Amb. to Jordan William Burns, who has been nominated as asst. secy. of state for Near East affairs, with exploring what confidence building measures could be employed once violence ceases. (MENA 5/21 in WNC 5/22; ITAR-TASS 5/21, AYM, HJ, MENA 5/22 in WNC 5/23; MM, NYT, WP, WT 5/22; MM, WP 5/23; AYM, HA, JT, MA, MENA, QA, al-Ra'i 5/23 in WNC 5/24; WJW 5/24; QA 5/25 in WNC 5/29; MEI 6/1; NYT 6/2)

Palestinians mark Nakba commemoration day by observing 3 minutes of silence. Large rallies are held in every major Palestinian city in the West Bank and Gaza, after which a recorded message by Arafat is read over loudspeakers. Israeli Arabs hold marches to the sites of their destroyed villages. Marches, rallies are also held in Amman (where 1,000s demonstrate), Cairo, Tehran, Washington. (MM 5/15; IRNA, MENA 5/15 in WNC 5/16; SA 5/15, HJ, JT, al-Quds 5/16 in WNC 5/17; NYT, WP, WT 5/16; WJW 5/17; HA, WP 5/18)

Israeli-Palestinian clashes escalate due to the Nakba anniversary, leaving 5 Palestinians, 1 Israeli settler dead, some 250 Palestinians wounded. In an apparent assassination in Gaza, the IDF fires a tank shell at the car driven by `Abd al-Hakim al-Manama, bodyguard of Hamas spiritual leader Shaykh Yasin, killing him and a passenger. In Ramallah, an IDF soldier shoots French TV reporter Bertrand Aguirre, who captures his targeted shooting on video; Aguirre escapes fatal injury because he is wearing a bulletproof vest. A Palestinian woman gives birth at an IDF checkpoint when soldiers refuse to let her pass to reach a hospital. The IDF directs shells, heavy machine gun fire at residential areas of Rafah, Tulkarm. (AP, LAW 5/15; HP, NYT, WP, WT 5/16; PCHR 5/17; CSM 5/18; JP 5/25)

The Higher Follow-Up Comm. for the Arab Community (HFCAC), composed of Israeli Arab political and community leaders, reports that Israel is restricting the freedoms of Israel Arabs in light of the al-Aqsa intifada. Israeli Arab journalists, poets have been detained for questioning, warned against "incitement" for writing on the intifada; community activists have received threatening telephone calls fr. police, intelligence officials; Israel police have opened investigations against 4 Israeli Arab MKs; 1 Israeli Arab has been placed under administrative detention; several Israeli Arabs have had their passports confiscated for taking part in a trip to Syria. (HFCAC press release 5/15)

In Washington, PA senior negotiator Abbas holds talks with Secy. of State Powell, National Security Adviser Condoleeza Rice on halting violence, Arafat visiting the U.S. (WP, WT 5/16; MENA 5/16 in WNC 5/17; NYT 5/17, 5/21)

Israel, the PA submit their official responses to the Mitchell Comm. report, generally welcoming the report as a basis for a cease-fire. (MM 5/15; NYT 5/16; AYM 5/16 in WNC 5/18; NYT 5/17)

Israel reinforces troops in Shaba` Farms, directs machine gun fire across the border into Lebanon, flies helicopters along the border area. (RL 5/15 in WNC 5/16)

As Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue, 2 Jewish settler teenagers (1 of whom is a dual U.S.-Israeli citizen) are found beaten to death in a cave nr. Bethlehem; the pair have been missing since 5/8. Sharon calls the murders a "new escalation," blames the PA. The IDF detains 15 Palestinians for questioning. YESHA settlers council says the proper response is to accelerate settlement construction, declare Arafat an enemy of the state, bring down the PA. The IDF makes 4 incursions into PA-controlled territory: sending bulldozers covered by tanks into Rafah to demolish a Palestinian home, shell a PSF post; bulldozing Palestinian land nr. Gaza City; twice entering Bayt Hanun to bulldoze land, a PSF post. Hamas claims responsiblity for a roadside bomb on the Egypt-Gaza border that kills 2 Rumanian migrant laborers, wounds 1. Palestinians fire 2 mortars at Nissanit settlement in Gaza, causing no damage. (AP, MM 5/9; MM, NYT, PCHR, WP, WT 5/10; LAW, MM, NYT, WP, WT 5/11; WJW 5/17; MEI 5/18)

For the 1st time in 3 yrs., the Israeli government demolishes 2 bedouin homes in the Negev. (Mossawa Center press release 5/17) (see 4/26)

Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue. A Palestinian suicide bomber detonates a car bomb nr. a Jewish settler school bus in the West Bank, killing himself but causing no other injuries. Palestinians also fire 2 mortars at a Kefar Darom settlement in Gaza. Inside the Green Line, Israeli police find, safely detonate a bomb in Netanya. The IDF shells a PSF office in Gaza, residential areas of Khan Yunis; bulldozes Palestinian land in Khan Yunis; conducts an arrest sweep in Jalazun. Jewish settlers set fire to a Palestinian olive grove in Salfit, destroying 50 trees. (WP 4/30; LAW 5/4)

Arafat orders the popular resistance comms. to disband and their mbrs. (most of whom are Fatah mbrs., some of whom are PSF officers) to "return to their original security positions," calls senior PSF officer Yasir Zanun (a Fatah mbr. and a leader of the resistance comms.) in for questioning, has the PSF arrest Hamas spokesman `Abd al-`Aziz Rantisi for statements accusing Arafat of treason for resuming security talks with Israel. Fatah tanzim leader Barghouti, Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the PFLP strongly oppose disbanding the resistance comms. (WP 4/30; AYM 5/1 in WNC 5/3; WJW 5/3; SA 5/3 in WNC 5/4; MEI 5/4 WP 5/7; MEI 5/18)

Israeli FM Peres presents Israel's response to the Jordanian-Egyptian proposal to Mubarak in Cairo, Jordanian FM Khatib in Amman. Egypt, Jordan say they will study Israel's reservations and proposed changes, but they are not willing start a new process of "talks about talks." (MENA 4/29 in WNC 4/30; HA, NYT, WP 4/30; HA, MM 5/1; AYM 5/1 in WNC 5/3; MM 5/2; MEI, MM 5/4)

Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue to escalate, leaving 1 Palestinian, 1 Jewish settler dead in separate shooting incidents. Claiming revenge for the death of Fatah mbrs. on 4/25, a group calling itself the Four Martyrs fires mortars at a Kefar Darom, Netzer Hazani, and Nissanit settlements in Gaza, wounding 5 settlers (1 seriously) in Netzer Hazani. Fatah denies any connection to the group; Israel blames Arafat directly. The IDF directs shells, heavy machine gun fire at residential aras of Khan Yunis; bulldozes 100s of dunams of Palestinian nr. Dugit settlement, Khan Yunis; detains 7 Palestinian fishermen at sea. Armed Jewish settlers bar the entrances of Haris, attempt to enter the village, but are blocked by international peace activists who hold them off until Ariel settlement security officers take them away. (NYT, WP, WT 4/29; International Solidarity Movement press release 5/1; LAW 5/4; MEI 5/4)

Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue to abate. In Rafah, 4 Fatah mbrs. are killed, 5 are wounded in a mysterious explosion. Though some reports claim the men were assembling a bomb when it exploded, 1 of the 4 killed, Ramadan Azzam, is also head of Gaza's popular resistance comms., raising speculation that the explosion was an IDF assassination. Arafat's Fatah organization denies its mbrs. are involved in bomb making. The IDF bulldozes 50-60 dunams of Palestinian land nr. Dugit settlement, 20 dunams nr. Rafah. (AP, WP 4/25; HJ 4/27 in WNC 4/30; MEI 5/4)

Israeli-Palestinian clashes abate slightly, though 2 Palestinians are killed. Observers note that Palestinian mortar attacks have tapered off since Arafat's 2d call for a halt on 2/19, though today Palestinians fire 5 mortars at Neve Dekalim settlement and 3 at Gush Katif settlement, causing no damage. The IDF raids the village of Wadi al-Silqa nr. Kefar Darom settlement, ransacks homes, harasses residents, demolishes 1 Palestinian home; directs heavy machine gun fire at al-Sudaniyya, Gaza City. Israel eases the border closing btwn. Egypt, Gaza temporarily but then imposes a 72-hr. closure on the West Bank and Gaza, sealing crossings to Egypt, Jordan and tightening controls on Palestinian movement inside the territories, fearing attacks during Israeli memorial, "independence" days on 4/25-26. (MM, NYT, WT 4/25)

Iran convenes a 2-day conference in support of the al-Aqsa intifada, Palestinians' rights. Delegations fr. 35 Arab, Muslim countries and senior mbrs. of Hamas, Hizballah, Islamic Jihad take part. (BBC 4/24; IRNA, TT 4/24 in WNC 4/25; MM, WT 4/25; Iran Daily, IRNA 4/25 in WNC 4/26; WJW 4/26; IRNA, VIRI 4/26 in WNC 4/27; HJ 4/27 in WNC 4/30; MM 5/2; IRNA 5/2 in WNC 5/3; al-Nahar 5/4 in WNC 5/7)

Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue. After Friday prayers at al-Aqsa Mosque, Palestinians throw stones at an Israeli police station inside the mosque compound. Israel sends 10s of riot police into the compound for the 1st time since 9/00 to disperse the Palestinians, evacuate the officers; 2 officers are hurt, but rioters disperse without the police using force. The IDF removes roadblocks dividing the Gaza into 3 sections. (AP, MM 4/20; NYT, WT 4/21; WT 4/22)

Commenting on Powell's statement on Israel's reoccupation of part of Gaza on 4/17, Sharon tells the French newspaper Le Figaro that he is "tired of always hearing people say that Israel uses excessive force," adding that foreign criticism only "encourages Arafat to start shooting at Israeli civilians again." (WP 4/21)

Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue. A mysterious explosion rips through a Force 17 office in Ramallah, injuring 3 officers. Israel denies responsibility, though the attack comes within an hr. of an Israeli inner cabinet mtg. to discuss responses to recent Palestinian violence. The PA acknowledges the explosion came fr. inside the building. Reporters witness mbrs. of different PA security forces scuffling with each other; PA police confiscate reporters film, video tape. Later, Palestinian mortars land on both sides of the Gaza-Israel border causing no damage. The IDF fires on several Palestinians suspected of firing mortars, injuring senior Hamas mbr. Khalil Sakani; Hamas admits its mbrs. fired mortars at Kefar Darom settlement. Arafat issues a 2d call to halt mortar attacks across the Green Line; sends a message to Sharon via a visiting U.S. congressional delegation suggesting that both leaders deliver simultaneous public calls for a halt to violence, a renewal of negotiations. Sharon says Arafat should issue cease-fire orders 1st. (AP 4/19; AFP [Internet], HA, WP, WT 4/20; NYT, WT 4/21; al-Quds 4/24 in WNC 4/26; MM 4/27; DUS 4/27 in WNC 4/30)

Israeli FM Peres meets with PA Local Government M Erakat to discuss ways of reducing violence. Later, Peres holds a 2d mtg. with Arafat economic adviser Rashid (see 4/18). (EFE [Madrid] 4/19 in WNC 4/24; AYM 4/24 in WNC 4/25)

Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue. Hrs. after the IDF completes its pulls out of PA-controlled areas of n. Gaza, Palestinians again fire 7 mortars fr. Bayt Hanun toward a Jewish settlement in Gaza and the Erez crossing, causing no damage. The IDF sends tanks, bulldozers back into Bayt Hanun to demolish a PSF post. Bush calls Sharon to urge restraint. Sharp clashes are reported in Bethlehem (where the IDF fires surface-to-surface missiles at a new conference center, a stone cutting factory), nr. Jerusalem. The IDF also bulldozes Palestinian land nr. Gaza airport. (MM 4/18; ATL, MENA 4/18 in WNC 4/19; MM, NYT, WP, WT 4/19; AYM, MENA, al-Quds 4/19 in WNC 4/24; WP 4/21)

Israeli FM Peres meets with Arafat economic adviser Muhammad Rashid (Khalid Salam) reportedly to discuss reducing violence, though no details are released. (EFE [Madrid] 4/19 in WNC 4/24; AYM 4/24 in WNC 4/25)

Arafat phones Sharon, Peres to wish them a happy Passover, to call on Israel to resume talks soon. Sharon reiterates his demand that Palestinians 1st halt all violence. Meanwhile, Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue, with a higher incidence of gunfire on both sides. (MENA 4/7, 4/7 in WNC 4/9; WT 4/8)

Despite the ban on public gatherings, 200 Jordanians stage a rally in Amman to mark the anniversary of the Dayr Yasin massacre, to reaffirm the Palestinians' right of return. Some 5,000 people attend a right of return rally in New York. Similar demonstrations are held in Australia (Melbourne, Perth, Sydney), Canada, Holland, Italy, Japan, Lebanon, the occupied territories, Spain, Syria. (AP 4/7; JT 4/8 in WNC 4/9; JP [Internet] 4/9)

 

2 bombs, the 4th and 5th since Sharon's 2/6 election, explode outside the Jewish settlements of Talpiot, French Hill in East Jerusalem, killing an apparent Palestinian suicide bomber, injuring 35 Israelis. Islamic Jihad takes responsibility for both attacks. Right-wing opposition MKs, Jewish settlers accuse Sharon of not taking Israeli security seriously and demand retaliation, with Likud Education M Limor Livnat saying Arafat should be targeted. Sharon's office says Israel will respond "at the time and place we choose." (AFP [Internet], MM 3/27; ITAR-TASS 3/27 in WNC 3/28; MM, NYT, WP 3/28; WJW 3/29; AFP 3/29 in WNC 3/30; JP, MEI 4/6)

In the West Bank and Gaza, Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue, leaving 1 Palestinian dead. In Hebron, Jewish settlers attempt to storm Abu Sunayna for a 2d day, are push back by the IDF (which continues to urge Palestinian residents to evacuate the area). After dark, the settlers set fire to 5 Palestinian-owned stores, 7 cars, Waqf offices in the PA-controlled section of Hebron. Jewish settlers place caravans on confiscated Palestinian land on Mount Jarzim in Nablus. Israel arrests 2 Israeli border policemen for beating, torturing a Palestinian at a checkpoint into Israel earlier today. (MM 3/27; HA, HP, NYT, WP 3/28; AFP [Internet], NYT 3/29; MEI 4/6)

The 1st full Arab League summit in 12 yrs. opens in Amman. The agenda covers the peace process, aid to the Palestinians, Arab solidarity, inter-Arab economic ties, sanctions on Iraq. (MM 3/27; AN, DUS, JT, SA 3/27 in WNC 3/28; AYM 3/27, HJ, JT, SA 3/28 in WNC 3/29; MM, WP, USIS Washington File 3/28; JP, MEI 4/6)

On the sidelines of the Arab summit, Syrian pres. Asad meets with Arafat, marking the 1st senior-level Palestinian-Syrian mtg. since 1993. (JT 3/28 in WNC 3/29; MM, WP, USIS Washington File 3/28; JT, al-Quds 3/29 in WNC 3/30; DUS 3/30 in WNC 4/2; al-Majd 4/2 in WNC 4/3; AYM 4/2, HJ 4/3 in WNC 4/5; JP, MEI 4/6; MM 4/20)

After a week of negotiations on 2 compromise proposals fail, the U.S. vetoes a UNSC resolution backing a UN observer force to help protect the Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza. (AP 3/27; XIN 3/27 in WNC 3/28; WP 3/28; MM, NYT, WJW, WT 3/29; al-Quds 3/29 in WNC 3/30; MM 3/30; al-Quds 4/3 in WNC 4/5)

Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue, leaving 1 Palestinian dead. The IDF shells residential areas of Bayt Hanun, Hebron, Nablus. Also in Hebron, Jewish settlers stone Palestinians, beat 3 Palestinian journalists working for AFP. (WP, WT 3/11; LAW 3/17)

The PC holds its 1st full session since the al-Aqsa intifada began. Arafat appeals to the new Israeli government to resume peace talks, acknowledges Israel's "need for security and safety," but does not call for a halt to the clashes, as Israeli officials had hoped. (NYT, WP, WT 3/11; JT 3/11 in WNC 3/13; al-Quds 3/11 in WNC 3/15; HA, MM 3/12; MEI 3/23)

Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue, leaving 1 Palestinian dead. A 2d, ailing Palestinian dies at an IDF checkpoint after soldiers bar him fr. crossing to reach a hospital in Ramallah. The IDF directs shells, heavy machine gun fire on residential areas of Hebron, Qalqilya, Tulkarm. Jewish settlers bulldoze Palestinian land around Ashkalot settlement, place new caravans on the site. Settlers are also reportedly moving boundary fences, adding trailers, bulldozing Palestinian land around Beit Hagay, Gush Etzion, Karme Tzur, Nahal Najhout, Tene settlements. (HP 2/26; HJ 2/26 in WNC 2/27; LAW 3/1)

U.S. Secy. of State Powell meets with Sharon in Israel, PA head Yasir Arafat in Ramallah (marking only the 2d time Israel has allowed Arafat into the West Bank since 9/28/00); urges them to halt violence, resume security cooperation, improve Palestinian economic conditions in the West Bank, Gaza; ensures Sharon that the U.S. commitment to Israel's security will remain solid under the Bush administration. Powell then stops in Amman to meet King Abdallah of Jordan, heads on to Kuwait for celebrations marking the 10th anniversary of the end of the Gulf War. (AP, HA, REU 2/25; MM, NYT, WP 2/26; JT, MA 2/26 in WNC 2/27; AYM 2/26 in WNC 3/5; HA 2/27; MM 2/28; QA 2/28 in WNC 3/1; MA 3/1, SA 3/4 in WNC 3/5; JP, MEI 3/9)

Israeli-Palestinian clashes intensify, leaving 1 Palestinian dead. The IDF shells residential areas of al-Bireh, severely damaging the Local Government Min., Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, Fatah High Command offices. (WP, WT 2/10)

Arafat phones Sharon to congratulate him, expresses hopes peace talks could resume soon, mentions the economic hardship in the West Bank and Gaza. Sharon says he will only take steps to lift the blockade if the PA halts violence and rearrests Islamists released fr. PA jails in the past 4 mos. (Chicago Tribune [Internet], NYT, WP 2/10)

PM-elect Sharon meets with outgoing PM Barak, who has yet to officially resign as head of Labor, and offers him position of DM in a unity government. Labor MK Peres would be offered the role of FM. Barak, Peres to not reject the offers. (MM 2/9; NYT, WP 2/10; WT 2/11; WJW 2/15)

In a Sharq al-Awsat interview published today, Syrian pres. Bashar al-Asad says Syria's peace terms have not changed, he would resume talks with any Israeli PM who is serious about reaching an agmt., he is willing to meet with Arafat if there is a clear objective and agenda. (MM 2/9; SA 2/9 in WNC 2/13; SA 2/14 in WNC 2/15)