Sporadic small arms and artillery fire and mock IDF air raids; Alexandre Hotel in East Beirut jolted by bomb explosion (apparent reprisal for hitting of Commodore;...
In the West Bank, 1 Palestinian minor succumbed to injuries sustained by Israeli forces during a raid in Kafr Dan on 4/14. Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Qarawat Bani Hassan, injuring 1 Palestinian minor with live ammunition and others with tear gas; the minor was also arrested. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Kafr Qaddum, injuring 3 with baton rounds and others with tear gas. Elsewhere, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Hebron, injuring 1 with live ammunition and others with tear gas. Israeli forces also violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Bayt Dajan, injuring 3 with baton rounds and others with tear gas. Meanwhile, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinian protesters in Qaryut, Beita, and Bazariya, leading to tear-gas related injuries. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces violently dispersed Palestinians at the Haram al-Sharif compound, including inside al-Aqsa Mosque, injuring more than 152 Palestinians with baton rounds, batons, and tear gas, including 8 who were admitted into intensive care facilities. Several Palestinian journalists at the compound were violently beaten by Israeli police, causing broken limbs. 3 Israeli police officers were lightly injured. Some 470 Palestinians were arrested at the compound before noon prayers, where some 50,000 worshippers were praying, about half from the West Bank. Around 440 were released within 24 hours, some of whom were banned from entering the compound until after the end of Ramadan. (AJ, AJ, AJ, AJ, AP, AX, HA, HA, MDW, MEE, MEE, NYT, PCHR, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 4/15; MEMO, REU 4/16 HA 4/18; PCHR 4/21; UNOCHA 4/23)
Hamas, the PA, Jordan, Morocco, UAE, Bahrain, the United Arab List, and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation condemned the Israeli-led violence at the Haram al-Sharif compound (see above). The U.S. state department released a statement urging “all sides to exercise restraint, avoid provocative actions and rhetoric, and preserve the historic status quo on the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount.” The spokesperson for UN secretary general António Guterres expressed grave concern about the situation in Jerusalem. (HA, REU, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 4/15; HA, MEMO, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA, WAFA 4/16)
Palestinians in the West Bank are under an Israeli-imposed curfew for the Jewish holiday of Passover, beginning at 4 P.M. and continuing until 4/17. Crossings between Gaza and Israel are closed. (HA 4/14; HA 4/15; HA 4/16)
Hamas political leader Ismail Haniyeh spoke to Arab League secretary general Ahmed Aboul Gheit about the Israeli attacks on Palestinians at the Haram al-Sharif compound. Haniyeh also spoke with Iranian foreign minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian and speaker of the Kuwaiti parliament Marzouq al-Ghanim in separate calls. (MEMO 4/16)
At a Passover seder hosted by U.S. vice president Kamala Harris and 2nd gentleman Doug Emhoff, the couple served wine made by the settler winery Psagot Winery in the West Bank. The senior advisor for communications to Vice President Harris said in a tweet that “the wine served at the Seder was in no way intended to be an expression of policy.” (HA, MDW 4/17; MEE 3/18)
In Cairo, Egypt's Pres. Mubarak, PA's Arafat discuss peace process, British PM Blair's tour, upcoming visit by U.S. special envoy Ross. (MENA 4/22 in WNC 4/28)
In Beirut, Speaker Birri briefs Kuwait's National Assembly Speaker Ahmad `Abd al-Aziz al-Sa'dun on Israel's proposal for conditional withdrawal fr. s. Lebanon. (RL 4/22 in WNC 4/28)
Arab League mbrs. sign 1st Arab antiterrorism convention, which exempts armed attacks against foreign occupiers. (WT 4/22; RE 4/23 in WNC 4/28; PR 5/1)
Shaykh Murtada Burujirdi, top candidate for the position of grand spiritual leader of Shi'i Muslims worldwide, is assassinated in Najaf, Iraq. Iraqi officials have previously threatened him. (NYT 4/24; al-Ahd [Beirut] 4/24 in WNC 4/30)
A bomb explodes outside the Jordanian Highway Patrol Directorate in Suwaylih, n. of Amman, causing damage but no injuries. No one claims responsibility. (RJ 5/10 in WNC 5/13)
Yedi'ot Aharonot reports that in an interview with its paper last wk., fmr. CIA officer and convicted Russian mole Aldrich Ames stated that after the Pollard affair was uncovered, the CIA recruited a high-level Israeli to spy for the U.S. A U.S. intelligence source reportedly confirmed the story but said that the agent, who was never detected, was in place long before the Pollard incident, was removed when Pollard was captured. (YA 4/22, 4/24 in WNC 4/27)
An SLA mbr. is injured when a roadside bomb explodes in s. Lebanon. (VOL 4/22 in WNC 4/28)
SLA positions at Shumariyeh and Alman, southern Lebanon, attacked with katyushas and mortars. (MM 7/20)
Lebanese army and Hizballah fire SAM-7 missile at overflying Israeli plane. (VOL 7/21 in FBIS 7/21)
Hadashot reports that a secret Israeli envoy has met with the PLO in Tunis in an effort to bridge gaps in Israeli and Palestinian negotiating positions. Both PM Rabin and FM Peres deny the story. (MM 7/20)
10-year-old Izzat Matar, shot 7/18 by IDF, dies of his wounds in Gaza. (MM 7/21)
Kuwaiti govt., responding to confusion and controversy over its adherence to boycott of Israel, issues statemento Kuwait National Assembly saying it obeys boycott, but that "consequences of the Iraqi aggression" required "reexamination" of rules on secondary boycott of foreign companies dealing with Israel. Statement reiterates Kuwaiti adherence to all Arab League and GCC boycott rules, says end of Israeli settlements precondition for ending direct boycott (see 6/7, 6/11). (KUNA 7/20 in FBIS 7/21)
Sporadic small arms and artillery fire and mock IDF air raids; Alexandre Hotel in East Beirut jolted by bomb explosion (apparent reprisal for hitting of Commodore; international phone, telex communications from East Beirut cut).
Thousands of residents flee W. Beirut despite calm (traffic jams at crossing points, many journalists leave, heavy damage along Corniche Mazraa and near Museum, many streets impassable).
Israel/ Occupied Territories: Israeli Cabinet rejects Security Council order to pull back troops in Beirut, permit additional UN observers into area (as Cabinet meets, over 2,000 anti-war demonstrators protest outside Begin's offices); Israel slashes subsidies for basic commodities by up to 36 percent to finance war (bread rises 15 percent in price, bus fares 25 percent, milk 36 percent); several Cabinet members want to restrict Sharon, claiming he is bypassing government in ordering major IDF tactical advances.
Palestinians/ Lebanese: Salam announces plan for withdrawal, new timetable, as breakthrough in negotiations expected; Lebanese politicians optimistic about new proposals offering US guarantees for physical safety of departing PLO.
Arab Governments: Saudi King Fahd telephones Reagan, asks him to prevent an all-out attack on Beirut; Yemeni ambassadors meet in Libya, following meetings in Syria and Saudi Arabia, to gain agreement for Arab leaders' meeting on Lebanon; meeting of Arab Foreign Ministers scheduled for next Tuesday in Tunisia; Kuwaiti parliament members press government to sever relations with the US, suspend oil shipments and withdraw funds from US banks (Saudi Arabia threatened to withdraw $100 b. from US banks last month).
US and Other Countries: US asks Israel to yield advances won Wednesday, withdraw to Sunday cease-fire lines, accept two-week total cease-fire to aid negotiations (Israel rejects appeal, official reports that Reagan feels misled by Begin); International Commission of Jurists ask that captured PLO members be given prisoner of war status; USSR praises PLO resistance; French Embassy evacuates to E. Beirut.
UN: US expected to veto any call for sanctions against Israel for rejecting UN call for pull-back; Secretary General cancels trip to Mideast after Begin refuses to meet with him if he meets with Arafat; Security Council members complain of slow US responses in UN discussions (Kirkpatrick reportedly unable to delegate responsibilites).