Sunday, April 1, 2001

Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue. Israeli commandos enter a PA-controlled area A for the 1st time, capture 6 Force 17 mbrs.; Israel says more such raids could follow. The PSF reports that the IDF in Gaza has deployed additional tanks and numerous troops to 24 new posts along the length Green Line, at key intersections. In Nablus, a Palestinian sniper kills an IDF soldier. 1 Palestinian dies of injuries received earlier. In Hebron, the IDF places a curfew on Palestinians as Jewish settlers hold the funeral for a 10-mo.-old baby killed on 3/26. The settlers, many of them armed, march through the city, attacking Palestinian property, calling on Sharon to declare war. They attempt to storm Abu Sunayna but are held back by IDF troops. When 1 settler opens fire, the IDF fires on Abu Sunayna, thinking the shots came fr. Palestinians. The IDF also shells residential areas of Aida refugee camp, Bayt Jala, Bayt Sahur, Nablus, Rafah; demolishes 5 Palestinian homes in Bayt Dajan; bulldozes an olive grove nr. a settler bypass road nr. Salfit, 10 dunams of Palestinian land nr. Qalqilya to expand Alfe Menashe settlement. Israel, however, reopens the Erez industrial zone (see 4/30), allowing 3,000+n4,000 Palestinian workers to return to their jobs. (NYT, WP, WT 4/2; Globes, SA 4/2 in WNC 4/3; JP [Internet], MM, WP 4/3; SA 4/3 in WNC 4/5; LAW 4/4; AYM 4/5 in WNC 4/6; MEI 4/6; MM 4/12; JP 4/13)

Sharon secretly dispatches his son, Omri Sharon, and his adviser Yossi Ginossaur to Ramallah to discuss resuming security coordination, possible cease-fire arrangements with Arafat. (MA 4/3, 4/4 in WNC 4/5; MM 4/4; HA, MM, NYT 4/5; NYT, WP 4/6; MM 4/9)

FM Peres arrives in Stockholm where he holds "quiet contacts" with senior PA officials, including PA Planning M Nabil Shaath, on a Jordanian-Egyptian proposal (reportedly presented orally to Israel last wk.) for implementing a cease-fire and resuming political negotiations. (AFP, MA 4/3 in WNC 4/5; MM 4/4)