Monday, April 2, 2001

Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue to escalate. In Rafah, the IDF assassinates Islamic Jihad activist Muhammad `Abd al-Al, firing wire-guided missiles fr. helicopter gunships at his truck. (2,000 Palestinians attend his funeral later in the day.) After an Islamic Jihad sniper kills an IDF soldier nr. Rachel's Tomb in Bethlehem in retaliation, the IDF fires missiles, tank shells, machine guns, grenades at Palestinian residential areas of the city, damaging 15 homes and wounding 8 Palestinians, including a 2-yr.-old girl, 3-mo.-old baby. The IDF also eases open-fire regulations; shells residential areas of Aida camp, Bayt Jala, Nablus; demolishes 1 Palestinian home in al-Khadir, 1 in al-Tur. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) detonates a car bomb nr. an IDF patrol outside Qeddumim settlement, causing no injuries. In Hebron, Jewish settlers blow up 4 Palestinian shops; afterward, the IDF bulldozes the buildings, surrounding area to create a buffer around the Abraham Avino settlement. Palestinians fire homemade mortars at the Qarni industrial zone. In Jerusalem, a Palestinian attacks, injures an IDF soldier, steals her M-16. (JP [Internet] 4/2; AFP, MA 4/2 in WNC 4/3; MA 4/2, QA 4/4 in WNC 4/5; HP, JP [Internet], LAW, MM, NYT, WP, WT 4/3; NYT 4/4; MEI 4/6; NYT 4/7)

In Washington, Mubarak briefs Bush on the Jordanian-Egyptian "nonpaper" (see 4/1), urges him to support the proposal and to become more involved in the peace process. Bush says the nonpaper ideas should be discussed; the U.S. can "facilitate" talks btwn. Israel, the PA, but it "can't force a peace." Bush also urges Egypt to return its amb. to Israel. (MM 4/2; MENA 4/2, JT, MENA, al-Quds 4/3, MENA, al-Ra'i 4/4 in WNC 4/5; JP [Internet], MM, NYT, WP, WT 4/3; WJW 4/5; MEI 4/6; MENA 4/6 in WNC 4/9; MENA 4/11 in WNC 4/12; WJW 4/12)

The State Dept. certifies PLO compliance with the Oslo agmts. for the period 6/16/00+n12/15/00, saying PA security coordination with Israel was very high prior to 9/28/00, it is uncertain to what degree PLO or PA officials were actively involved in starting or encouraging violence after 9/28. (JP [Internet] 4/4; MM 4/10; MM 5/2)