Wednesday, April 4, 2001

In Athens, Israel, the PA hold their 1st public high-level talks since Sharon took office. Israeli FM Peres, PA Planning M Shaath, PA Local Government M Saeb Erakat discuss the Jordanian-Egyptian nonpaper, agree to resume security talks. Peres reiterates Sharon's position that negotiations cannot resume until all Palestinian violence ceases but does not reject the nonpaper outright. (BBC, HA, MM 4/4; QA 4/4 in WNC 4/5; HA, MM, NYT, REU, WP 4/5; AYM 4/5 in WNC 4/6; QA 4/5 in WNC 4/12; MEI, MM 4/6)

This evening, senior PA, Israeli security officials hold talks at the home of U.S. Amb. Martin Indyk in Herzilya, Israel; a CIA official sits in as a "nonparticipant observer" (see 3/21). When the PA team returns to Gaza, IDF troops fire on their convoy as it passes through the Erez crossing, injuring 2 bodyguards. The PA says the IDF attempted to assassinate the security chiefs; the IDF says troops thought they were being shot at fr. the convoy, "acted appropriately." (BBC, HA 4/4; HA, MM, NYT, REU, WP 4/5; AYM 4/5 in WNC 4/6; MM, NYT, WP, WT 4/6; al-Quds 4/6 in WNC 4/9; MM 4/9; MA 4/9 in WNC 4/10; AYM 4/9, XIN 4/10 in WNC 4/11; QA 4/11 in WNC 4/14; MEI 4/20; DUS 4/27 in WNC 4/30)

Meanwhile, Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue. Palestinians fire homemade mortars at Netzarim settlement, causing no damage. In return, the IDF fires mortars at a PSF post in Gaza. The IDF also directs heavy machine gun fire at Palestinian residential areas of al-Mughraga. Nr. Hebron, a tank overturns, killing 5 IDF soldiers, injuring 1. The IDF bulldozes 4 more Palestinian homes in Anata; 4 in Hebron; 3 homes, a warehouse, an animal pen in Jinin; 1 home in Bethlehem. In Gaza, Jewish settlers fr. Gush Katif, Kefar Darom block Saladin Road, throw stones at Palestinian cars, threaten passengers with machine guns. (LAW, PMC 4/4; NYT 4/5; MM 4/6)

With the escalation of Israeli-Palestinian violence, Jordan bans any demonstrations, public rallies in Amman, the scene of pro-Palestinian protests in recent mos. (REU 4/4; JT 4/5 in WNC 4/6)