Monday, April 16, 2001

Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue to escalate, leaving 1 Palestinian dead. 5 Palestinian mortars fr. Gaza land nr. the town of Sederot inside Israel, only 4 mi. fr. Sharon's farm, causing no damage. Although Hamas claims responsibility, Israel says the PA is "undoubtedly" behind the manufacture of homemade mortars, which Palestinians have increasingly used since late 1/01. After a mtg. of Sharon's inner cabinet, the IDF carries out 4 hrs. of land, sea, air strikes against PA security posts across the Gaza Strip, hitting Gaza City's main police headquarters, at least 7 Force 17 posts in Dayr al-Balah, Gaza City, Rafah; 1 PSF officer is killed, 36 Palestinians are injured. IDF officials say they are preparing for a "rolling episode." The IDF sets up roadblocks dividing the Strip into 3 parts; closes the border with Egypt; bulldozes Palestinian land nr. Bayt Hanun (217 dunams destroying 11 Palestinian homes), Rafah; directs shells, heavy machine gun fire at residential areas of Bayt Jala, Bayt Sahur, al-Khadir; occupies 2 Palestinian homes nr. Morag settlement as IDF posts. In the West Bank, the IDF shells residential areas in Aida refugee camp, Bayt Jala, Bayt Sahur, al-Khadir. The PA cancels a security mtg. with Israel in protest (see 4/11). (AP, MEZ, MM, NYT, WP 4/17; MM, NYT, WP, WT 4/18; WJW 4/16; LAW, MEI, NYT 4/20; JP 4/27)

At Israeli FM Peres's urging, Jordanian FM Khatib comes to Tel Aviv as planned (see 4/15). He presents Sharon, Peres with a formal, written version of the Jordanian-Egyptian nonpaper. Sharon tells Khatib the proposal a "nonstarter," but Peres says it will be studied. (AP, MM, NYT, WP 4/17; JT 4/17 in WNC 4/18; MM 4/19; MEI 4/20; Economist [Internet] 5/3; MEI 5/4)

The Israeli DMin. asks the Finance Min. to release a $936 m. supplement to the DMin. budget to cover the costs of the last 6 mos. of the al-Aqsa intifada. (HA 4/17)