Monday, August 13, 2001

Palestinians across the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem observe a general strike. IDF soldiers seriously beat mbrs. of an Egyptian TV crew filming the strikes nr. Qalqilya; fatally shoot 1 Palestinian wanted for killing a Jewish settler on 7/24. The IDF also bars a pregnant Palestinian fr. crossing a checkpoint to reach a hospital to deliver her baby; directs shells/heavy machine gun fire residential areas of Gaza City, Rafah; shuts the Rafah crossing; reinforces the closures on Jinin, Khan Yunis, Tulkarm. Jewish settlers attack Palestinian residents of Hebron. Israeli police arrest 10 protesters outside Orient House. (AP, HA, HP, REU 8/13; AYM 8/13 in WNC 8/14; CNN, NYT, WP, WT 8/14; MENA 8/14 in WNC 8/15; NYT 8/15)

     Late this evening, the IDF sends tanks and bulldozers, escorted by helicopters, into Jinin to surround PA offices, demolish the local PSF headquarters and a PSF checkpoint; soldiers also occupy the local governor's office. The PSF, which evacuated the sites hrs. earlier, does not engage the IDF troops; the incursion sparks only isolated exchanges of gunfire, which leave 3 Palestinians wounded. Israel says the move--marking the IDF's 1st sustained foray into a major PA-controlled city--is to punish the PA for not halting a number of recent suicide bombers who have come fr. Jinin; says it has no intention of permanently reoccupying the area. (AP, HA, HP 8/13; CNN, NYT, WP, WT 8/14; ITAR-TASS 8/14 in WNC 8/15; MEZ, NYT, WT 8/15; SA 8/16 in WNC 8/17)

Egypt dispatches a high-level delegation, led by Mubarak adviser Baz, to Washington for 4-days of talks with U.S. officials to urge the U.S. to focus on restarting Israeli-Palestinian negotiations as well as resuming security contacts. (MENA, SA 8/13 in WNC 8/14; WP 8/14; MENA, SA 8/14 in WNC 8/15; NYT 8/16)