Monday, February 12, 2001

Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue, leaving 2 Palestinians dead. Palestinians step up attacks on Jewish settlements, with Fatah's Bethlehem branch issuing a leaflet calling on Palestinians to target Gilo specifically, but cause no injuries; Palestinians reportedly fire an antitank missile that causes no damage. The IDF directs heavy machine gun, rocket-propelled grenade fire at residential areas of Khan Yunis, forcing many families to flee their homes, severely damaging 20 homes, a mosque; directs shells, heavy machine gun fire at residential areas of Aida camp, al-Azza camp, Beitunia, al-Bireh, and al-Khadir, Ramallah, al-Tuffah destroying 11 Palestinian homes, 1 Red Crescent ambulance; bulldozes Palestinian land nr. Kefar Darom settlement, demolishing 2 Palestinian homes. Israeli officials tell the press there were never plans to demolish Palestinian homes in Mawasi (see 2/11), the IDF informs the 22 families. Israel reopens Gaza airport for 1 wk. to allow Palestinians to fly to Saudi Arabia for the hajj. (Gush Shalom press release, HA, HP, LAW, REU 2/12; NYT, WT 2/13; NYT 2/15)

A Likud spokesman say Sharon, Barak have agreed on most guidelines for a national unity government, including a joint peace platform aiming only at reaching an interim agmt. with the PA and an agmt. that no new settlements would be built, though existing ones would be expanded. (HA, NYT, WP, WT 2/13, 2/16)