Saturday, February 24, 2001

Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue. The IDF shells residential areas of Brazil refugee camp, damaging a school. Israel says it will begin allowing Palestinians with VIP passes (e.g., PC mbrs.) to travel btwn. the West Bank and Gaza providing they request permission of the IDF in advance, submit to searches. The PA says Israel should honor the VIP passes without restrictions as per signed agmts. (MA 2/25 in WNC 2/26; HJ 2/26 in WNC 2/27; LAW 3/1)

U.S. Secy. of State Colin Powell arrives in Egypt on the 1st leg of a 3-day tour to meet regional leaders, to discuss the Bush administration's proposal to modify the sanctions regime on Iraq to eliminate many economic restrictions, refocus sanctions more narrowly on Saddam Hussein's military. After meeting with Egyptian pres. Husni Mubarak, Powell heads to Israel, where he confers with Barak on bilateral, Israeli-Palestinian relations. Powell will also visit Ramallah, Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Syria. (NYT, WP, WT 2/25; al-Ra'i 2/25 in WNC 2/27; WP 2/27; MA 3/1 in WNC 3/5; MEI 3/9)

In Amman, 1,000 Jordanians attend a rally organized by the Jordan professional associations to protest the U.S. Secy. of State Powell's visit to the kingdom on 2/25 in light of the U.S. position toward the Palestinians, Iraq. (JT 2/25 in WNC 2/26; JT 2/26 in WNC 2/27)