Sunday, July 15, 2001

The IDF sends tanks into PA-controlled Hebron fr. 3 directions to destroy 5 Force 17 posts, wounding 9 Palestinians. Armed Jewish settlers occupy a Palestinian building in the city, fire on Palestinians, wounding 1. Inside Israel, 2 Palestinians are killed while they are allegedly preparing a bomb nr. the stadium where the Maccabiah Games are scheduled to open today. In Bethlehem, Israeli undercover agents kidnap senior Islamic Jihad mbr. Mahmud Hamdan. (MM, WP 7/16; MM 7/17; AP 7/21; al-Haq press release 7/23)

During Sharon's address opening the Maccabiah Games, 8 Jewish women silently stand and hold signs saying "War Criminals" and "Stop Ethnic Cleansing." They are beaten by other Israeli spectators, removed by Israeli police, arrested, charged with "improper behavior," and released. The women also distribute a leaflet at the games denouncing Israeli actions. (Bat Shalom press release, HP 7/17; MEI 7/27)

In Cairo, Peres, Arafat meet after holding separate talks with Pres. Mubarak on the deteriorating Israeli-Palestinian situation. Peres warns Arafat that Israel will not hold back if there is another major bombing. (ITAR-TASS 7/15 in WNC 7/16, 7/17; MM, WT 7/16; MM 7/19; MENA 7/19 in WNC 7/23)

The Israeli cabinet approves construction of new communities in a vacant Negev area of Halutza Sands, bordering the southeast corner of the Gaza Strip, that the previous government had considered giving to the PA in a land-swap deal as part of a final status agmt. (NYT, WP, WT 7/16)