Wednesday, June 20, 2001

IDF soldiers fatally shoot 1 Palestinian at a roadblock nr. Ramallah. (Soldiers say the man was "moving suspiciously," they fired at his legs but "somehow struck" him in the heart.) IDF sends troops into PA-controlled al-Qarara; flies low-level F-16 sorties over Jinin, breaking the sound barrier; bulldozes 3 Palestinian homes in Gaza City, nr. Netzarim settlement; tightens the closures on Ramallah, Tulkarm (digging more trenches across roads leading to the city). The PSF arrests 2 Palestinians in the shooting death of a Greek monk on 6/12. Inside Israel, a pipe bomb hidden in a trash can explodes in a bus station in Hadera, causing no injuries. A Palestinian sniper kills a Jewish settler nr. Nablus. In response, Jewish settlers enter a nearby Palestinian village, damage buildings, set fire to an olive grove. Settlers also raze an olive grove nr. Tulkarm. 10s of armed Jewish settlers protest outside Sharon's offices in Jerusalem. (HA, JP [Internet], PMC 6/20; MM, NYT, WP, WT 6/21; MA 6/21 in WNC 6/22; QA 6/21 in WNC 6/25; MEZ 6/24; MEI 6/29)

After further talks with his security cabinet, Sharon decides not to abandon the Tenet plan but says Arafat has "done nothing" to stop violence, warns that plans for a major military strike are ready but will be held in abeyance for now. Arafat accuses Israel of focusing on isolated incidents while ignoring PA successes in controlling violence; notes that the IDF has not stopped using tanks, machine guns against Palestinians or prevented Jewish settlers fr. harassing, attacking Palestinians. EU, U.S. say the PA is making a noticeable effort but should do more. (AP 6/20; NYT, WP, WT 6/21; DUS 6/25 in WNC 6/27)

At the weekly trilateral security comm. mtg., Israel presents a timetable for the IDF to completely lift its blockades in the West Bank, Gaza and to redeploy to 9/28/00 positions, but says it will not implement it until all violence ceases. Several District Coordination Offices (DCOs) have reopened in the West Bank as required in stage 2 of the cease-fire, which ends today. Israel has also reopened 5 mi. of sea off to Gaza fishermen; allowed 1,000s of Palestinian workers to return to an industrial park on the Gaza border; left 2 of 9 Palestinian homes in Rafah that the IDF occupied as security outposts. (NYT, WT 6/21; AYM 6/23 in WNC 6/26)

After phone calls to Arafat, Mubarak, and Sharon, Bush announces he will send Powell to the region next wk. to reinforce the shaky cease-fire. (MM 6/20; MENA 6/20 in WNC 6/21; MM, NYT, WP, WT 6/21; JT 6/22 in WNC 6/25)