Monday, June 24, 2002

Before dawn, the IDF reoccupies Amari r.c., al-Bireh, Qadura r.c., and Ramallah, surrounding Arafat's offices (placing Arafat under de facto house arrest), arresting 13 PSF officers, meeting no resistance; imposes 24-hr. curfews on Aqaba, Dura, Iktaba, Tamun, Taysir, Tubas, Yatta; fires shells at residential areas of Khan Yunis; continues operations in Bethlehem, Jenin, Nablus (fatally shooting 1 Palestinian), Qalqilya, Tulkarm areas; lifts curfews in Jenin, Nablus, Qalqilya for 3 hrs. The IDF assassinates 2 Izzeddine al-Qassam Brigades leaders, Yasir Raziq and `Amr Kufa, in Rafah, firing missiles at their taxis, also killing 2 passengers, 2 drivers, injuring 13 bystanders. Jewish settlers stone an ambulance nr. Tulkarm. In Gaza, Hamas supporters clash with PSF officers enforcing Shaykh Yasin's house arrest, leaving 1 Hamas supporter dead. (BBC, MM, NYT, PRCS press release, WP, WT 6/24; XIN 6/24 in WNC 6/25; MM, NYT, WP, WT 6/25; LAW 6/26; PCHR, WJW 6/27; MEI 6/28)

After a wk.'s delay, Bush gives a major speech outlining the new U.S. policy toward the peace process. Without mentioning Israel's military escalations, Bush says in effect that the Palestinians must remove Arafat and create a Western-style democracy before the peace process can move forward. The U.S. halts direct dealings with Arafat. Bush's decision to call for Arafat's ouster was reportedly influenced heavily by an Israeli intelligence report he received last wk. (uncorroborated by the CIA) claiming that Arafat authorized a $20,000 payment to the AMB, which carried out the 6/19 suicide bombing. (AP, MM, NYT, WP 6/24; MA 6/24 in WNC 6/25; GS, MM, NYT, WP, WT, YA 6/25; AFP, ATL, Interfax, ITAR-TASS, MENA 6/25 in WNC 6/26; MM, NYT, WP, WT 6/26; AFP, JT, Le Monde 6/26 in WNC 6/27; NYT, WJW, WP 6/27; JT, al-Nahar 6/27 in WNC 6/28; MEI, MM 6/28; NYT, USIS Washington File 6/30; WP, WT 7/1; AN 7/1 in WNC 7/2; JPI 7/5)

Arafat sends the U.S., Arab states a 6-page memorandum outlining an ambitious 100-day reform plan, including plans for presidential and legislative elections in 1/03 and municipal elections in 3/03. (MM 6/24; NYT 6/25; MM 6/26; El Pais 6/26 in WNC 6/27;NYT, WP, WT 6/27; XIN 6/27 in WNC 6/28; AYM 7/1 in WNC 7/3; AYM 7/10, 7/17, 7/21 in WNC 7/23)

Israeli atty. gen. Elyakim Rubinstein says he will not take legal action against those calling for the "voluntary transfer" of Arabs fr. Israel, saying "voluntary transfer" is "immoral" not illegal. (The 13 Palestinians deported to Cyprus in 5/02 were "voluntarily exiled" as part of a deal brokered by Israel and the PA; see 5/22) (HA 6/24; MM 6/27)

In response to Israeli appeals to local satellite channels to drop coverage of BBC World and CNN International because of their "pro-Palestinian bias" (1 channel replaced CNN with Fox News coverage on 6/20), CNN chief news exec. Eason Jordan arrives in Israel to apologize publicly on behalf of the network, to unveil a special 5-part series on Israeli victims of violence (aired 6/24-28) and a Web "memorial" to Israeli victims of Palestinian violence. (WT 6/24; NYT 6/25; WJW 6/27; MEI 6/2; see also JTA 6/20, MSNBC 6/21)