Tuesday, March 26, 2002

When 2 AMB mbrs. are halted by soldiers at an IDF checkpoint into Jerusalem, they detonate a bomb, killing only themselves. Unidentified gunmen open fire on a car on a road typically used by Jewish settlers, killing 2 mbrs. of the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH) observer force, wounding 1; the car is clearly marked as a TIPH vehicle. The wounded TIPH mbr. says the gunman wore a PSF uniform and carried a Kalashnikov rifle; the PA denies any connection. (AP, HA, MM 3/26; NYT, WP, WT 3/27; AFP, ATL 3/27 in WNC 3/28; ATL 3/29 in WNC 4/1; JP 4/5)

Under strong pressure fr. the U.S., Sharon agrees to allow Arafat to travel to Beirut for the Arab summit but says he must call for a halt to the intifada and asks the U.S. to agree that Israel could bar him fr. returning if violence continues while he is in Beirut. (In interviews with the press, Sharon also says he regrets having promised Bush that he not physically harm Arafat.) The U.S. refuses Sharon's demand. Arafat says he will not go, fearing exile. In response, Pres. Husni Mubarak of Egypt, King Abdallah of Jordan say they will not attend the summit. (AP, MM 3/26; ITAR-TASS, MENA 3/26 in WNC 3/27; HA, NYT, WP, WT 3/27; MENA 3/27 in WNC 3/28)

Zinni cancels a trilateral security comm. mtg. to discuss his 3/24 bridging proposals, saying the sides are too far apart to bother meeting. (HA 3/26; NYT 3/27; al-Quds 3/31 in WNC 4/2)