Tuesday, May 7, 2002

A suicide bomber detonates a device in an unlicensed gambling club in the Rishon Letzion suburb of Tel Aviv, killing 15 Israelis, injuring 57. Hamas's military wing claims responsibility, but the political wing will not confirm. The IDF conducts arrest raids in Tulkarm city, detaining about 40 Palestinians; bulldozes a Palestinian home, fatally shoots a Palestinian boy in Rafah; begins work on Jewish settler bypass roads nr. Khan Yunis, nr. Nablus. In Bethlehem, the siege of the Church of the Nativity continues, with Italy complaining it has not been consulted on the 5/6 agmt. (AFP, AP, CNN, MM 5/7; AFP, ANSA, XIN 5/7 in WNC 5/8; al-Quds 5/7 in WNC 5/9; MM, NYT, WP, WT 5/8; MA, RNE 5/8 in WNC 5/9; MM, WJW 5/9; al-Ra'i 5/9 in WNC 5/10; MM 5/10; AYM 5/12 in WNC 5/15; JP 5/16; MEI 5/17; HA 5/24)

The IDF announces plans to divide the West Bank into 8 isolated zones (Bethlehem, Hebron, Jericho, Jenin, Nablus, Qalqilya, Ramallah, Tulkarm); to impose severe new restrictions on the movement of Palestinians, goods btwn. zones. (UNRWA press release 5/14; al-Quds 5/16 in WNC 5/17; HA, JT [Internet] 5/17; HA 5/18; AYM 5/28 in WNC 5/20; PMC 5/19; HA 5/22; NYT 5/24)

In Washington, Sharon, Bush hold talks on PA reform, barely touch on the idea of a peace conference. They agree that the priority should be halting Palestinian violence, restructuring the PA, unifying the PA security services. Sharon also says that it is "premature" to discuss a Palestinian state, Israel will never agree to withdraw to 1967 lines; suggests Israel will not resume political talks until Arafat has been removed fr. power. Bush say he will send CIA dir. Tenet to the region to help rebuild the PA security forces. Sharon returns to Israel in light of the Rishon Letzion bombing. (AP, CNN, MM 5/7; MENA, al-Quds 5/7 in WNC 5/8; AYM 5/7, MA 5/8 in WNC 5/9; HA, JP [Internet], MM, NYT, WP, WT 5/8; MM, WJW, WP 5/9; QA, al-Ra'i 5/9 in WNC 5/10; MM 5/10; AYM 5/10 in WNC 5/13; JP [Internet] 5/10; JP 5/16)