Monday, December 1, 2003

Before dawn, the IDF launches a major raid on al-Amari r.c. in Ramallah that lasts 16 hrs., sending in nearly 100 armored vehicles supported by helicopters to attack Hamas targets; the IDF warns the PA before entering Ramallah, promises that no operations will take place nr. PA head Yasir Arafat’s headquarters. During the raid 3 Hamas mbrs. and an 11-yr.-old Palestinian boy are killed, 29 Hamas mbrs. are arrested, 9 youths who throw stones at troops are wounded, 2 Palestinian homes (1 in al-Amari r.c., 1 in Ramallah) are demolished. The IDF also conducts arrest raids in Jenin, Qalqilya, Rafah, Tulkarm town and r.c., and villages around Nablus. Israel begins construction of a new Jewish settlement neighborhood in East Jerusalem called Golden View. (AP, JP, MM, NYT 12/1; VOI, VOP, YA 12/1 in WNC 12/3; NYT, WP 12/2; LAW, PCHR 12/4; MEI 12/5)

In Geneva, some 150 Israelis and Palestinians involved in the drafting of the unofficial Geneva Accord hold a formal unveiling of their peace initiative at a ceremony attended by fmr. U.S. pres. Jimmy Carter and addressed byfmr. Polish pres. Lech Walesa, fmr. South African pres. Nelson Mandela. Arafat does not endorse the details of the plan, but issues a statement declaring it a “brave and courageous initiative.” Sharon continues to denounce it as “subversive.” (BBC, HA, MM, NYT 12/1; MENA, QA, VOP 12/1 in WNC 12/3; HA, JP, MM, NYT, WP, WT 12/2; ITAR-TASS, Le Monde, XIN 12/2 in WNC 12/4; PR 12/3; QA 12/3 in WNC 12/6; MM, WJW 12/4; MEI 12/5; PR 12/10; JPI 12/12)

In an extensive New York Times interview, Syrian pres. Bashar al-Asad urges the U.S. to support the resumption of Israeli-Syrian peace talks. The U.S. brushes off the overture. (NYT 12/1; VOI, YA 12/1 in WNC 12/3; SANA 12/1, 12/2 in WNC 1/6; MM, WT 12/2; MM 12/3; MA 12/3 in WNC 12/4; MM 12/4; THWR 12/5, THWR, Tishrin 12/6 in WNC 1/9; MM 12/8, 12/10)