Monday, December 6, 2004

The IDF holds PA presidential candidate Mustafa Barghouthi at gunpoint at a Hebron checkpoint, denies him passage to a campaign stop in nearby Tal al-Armida village; imposes a daylong curfew on al-Khadir; fires on residential areas of Khan Yunis, seriously injuring a 5-yr.-old Palestinian boy on the roof of his home; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Bayt Sahur, Hebron and neighboring Bayt Kahil and Ithna, al-Khadir, Nablus, Taqu‘a nr. Bethlehem. (PM 12/8; PCHR 12/9)

In Damascus, Abbas, PA PM Ahmad Qurai‘ hold reconciliation talks with Syrian pres. Bashar al-Asad, agree to resume high-level contacts, suspended by Syria in 1993 over the signing of the Oslo Accord. Abbas, Qurai‘ also hold talks with Hamas leader Khalid Mishal and the leadership of Islamic Jihad, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine–General Command to press them to support or take part in Palestinian presidential election, to keep a lid on violence in the run-up to elections in order to bolster national unity. (WT 12/6; MM 12/7; VOP, XIN 12/7 in WNC 12/9; MM, PR 12/8; VOP 12/9 in WNC 12/11; MM 12/10; WT 12/12)