Sunday, March 28, 2004

The IDF allows Palestinian workers into the Erez Industrial Zone for the 1st time since 3/15, but keeps the Erez crossing sealed; fatally shoots wanted AMB mbr. Jamil alTal in his home nr. Hebron in an apparent assassination; blows up a Palestinian home in Bidiyya nr. Qalqilya; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Bethlehem, Dahaysha r.c., Tulkarm r.c., and nr. Hebron. A PFLP gunman shoots, wounds an IDF soldier outside a Jewish settlement in Gaza. (MENA 3/28 in WNC 3/30; NYT 3/29; PCHR 4/1, 4/8)

Israeli State Atty. Edna Arbel, Israel’s top prosecutor, recommends that Sharon be indicted on charges of accepting a bribe for his role in a 1999 deal under which prominent Israeli businessman and Likud activist David Appel paid about $100,000 to Sharon’s son Gilad Sharon (for “marketing advice”) and $580,000 to the Sharon family ranch in the Negev in exchange for Sharon (then FM) lobbying Greece in support of Appel’s project to build a Greek island resort; the project never came to fruition. If indicted, Sharon could be forced to step down as PM. (NYT, WP, WT 3/28; MM, NYT, WP, WT 3/29; NYT, WT 3/30; MM 4/6)