Thursday, March 28, 2002

A Hamas gunman infiltrates Elon Moreh settlement, kills 4 Jewish settlers. 1 Israeli injured in the 3/27 Netanya attack dies. The IDF closes main roads across Gaza, cutting the Strip into 3 sections. The PSF arrests senior Hamas, Islamic Jihad mbrs. in Bethlehem, Hebron, Nablus, Ramallah. Arafat issues an urgent appeal for an unconditional cease-fire. Sharon convenes his cabinet to discuss the escalating Palestinian attacks. U.S. Secy. of State Colin Powell phones Sharon to urge against exiling Arafat. The cabinet agrees to "totally isolate" Arafat, calls up 20,000 IDF reserves in preparation for a major assault. (HA 3/28; XIN 3/28 in WNC 3/29; MM, NYT, REU, WP, WT 3/29; NYT 3/30; WT 4/1; MEI 4/5; WP 5/6)

The Arab summit unanimously adopts the Saudi initiative, pledges $480 m. aid to the Palestinians, urges against a U.S. attack on Iraq. (CNN 3/28; al-Quds, XIN 3/28 in WNC 3/29; HA, NYT, WP, WT 3/29; al-Majallah 3/30 in WNC 4/1; HA 4/4; MEI, MM 4/5)