Saturday, June 2, 2001

Overnight, international leaders press Israel, the PA to show restraint, deescalate tensions in light of the 6/1 suicide bombing. Powell phones Arafat to warn him to declare a cease-fire and immediately arrest Hamas and Islamic Jihad mbrs., or the U.S. would sever all relations with the PLO and would not intervene with Israel to prevent a massive retaliation. German FM Joschka Fischer, in Israel on other matters, races to Ramallah to meet with Arafat, whom he warns to make a statement in is own words calling for a halt to violence or lose all EU political and economic support to the PA. During a heated session, Fischer, UN special coordinator Terje Larsen work with Arafat to draft a statement condemning the bombing and ordering an immediate and unconditional cease-fire, which Arafat reads publicly this morning. (MENA 6/2, AFP, Interfax, ITAR-TASS, MENA 6/3 in WNC 6/4; NYT, WT 6/3; MM, NYT, WP 6/4; WP 6/5; XIN 6/5 in WNC 6/6; al-Ahram [Internet] 6/9; JP, MEI 6/15)

Meanwhile, Sharon holds a 7 hr. mtg. with his security cabinet to discuss how to respond to the 6/1 bombing. According to an anonymous U.S. admin. official, they draw up plans to "carry out a massive, full-force invasion" of PA-controlled territory lasting up to a wk. After Arafat reads his cease-fire call, the security cabinet places its strike plan in reserve but declares that the IDF will resume instigating actions against Palestinians (see 5/22). (NYT, WT 6/3; JT 6/3 in WNC 6/4; MM, NYT, WP 6/4; Interfax 6/4 in WNC 6/5; MM, WP 6/5; al-Ahram [Internet] 6/9; UPI 6/12 JP, MEI 6/15)

The U.S. ambs. to Egypt, Israel, Jordan send an urgent cable to Powell, appealing to him to come to the region to firmly urge against violence, in favor negotiations. Powell says the time is not right. (NYT 7/5)

Meanwhile, 2 Israelis injured in the 6/1 bombing die, bringing the Israeli toll to 18. Nr. the site of the bombing, 100s of Israeli Jews surround a mosque, chanting "Death to Arabs!" stoning the mosque, breaking windows, trapping some 20 worshipers inside, attacking journalists, setting fire to 2 cars outside. Although the situation builds for hrs., Israeli police look on but do not intervene, saying, "We don't have enough manpower, and we won't use tear gas against Jews." Israelis also gather at the disco where the bombing occurred, carrying signs saying, "Enough passivity. We want war." In Jaffa, a mob of Israeli Jews sets fire to a restaurant owned by Israeli Arabs. The IDF tightens internal closures on PA areas, reports only a handful of incidents of sniping at Jewish settlements. Hamas says it will not abide by Arafat's cease-fire. (HA, NYT, WT 6/3; AN 6/3 in WNC 6/4; NYT, WP 6/4; WP 6/5; HA 6/7; al-Ahram [Internet] 6/9; JP, MEI 6/15)

The EU dispatches up to 24 security experts to Bayt Jala, Rafah to monitor the PA's cease-fire compliance. The experts, coordinated by Alistair Crooke, security adviser to EU special envoy Miguel Moratinos. (MA 6/6 in WNC 6/7; NYT 6/8; AFP 6/8 in WNC 6/11; MA 6/11 in WNC 6/12)