Monday, November 20, 2000

Israeli-Palestinian clashes intensify when Palestinians detonate a large roadside bomb nr. Gaza's Kefar Darom settlement as an armored school bus escorted by IDF troops passes. 2 Jewish settlers, both adults, are killed and 9 are wounded, including children. Although the Arafat denounces the bombing, Barak blames Arafat and Fatah directly, convenes his security cabinet, and orders IDF helicopter gunships, naval vessels to shell at least 12 buildings in Gaza City (including Arafat's Fatah and PA headquarters, PA Preventive Security Force offices, Force 17 offices, Voice of Palestine Radio, a Palestinian TV station), killing 2 Palestinians, injuring 125, hitting 4 private homes, and cutting power to areas of the city. Other helicopter gunships target areas nr. Rafah. Nr. Kefar Darom and in Ramallah, the IDF razes 10s of dunams of Palestinian orchards along the roads so Palestinians will have "no place to hide." A 3d Palestinian is shot dead by the IDF in the West Bank. Jewish settlers fire on Palestinians harvesting an olive grove nr. Salfit, injuring several Palestinians; uproot an olive grove nr. Qalqilya; fire on Palestinian cars nr. Jinin, injuring 1. (ADM, HA, LAW, MEZ, MM 11/20; RMC 11/20 in WNC 11/21; HA, MEZ, NYT, WP, WT 11/21; Interfax, MA, XIN 11/21 in WNC 11/22; HJ 11/21, AYM 11/22 in WNC 11/24; NYT, WP 11/22; MEI, MM 11/24; AYM 11/24 in WNC 11/29; MENL 11/29)

The State Dept. for the 1st time since 9/28 states that "Israelis also need to understand that the excessive use of force is not the right way to go." Special envoy Ross postpones a visit to the region set to begin today. (NYT, WP, WT 11/21; MM 11/22)

Following the Kefar Darom attack, Shas declares it will not renew Barak's "safety net," which it agreed to provide until the end of 11/00. With Shas's support, Barak has survived no-confidence motions since the Knesset reconvened on 10/30. (AFP [Internet] 11/20) (see 11/13)