Wednesday, January 3, 2001

Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue. Jewish settlers fr. Harsina shoot at nearby Palestinian homes. The IDF tightens the internal closure; directs shells, heavy machine gun fire on residential areas in Khan Yunis (damaging 3 Palestinian homes, 3 commercial buildings), Rafah; razes 137 dunams of Palestinian agricultural land nr. Dugit settlement (destroying 10 homes, 6 irrigation networks, 4 greenhouses, 2 cars), 5 dunams nr. the Rafah border (destroying 1 greenhouse, damaging several others). (HJ 1/4 in WNC 1/8; PCHR 1/12)

In a final mtg. with Clinton, Arafat agrees "with reservations" to accept the 12/23 parameters, promises to take steps to curb the clashes. U.S. mediators plan to work with PA, Israeli negotiators to narrow differences on the parameters. If sufficient progress is made, Clinton will bring both sides together for a last attempt to finalize a comprehensive permanent status agmt. (MM 1/3; MM, NYT, WP, WT 1/4; MA, SA 1/4 in WNC 1/5; Arab News [Jeddah], AYM, al-Quds 1/4 in WNC 1/8; JP, MEI 1/12)

Barak says he has given up on reaching a comprehensive final status agmt. before the 2/6 election, Israel is on "strategic alert for war." (MA [Internet], MM, YA 1/3; Star 1/3 in WNC 1/5; HA 1/4)

Hizballah fires 7 mortars at an IDF post in the Shaba` Farms area, causing no damage. The IDF retaliates firing 44 tank, mortar shells at s. Lebanon, forcing a Lebanese family to flee their home. (MENA 1/3 in WNC 1/4; Daily Star [Internet] 1/8; WP 1/30)