Saturday, October 7, 2000

Israeli-Palestinian fighting in the West Bank and Gaza abates slightly but escalates again this evening, leaving at least 3 Palestinians dead. The most serious incident is in Nablus, where the IDF, implementing the Sharm agmts., turns over Joseph's Tomb to the PSF. Palestinians celebrating the IDF pullback overrun the PSF, destroy the tomb. In response, armed Jewish settlers roam areas around West Bank settlements, stoning and firing at Palestinian cars, killing 1 Palestinian. Inside Israel, Jews fr. Upper Nazareth rampage through Arab Nazareth throwing stones at Israeli Palestinians, sparking a riot; when Israeli Arabs start to fight back, Israeli riot police intervene, using tear gas and live ammunition, shooting dead 2 Israeli Arabs. In Tiberias, Jews vandalize a historic mosque. The IDF moves tanks into the West Bank to guard the Jewish settlement of Psagot, which has been the target of Palestinian sniping. At Rafah airport, Palestinians fire on a bus Israeli airport workers, injuring 8. Israel shuts the airport. (LAW 10/7; MENA, RL 10/7, al-Quds 10/8, AFP, Le Monde 10/10 in WNC 10/10; ADM, NYT, WP, WT 10/8; MM, NYT, WT 10/9; AYM 10/9, MA 10/10, 10/11 in WNC 10/12; NYT 10/10; WJW 10/12; MEI 10/13; WJW 10/19; WP 10/28)

Barak calls up IDF reservists, sets an ultimatum of 48 hrs. for Palestinians to halt their assaults on IDF outposts, Jewish settlements or "we will regard this as a cessation by Arafat of the peace process, and we will order the army to use all means at its disposal." Barak also says he is considering forming a "unity government" with Likud MK Sharon. (AYM 10/7, al-Quds 10/9 in WNC 10/12; NYT, WP, WT 10/8; AYM 10/8 in WNC 10/13; MM 10/9; Le Monde 10/10 in WNC 10/10; MM 10/11; JP, MEI 10/13)

Nr. Shaba` Farms, IDF soldiers fire across the blue line into Lebanon at 100s of Palestinian refugees staging a protest, killing 2, wounding 15. In response, Hizballah guerrillas cross into Golan Heights, kidnap 3 IDF soldiers; fire rockets at the IDF's Shaba` outpost, injuring 6 soldiers. Barak reinforces the border area, sends Israeli warplanes and attack helicopters into Lebanon to strike Hizballah targets, injuring 4 Lebanese civilians. U.S.'s Albright phones Lebanese pres. Lahoud, Syrian pres. Asad to urge them to intercede with Hizballah to release the IDF soldiers. France, Germany, the Red Cross, Russia, the UN open channels with Hizballah, which demands Israel release at least 19 Lebanese political prisoners (kidnaped by the IDF in Lebanon, held without trial for as long as 20 yrs.) in exchange for the soldiers. (CNN [Internet] 10/7; RL 10/7, AYM 10/8, Interfax 10/9, Le Monde 10/10 in WNC 10/10; NYT, WP, WT 10/8; Manar TV [Internet], MM, NYT, WT 10/9; al-Quds 10/9, DUS, al-Safir 10/10 in WNC 10/12; MM, NYT, WP 10/10; NYT, WJW, WP 10/12; JP, MEI 10/13; JP 10/27, 11/3)

After 6 days of debate, the UNSC passes (14 to 0, with the U.S. abstaining) a watered down resolution that condemns the "excessive use of force" against the Palestinians but does not mention Israel by name. U.S. Amb. Richard Holbrooke threatened to veto stronger language. (AP 10/7; NYT, WP, WT 10/8; AYM 10/8 in WNC 10/13; MM, NYT, WT 10/9; CSM, WP 10/10; MEI 10/13)

In Amman, Jordanian police open fire on Palestinian refugees demonstrating for the closure of the Israeli emb., killing 1, arresting 97. Demonstrations condemning Israeli violence, U.S. support of Israel are held in Bahrain, Canada, Egypt, France, Iraq, Kuwait, Lebanon, Mauritania, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Turkey, the UAE, and Yemen. In the U.S., rallies are held in Albuquerque, Dearborn, New York. (BBC, al-Jazeera TV [Internet] 10/7; AFP, ATL, MENA 10/7, JT 10/8 in WNC 10/10; Daily Star 10/12 in WNC 10/13; Gulf News [Internet], NYT 10/8; MM 10/11; AYM 10/11 in WNC 10/12; MEI 10/13)