Thursday, October 19, 2000

Israeli-Palestinian clashes continue, dimming hopes that a cease-fire will take hold. The worst fighting is around Nablus, where the IDF escorts a group of 40 Jewish settlers on a hike nr. Aksar al-Balad refugee camp to view, among other things, the remains of Joseph's Tomb (see 10/7). 4 of the settlers reportedly open fire on the camp, prompting PA police to fire back, sparking an exchange of gunfire. The IDF warns Palestinians to evacuate areas of Nablus, then sends attack helicopters to cover and extract the settlers. During the 7-hr. exchange, 1 settler, 1 Palestinian are killed and 3 settlers, 15 Palestinians injured. In Bethlehem, an explosion at a Force 17 building, apparently caused by a gas leak, kills 3 Palestinians, injures several others. Around Gush Katif settlement, the IDF bulldozes 72 dunams of land, 2 walls surrounding Palestinian homes. Under heavy IDF guard, Israeli mayor of Jerusalem Ehud Olmert, along with New York City council mbr. Noach Dear, attends a house warming celebration for a Jewish settler family that just acquired property in Palestinian East Jerusalem. (AP 10/19; MM, NYT, WP, WT 10/20; NYT 10/21; Globes [Internet] 10/25; JP 10/27; MM, WJW 11/16)

Protests against Israeli actions are held in Boston, Ottawa, Washington. (al-Awda Internet news group 10/19)

The UN Human Rights Commission approves (19-16, with 17 abstentions) a resolution condemning Israel for the indiscriminate and disproportionate use of force and calling for an international inquiry into the violation of human rights during the clashes. (BDL 10/20; MEI 10/27)