Israeli tanks, armor, and troops moved into Ramallah before dawn today, surrounding Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat’s compound and arresting more than 20 men. The Israelis placed the whole city under curfew, conducting house-to-house searches. Loudspeakers issued warnings that anyone leaving their homes would be shot.
The latest Israeli incursion came just hours before Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon was to meet President Bush at the White House. But Sharon has already rejected the peace plan drawn up this weekend by Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and President Bush. The plan calls for Israel to withdraw to the borders it held before the 1967 Middle East War.
Today’s military action came a day after Arafat juggled his cabinet, cutting the ministries of the Palestinian Authority by a third. Arafat appointed a new interior minister and chose a former World Bank official to oversee the authority’s murky finances. Palestinian police arrested a senior Islamic Jihad leader in the Gaza Strip today. Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing last Wednesday that killed 17 Israelis.
But this weekend, peace activists marked the 35th anniversary of the 1967 Six-Day War, and the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza with peace rallies across Israel.
- Adam Keller, Israeli peace activist, and spokesperson for Gush-Shalom.
- Robert Fisk, reporter for the Independent of London, speaking from Beirut.
- Not In My Name–Saul Williams, (EXCLUSIVE TO DN!).