Several dozen Palestinian women clashed with Israeli troops on the outskirts of Jerusalem on March 13. The confrontation erupted at the Qalandiya crossing between the West Bank and the contested city. The women chanted “Jerusalem is Arab, our eternal capital,” briefly planted a Palestinian flag on one of the crossing’s metal gates, and attempted to push through it. Israeli troops finally dispersed the women with tear gas. At one point, a firebomb hit a military jeep and soldiers rushed to extinguish the fire. (AP, March 13)
Washington’s Middle East envoy George Mitchell meanwhile promised Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas that the US will call a halt to Israeli building in East Jerusalem, a Palestinian official told the London-based Arabic newspaper al-Quds al-Arabi. “In a telephone conversation, Mitchell said the U.S. would make sure Israel stops building in the area,” the Palestinian official told the paper. In an interview with CNN aired March 12, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Israel’s announcement of the new settlement construction was “insulting” to the United States. (Ha’aretz, March 13)
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