Palestinians Lift Settlement Blockade
Palestinians lifted their blockade of Jewish settlements, ending a 12-hour standoff in which Israeli and Palestinian troops had scuffled, screamed accusations and pointed guns at one another. It was the most serious confrontation between the two sides in two years, with Israeli troops bringing in armored personnel carriers and the Palestinians blocking roads with truck convoys. At one point, Israeli Defense Minister Yitzhak Mordechai appealed to the U.S. Mideast peace envoy, Dennis B. Ross, and Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat’s deputy, Mahmoud Abbas, to help defuse the situation. After all-night negotiations, a compromise was reached.