A tough new antiterrorism plan for Jerusalem and Jewish settlements in the West Bank was OK'd by Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon late Tuesday, the Agence France-Presse wire service reported. It calls for a defensive perimeter of trenches as well as walls and fences overseen by guard towers stretching 32 miles around the city to the north, east, and south. Not included, however, are any closures between the eastern and western halves of the city, which both Israel and the Palestinians consider their capital. Above, an Israeli policeman watches traffic on Jerusalem's busy Jaffa Street from a rooftop. (Related opinion, page 9.)
Every militant group or foreign government cited by President Bush in his State of the Union speech as carrying out or sponsoring terrorism reacted angrily to the accusation. Iran's Foreign Minister called the comments "arrogant." North Korea said they were evidence of a US "policy of aggression." A senior Iraqi leader accused the US of its own terrorism "every day" ... through "murder, destruction, and by economic pillaging." Hamas and Islamic Jihad said the accusations were "unjust" and that Bush had no right to make them. (Story, page 1.)
Communist guerrillas in the southern Philippines vowed to attack any US forces who stray into their areas of operation as the new American front in the counterterrorism war opens today. The joint US-Philippine force is aimed at crushing the Muslim Abu Sayyaf movement, which both governments have linked to Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda network. But the communist New People's Army claimed that it, rather than Abu Sayyaf, was "the real target."
Almost 250 asylum-seekers at a remote detention camp in the Australian Outback ended their two-week hunger strike after government negotiators convinced them their applications would be processed. The mainly Afghan and Middle Eastern immigrants had sewn their lips together to protest conditions at the camp and the lengthy application process. Another 11 teenagers also called off their suicide threat if they were not moved from the center. But detainees at other centers who joined the hunger strike in sympathy were still protesting as the Monitor went to press.
For the second straight day, protesters estimated at upward of 500,000 demonstrated peacefully in the center of Antananarivo, Madagascar's capital, against a runoff election scheduled for Feb. 24 to decide the winner of the presidency. An equally large rally was forecast for today. The protesters are supporters of Antananarivo Mayor and opposition leader Marc Ravalomanana, who told them he refuses to participate in the runoff against incumbent President Didier Ratsiraka. An aide said Ravalomanana, who claims to have won the Dec. 16 first round of voting, wants the ballots audited by "an independent international body."