Israel and the Palestinians were to resume discussions on security as the Monitor went to press, amid a new upward spiral in violence. One Palestinian official said his side would repeat its call for an end to targeted killings of militants and to the shelling of its offices and "if the Israelis commit, there will be some progress made." Meanwhile, enthusiasm grew in Israel for a Saudi proposal that would trade Arab recognition of the Jewish state for evacuation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip. But a newspaper that reflects official Saudi government opinion said no discussion of the proposal would be possible until Israel and the Palestinians first signed a settlement deal. Left, a Palestinian stopped at a West Bank checkpoint is questioned by an Israeli soldier.
The number of opposition leaders charged with treason in Zimbabwe rose to three in what critics were calling "an act of desperation" by a government afraid of losing power in next month's election. Movement for Democratic Change presidential candidate Morgan Tsvangirai was allowed to go free Monday despite being charged - as were two of his deputies on Tuesday. - and vowed that his campaign would not be affected. But concerns grew that state-controlled radio and TV, the only source of news for most rural Zimbabweans, were giving voters the impression that he was a terrorist.
A fourth senior military officer, citing "our loyalty to this nation, not aparticular individual," demanded that Venezuela's President Hugo Chávez resign. Air Force Gen. Roman Gomez Ruiz claimed "many more" in the armed forces are unhappy with the leftist Chávez, although the chiefs of each branch of service publicly proclaimed loyalty to him last week. One of the three earlier dissidents who called on Chávez to quit has been discharged from the military, a second is in jail, and the third awaits a decision on whether he'll be punished.
The leftist rebels ousted from their haven in Colombia last week sabotaged power lines, roads, and bridges, and set off a bomb at the reservoir that supplies the capital, Bogotá, with water. The latter attack failed to interrupt service, however. Meanwhile, the Revolutionary Armed Forces reportedly were vowing to hold kidnapped presidential candidate Ingrid Betancourt and five members of Congress until imprisoned rebels are freed - a step that Interior Minister Armando Estrada said the government would not take.
Strikes and work stoppages spread to 22 South Korean cities in defiance of a government ban and threats to arrest labor leaders. The action was organized to protest plans to privatize the railway system and other inefficient state-owned businesses. But President Kim Dae Jung was resisting calls for aggressive police action against the strikers, calling for "utmost patience."