Syrian Army halts battle after Lebanese Army unit is ambushed by Amal militia and Iranian Revolutionary Guards near Baalbek; National Guard of 40 armed men formed at Ain el...
The IDF closes al-Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron to non-Jews and maintains the general closure of the oPt during Rosh Hashanah. Meanwhile, a group of settler children harass a Palestinian family picking olives nr. Hebron. They attempt to steal some olives before a local chapter of Youth Against Settlements intervenes. IDF troops raid a village nr. Nablus late at night and patrol nr. Hebron and Ramallah during the day. In East Jerusalem, 45 right-wing Jewish activists visit Haram al-Sharif. A Palestinian family demolishes part of its own home in the Old City to avoid paying Israeli demolition fees. Along Gaza’s border, IDF troops arrest a young Palestinian after he cuts through the border fence in an attempt to enter Israel nr. Eshkol. (MNA, WAFA 10/3; MNA 10/4; PCHR 10/6)
The Palestinian High Court of Justice rules that the municipal elections, which were set for 10/8 before being indefinitely delayed on 9/8, will go forward on 10/8 only in the West Bank because the courts operating in Gaza are “illegal.” The court previously said it favored holding elections across all Palestinian territory, including Gaza and East Jerusalem. Hamas rejects the court’s decision; a spokesperson says that the decision “divides the Palestinian people.” (HA, JP, MEE, MNA, TOI, WAFA, YA 10/3; MNA 10/4)
Israeli rights groups Gisha and HaMoked reveal that Israel has tightened restrictions on what qualifies as a “humanitarian reason” for a Gazan to relocate to the West Bank, threatening to reclassify 1,000s of Gazans currently residing in the West Bank as “illegal aliens” at risk of being expelled to Gaza. Israeli naval vessels fire on Palestinian fishing boats off the n. Gaza coast, arresting 2 fishermen. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Nablus and nr. Hebron. The UN reports that in the past wk., 2 Palestinians were killed in tunnel-related incidents, 1 in a collapse and 1 electrocuted; 4 were injured. Al-Mezan Center for Human Rights reports that in the past wk. Hamas-affiliated police in Gaza seized 674 humanitarian aid kits that were to be distributed to Bayt Hanun residents by an international organization through a local NGO. (NYT 6/17; OCHA, PCHR 6/18; OCHA Humanitarian Monitor 6/09)
Limiting constitutional rights of illegal immigrants, the U.S. Supreme Court rules (6-3) that the government can deport a group of 8 Palestinians, 1 Kenyan simply because of their controversial political views in support of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. (WP, WT 2/25; MM 2/26; PR 3/5)
Israeli Trade Min. announces that it has allocated new lands to build moderate-, small-scale factories in several West Bank, Gaza settlements, including Keddumim, Efraim, Erez. (PR 3/5)
U.S. planes fire on 2 Iraqi missile sites s. of Baghdad, killing, injuring a number of civilians according to the Iraqi government. There have been nearly daily attacks on Iraq since the U.S. adopted (see 1/25) its policy of sustaining low-level strikes against security targets in effort to contain Saddam Hussein. (NYT, WP, WT 2/25) (see 2/11)
Jordan's 1st amb. to Israel, Marwan Muasher, arrives in Tel Aviv to assume his duties. Israel's 1st amb.to Jordan, Shimon Shamir, arrives in Amman to take his post. (MM, WT 4/6; RJ, JT 4/6 in FBIS 4/6; JP 4/15; WJW 4/20)
U.S. envoy Ross arrives in Israel for brief shuttle btwn. Israel, Syria; meets with PM Rabin, military Chief of Staff Shahak, senior IDF officials to discuss security arrangements within framework of agmt. with Syria. Israelis present demand for 1:9 geographical ratio for demilitarized zones. Ross will transmit Israeli suggestions, concerns to Syria 4/7. (MM 4/6; IDF Radio 4/7 in FBIS 4/7; MA 4/7 in FBIS 4/10)
Israeli, Egyptian FMs meet in Paris to try to solve NPT conflict . Egypt says it is willing to sign a ban on chemical weapons in exchange but no final compromise is reached. Sides agree to continue discussions within Multilateral Working Group on Arms Control, upgrade working group talks to FM level. (WP 4/5; CSM 4/6; MBC, MENA 4/6 in FBIS 4/7; HA 4/19 in FBIS 4/20)
Israeli Housing M Binyamin Ben-Eliezer says he will present plan to ministerial comm. for additional 5,600 homes beyond Green Line, incl. 1,300 units in Matityahu settlement, 3,000 units in Ma'ale Adumim, finishing work on 800 units in Giva'at Ze'ev. (MM 4/7; QY 4/6, JP 4/7 in FBIS 4/7)
Arafat decides to replace editorial board of Jericho-based al-Aqsa newspaper with journalists who are Fatah mbrs. Decision is criticized as interference with freedom of press. (ITV 4/6 in FBIS 4/7)
Congressional hearings open on Clinton's Omnibus Counterterrorism Bill to speed deportation of illegal immigrants suspected of terrorism, prohibit fundraising for organizations the pres. deems dangerous, grant FBI broader authority to investigate, order wiretaps. Arab-American, Muslim groups protest bill, fearing it will be used to discriminate against them, curb legitimate fundraising. (WP 4/7)
Bomb explodes on Gaza border as IDF foot patrol passes, wounding 1 soldier. No one claims responsibility. (JP 4/6 in FBIS 4/7; NYT 4/7)
Yasir Arafat says that, faced with a drop of more than 80% in funding after Gulf war, PLO has been forced to close diplomatic missions, shut down newspapers, and lay off workers [LAT 3/20].
Rebuffing desperate plea from Kurdish rebels, White House sticks to its policy of nonintervention in Iraq's civil war [LAT 3/30].
Kurdish leaders say their forces are retreating from city of Kirkuk [NYT 3/30].
Kuwaiti gov't. announces plans to issue new identity cards to residents and to re-register its entire population in order to weed out illegal aliens and reduce number of foreigners [LAT 3/30].
Israeli troops shoot dead 3 Arabs who entered West Bank from Jordan; Israeli radio reports ages of Arabs as 30, 15, and 12, and says they were armed with a knife [NYT 3/30; JDS 3/29 in FBIS 3/29; MET 4/9].
Syrian Army halts battle after Lebanese Army unit is ambushed by Amal militia and Iranian Revolutionary Guards near Baalbek; National Guard of 40 armed men formed at Ain el-Hilweh camp, led by Mossad-trained Palestinian Abdullah Nassar; fighting in Chouf maintains near Nabrah, IDF meets with rival leaders to restore 3 week-old cease-fire.
6 Lebanese Army soldiers killed, 12 wounded, 3 militiamen killed, 5 wounded in Bekaa Valley fight; villages in South Lebanon ordered by IDF and Haddad forces to pay thousands of Lebanese pounds for protection, and to obtain release of villagers held at Ansar detention camp; Lebanese Foreign Minister Salem says that 300,000 illegal aliens, mostly Palestinians, will eventually have to be removed from the country.
Israel/ Occupied Territories: Bomb found and dismantled at entrance of al-Aqsa mosque, 16 detained for questions, Jewish extremist group suspected; Foreign Minister Shamir says Israel will not freeze settlements as a condition for King Hussein's joining peace talks; Foreign Ministry denies reports that Israel signed agreement to sell arms to Ciskei bantustan; Israeli Journalists Association instructs members to boycott February 24 press conference on treatment of Palestinian and Lebanese prisoners at Ansar camp, called by Israeli Committee Against the War in Lebanon; central Ramallah under curfew after stone-throwing incidents; 24-hour guard on deposed Nablus Mayor Bassam Shakaa lifted; 300 women representing Women's Work Committees on West Bank hold 2nd annual conference in Jerusalem; Village League and Civil Administration open private electricity generating system in Bil'in in violation of Jerusalem Electricity Company concession.
Palestinians/ Lebanese: Lebanese Foreign Minister Salem says if Lebanon errs in the area of normalization with Israel it could lose its existence, Lebanon will not close 22 frontiers to open one; special envoy Habib presents latest compromise proposals on Lebanese-Israeli negotiation to Foreign Minister Shamir, then leaves for US.
Arab Governments: Jordan announces it will not enter any peace negotiations without PLO approval.
US and Other Countries: Unnamed UK oil prospecting company to sign contract with Israel to carry out Mediterranean offshore exploration.