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  • December 16, 1998

    Immediately upon his return to the U.S., Pres. Clinton convenes his senior advisers to "discuss the UNSCOM report on Iraq"; they unanimously recommend a strike. Clinton orders forces in the Gulf...

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  • December 15, 1998

    Pres. Clinton meets with Netanyahu, Arafat at Erez border crossing, where Netanyahu gives him a list of 12 demands that the PA must meet before Israel will continue Wye implementation. Clinton...

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  • December 13, 1998

    In Israel, Pres. Clinton urges continued implementation of Wye accord, notes progress on both sides. U.S. special envoy Ross tells PM Netanyahu that Israel must recognize that the Palestinians are...

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  • December 10, 1998

    In Gaza, the PLO Central Council approves Arafat's 1/98 letter to Clinton, annulling clauses of the PLO charter calling for Israel's destruction. (NYT, WP, WT 12/11; MM 12/14)

    PM Netanyahu...

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  • November 27, 1998

    PM Netanyahu cuts short a trip to Britain to brief PM Tony Blair on the Wye agmt., cancels trip to Spain as a result of death of 2 IDF soldiers s. Lebanon 11/26; says Lebanese government is "...

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  • November 26, 1998

    In Paris, Egyptian FM Musa, French FM Hubert Vedrine review French-Egyptian initiative for Arab summit on the peace process (1st raised in 5/98), Wye implementation delays, Iraq-U.S. crisis. (MENA...

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  • November 22, 1998

    In Washington, Israeli Finance M Yaakov Neeman, DMin. Dir. Gen. Ilan Biran meet with senior U.S. officials to assure them that the $1.2-b. aid that the U.S. plans to give Israel will not be used...

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  • November 17, 1998

    Knesset ratifies the Wye agmt. Israeli cabinet postpones mtg. on approval of 1st stage of FRD to 11/19, pending PA moves to collect illegal weapons, clamp down on incitement. To appease Netanyahu...

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  • November 15, 1998

    For 2d day in a row, Pres. Clinton aborts a strike on Iraq, this time accepting Iraq's clarifications on renewing cooperation with the UN. Clinton also halts new deployments to the Gulf, but warns...

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  • November 14, 1998

    Citing Annan's letter, Iraq agrees to resume cooperation with the UN, forcing Pres. Clinton to abort a strike already in motion. At the UNSC, the U.S. rejects Iraq's announcement as "unacceptable...

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  • November 11, 1998

    U.S. continues buildup in the Gulf, raising its military strength there to 2/98 levels, costing tax payers up to $600 m. UN Secy. Gen. Annan breaks off Africa tour to return to New York. UN...

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  • November 10, 1998

    U.S. sends additional forces to the Gulf for possible strike on Iraq. UN pulls weapons inspectors, relief personnel out of Iraq. Pres. Clinton tells PM Netanyahu that Arab states are resisting...

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  • November 8, 1998

    Turkey sends 20,000 troops into n. Iraq in pursuit of Kurdish rebels expelled fr. Syria since the 10/20 Turkish-Syrian security agmt. (WT 11/11)

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  • November 5, 1998

    The PLO Exec. Comm. reaffirms 1/22/98 letter fr. Arafat to Secy. of State Christopher nullifying relevant articles of the PLO charter. Secy. Albright says that the PA is ahead of the Wye...

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  • November 3, 1998

    PM Netanyahu again postpones cabinet discussion of Wye agmt., demands that the U.S. obtain a written timetable fr. the PA for arrest of 30 fugitives, claims agmt. cannot pass ratification with...

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  • October 31, 1998

    U.S., Israel sign memorandum on military cooperation. (WP, WT 11/1; YA 11/1 in WNC 11/6; CSM, MM, NYT 11/2; al-Nahar 11/3 in WNC 11/12; JP 11/9)

    Israel orders confiscation of 4,367...

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  • October 30, 1998

    The Executive Authority ratifies the Wye agmt. (NYT 10/31; WP 11/1)

    Israeli FM Sharon sends letter to UN Secy. Gen. Annan on Wye agmt.; UN stands on Israel, peace process (YA 10/30 in WNC...

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  • September 28, 1998

    In Washington, Pres. Clinton meets with Netanyahu and Arafat, who agree on essentials of a 13% FRD but differ on "parallel" Palestinian actions to ensure Israeli security. Announce plans for...

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  • September 26, 1998

    In New York, Secy. Albright meets with PM Netanyahu, Arafat, Egyptian FM Musa, Lebanese PM Hariri. Arafat, Musa also meet. (MENA, RL 9/26, MENA 9/27 in WNC 9/29; WT 9/28; MEI 10/2)

    Turkey...

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  • September 20, 1998

    Iraqi trade center opens in Syria. (SANA, VIRI 9/20 in WNC 9/22; al-Bayyan 9/22 in WNC 9/25) (see 9/3)

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  • September 17, 1998

    U.S. envoy Ross holds mtg. in Gaza with Gaza PSF head Muhammad Dahlan; also meets with families of Palestinian prisoners, Palestinian businessmen. (HA [Internet] 9/18)

    In a drive-by...

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  • September 11, 1998

    U.S. envoy Ross meets again with PM Netanyahu, DM Mordechai. (WT 9/12)

    Reacting to IDF raid 9/10, Palestinians fire at an Israeli bus carrying Jewish settlers to Nablus, causing no injuries...

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  • September 9, 1998

    In Ramallah, Ross holds 3-hr. session with Arafat, who says the PA will not accept any changes to the U.S. 13.1% FRD proposal. (MM 9/9; ITV, RJ 9/9 in WNC 9/11; NYT, WT 9/10)

    In Cairo,...

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  • September 3, 1998

    Pres. Clinton agrees to send special envoy Ross to the Middle East next wk. as part of a renewed U.S. mediation effort aimed at reaching a PA-Israeli FRD agmt. (MM 9/3; MA, YA 9/3 in WNC 9/4; MM,...

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  • August 31, 1998

    Arafat goes to Amman to brief Crown Prince Hassan on the peace process. Hassan later receives a delegation fr. the Arab Democratic Party of Israel. (al-Ra'i, RJ 8/31 in WNC 9/1; JTV 8/31 in...

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  • August 24, 1998

    UN Security Council (UNSC) holds an informal, closed-door mtg. on U.S. strikes on Sudan, Afghanistan; decides to take no action to reprimand the U.S. (MM 8/24, 8/25, 8/27)

    Arab League holds...

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  • August 9, 1998

    After 2 days of heated debate, PC approves (55-28, with 3 abstentions) Arafat's new EA. (WP 8/9; CSM, NYT, WP, WT 8/10; JP 8/15)

    PM Netanyahu turns down invitation fr. Norway to attend 5th...

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  • August 7, 1998

    Bombs explode almost simultaneously at the U.S. embassies in Kenya, Tanzania, leaving 256 dead, some 5,000 injured. The unheard of Islamic Army for the Liberation of the Holy Places claims...

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  • August 5, 1998

    Arafat presents new cabinet to the PC. (MM 8/5; MM, NYT 8/6; LAW, MM, PR 8/7)

    By phone, Secy. Albright tells PM Netanyahu that the freeze in the peace process is harming U.S. interests in...

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  • August 4, 1998

    In Washington, the Israeli Labor party delegation meets with over 600 U.S. Jewish leaders, congressmen, mbrs. of the U.S. administration to brief them on Labor's positions toward the peace process...

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Immediately upon his return to the U.S., Pres. Clinton convenes his senior advisers to "discuss the UNSCOM report on Iraq"; they unanimously recommend a strike. Clinton orders forces in the Gulf to attack immediately; 1st sorties reach Iraq around 5 p.m., leaving 2 Iraqis (Iraq says 25) dead, 30 injured. A token force of 18 British planes takes part. House postpones indefinitely its vote on impeachment, set for tomorrow. Operation Desert Fox is expected to conclude in 3-4 days, before the beginning of Ramadan. Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) Chmn. Gen. Henry Shelton says decision was made in 11/98 to attack immediately if the UNSCOM report was negative. However, sources say that the White House informed the JCS 12/13 that a strike would be ordered this wk. Various congressmen say that they were briefed on the plan 3 wks. ago. Arab states are silent. France, Russia condemn the operation. Canada, Japan support it. (RJ 12/16 in WNC 12/17; ITV 12/16, AFP, ATL, JT 12/17 in WNC 12/21; CSM, NYT, WP, WT 12/17; MM, WP 12/18; MEI 12/25; GIU 1/5, 1/6)

PM Netanyahu says that he is prepared to call early elections unless the Knesset ratifies his hard-line policies on Wye implementation as outlined in his 12-point list of demands given to Clinton 12/15. (NYT, WP, WT 12/17; ITV 12/20 in WNC 12/22)

Israeli Finance M Neeman resigns in frustration over PM Netanyahu's political manipulation of the budget process. Netanyahu takes over the finance portfolio himself, giving himself control over budget allocations, which he could use to his political advantage if early elections are called. DM Mordechai is also reportedly threatening to leave over Wye implementation delays. (MM 12/16; MA, YA 12/16 in WNC 12/17; MM, NYT 12/17; NYT 12/19; WP 12/22; MEI 12/25; JP 12/28; Globes [Internet] 1/13 in WNC 1/14)

Peace Now reports that new housing starts in settlements more than doubled in 1998 compared to 1997. In the 1st half of 1998, construction began on 1,420 new units, up 136% fr. the same period last yr. In the 2d half of 1998, 640 units were started, up 121%. (Associated Press [Internet] 12/16)

Pres. Clinton meets with Netanyahu, Arafat at Erez border crossing, where Netanyahu gives him a list of 12 demands that the PA must meet before Israel will continue Wye implementation. Clinton warns that it would be "unfortunate" if Israel fell too far behind in the implementation schedule. He then attends tree lighting ceremony in Bethlehem with Arafat, tours Masada with Netanyahu. (MM 12/15; ITV, QY, RE 12/15 in WNC 12/16; CSM, MM, NYT, WP, WT 12/16; JT 12/16 in WNC 12/17; MA 12/16 in WNC 12/21; al-Hayat al-Jadida 12/16, al-Quds 12/17, MA 12/18 in WNC 12/22; al-Ba`th 12/16 in WNC 12/28; MM, PR 12/18)

PISMC meets to discuss all pending peace process issues. The only agmt. reached is to create an "informal channel" to discuss the prisoner release issue. (ITV 12/15 in WNC 12/16; CSM, NYT, WP, WT 12/16)

Secy. Albright leaves the U.S. delegation in Israel to make side trip to Amman to meet with Crown Prince Hassan. (JTV 12/15 in WNC 12/17; NYT 12/16; MM 12/18)

UNSCOM head Richard Butler reports to the UN that by failure to comply with 5 of 300 recent inspections requests, Iraq has failed to honor the promises of cooperation that prompted Pres. Clinton to call off a major military strike 11/14. U.S. officials say that the Clinton administration played a direct role in shaping Butler's text during multiple conversations with him 12/14 at secure sites in the U.S. mission to the UN, convinced him to order inspectors out of Iraq today without informing UN. (NYT, WP, WT 12/16; AFP, RJ 12/16 in WNC 12/17; NYT 12/17; Tishrin 12/19 in WNC 12/28; al-Akhbar, MENA 12/21 in WNC 12/22; MEI 12/25) (see 12/13)

Palestinian prisoners end hunger strike. (ITV 12/15 in WNC 12/16; MEI 12/25) (see 12/12)

In Israel, Pres. Clinton urges continued implementation of Wye accord, notes progress on both sides. U.S. special envoy Ross tells PM Netanyahu that Israel must recognize that the Palestinians are entitled to aspirations to statehood. Secy. Albright asks Israeli FM Sharon to find a "creative" way to make sure that the 2d stage of FRD takes place 12/18 as called for, but he says he cannot help. (MM, NYT, WP 12/14; PR 12/18)

In Jerusalem, Clinton's senior advisers on Iraq (including CIA, Defense Dept. heads) hold teleconference with White House officials. After mtg. Secy. Albright, Defense Secy. William Cohen brief the pres. on the group's unanimous recommendation to strike Iraq. (MM 12/18; WP 12/20; MEI 12/25) (see 12/10, 12/11)

In Cairo, Egyptian, Jordanian FMs discuss final status talks, their need to coordinate with the PA on all future steps related to the peace process. (MENA, RE 12/14 in WNC 12/15)

PSF arrests Islamic Jihad leader Abdallah Shami on incitement charges for statements to the press that he would not hesitate to kill Pres. Clinton. (WT 1/23)

In Gaza, the PLO Central Council approves Arafat's 1/98 letter to Clinton, annulling clauses of the PLO charter calling for Israel's destruction. (NYT, WP, WT 12/11; MM 12/14)

PM Netanyahu orders crackdown on Palestinian demonstrations in Israeli-controlled areas in advance of Clinton visit. (Reuters [Internet] 12/10)

7 fmr. U.S. defense secys. (Frank Carlucci, Richard Cheney, Melvin Laird, Elliot Richardson, Donald Rumsfeld, James Schlesinger, Caspar Weinberger) send letter to Pres. Clinton urging him not to free Pollard. (WT 12/11) (see 11/17)

U.S. sends 3 Patriot antimissile batteries fr. Germany to Israel. On 11/9 during the last round of tension with Iraq, the U.S. promised Israel that it would redeploy Patriots fr. Europe to Israel for extra defense in case of a U.S. attack on Iraq. (WP 12/20)

PM Netanyahu cuts short a trip to Britain to brief PM Tony Blair on the Wye agmt., cancels trip to Spain as a result of death of 2 IDF soldiers s. Lebanon 11/26; says Lebanese government is "directly responsible" for Hizballah's war on Israel. (MM 11/27; YA 11/27 in WNC 11/30; NYT, WP, WT 11/28; MEI 12/11)

Dir. of the PM's Bureau Uri Elitzur calls on the YESHA settlers council to take any steps that encourage settlement, including initiating new West Bank encampments, because "you don't know how long this government will last and what will be the depth of the further withdrawal." (MA 11/27 in WNC 11/30)

Jordanian government bans large pro-Iraq rally planned for today by Jordan's opposition parties. Mu'ta University administration dissolves its Islamist-dominated student council and suspend 8 students for holding demonstrations against the Wye agmt. (JT 11/28, 11/30 in WNC 12/1) (see 11/22)

In Paris, Egyptian FM Musa, French FM Hubert Vedrine review French-Egyptian initiative for Arab summit on the peace process (1st raised in 5/98), Wye implementation delays, Iraq-U.S. crisis. (MENA 11/26 in WNC 11/30)

Labor Chmn. Ehud Barak rejects offer fr. Likud PM Netanyahu to join a unity government. (WT 11/27) (see 11/25)

Israeli Agriculture Min. reveals that in 1998 it transferred NIS 17.1 m. fr. its budget to the Zionist Federation's Settlement Dept. to built pools, yeshivas, clubs, auditoriums in; set up paramilitary programs for; absorb immigrants into Jewish settlements. (MA 11/27 in WNC 11/30)

In s. Lebanon, 2 IDF soldiers are killed, 4 are injured by Hizballah roadside bombs, bringing to 5 the number of soldiers killed there in the past 10 days. Netanyahu agrees to review Israeli security arrangements in s. Lebanon. (MM 11/26; LPA 11/26 IDF Radio 11/27 in WNC 11/30; MM, WP, WT 11/27)

In Washington, Israeli Finance M Yaakov Neeman, DMin. Dir. Gen. Ilan Biran meet with senior U.S. officials to assure them that the $1.2-b. aid that the U.S. plans to give Israel will not be used directly for settlements. An Israeli-U.S. team is formed to complete details of the aid package within 1 mo. for submission to Congress in mid-1/99. (Globes [Internet] 11/22; MM 11/23; Globes [Internet] 11/23 in WNC 11/30) (see 11/19)

Israel, Jordan discuss bilateral trade issues, Israeli obstacles to Jordanian trade with the occupied territories. (JT 11/23 in WNC 11/30)

Jordan, Syria open 2-day mtg. on Yarmuk River water. (JT, Petra-JNA 11/23 in WNC 11/24; JT 11/24, 11/26 in WNC 11/30; WT 11/25)

Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails begin hunger strike to protest Israel's release of criminals, rather than political prisoners. (CSM 11/23; MM 11/25; IDF Radio 11/26 in WNC 11/30; MEI 12/11) (see 11/20)

Israel approves construction of high-tech industrial center, engineering school at the Kiryat Arba settlement. (AFP [Internet] 11/22; PR 11/27)

Jewish settlers demand that the Israeli government provide armored busses for schoolchildren, build lookout posts along key roads, construct helicopter landing pads, issue military equipment (e.g., machine guns, tear gas, rubber-coated bullets) to settlements. (MM 11/23)

Jewish settlers occupy abandoned rail station at Sebastia in the West Bank; demand government permission to open a religious seminary, museum there. Settlers also occupy hilltops nr. Bethlehem, nr. Nablus. (ITV 11/22 in WNC 11/24)

IDF demolishes Palestinian home in Taybeh nr. Hebron. (PR 1/8)

A wk. after avoiding U.S. airstrikes by resuming cooperation with the UN (see 11/15), Iraq rebuffs a UN request for documents. U.S. warns that withholding documents alone could trigger airstrikes. (NYT 11/23; WT 11/24)

With government permission, Jordanian women's groups, opposition parties stage 2d pro-Iraq rally in Amman. (JT 11/23 in WNC 11/24) (see 11/17)

Knesset ratifies the Wye agmt. Israeli cabinet postpones mtg. on approval of 1st stage of FRD to 11/19, pending PA moves to collect illegal weapons, clamp down on incitement. To appease Netanyahu (see 11/16), Arafat reiterates PA adherence to the peace process. Israeli officials meet with settlers to go over FRD maps. (MM 11/17; MA 11/17 in WNC 11/18; ITV 11/17 in WNC 11/19; MM, NYT, WP, WT 11/18; WJW 11/19; PR 11/20; MEI 11/27)

Head of the Israeli branch of the United Jewish Appeal, Dov Lautman, say that U.S. Jews should spend their money on their own communities, must realize that Israel is no longer a poor country in need of intensive support. (NYT 11/18)

UN weapons inspectors return to Iraq. (CSM 11/18) (see 11/15)

With government permission, Jordanian women's groups, opposition parties stage small rally outside the Iraqi emb. in Amman to express solidarity with Baghdad in the face of U.S. threats of attack. Jordan's Interior Min. says it would ban pro-Iraq demonstrations if the U.S. actually strikes. (JT 11/18 in WNC 11/19) (see 11/15)

For 2d day in a row, Pres. Clinton aborts a strike on Iraq, this time accepting Iraq's clarifications on renewing cooperation with the UN. Clinton also halts new deployments to the Gulf, but warns that next time Iraq fails to comply, U.S. may not stand down. Arab states welcome U.S. decision; Israel remains skeptical. (CSM, GIU, NYT, WP, WT 11/16)

In a radio address, Arafat says that Palestinians will retain the right to stage a new intifada if Israel blocks their access to Jerusalem's holy sites. (WP, WT 11/16; NYT, WP, WT 11/17)

Further escalating the rhetoric, Israeli FM Sharon urges Jewish settlers to "grab" unoccupied West Bank land so it does not fall under PA control in a final agmt. (AFP [Internet] 11/16; NYT, WP, WT 11/17)

Nr. Bethlehem, Palestinian protesters attempting to prevent bulldozing of 40 acres. of Palestinian land for creation of settler bypass road clash with IDF, leaving 2 soldiers injured. (WP 11/16)

The Sunday Times of London reports that Israel is working on a genetic weapon that would target Arabs but not Jews. Jane's, the respected British defence monitor, finds rumors credible. Porton Down, Britain's biological defense facility, says such a bacterial or viral weapon is theoretically possible. The British Medial Association has reportedly opened an investigation out of concern. (Sunday Times 11/15)

Citing Annan's letter, Iraq agrees to resume cooperation with the UN, forcing Pres. Clinton to abort a strike already in motion. At the UNSC, the U.S. rejects Iraq's announcement as "unacceptable"; Britain is skeptical but wants to leave options open; Secy. Gen. Annan, China, France, Russia welcome Iraqi decision but want clarifications. Annan warns that if the crisis resumes, "I doubt that there will be any time left for diplomacy." (NYT, WP, WT 11/15; WT 11/17)

In Nablus, U.S. envoy Ross discusses Wye implementation with Arafat. (WP, WT 11/15)

In an address to 1,000s of Palestinian in Nablus, Arafat says he will declare a state in 5/99. PM Netanyahu accuses Arafat of jeopardizing the Wye agmt. (WT 11/15; NYT 11/17)

U.S. continues buildup in the Gulf, raising its military strength there to 2/98 levels, costing tax payers up to $600 m. UN Secy. Gen. Annan breaks off Africa tour to return to New York. UN officials complain of difficulty in getting information fr. the U.S. on its intentions toward Iraq, say U.S. is not trying to obtain UNSC approval for military action. Diplomats in Baghdad say situation is more tense than during the 2/98 crisis. France, Russia, Saudi Arabia, which days ago were against a strike, are reportedly falling into line with the U.S. (MM, NYT, WP, WT 11/12; WP 11/13; WT 11/16)

After 4 postponements, the Israeli cabinet ratifies (8-4 with 5 abstentions) the Wye accord, but sets conditions to its approval that could undermine the agmt. (MM 11/11; MM, NYT, WP, WT 11/12; YA 11/12 in WNC 11/13; CSM, MM 11/13)

15,000 Jewish settlers hold rally in Tel Aviv to protest Wye agmt. (NYT 11/12)

U.S. sends additional forces to the Gulf for possible strike on Iraq. UN pulls weapons inspectors, relief personnel out of Iraq. Pres. Clinton tells PM Netanyahu that Arab states are resisting backing U.S. moves because Israel has not begun Wye implementation. (MM 11/10; GIU, NYT, WP, WT 11/11; WP 11/12; Petra-JNA 11/12 in WNC 11/13)

Under "intense" U.S. pressure, PM Netanyahu says that he is now satisfied with PA security assurances, will convene cabinet 11/11 to ratify Wye. (MM 11/10; AFP 11/10 in WNC 11/13; NYT, WP 11/11)

In Washington, an Israeli DMin. delegation asks Pentagon, State Dept. for $15-b. over the next 10 yrs. to modernize the IDF. (MA 11/11 in WNC 11/13)

Israeli municipal elections are held. Labor wins mayoralties in Tel Aviv, Beersheba, Haifa. Likud's Olmert wins reelection in Jerusalem. Police report that this has been the most violent campaign in Israel's history, with 313 cases of election-related violence, including 51 acts of serious property damage, 61 instances of bodily harm, numerous death threats. (MM, NYT 11/10; MM, NYT 11/11; CSM, WT 11/12; MM 11/13)

2 IDF soldiers are shot, wounded nr. a Jewish settlement in the West Bank. (MM 11/10; AFP 11/10 in WNC 11/13; NYT, WP 11/11)

Israeli DM Mordechai approves plan to fortify 33 West Bank settlements that will be nr. area A after the 2d FRD. (Los Angeles Times 11/10; Hatzofe 11/11 in WNC 11/13)

Nr. Sidon, Lebanon, a grenade is thrown in Mieh Mieh refugee camp, a bomb goes off in `Ayn al-Hilwa refugee camp. Explosions cause damage but no injuries. (VOL 11/10 in WNC 11/13)

Turkey sends 20,000 troops into n. Iraq in pursuit of Kurdish rebels expelled fr. Syria since the 10/20 Turkish-Syrian security agmt. (WT 11/11)

The PLO Exec. Comm. reaffirms 1/22/98 letter fr. Arafat to Secy. of State Christopher nullifying relevant articles of the PLO charter. Secy. Albright says that the PA is ahead of the Wye implementation schedule. (Washington File 11/6)

After the U.S. assures Israel that the PA has arrested 18 of the 30 wanted men ahead of schedule, Netanyahu convenes cabinet to ratify Wye, but opens by vowing not to implement FRD unless the full Palestine National Council votes to annul the PLO charter (see Peace Monitor). Netanyahu gives cabinet FRD maps for the 1st time. The cabinet demands clarification on charter issue, takes no vote on ratification. (ITV 11/5, MA, al-Quds 11/6, ITV, SANA 11/7, MA 11/9 in WNC 11/12; MM, NYT, WP, WT 11/6)

Israeli defense officials present Wye maps to settler leaders, who demand 50 amendments. (AP [Internet] 11/5; Hatzofe 11/6 in WNC 11/12)

Arafat goes to Sharm al-Shaykh to discuss Wye implementation with Pres. Mubarak. Arafat had hoped to fly back, inaugurating the Gaza airport, but Israel says agmt. must be ratified 1st. (MENA 11/5 in WNC 11/6; NYT 11/6)

UNSC unanimously passes resolution declaring Iraq in "flagrant violation" of UN resolutions, demands Iraq resume cooperation with the UN, but does not mention any use of force. U.S. Defense Secy. Cohen continues preparations for a strike on Iraq, but sets no deadline. Although Cohen has won no public support fr. Arab states, France, or Russia, Pres. Clinton says he believes that allies would back "whatever decisions we ultimately make." (MENA 11/4, 11/5 in WNC 11/6; JTV 11/5 in WNC 11/12; NYT, WP, WT 11/6)

PM Netanyahu again postpones cabinet discussion of Wye agmt., demands that the U.S. obtain a written timetable fr. the PA for arrest of 30 fugitives, claims agmt. cannot pass ratification with oral assurances alone. State Dept. says that the PA has met its obligation, U.S. considers the agmt. to have entered into force 11/2. (MM 11/3; IDF Radio, ITV 11/3, MENA 11/4 in WNC 11/6; NYT, WP, WT 11/4; NYT 11/5) (see 11/2)

Arafat says that arrest of Hamas activists will continue, crackdown has not gone far enough. Since 10/29, 250-450 alleged Hamas activists have been arrested. (MM, WP 11/4) (see 11/1)

Israel arrests right-wing settler leader Rabbi Moshe Levinger on charges of incitement. (WT 11/4; JP 11/16)

Overnight, Jewish settlers move at least 10 trailers onto a new settlement site on the West Bank hill. Another 3 trailers appear on a hill nr. the existing Ma'ale Mikhmas settlement. 3 other new settlements have been founded since the 10/23 Wye signing. (WT 11/4; MM 11/9, 11/13)

In London, U.S. Secy. of Defense William Cohen begins tour of EU, Arab allies to gauge support for strike on Iraq, says forces would be ready for attack within days. Cohen's tour is unusually secretive; no journalists are accompanying him as usual, his schedule has not been released. (NYT, WP, WT 11/4; al-Dustur, Petra-JNA, al-Ra`i, RE, RJ 11/4 in WNC 11/6; JP 11/9) (see 10/31)

Lebanon calls on the EU, UN to halt Israeli theft of fertile topsoil fr. s. Lebanon; says that 20+n30 Israeli civilians, the IDF have taken 100s of tons of soil since 9/98. (RL 11/3, 11/5 in WNC 11/6; NYT 11/4, 11/6)

U.S., Israel sign memorandum on military cooperation. (WP, WT 11/1; YA 11/1 in WNC 11/6; CSM, MM, NYT 11/2; al-Nahar 11/3 in WNC 11/12; JP 11/9)

Israel orders confiscation of 4,367 dunums of land fr. 4 Palestinian villages nr. Jinin for expansion of Hananit, Rihan, Shakid settlements. (al-Ayyam 10/31 in INFOPAL 11/1; PR 11/6)

Pres. Clinton signs nonbinding Iraq Liberation Act of 1998, which envisions takeover of the Iraqi government by opposition forces. U.S. must designate 1 or more groups as eligible for $97 m. in military, political aid within 90 days. (Washington File 11/2)

In a move unanimously condemned by the UNSC, Iraq halts all UN weapons inspections. U.S. National Security Council holds emergency mtg. to discuss possible military retaliation. (GIU, WP, WT 11/1; MM, NYT, WP, WT 11/2; GIU, NYT, WP 11/3; MENA 11/2, RE, RJ 11/4 in WNC 11/6; MM 11/6)

200,000 Iranian troops hold military maneuvers on the border with Afghanistan. (WP 11/1) (see 10/14)

The Executive Authority ratifies the Wye agmt. (NYT 10/31; WP 11/1)

Israeli FM Sharon sends letter to UN Secy. Gen. Annan on Wye agmt.; UN stands on Israel, peace process (YA 10/30 in WNC 11/2; Reuters [Internet] 11/2; MM 11/3) (see Doc. C1)

PSF arrests 10s of alleged Hamas mbrs.; searches Shaykh Yasin's home, confiscating papers, weapons fr. his body guards. Netanyahu's office dismisses crackdown as a "show" to save the Wye agmt. (MM 10/30; LAW, NYT, WT 10/31; NYT 11/2; PR 11/6)

PM Netanyahu announces allocation of nearly $1 m. for maintaining security of Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem, $60 m. for construction of bypass roads in the West Bank. (PR 11/6; MEI 11/16)

U.S.-sponsored Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty begins propaganda broadcasts to Iraq, Iran fr. Czechoslovakia. (WT 10/31; WP 11/4) (see 7/29)

In Washington, Pres. Clinton meets with Netanyahu and Arafat, who agree on essentials of a 13% FRD but differ on "parallel" Palestinian actions to ensure Israeli security. Announce plans for another 3-way mtg. in the U.S. in mid-10/98 to finalize agmt. (MM 9/28; ITV 9/28 in WNC 9/29; HA [Internet], MM, NYT, WP, WT 9/29; Les Echos 9/29 in WNC 9/30; CSM 9/30; al-Akhbar 9/30 in WNC 10/1; WJW 10/1; MEI, MM, PR 10/2; JP 10/3, 10/10)

Arafat returns to New York City to address the UNGA. Under pressure fr. the U.S., he does not mention declaring of a state in 5/99. (MM, NYT, WP, WT 9/29; CSM 9/30; MM 10/1; MEI, MM, PR 10/2; JP 10/10) (see 9/23)

Fmr. UNSCOM inspector Ritter reveals that for 4 yrs., Israel analyzed intelligence data on Iraq for UNSCOM. (MM 9/28; HA [Internet], WP 9/29; MM, WT 9/30; al-Thawra 9/30 in WNC 10/6; MM 10/1 WP 10/11, 10/12) (see 8/26)

In Umm al-Fahm, Israeli Arabs, Israeli security forces clash for 2d day, with some police firing live ammunition, leaving 11 residents wounded. Town observes general strike to protest police brutality. (MM 9/28; MM, WT 9/29; MEI, PR 10/2; MM 10/5; JP 10/10)

Israeli police free settler who killed a Palestinian boy 9/17. (MEI, PR 10/2) (see 9/19)

In New York, Secy. Albright meets with PM Netanyahu, Arafat, Egyptian FM Musa, Lebanese PM Hariri. Arafat, Musa also meet. (MENA, RL 9/26, MENA 9/27 in WNC 9/29; WT 9/28; MEI 10/2)

Turkey upgrades its diplomatic relations with Iraq to the ambassadorial level in response to a U.S.-backed agmt. btwn. the KDP, PUK (see 9/17), which it fears will encourage Kurdish separatists in Turkey. (ATL 9/26 in WNC 9/29; NYT, WT 9/27; MM 10/1; MIL 10/3 in WNC 10/14 MM 10/9)

In Maryland, Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Abdullah meets with executives fr. 7 U.S. oil companies to discuss allowing them back into the kingdom for the 1st time since the Saudi oil industry was nationalized in 1973. (WP 9/30; MEI 10/2)

Iran resumes maneuvers on the border with Afghanistan. (WP, WT 9/27) (see 9/16)

Iraqi trade center opens in Syria. (SANA, VIRI 9/20 in WNC 9/22; al-Bayyan 9/22 in WNC 9/25) (see 9/3)

U.S. envoy Ross holds mtg. in Gaza with Gaza PSF head Muhammad Dahlan; also meets with families of Palestinian prisoners, Palestinian businessmen. (HA [Internet] 9/18)

In a drive-by shooting nr. Beitunia in the West Bank, Jewish settler open fire on 12 Palestinian teenagers walking home fr. school, killing 1, injuring 2. 1 settler, Avshalomm Ladani, turns himself in to Israeli security. PA denounces Netanyahu for failing to condemn the attack. (HA [Internet], LAW, MM, NYT, WP, WT 9/18; WP 9/21; MM, WJW 9/24; MEI 10/2)

PM Netanyahu affirms plans to build 600 new homes in Yitzhar settlement, where 2 setters were killed 8/5. (MM 9/17; QY, YA 9/17 in WNC 9/18; MM, WT 9/18; PR 9/25; MEI 10/16) (see 8/26)

Israeli police evict 25 mbrs. of the Beitar youth movement, connected with PM Netanyahu's Likud party, fr. an encampment they set up at Har Homa/Jabal Abu Ghunaym in East Jerusalem to demand faster settlement construction at the site. (MM 9/17; MEI 10/16)

As part of U.S. efforts to organize the Iraqi opposition, the State Dept. announces that it has brokered a settlement btwn. 2 rival Iraqi Kurdish groups, the Kurdish Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK). The agmt. provides for elections next yr. to reestablish a regional assembly in n. Iraq, which could lead to creation of a Kurdish federation. (al-Rayah 9/17 in WNC 9/18; MM, NYT, WP 9/18; MM 9/21; ATL 9/23 in WNC 9/24; MED Television 9/23 in WNC 9/28; MM 9/25; MED Television 9/25 in WNC 9/29; ATL 9/30 in WNC 10/1; MM 10/1, 10/12; MEI 10/16)

U.S. envoy Ross meets again with PM Netanyahu, DM Mordechai. (WT 9/12)

Reacting to IDF raid 9/10, Palestinians fire at an Israeli bus carrying Jewish settlers to Nablus, causing no injuries. Israeli police fire rubber bullets at Palestinian protesters at a West Bank blockade, wounding 5. (NYT 9/11; NYT, WP, WT 9/12)

Yevgeny Primakov is approved as the new Russian PM. Primakov, who has an intelligence background, strongly supports the Arab position in the peace process, lifting of sanctions on Iraq. (MM 9/14; Vesti 9/17 in WNC 9/21; MM 9/18; ITAR-TASS 9/20 in WNC 9/22)

The Taliban admits its mbrs. killed at least 8 Iranian diplomats in 8/8 raid. Iran warns of retaliation. (MM 9/11; WP 9/12; RJ 9/13 in WNC 9/15; MM 9/15) (see 9/1)

In Ramallah, Ross holds 3-hr. session with Arafat, who says the PA will not accept any changes to the U.S. 13.1% FRD proposal. (MM 9/9; ITV, RJ 9/9 in WNC 9/11; NYT, WT 9/10)

In Cairo, Netanyahu aides Dani Nave, Uzi Arad meet with Pres. Mubarak in a bid to persuade Egypt to press the PA to agree to Israeli FRD proposals. (WT 9/9; ITV, MENA 9/9 in WNC 9/11; MM 9/10)

UN Security Council (UNSC) unanimously votes to suspend periodic reviews of economic sanctions on Iraq, meaning that Iraq will no longer have guaranteed opportunities to challenge the sanctions. (NYT, WP, WT 9/10; MM 9/11)

In s. Lebanon, 2 SLA mbrs. are killed, 4 are wounded by a roadside bomb. (VOL 9/9 in WNC 9/11)

Pres. Clinton agrees to send special envoy Ross to the Middle East next wk. as part of a renewed U.S. mediation effort aimed at reaching a PA-Israeli FRD agmt. (MM 9/3; MA, YA 9/3 in WNC 9/4; MM, NYT, WP, WT 9/4; IDF Radio 9/4 in WNC 9/8; WT 9/5; ITV, YA 9/6, ITV 9/7, VOA 9/8 in WNC 9/9; al-Ba`th 9/6 in WNC 9/11; WJW 9/10; JP 9/12)

Syria opens a trade center in Iraq. (WP 9/4)

Israeli authorities begin construction of new housing units on confiscated Palestinian land to expand the West Bank settlement of Mihula. (al-Quds 9/3 in WNC 9/9)

Arafat goes to Amman to brief Crown Prince Hassan on the peace process. Hassan later receives a delegation fr. the Arab Democratic Party of Israel. (al-Ra'i, RJ 8/31 in WNC 9/1; JTV 8/31 in WNC 9/2)

Bipartisan Senate comm. report on Gulf War Syndrome questions government assertion that exposure to nerve gas sickened U.S. soldiers who fought in Iraq; concludes that evidence is insufficient in all but 1 case to prove troops were exposed to any chemical agents. (WP 9/1; WT 9/2)

Amal attacks 3 IDF posts in s. Lebanon, wounding 5 soldiers. (RL, VOL 8/31 in WNC 9/1)

UN Security Council (UNSC) holds an informal, closed-door mtg. on U.S. strikes on Sudan, Afghanistan; decides to take no action to reprimand the U.S. (MM 8/24, 8/25, 8/27)

Arab League holds emergency session, condemns 8/20 U.S. attack on Sudan; does not mention Afghanistan. Meanwhile, the U.S. claims that senior Iraqi scientists were helping to produce elements of the nerve agent VX at the targeted Sudanese factory. (MENA, RE 8/24 in WNC 8/26; NYT 8/25)

Israeli Finance Min. approves transfer of $23.4 m. fr. urban building to settlements. (Globes [Internet] 8/24 in WNC 8/26)

Turkey rejects Syria's proposal to revive water talks of the Turkish-Syrian-Iraqi Joint Technical Comm., which has not met in 6 yrs. (ATL 8/25 in WNC 8/27)

After 2 days of heated debate, PC approves (55-28, with 3 abstentions) Arafat's new EA. (WP 8/9; CSM, NYT, WP, WT 8/10; JP 8/15)

PM Netanyahu turns down invitation fr. Norway to attend 5th anniversary commemoration of the Oslo accords scheduled to be held in Oslo 8/23-24. Fmr. Israeli PM Peres, Arafat plan to attend. (HA [Internet] 8/10, 8/18)

Jordanian FM Anani arrives in Iran for 2 days of talks on bilateral cultural, economic, political ties; meets with Majles speaker Ali Akbar Nateq-Nuri. (JTV 8/8, IRNA 8/9, JT 8/10 in WNC 8/11; MM 8/14)

Jordan's new amb. to Iraq, Hammud Katarneh, presents his credentials to Iraqi VP Taha Yassin Ramadan. Both men express desire to boost bilateral cooperation. (MM 8/12)

Israel's Atty. Gen. Elaykim Rubenstein, State Prosecutor Edna Arbel, National Chief of Police Yehuda Vilk meet to finalize new regulations for the IDF, police, Shin Bet that will eliminate special treatment for Jewish settlers who break the law in the occupied territories, especially in cases involving attacks on Palestinians. (HA [Internet] 8/11)

10s of Jewish settlers fr. settlements along the Lebanese border demonstrate outside PM Netanyahu's office to protest government plans to rescind the benefits granted the border settlements after Israel's assault on Lebanon 4/11-26/96. (HA [Internet] 8/10)

Palestinian prisoner Walid Qawasmeh dies en route to a Nablus hospital after 10 days in PA custody. PA says that he died of heat stroke. Autopsy today concludes that he had been tortured. (WP 8/11; LAW 8/12)

Bombs explode almost simultaneously at the U.S. embassies in Kenya, Tanzania, leaving 256 dead, some 5,000 injured. The unheard of Islamic Army for the Liberation of the Holy Places claims responsibility, saying it wants Western troops out of Muslim countries. Egyptian Islamic Jihad, Saudi dissident Osama Bin Laden, Iraq are the prime suspects. (The CIA listening post monitoring Iraq is headquartered in Nairobi, and 8 yrs. ago today the 1st U.S. troops landed on Saudi soil following Iraq's invasion of Kuwait.) U.S., Israel immediately send rescue teams to Kenya, where there is significant damage. PM Netanyahu offers to investigate the incidents. (MM 8/7; AFP 8/7, AFP, al-Jumhuriyya, SA 8/8, AFP, al-Wafd, YA 8/9, al-Ahram 8/10 in WNC 8/11; NYT, WP, WT 8/8; Independent, WT 8/9; IGPO, NYT, WP, WT 8/10; MA 8/11 in WNC 8/12; al-Safir 8/11 in WNC 8/14; WP 8/12; SA 8/12 in WNC 8/13; MM 8/13; NYT 8/20; WT 8/24)

Israeli DM Mordechai phones U.S. special envoy Ross to ask him to come to the region to help move talks forward. Ross says he will not come until there are signs of real progress. (MA 8/9 in WNC 8/11)

High-level U.S. official phones UNSCOM head Butler to urge him to postpone "challenge inspections" planned for 8/9 so as to avoid a new crisis with Iraq. Butler orders the UNSCOM team to leave Baghdad to protests U.S.'s "go-slow" policy. (WP 8/14; WP, WT 8/15; NYT 8/17; WP 8/18) (see 8/4)

Arafat presents new cabinet to the PC. (MM 8/5; MM, NYT 8/6; LAW, MM, PR 8/7)

By phone, Secy. Albright tells PM Netanyahu that the freeze in the peace process is harming U.S. interests in the Middle East, is affecting the U.S.'s ability to forge a coalition against Iraq (see 8/4). Netanyahu asks Albright to send special envoy Ross back to the region, but she refuses. (MA 8/6 in WNC 8/7)

In Damascus, Iran, Syria hold talks on financial cooperation, joint investments, elimination of double taxation. (IRNA 8/5 in WNC 8/7) (see 8/2)

2 Jewish settlers on patrol around Yitzhar settlement nr. Nablus are shot, killed. IDF places curfew on nearby Palestinian villages, search for attackers but do not find them. PM Netanyahu authorizes expansion of Yitzhar; settlers say that they will start work immediately. (MM, NYT 8/5; CSM, MM, WP, WT 8/6; MM 8/7; YA 8/7 in WNC 8/11; JP 8/15)

In s. Lebanon, 1 Hizballah mbr. is killed, 1 is wounded by IDF shelling. (RL 8/5 in WNC 8/6; VOL 8/5, RL 8/6 in WNC 8/7)

In Washington, the Israeli Labor party delegation meets with over 600 U.S. Jewish leaders, congressmen, mbrs. of the U.S. administration to brief them on Labor's positions toward the peace process. Party chmn. Barak says that despite the delegation's critical tone, they are not advocating U.S. pressure on Israel. (MM 8/5; MA 8/6 in WNC 8/7)

Iraq rejects UNSCOM proposal for accelerated inspection schedule, demands that the UN lift sanctions, says it will not cooperate further with inspectors. Publicly, the U.S. warns that noncooperation will insure that Iraq remains under sanctions indefinitely. But, behind the scenes, Secy. Albright phones UNSCOM head Richard Butler--as she reportedly has done several times in recent mos.--to urge him not to carry out 2 surprise "challenge inspections" planned for 8/6 so as to avoid a new crisis with Iraq. Butler agrees only to delay inspections until 8/9. (MM, NYT, WP, WT 8/5; MM 8/6, 8/7; MM 8/10; NYT 8/13; WP 8/14; WP, WT 8/15; NYT 8/17; WP 8/18) (see 6/24)