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  • July 22, 2021

    In the West Bank, 3 Israeli settlers set fire to a Palestinian marble factory in Jamma’in near Huwwara, causing damage of around $920,000. 6 Palestinians were arrested during raids in Zabbuba and...

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  • August 5, 2012

    As many as 35 unidentified gunmen attack an Egyptian checkpoint near the Rafah border, fatally shooting 16 Egyptian security officers and wounding 3. Some of the assailants then steal 2 armored...

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  • January 19, 2011

    IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire warning shots at Palestinians scavenging for construction materials, wounding 1. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in...

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  • January 13, 2011

    After receiving a warning fr. Egypt that Israel is serious about preventing further rocket and mortar fire fr. Gaza, Hamas authorities hold a 2d mtg. (see 1/11) with smaller factions to urge them...

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  • July 31, 2000

    U.S. Asst. Secy. of State Walker arrives in Egypt for a mtg. with Pres. Mubarak. This is Walker's 1st stop a 15-day trip to Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar,...

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  • November 16, 1999

    In Jerusalem, U.S. spedal envoy Dennis Ross meets with Israeli FM David Levy to discuss progress on final status talks. Although they discuss differences btwn. Israel and the Palestinian Authority...

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  • August 8, 1999

    The Israeli cabinet releases a statement saying that "in the absence of agreed-upon changes, the countdown for implementation of the [Wye] agreement will begin on September 1." Arafat welcomes...

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  • July 3, 1999

    Kuwait holds parliamentary elections. Liberal candidates win 14 seats, up from 4, in the 50-mbr. parliament, making the approval of the 5/16 cabinet decision to grant women the right to vote...

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  • June 12, 1999

    In Aqaba, King Abdallah of Jordan receives Shaykh Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa of Bahrain for 2 days of talks on bilateral, regional issues. Both men express support for an independent Palestinian...

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  • June 6, 1999

    In Cairo, PCC, Arab League comms. hold consulations on drafting a Palestinian constitution. (MENA 6/6 in WNC 6/10; al-Quds 6/6 in WNC 6/11)

    PM-elect Barak says he is having trouble...

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  • May 7, 1999

    Orient House, Israeli Internal Security Min. officials try to reach compromise on closure of offices. (SA 5/9 in WNC 5/10) (see 5/6)

    Jordan's water minister says...

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  • January 16, 1999

    Egyptian FM Musa speaks with FMs of Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Syria regarding 1/24 Arab League mtg. on Iraq. (MENA 1/16 in WNC 1/20)

    Italy allows PKK leader Ocalan to leave for...

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  • October 26, 1998

    U.S. Asst. Secy. Indyk briefs ambs. of Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, the UAE on the Wye agmt. (al-Akhbar, al-Ba'th, al-Jumhuriyya...

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  • October 4, 1998

    Egyptian pres. Mubarak meets with Syrian pres. Asad in Damascus on 1st leg of shuttle aimed at reducing avoiding military conflict btwn. Syria, Turkey. Syria also accepts Iran's offer to mediate....

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  • June 3, 1998

    Arafat arrives in Oman for talks on possible Arab summit. (Oman Television Network 6/3 in WNC 6/8)

    In Cairo, the Arab League's Arab Economic Unity Council convenes annual session. (MENA 6/3...

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  • June 1, 1998

    Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia, Syria, the PA, the Arab League hold mtg. in Lebanon to prepare for Euro-Mediterranean meeting next wk. in Italy; also discuss...

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  • May 26, 1997

    In Cairo, Mubarak, Arafat hold mtg. to coordinate views in advance of Mubarak-Netanyahu mtg. 5/27. (MM, WT 5/27; RE 5/27 in WNC 5/28)

    Syrian VP Khaddam visits Algeria to discuss peace...

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  • February 2, 1997

    On the sidelines of the World Economic Forum mtg. in Davos, Switzerland, Israel PM Netanyahu meets with Egyptian Pres. Mubarak for the 1st time in 6 mos.; accepts invitation to visit Cairo in the...

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  • June 2, 1996

    PA calls on PM Peres government to redeploy in Hebron by 6/12 as agreed. However, Peres reconfirms to his cabinet that he will leave the redeployment to PM-elect Netanyahu. (al-Quds 6/2 in...

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  • November 15, 1995

    On the recommendation of 111 of 120 MKs, Israeli Pres. Weizman gives Peres 21 days to form a new government as PM. (NYT, WP, WT 11/16)

    Israeli police arrest 8 suspect, Margalit Harshefi, a...

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  • July 2, 1995

    Israeli Gen. Shahak, military expert to Syrian talks in Washington, briefs cabinet on talks with Syrian counterpart Gen. Shihabi; says Syria offered a demilitarization ratio of 10:6 (Syria:Israel...

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  • May 21, 1995

    At Israeli-PA economic comm. mtg., PA demands changes in Paris protocol given Israeli separation plan, closure; demands maintenance of free trade with Israel, based on free movement of goods btwn...

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  • May 10, 1995

    White House sends warning to 3 Democratic senators (Daniel Inouye, cosponsor of Dole bill, D. Patrick Moynihan, Joseph Lieberman) that moving U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem  would have "a...

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  • April 20, 1995

    On visit to Austria, Israeli Dep. FM Beilin says it makes no difference to Israel which elements are in control of s. Lebanon "so long as the safety of the inhabitants is maintained." Statement...

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  • December 13, 1994

    Joint Jordanian-Israeli comms. on security, borders, territories, environment, crime, drugs hold 1st "preparatory" mtgs. at Dead Sea Hotel to formulate outlines for meeting goals set out in Jordan...

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  • December 5, 1994

    Israeli-Palestinian joint comm. for commodities and transportation crossings concludes 3d mtg. at Erez checkpoint. Progress noted on customs, security, transportation of goods. Agree PA will be...

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  • October 5, 1994

    Secy. of State Christopher holds "constructive" mtg. with Syrian FM al-Shara` in Washington on peace talks, improving Syrian-U.S. relations. Al-Shara` then holds mtgs. with U.S. Jewish leaders. (...

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  • January 14, 1993

    Acting Secy. of State Eagleburger warns that there will be "more pressure in the Security Council for some kind of Chapter 7 enforcement" of UNSCR 799, which "puts the Israelis and us and a lot of...

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  • March 26, 1992

    U.S. investigatory team ends its inspection of Israeli Patriot missile batteries. (NYT 3/27)

    Ateret Cohanim seminary opens four stores in Muslim Quarter of E. Jerusalem. (MM 3/27)

    EC...

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  • January 28, 1992

    Secy. of State Baker and Russian FM Andrei Kozyrev open third stage, multilateral peace talks at the FM level in Moscow. Attendees include representatives from Jordan, Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia...

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In the West Bank, 3 Israeli settlers set fire to a Palestinian marble factory in Jamma’in near Huwwara, causing damage of around $920,000. 6 Palestinians were arrested during raids in Zabbuba and al-Walaja. In East Jerusalem, 4 Palestinians were arrested in the Old City. In Gaza, an explosion at the Zawiya market killed 1, injured 14, and caused damage. According to the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights (PCHR), the explosion was caused by explosives stored in a residential building at the market. After the PCHR reported its findings, it was smeared and threatened by the National and Islamic Factions’ Follow-up Committee in the Gaza Strip. In Israel, Israeli forces arrested 2 people who had crossed into Israel from Lebanon. (AJ, AP, HA, HA, MEMO, WAFA 7/22; PCHR 7/23; PCHR 7/25; AQ 7/26; PCHR 7/29)

Israel’s public security minister Omer Bar-Lev called PA president Mahmoud Abbas to wish him well on Eid al-Adha and said he used the oppounity to discuss more communications between the 2. (ALM, WAFA 7/22 HA 7/23)

Haaretz reported that although the ban on family reunifications for Israeli citizens married to Palestinians expired on 7/6, it has not been possible to make an appointment to process an application. According to Haaretz, interior minister Ayelet Shaked has ordered her ministry not to handle any of the requests until a new policy has been formulated. (HA, MEMO 7/22)

The Israeli government told the Israeli high court of justice that it would not grant work permits to Palestinians seeking asylum in Israel based on anti-LGBTQ persecution or domestic violence, saying that the PA “does not systematically persecute people because of their sexual orientation.” (HA 7/23)

In Syria, Israeli forces conducted air strikes for the 2d time in 1 week, this time in the Quseir region. It was unclear if there were any casualties. Syria’s military said its air defenses had intercepted most of the missiles. Russian officials later claimed that it was its air defenses in Syria that had intercepted the Israeli missiles. (AJ, AP, HA, REU 7/22; MEMO 7/23; HA 7/25)

French president Emmanuel Macron called Israeli prime minister Naftali Bennett for clarification about Macron being a target of Pegasus spyware exported from the Israeli company NSO Group with Israeli government approval. (HA 7/24; MEMO 7/25)

The African Union (AU) said it would readmit Israel as an observer country. Israel was ejected as an observer 19 years ago after pressure from then brotherly leader of Libya Muammar Gaddafi. The Israeli foreign ministry had prior to the readmission sent a senior official to Addis Ababa in Ethiopia to meet with 30 ambassadors to the AU. Hamas later issued a statement calling the AU decision “shocking and reprehensible.” The South African government called the AU decision appalling, “unjust and unwarranted.” Algeria, Egypt, Comoros, Tunisia, Djibouti, Mauritania, and Libya later voiced opposition to Israel’s readmission, saying that the decision could divide the AU nations. (HA, TOI 7/22; AJ, ALM, MEMO 7/23; MEMO, MEMO 7/26; AA, AJ 7/28; WAFA 8/1; MEMO, MEMO, MEMO 8/2; AJ, MEMO, MEMO 8/4; MEMO 8/9; MEE 8/11; AA 8/17; WAFA, WAFA 8/19)

As many as 35 unidentified gunmen attack an Egyptian checkpoint near the Rafah border, fatally shooting 16 Egyptian security officers and wounding 3. Some of the assailants then steal 2 armored personnel carriers, which they pack with explosives and drive toward Kerem Shalom commercial crossing, where the borders of Egypt, Israel, and Gaza meet. The IDF calls in an air strike on the vehicles as they breach the border, killing at least 3 assailants. No group takes responsibility. Egypt seals the Rafah border crossing into Gaza as a precaution. Israel shuts the Israeli-Egypt side of Kerem Shalom and halts fuel shipments to Gaza through the Israel-Gaza side, but otherwise continues to allow limited imports of goods from Israel to Gaza. Hamas authorities in Gaza deny any Palestinian involvement, call the attack ‘‘terrorism,’’ and close smuggling tunnels from their side as well, stating that ‘‘Palestinian resistance factions are committed to fighting only against the Israeli occupation, and they launch their operations only from the Palestinian territories.’’ (MNA, NYT, WP 8/6; NYT 8/7)

An Israeli warplane makes an air strike on Rafah targeting 2 Tawhid and Jihad mbrs. as they ride a motorcycle through Rafah, assassinating Eid Oukal and wounding Ahmad Said Isma‘il; Israel accuses the men of being behind the 6/18 Sinai attack that killed an Israeli Palestinian worker and of plotting other crossborder attacks on Israeli civilians; no mention is made of the Sinai attack earlier in the day. Later, unidentified Palestinians fire 2 Qassam rockets fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. The IDF responds by directing artillery fire and shooting from helicopters at the demolished Dahaniyya airport site and open areas e. of Rafah for several hours, causing no reported injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Bethlehem, Hebron, and Ramallah. (NYT, PCHR 8/6; PCHR 8/9; OCHA 8/10)

The PA cancels plans to host a meeting in Ramallah of foreign envoys representing the Non-Aligned Movement to express solidarity with the Palestinians, stating that Israel has refused to grant entry permits to the representatives of Algeria, Bangladesh, Cuba, Indonesia, and Malaysia on the grounds that their countries do not recognize the State of Israel. The PA reportedly (NYT 8/6) intended to announce plans to revive its UN statehood effort at the opening of the next UNGA session in 9/2012. The group was also expected to release a ‘‘Ramallah Declaration’’ denouncing Israeli settlement expansion. (NYT, WP 8/6)

Iran airs the confessions of more than a dozen alleged conspirators to the killing of 5 nuclear scientists since 2010, claiming that the suspects were trained in Israel by the Mossad. (WP 8/6)

IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire warning shots at Palestinians scavenging for construction materials, wounding 1. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Nablus and nr Jenin; conducts late-night patrols in 2 villages nr. Ramallah. (PCHR 1/20, 1/27; OCHA 1/28)

Lebanon introduces a draft of a major United Nations Security Council res. for debate that urges the international community to denounce Israeli settlement activity, using wording that artfully pieces together official U.S. statements on settlements to make it harder for the U.S. to object or veto. The U.S. ultimately urges Abbas to suspend discussion of the draft until a Quartet meeting on 2/5, suggesting the Quartet might issue a statement confirming 1967 borders as the basis of final status negotiations and condemning Israeli settlement construction. (NYT 1/20)

At an Arab economic summit in Sharm al-Shaykh, Arab leaders pledge $2 b. to shore up regional economies and generate jobs in hopes of preventing the spread of antigovernment riots like those in Tunisia. Saudi Arabia and Kuwait each pledges $500 m., with 11 other states pledging the other $1 b. Observers say however (see NYT 1/20) that leaders are acting more out of a desire to secure their leaderships than to reform and develop their economies, noting that none of the similar initiatives agreed at the last economic summit in 2009 have been implemented. By this date, numerous self-immolations (some fatal) and antigovernment protests have taken place in Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Mauritania, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen since the fall of Ben-Ali on 1/14, citing Tunisia as inspiration. In response to the Yemeni riots, the most severe to date, Pres. Ali Abdullah Saleh has cut income taxes in half, imposed price controls on basic goods, raised salaries for the army, and vowed his son will not succeed him, while the EU has announced an additional $19.5 m. in support to Sana’a for poverty programs. Today, an Egyptian Facebook group begins calling for massive street protests in Cairo on 1/25 to mark a “day of revolution against torture, poverty, corruption, and unemployment.” (WT 1/19; NYT 1/20; NYT, WT 1/25; see also al-Bawaba 1/17; NYT, WP 1/18)

After receiving a warning fr. Egypt that Israel is serious about preventing further rocket and mortar fire fr. Gaza, Hamas authorities hold a 2d mtg. (see 1/11) with smaller factions to urge them to adhere to a cease-fire, then deploys IQB mbrs. along the border and at makeshift checkpoints on roads leading toward the border to deter groups fr. firing into Israel. In the West Bank, the IDF steps up patrols dramatically, operating in 8 villages nr. Qalqilya, 3 nr. Jenin, 1 nr. Ramallah, and 1 nr. Tulkarm between late morning and late afternoon, arresting 1 stone-throwing teenager nr. Tulkarm and summoning several residents of Bayt Qad nr. Qalqilya for questioning; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Jenin and Qalqilya. Jewish settlers fr. a settlement outpost nr. Nablus attack a Palestinian farmer working his field nearby; when nearby villagers come to the farmers aid, IDF troops intervene, firing rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas at the Palestinians, seriously injuring 2 and moderately injuring 1. (NYT, WP 1/14; PCHR 1/20; OCHA 1/21)

In Tunisia, opposition forces call for massive antigovernment demonstrations after Friday prayers on 1/14 to demand Pres. Ben Ali’s immediate resignation. In the days since 12/29/2010, protests have increasingly come to reflect deep-seated frustration with overall government corruption and lack of political freedom, rather than just economic angst. The major riots that first roiled the countryside have become increasingly violent and spread nationwide, reaching the capital on 1/12 and the key resort city of Hammamet (where Ben Ali and his extended family have residences) on 1/13, leaving at least 30 dead. In effort to quell protests, Ben Ali has simultaneously moved to appease and clamp down on critics, pledging to investigate government corruption and recent “excesses” by the security forces and firing his interior minister (directly responsible for orchestrating the crackdown on demonstrators), but also deploying army units and riot police around Tunis and imposing a nighttime curfew, blaming “foreign terrorists and Islamic radicals capitalizing on the frustrations of the unemployed.” Rumors suggest that close relatives of Ben Ali, including billionaire businessman Muhammad Sakher El Materi (his son-in-law and heir apparent), have already fled the country. Today, Ben Ali gives a hastily prepared television address. Appearing unsettled, he orders security forces to hold their fire and release jailed protesters, agrees to make other minor reforms, and pledges to give up the presidency when he turns 75 (in 2014) in keeping with the constitution, but rejects demands to step down immediately and end his 23-yr. authoritarian rule. In a threatening move, however, he withdraws the army fr. Tunis, replacing them with special police and other security forces more loyal to his ruling party. Credible rumors say the shift has come about because Tunisia’s army chief Gen. Rachid Ammar has refused Ben-Ali’s orders to shoot demonstrators. By this date, small protests inspired by Tunisian demonstrators have been held in Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Libya, and Morocco denouncing unemployment and corruption among the ruling elites, but are not perceived as destabilizing. (NYT, WP 1/13; NYT 1/14, 1/17, 2/24; see also WP 1/10, NYT 1/12)

U.S. Asst. Secy. of State Walker arrives in Egypt for a mtg. with Pres. Mubarak. This is Walker's 1st stop a 15-day trip to Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Morocco, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, Yemen, and the UAE to urge Arab leaders to put pressure on Arafat to accept compromises on Jerusalem. (MM 7/31; MENA 7/31 in WNC 8/1; MM 8/1; WT 8/2; WJW 8/3; DUS 8/6 in WNC 8/7)

PM Barak survives Knesset votes (50-50, with 8 abstentions, 12 MKs absent; 53-48) on 2 no-confidence motions. (MM 7/31; NYT, WT 8/1)

The Knesset elects (63-57) the relatively obscure Iranian-born Likud MK Moshe Katsav over One Israel MK Shimon Peres, a 3-time PM and Nobel laureate, to replace Weizman as pres. Israeli public opinion polls prior to the vote showed Peres as the popular choice over Katsav by 63% to 20%, with 17% undecided. Katsav captured the votes of Sephardic and Russian MKs (with Shas voting as a bloc for him) because of his Sephardic background and of ultra-Orthodox MKs, who voted for him as a protest to Barak, who openly favored Peres. (MM 7/31; ATL 7/31 in WNC 8/1; CSM, MM, NYT, WP, WT 8/1; ATL 8/1, SA 8/2 in WNC 8/3; WJW 8/3; JP, WP 8/11)

Acting on a tip, Israeli police arrest a Jewish resident of Jerusalem found with 3 rifles and a great deal of ammunition in his car. Police suspect he was en route to the West Bank to sell the arms, ammunition to settlers planning an attack on Palestinian targets. (MA 8/1 in WNC 8/2)

In Jerusalem, U.S. spedal envoy Dennis Ross meets with Israeli FM David Levy to discuss progress on final status talks. Although they discuss differences btwn. Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) delaying the 2d stage of the 2d further redeployment (FRD) outlined in Wye II, Ross says the problem should be worked out btwn. the 2 sides. Later in the day, Ross meets with PA head Yasir Arafat (MM 11/16; WP 11/17; MEI 11/26)

In Amman, the PA-Jordanian joint Technical Comm. ends a 2-day mtg. on bilateral trade and economic ties. (al-Quds 11/16 in WNC 11/22)

Algeria says it will agree to establish diplomatic relations with Israel as soon as it withdraws fr. the Golan Heights, s. Lebanon, the occupied territories. (ANSA (Rome] 11/16; MM 11/19)

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) expels 300 Palestinians fr. the caves in which they reside nr. Yatta on the West Bank, after declaring the area a closed military zone. (Gush Shalom press release 1/25; NYT 2/22)

IDF troops clash with Islamic Jihad mbrs. in s. Lebanon, killing 2 mbrs. On 11/15, Lebanese PM Salim al-Huss warned Palestinian groups that it is not in Lebanon's interest for them to stage attacks on Israeli targets in or fr. Lebanese territory. (APP 11/16 in WNC 11/21; al-Quds, al-safir 11/16 in WNC 11/22; RL 11/19 in WNC 11/23)

In Cairo, Egypt, Saudi Arabia close 2 days of higher comm. mtgs., agree to reduce barriers to bilateral trade. (MENA 11/16 in WNC 11/21) 

The Israeli cabinet releases a statement saying that "in the absence of agreed-upon changes, the countdown for implementation of the [Wye] agreement will begin on September 1." Arafat welcomes Israel's plan to resume implementation in 9/99, but still does not approve of Barak's plan to draw out the Wye schedule. (CSM, MM, WT 8/9; CSM 8/10)

At the request of Israeli PM Barak and after consulting with Arafat and Asad, Secy. of State Albright postpones her trip to the Middle East, which was to start next wk. (IDF Radio 8/8 in WNC 8/9; MM, WP, WT 8/9; MM, NYT, WP 8/10; WJW 8/12; JP 8/13) (see 8/6)

Shaykh Hamad Bin-Khalifa al-Thani, emir of Qatar, meets with Arafat in Gaza, making him the 1st Gulf leader to visit the occupied territories since the PA was established. The emir is on a regional tour, which will also take him to Lebanon (8/8-9), Algeria (8/9-10), Morocco (8/11). (RL 8/8 in WNC 8/9; al-Quds 8/9, MAP [Rabat], TT 8/11 in WNC 8/13)

In Damascus, the PFLP briefs 8 Syrian-based opposition groups on its reconciliation talks with Arafat in Cairo 8/1-2; some groups recommend halting contacts with the PFLP if it holds further mtgs. Fatah, the PA. DFLP is not invited to the briefing; it has been banned fr. opposition mtgs. since Nayif Hawatimah shook hands with Israeli pres. Weizman at King Hussein's funeral in 2/99. (AFP, MBC, 8/9 in WNC 8/10) (see 8/6)

IDF lifts curfew on Palestinians in the Israeli-controlled sector of Hebron. (LAW 8/8) (see 8/4)

PA announces that it has arrested 3 Hamas leaders in Gaza. Israel has pressured the PA to crack down on Hamas since the Qassam Brigades claimed responsibility for shooting 2 Jewish settlers in Hebron on 8/3. (WP 8/9) (see 8/7)

Kuwait holds parliamentary elections. Liberal candidates win 14 seats, up from 4, in the 50-mbr. parliament, making the approval of the 5/16 cabinet decision to grant women the right to vote almost certain. (NYT, WT 7/4; MM, WT 7/5; M 7/14)

In Paris, Egyptian pres. Mubarak discusses the peace process with Pres. Chirac. Mubarak makes a brief stop in Algeria before returning to Cairo in the evening. (MENA 7/3 in WNC 7/6; NYT 7/5)

France, the U.S. assure Lebanon that the April understandings are still in force, will not be amended. Lebanon says it will continue to abide by the 1996 agmt. (RL 7/3 in WNC 7/6) (see 6/29)

In Aqaba, King Abdallah of Jordan receives Shaykh Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa of Bahrain for 2 days of talks on bilateral, regional issues. Both men express support for an independent Palestinian state. (WT 6/13; RJ 6/13 in WNC 6/14)

In Algiers, Egypt's Pres. Mubarak, Algeria's Pres. Bouteflika hold talks on bilateral, regional issues, including the peace process. Mubarak then heads to Morocco for 2 days of similar talks with King Hassan. (MENA 6/12 in WNC 6/14; JUM, RE 6/14 in WNC 6/15; MM 6/15)

In Cairo, PCC, Arab League comms. hold consulations on drafting a Palestinian constitution. (MENA 6/6 in WNC 6/10; al-Quds 6/6 in WNC 6/11)

PM-elect Barak says he is having trouble forming a broad-based coalition because of Likud demands that he continue settlement expansion. Under draft guidelines for a coalition government, no new settlements would be established, no existing settlements would be dismantled, settlements would not enjoy preferred status. (CSM, MM, NYT, WP, WT 6/7; MEI 6/18)

In Cairo, Egyptian-Palestinian joint comm. open 2 days of talks on the peace process; sign agmts. on cultural, economic, trade, technical cooperation. (MENA 6/7 in WNC 6/9)

In Amman, Jordanian, Syrian officials discuss transportation cooperation. (RJ 6/6 in WNC 6/10)

In signs that a political settlement to Algeria's 7-yr.-old conflict btwn. Muslim guerrillas and the government may be at hand, newly elected (4/99) Pres. `Abd al-`Aziz Bouteflika announces plans to offer amnesty to fighters, supporters of the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS); formally endorses a truce declared by FIS in 10/97. In response, FIS's military wing says is will end its armed struggle against the state. (MM 6/7)

Orient House, Israeli Internal Security Min. officials try to reach compromise on closure of offices. (SA 5/9 in WNC 5/10) (see 5/6)

Jordan's water minister says that Israel will provide the kingdom with its full share of water under the regular schedule agreed to under the 10/94 peace treaty. (JT 5/8 in WNC 5/10)

Arab League antiterrorism agmt. comes into force 1 mo. after being ratified by 8 of the League's 22 mbrs. (Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, the PA, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, the UAE). (NYT 5/8)

PSF arrests 4 al-Najah University students on charges of being mbrs. of Islamic Jihad; raid al-Manar press offices, where 1 student worked as a corresponded for Islamic Jihad's al-Istiqlal newspaper, confiscating files, computer disks. (LAW 5/12)

Egyptian FM Musa speaks with FMs of Algeria, Libya, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, Syria regarding 1/24 Arab League mtg. on Iraq. (MENA 1/16 in WNC 1/20)

Italy allows PKK leader Ocalan to leave for an undisclosed location to seek asylum. Italy has been under diplomatic pressure fr. the U.S., economic pressure fr. Turkey to turn Ocalan over to Ankara. (NYT 1/17, 2/19) (see 11/25)

U.S. Asst. Secy. Indyk briefs ambs. of Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Tunisia, the UAE on the Wye agmt. (al-Akhbar, al-Ba'th, al-Jumhuriyya, MENA, RL 10/26, AFP 10/27 in WNC 10/28; MM, NYT, WP 10/27; MM 10/28; al-Ba'th 10/28 in WNC 11/2; al-Quds 10/28, SA 10/30, al-Ahram 11/2 in WNC 11/6; MM 10/29, 10/30; MM 11/2; WP 11/6)

In the Knesset, PM Netanyahu survives no-confidence motion, but Knesset Law Comm. agrees (9-7) to hear 1st reading of bill calling for the dissolution of parliament, new elections in 100 days. MKs criticize Netanyahu for linking Pollard with the peace process. (CSM, WP, WT 10/27)

In Gaza, the Arab Liberation Front, the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP), Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Islamic National Salvation Party, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) issue statement denouncing the Wye agmt. (MENA 10/26 in WNC 10/27; PR 10/30)

200 Jewish settlers hold rally outside PM Netanyahu's office in Jerusalem, protesting the Wye agmt. At least 24 are detained by Israeli police. (ITV 10/26 in WNC 10/27; WP 10/27; YA 10/27 in WNC 10/28; MM 10/28)

Jordan, Israel begin long-delayed $1.65-m. joint project to build the `Adasiyya diversion wall to diver Yarmuk River water. (JT, RJ 10/27 in WNC 10/28; JP 211/9)

An Israeli settler is killed in Israeli-controlled Hebron in an apparent attack by Palestinians. IDF places curfew on Palestinians in Hebron's Israeli-controlled zone. Later, the body of a Palestinian is found outside Itamar settlement nr. Nablus. An anonymous caller claims Palestinian was killed to avenge the settler's death. (IDF Radio, ITV 10/26 in WNC 10/27; ITV 10/26 in WNC 10/28; CSM, LAW, MM, NYT, WP 10/27; MM 10/28; WJW 10/29; PR 10/30)

In Ramallah, Palestinians observe general strike, 100s of Fatah mbrs. march to protest 10/25 events, call on Arafat to punish security services. (NYT, WP 10/27; PR 10/30)

International experts submit final report Iraqi missile fragments to the UNSC, say results are inconclusive. Tests by Switzerland show no traces of VX; 1 sample in the 3d test by France shows traces of nerve agent that could be VX. French, Swiss, U.S. tests all show traces of unknown compound that could mask biological agents. (NYT, WP 10/27; MEI 10/30) (6/22)

U.S. says that a UN proposal to try the Pan Am bombing suspects in the Hague under Scottish law, tentatively agreed to by all parties, is in jeopardy because of Libyan demands that the 2 suspects not be imprisoned in Scotland if found guilty. (WP 10/27; WT 10/28) (see 9/29)

Egyptian pres. Mubarak meets with Syrian pres. Asad in Damascus on 1st leg of shuttle aimed at reducing avoiding military conflict btwn. Syria, Turkey. Syria also accepts Iran's offer to mediate. To reassure Syria, Israel scales back its routine maneuvers in the Golan. (IRIB Television, Radio Kuwait, SATN 10/4, ATL, MENA, RL, VOA 10/5 in WNC 10/6; CSM, MM, NYT, WP, WT 10/5; HUR, Sabah 10/5, MA, al-Quds 10/6 in WNC 10/7; al-Quds al-Arabi 10/5 in WNC 10/14; MM 10/6, 10/7; WP 10/8) (see 10/3)

U.S. holds 1-day naval exercise with Algeria as part of a quiet effort to rebuild ties; says maneuvers are a reward to Algeria for allowing foreign groups to investigate human rights allegations, not backing of it's war against Islamists. However, State Dept. says that "we're not going to . . . join their war until we're sure they are for reform and the human rights situation gets better." (WP 11/12)

Clashes btwn. Palestinians, IDF continue in Hebron, spread to Halhul. IDF says curfew will remain in place indefinitely. PSF arrests 2 prominent Hamas activists, 10 other suspected Hamas mbrs. in Hebron. (ITV 10/4 in WNC 10/6; HA [Internet] 10/6; PR 10/9)

Jewish settlers at the Ma'ate Hever settlement nr. Hebron move their boundary fences to enclose another 7 acres of Palestinian land. (MEI 10/16)

Arafat arrives in Oman for talks on possible Arab summit. (Oman Television Network 6/3 in WNC 6/8)

In Cairo, the Arab League's Arab Economic Unity Council convenes annual session. (MENA 6/3 in WNC 6/4)

Algeria, Jordan sign 2 cooperation agmts, a free trade agmt. Crown Prince Hassan, Pres. Lamine Zeroual also discuss peace process, possible Arab summit. (RJ 6/3, ENTV [Algiers], JT 6/4 in WNC 6/8)

Egypt invites FBI agents into the country to arrest, extradite Palestinian bomb maker Muhammad Rashid, a mbr. of the 15th of May group known for placing bombs on international flights during the 1980s, including on a 1982 Pan Am flight in which 1 person died. (NYT, WP 6/4; WT 6/16)

Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Tunisia, Syria, the PA, the Arab League hold mtg. in Lebanon to prepare for Euro-Mediterranean meeting next wk. in Italy; also discuss possible Arab summit on the peace process. (SANA 6/1, RL, VOL 6/2 in WNC 6/3; WT 6/2; MM 6/4; al-Jumhuriyya 6/6 in WNC 6/9)

In Amman, Jordan's King Hussein opens 2 days of talks with Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah on possibility of holding an Arab summit. (MM 6/1; al-Aswaq, JTV, MBC, RJ 6/1, AFP, al-Dustur, RJ 6/2 in WNC 6/3; VOA 6/3 in WNC 6/4; al-Ittihad,al-Ra'i 6/3, al-Ra'i 6/5 in WNC 6/8, 6/9; MM 6/12; al-Watan al-Arabi 6/12 in WNC 6/15; MEI 6/19)

U.S. Supreme Court rules (6-3) to send case against AIPAC brought by 6 fmr. government officials back to the Federal Election Comm. (FEC) for a decision based on new election laws. The 6 officials, led by James Akins, claim that AIPAC should be treated legally as a political action comm., meaning its membership lists, donations records would be made public. (WJW 6/4) (see 1/14)

Nr. Hebron, Jewish settlers fr. Kiryat Arba set fire to 2 Palestinian-owned cars. (WT 6/3)

In Cairo, Mubarak, Arafat hold mtg. to coordinate views in advance of Mubarak-Netanyahu mtg. 5/27. (MM, WT 5/27; RE 5/27 in WNC 5/28)

Syrian VP Khaddam visits Algeria to discuss peace process. (SATN 5/26 in WNC 5/28) (see 5/22)

The UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) announces that it is technically bankrupt, makes an urgent plea for $25 m. to meet its $312-m. 1997 budget. (NYT 5/27)

On the sidelines of the World Economic Forum mtg. in Davos, Switzerland, Israel PM Netanyahu meets with Egyptian Pres. Mubarak for the 1st time in 6 mos.; accepts invitation to visit Cairo in the spring. Netanyahu, Arafat also meet; agree to hold talks at Erez 2/6 to discuss the peace process. (CSM, MM, NYT, WP 2/3; MA 2/3 in WNC 2/4; RE 2/3 in WNC 2/6; MEI 2/7)

Syrian VP Khaddam arrives in Algeria to meet with Pres. Liamine Zeroual. (SATN 2/2 in WNC 2/6)

Israeli officials say that Israel may not request the extradition of Hamas's Abu Marzuq: there is little hard evidence linking him to anti-Israeli attacks; Israel fears he would use his trial as a political platform. (YA 2/2 in WNC 2/4; WT 2/3)

PA calls on PM Peres government to redeploy in Hebron by 6/12 as agreed. However, Peres reconfirms to his cabinet that he will leave the redeployment to PM-elect Netanyahu. (al-Quds 6/2 in FBIS 6/4; NYT, WT 6/3; MEI 6/7; JP 6/8)

IDF eases closure of West Bank, Gaza, allowing 11,000 Palestinians to go to their jobs inside Israel, settlements. UN Coordinator Terje Larsen says PA is nearly broke, at least 50,000 Palestinians must be allowed into Israel to stave off a crisis; if aid is not forthcoming, PA will be forced to lay off public servants. (QY 6/2 in FBIS 6/3; WT 6/3) (see 5/31)

PM-elect Netanyahu gives "victory" speech, vows to continue peace process. (WT 6/2; ITV 6/2 in FBIS 6/3; MM, NYT, WP, WT 6/3; MEI 6/7)

Secy. of State Christopher says U.S. will necessarily adjust to a more conservative Israeli leadership but will wait until PM-elect Netanyahu's policies become clearer before passing judgement on his government. (MM, NYT, WP, WT 6/3)

Following Netanyahu win, Algeria, Qatar, Tunisia say they are considering slowing, but not reversing, normalization with Israel. (MM, WT 6/3)

On the recommendation of 111 of 120 MKs, Israeli Pres. Weizman gives Peres 21 days to form a new government as PM. (NYT, WP, WT 11/16)

Israeli police arrest 8 suspect, Margalit Harshefi, a 20-yr.-old law student fr. Beit El settlement, for conspiracy in aiding Yigal Amir; issue 48-hr detention orders for Kach mbrs Baruch Marzel, Noam Federman; release Eyal's Raviv on bail, place him under house arrest, forbid him to enter West Bank; also arrest 2 ultraorthodox seminary students for desecrating Rabin's grave. (NYT, WP, WT 11/16)

Arafat cancels speech at Gaza rally after PA police arrest 5 Abu Nidal followers fr. Algeria, Libya on suspicion of plotting his assassination. All 5 were detained after arriving in Gaza last wk. (MENA, QY 11/15 in FBIS 11/15; NYT, WT 11/16)

Israeli Gen. Shahak, military expert to Syrian talks in Washington, briefs cabinet on talks with Syrian counterpart Gen. Shihabi; says Syria offered a demilitarization ratio of 10:6 (Syria:Israel), which Israel rejects. (QY 7/2 in FBIS 7/3; ITV 7/3, HA 7/4 in FBIS 7/5; WT 7/4)

U.S. presents compromise on early warning stations in Golan. Suggests Israel vacate Mount Hermon, replace IDF troops with unmanned electronic equipment, give Syria similar unmanned post in Galilee. Israel, Syria are considering idea. (HA 7/2 in FBIS 7/3)

PA says 1st group of 2,000 Palestinian military personnel, administrators soon will leave Algeria for Gaza in preparation for their deployment West Bank after self-rule agmt. is signed. (SA 7/2 in FBIS 7/7)

Hizballah holds its biennial gen. assembly mtg. at 3 undisclosed sites in Lebanon; reelects Hasan Nasrallah as sec. gen.; defines peacetime agenda to be implemented after agmt. with Israel is signed; makes organizational changes to transform Hizballah fr. a resistance group into a political party to better deal with current Lebanese political environment. (al-Safir 7/13 in FBIS 7/14; MM 7/28)

At Israeli-PA economic comm. mtg., PA demands changes in Paris protocol given Israeli separation plan, closure; demands maintenance of free trade with Israel, based on free movement of goods btwn. Israel, self-rule areas without security or technical hindrances, gradual dissolution of united tax system with Israel. (QY 5/21 in FBIS 5/22; PR 5/28; JP 6/15 in FBIS 6/16)

Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, the PA, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and the UAE announce minisummit on Jerusalem to be held in Morocco 5/27. PLO Political Dept. head Faruq al-Qaddumi heads to Damascus to coordinate position with Syrian FMin. Fatah urges Arafat to suspend talks with Israel in light of veto on UN land confiscation resolution 5/17. (AFP, RMC, SATN 5/21 in FBIS 5/22; CSM, MM, WT 5/22; SARR 5/22 in FBIS 5/23; JP 5/27)

Bashar al-Asad (son of the Syrian pres.), Maj. Gen. Ibrahim Safi (cmdr. of Syrian forces in Lebanon), Brig. Ghazi Kanaan (head of Syrian Intelligence) meet with Lebanese Pres. Hrawi in Beirut. After mtg., Hrawi reappoints Hariri as PM, asks him to form new cabinet. (RL, VOL 5/21 in FBIS 5/22; MM, WT 5/22; MM 5/23, 5/24; MEI 5/26) (see 5/19)

White House sends warning to 3 Democratic senators (Daniel Inouye, cosponsor of Dole bill, D. Patrick Moynihan, Joseph Lieberman) that moving U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem  would have "a devastating impact on the peace process." (WT 5/15)

Frmr. Secy. of State James Baker calls on Clinton administration to take "more assertive role" in peace process to break impasses, says U.S. should commit now to stationing troops in Golan, opposes moving embassy to Jerusalem. (MM 5/11)

Jerusalem's Waqf authorities say site leased by U.S. as possible embassy location has been Waqf land for 200 yrs. U.S. officials say they doubt documentation supporting claim exists. (NYT 5/11; JP 5/20)

Final vote on NPT is postponed hours before it is to be held because of proposal submitted by Egypt, Algeria, Bahrain, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Mauritania, Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tunisia, Yemen to single out Israel's undeclared nuclear program for mention. U.S. counters by threatening to call open vote on Egyptian proposal which would surely be defeated. Egypt, U.S. reach agmt. to include general appeal to all nations with undeclared nuclear programs to adhere to NPT. (MM 5/10; NYT, WP, WT 5/11)

Israeli gunboat fires at, detains, searches Lebanese civilian cargo ship of coast of Tyre, s. Lebanon, as naval blockade continues. (RL 5/10 in FBIS 5/10)

IDF soldier is killed by friendly fire during night operation in s. Lebanon. (QY 5/11 in FBIS 5/12)

On visit to Austria, Israeli Dep. FM Beilin says it makes no difference to Israel which elements are in control of s. Lebanon "so long as the safety of the inhabitants is maintained." Statement thought to be a concessionary signal to Syria. (MM 4/20)

Syrian VP Khaddam says Syria still wants full withdrawal to 6/4/67 border [the 1967 border incl. a strip of land along the Sea of Galilee not incl. in the international border], "equality" in security arrangements, recent signals fr. Israel have not changed Syria's position. (MM 4/20)

U.S. says Saudi Arabia failed to cooperate with U.S. effort 2 wks ago to seize Islamic Jihad's Imad Mughniyya in connection with 1983 Beirut Marine barracks bombing. Saudis refused to let plane in which Mughniyya was flying land on Saudi soil. (NYT, WP, WT 4/22; al-Hayat 4/23 in FBIS 4/25; MM, WT 4/24; WJW 4/27)

Previously unknown group, Islamic Salvation Front for Palestine, releases 2d communiqué in 2 wks threatening to attack Israeli targets in Egypt, Algeria, France, Britain, U.S. if PA crackdown on Islamist groups continues. Hamas, Islamic Jihad say they have never heard of the group. (AFP, QY 4/20 in FBIS 4/21)

FBI switches focus of search for Oklahoma bombers to domestic separatist, white supremacist groups; Middle Eastern connection termed unlikely. (NYT, WP, WT 4/21; WP 4/22; MM 2/24) (see 4/19)

Joint Jordanian-Israeli comms. on security, borders, territories, environment, crime, drugs hold 1st "preparatory" mtgs. at Dead Sea Hotel to formulate outlines for meeting goals set out in Jordan-Israel treaty. (RJ 12/13 in FBIS 12/14)

7th mtg. of Refugee Working Group opens in Ankara. 250 delegates fr. 40 countries, organizations attend; discuss job creation, family reunification, aid for children, public health, social and economic infrastructure, human resource development. Syria, Lebanon boycott. (AFP 12/14 in FBIS 12/15)

7th mtg. of Middle East Arms Control Group opens in Tunis. Participants (Algeria, Egypt, Israel, PA, U.S., Russia, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia) discuss confidence-building measures; naval issues; creation of regional communication and security centers, demilitarized zones. Deep divisions btwn. Arab states, Israel noted. Syria and Lebanon boycott. (MENA 12/14 in FBIS 12/15; MBC Television 12/14 in FBIS 12/16)

Israeli DMin. says it will allow 200 Gazans who are students at Birzeit University permission to enter West Bank for classes provided PA gives DMin. list of their names for security check, they all pledge to support peace process, renounce terrorism. If 200 behave, remaining 656 would be allowed to enter. (Article 17 12/94)

Jerusalem City Hall officials say plans have been submitted to expropriate, develop 6,000 dunums of Arab land btwn. Jewish neighborhoods of Pizgat Ze'ev, Neve Ya'aqov. (JP 12/13 in FBIS 12/13)

ICO conference opens in Casablanca. Mbrs. draft resolution on Jerusalem that omits praise for Jordan's efforts to preserve city's holy sites, following protests fr. Palestinian delegates. Arafat cancels mtg. with Jordan's King Hussein planned for sidelines of conference. (MM 12/12, 12/14; RA 12/12 in FBIS 12/15; Al-Dustur 12/14 in FBIS 12/14; MM 12/16; Al-Yawm 12/18 in FBIS 12/22)

Israeli-Palestinian joint comm. for commodities and transportation crossings concludes 3d mtg. at Erez checkpoint. Progress noted on customs, security, transportation of goods. Agree PA will be responsible for construction of Gaza port point, donor countries will provide financing. (WY 12/5 in FBIS 12/6)

Multilateral Working Group on Economic Development holds follow-up mtg. in Cairo. Representatives fr. Egypt, Jordan, Israel, EU, Japan, U.S., France, the PA agree to form 3 regional councils on finance, trade, tourism to strengthen regional cooperation. (MENA 12/7 in FBIS 12/8)

Egyptian FM Musa meets with Israeli FM Peres in Budapest during Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE), briefs him on Mubarak's talks with al-Asad 12/1. (QY 12/5 in FBIS 12/5)

Pres. Clinton telephones Pres. al-Asad to discuss peace process, Secy. of State Warren Christopher's upcoming trip to region. Later, meets Israeli FM Peres in Budapest, says he does not have good news fr. Syria. (MM 12/5; 12/5 in FBIS 12/6)

FMs of Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Morocco, Tunisia hold "mini-summit" at CSCE conference; agree to form regional security organization similar to CSCE that would meet biannually in Vienna on FM level. (HA 12/6 in FBIS 12/7)

Gen. John Shalikashvili, chmn. of Joint Chiefs of Staff, arrives in Israel for mtg. at Israeli DMin. on possible security arrangements for Golan. (MM, WT 12/6; MM 12/7)

Maj. Gen. Danny Rothschild resigns as Israeli negotiator to talks on elections, is replaced by Brig. Gen. Gadi Zohar. (AFP 12/5 in FBIS 12/5; WT 12/6; JP 12/17) (see 12/3)

Israel grants citizenship to 618 collaborators and their families. (Ma'ariv 12/5 in FBIS 12/7)

Near East Report reports Israel ranks highest in voting coincidence with U.S. in UN for 1994 (93.5%), Arab League states lowest (22.8%). (Near East Report 12/5)

Hariri agrees to stay on as PM of Lebanon after Syrian Pres. al-Asad hosts reconciliation mtg. btwn. Hariri, parliament speaker Nabih Birri. (MM 12/5; MENA 12/5 in FBIS 12/6; WP 12/6; RL 12/9 in FBIS 12/9) (see 12/2)

Secy. of State Christopher holds "constructive" mtg. with Syrian FM al-Shara` in Washington on peace talks, improving Syrian-U.S. relations. Al-Shara` then holds mtgs. with U.S. Jewish leaders. (MM 10/6; SARR 10/6 in FBIS 10/7)

Israeli-PNA talks on elections are adjourned without much progress. Israel permits 6 Palestinian election offices to open immediately. (MM 10/5; WT 10/6; JP 10/15)

Dep. FM Beilin says Israel has established bilateral contacts with Algeria during multilateral talks on arms control in Canada, has discussed opening Algerian liaison office in Israel. (ITV 10/5 in FBIS 10/6)

Israeli FM Peres meets with Omani FM Yusuf Bin Alawi in New York to discuss possible low-level diplomatic exchanges. (WP 10/6)

18 settlers fr. Kiryat Arba are issued confinement orders by IDF, preventing them from going nr. the Cave of the Patriarchs for 3 mos. (QY 10/5 in FBIS 10/6)

Amal blows up SLA car in south of Lebanon, killing two SLA mbrs. IDF responds by shelling Litani river basin. (RL 10/5 in FBIS 10/6)

Acting Secy. of State Eagleburger warns that there will be "more pressure in the Security Council for some kind of Chapter 7 enforcement" of UNSCR 799, which "puts the Israelis and us and a lot of other people in an awkward spot," and that Israel is "going to have to find some solution to the problem, whether it's to take them back and put them in jail or whatever itis." (MM 1/15)

Palestinian, Jordanian, and Lebanese presses level harsh criticism on the U.S. and the West for their 1/13 attack on Iraq, Gulf states are notably cool or silent, Syria and Egypt try to strike medium in their criticisms of both Iraq and the West. Fateh issues statement condemning the attack on Iraq, as well as a 28th anniversary statement. (MM 1/14; Algiers, Sanaa VOP 1/14 in FBIS 1/15)

IDF kills 2 Palestinians, wounds 45 in clashes in Gaza Strip. Border Police surround, fire anti-tank missiles at house near Jenin, kill 1 suspected Black Panther activist as he tries to escape. (MM, WT 1/15; Qol Yisra'el 1/14 in FBIS 1/15)

Chemical weapons agreement signed in Paris. Russia, the U.S., Israel, and Iran are among the 120 signatories; despite Arab League's 1/11 unanimous boycott, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Mauritania, Libya, Kuwait, Yemen, and Oman also sign. Negotiated since 1968, the treaty banning production, stockpiling, and use of such weapons, as well as mandating their destruction with a complex verification regime, will go into effect after a minimum ratification period of 2 years. (NYT, WP 1/14)

U.S. investigatory team ends its inspection of Israeli Patriot missile batteries. (NYT 3/27)

Ateret Cohanim seminary opens four stores in Muslim Quarter of E. Jerusalem. (MM 3/27)

EC "troika" [three European for. ministers who comprise the EC's presidency] arrives in Cairo for talks on peace process and upcoming multilateral talks with Egyptian, Arab League officials. (Republic of Egypt Radio 3/26 in FBIS 3/26)

Israel allows direct-dial telephone service to 10 Arab countries (Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Tunis, Morocco, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar, Yemen). Jordan's national telecommunications company states it will block incoming calls from Israel, asserting no bilateral treaty establishing communications has yet been signed. Decision to initiate service was made in Dec. 1991. (NYT 3/28)

Secy. of State Baker and Russian FM Andrei Kozyrev open third stage, multilateral peace talks at the FM level in Moscow. Attendees include representatives from Jordan, Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, UAE, Tunisia, Morocco, Mauritania, Turkey, China, Japan, Canada, EC, European Free Trade Association. Saudi Arabia has provided funding for the meeting given dire economic situation facing Russia. Syria, Lebanon boycott conference, citing lack of progress in bilateral talks with Israel. Palestinians also stay away after U.S., Russia refuse to allow delegates from Jerusalem, exile to participate. Algeria, Yemen decide not to participate in wake of Palestinian decision. Secy. of State Baker expresses "disappointment" at Palestinian decision, but expresses support for including Palestinians from outside o.t. at a later date in talks on issues such as refugees that affect them. (MM 1/28; NYT 1/29, 1/30)

IDF signs order establishing Jewish "civil guard" in W. Bank [see 12/25, 1/1]. (HaAretz 1/29 in FBIS 1/29)

Israeli supreme court orders IDF to lift nighttime curfew imposed 12/15 on Ramallah area by 2/11/92 in response to plea made by residents. (NYT 1/29)

IDF sends reinforcements into "security zone" in wake of attacks by Islamic Resistance Movement. (NYT 1/29)