Israel/ Occupied Territories: In special Knesset session, Defense Minister Arens says Upper Nablus settlement is of supreme strategic importance for defense, where Jews...
In a predawn operation, the IDF sends troops, tanks into Balata r.c. and Nablus, meeting heavy resistance. In Nablus, troops impose a curfew, shell residential areas (cutting some electricity), occupy homes as sniper posts, conduct house-to-house searches (sometimes going through walls), call on all men ages 15-45 to surrender, detain around 100 Palestinians (including local Fatah head Issam Abu Bakr), blow up the home of the 5/27 suicide bomber. In Balata r.c., troops conduct house-to-house searches, breaking through walls btwn. homes, and call on all men ages 13-60 to surrender (some 1,000 are reportedly taken to Hawara, outside Nablus, where some are release but told not to return to Balata r.c. for 3 days); tanks moving through narrow alleys damaged several homes. Late in the evening, troops reenter Tulkarm, reimpose a curfew. The IDF also partially destroys a cement factory in Qalqilya; blows up a cave nr. Ramallah known as the Christian pilgrimage site of Saint Barbara. A Palestinian infiltrates a West Bank Jewish settlement, throws 2 grenades at a school, causing no injuries; settlers shoot him dead. Palestinians detonate 2 roadside bombs targeting Merkava tanks but do not damage them. (GS, HP, NYT 5/31; GS, HA, HP, NYT, REU, WP, WT 6/1; MENA 6/2 in WNC 6/3; LAW 6/5)
The Israel Broadcasting Authority (IBA) orders all IBA editorial departments to prohibit the use of the terms "settler," "settlements" on radio, TV broadcasts. (HA 5/31)
Arafat convenes the EA to discuss the 7/30 bombings. In response to the PC vote 7/31, all but 2 EA mbrs. (Planning M Shaath, Information M Yasir `Abid Rabbuh) offer to resign so that Arafat may rebuild the cabinet, diffuse Palestinian resentment over PA corruption report. (NYT, WP 8/2; NYT, WT 8/3; PR 8/8; JP 8/9) (see 7/31)
In reaction to the 7/30 bombings, Israel arrests 10s of Palestinians in an attempt to find "anyone that can help us solve who sent the bombers and who is behind it"; says it still does not know the bombers' identities; sets up a naval blockade against Palestinian fishing boats off Gaza; refuses to transfer $20 m. (half the PA's monthly budget) in VAT revenues owed the PA today. (MM 8/1; NYT 8/2, 8/4; MM, NYT 8/5; RMC, VOL 8/6 in WNC 8/7; PR 8/8; al-Hayat al-Jadida 8/10 in WNC 8/12) (see 7/29)
The Israel Broadcasting Authority refuses a government request to turn over one of its transmitters to help jam Voice of Palestine radio. The government considers issuing a special order to impound the transmitter but decides against the idea. (MA 8/4 in WNC 8/6)
Congress recesses without extending MEPFA legislation. (WP, WT 8/5; WT 8/6) (see 7/27)
In Tehran, Syrian pres. Asad meets with Pres.-elect Khatami, becoming 1st head of state to do so. (MM 8/1; IRIB Television [Tehran], SA, SATN 8/1 in WNC 8/4; Tishrin 8/2 in WNC 8/6; MA 8/3 in WNC 8/5; MM 8/7; al-Watan al-Arabi 8/8 in WNC 8/11)
UN approves a Syrian-Iraqi border crossing as a new entry point for goods going into Iraq under the oil-for-food deal. (MM 8/6) (see 7/27)
Israeli-PLO security, civilian affairs comm. negotiations continue in Taba. Security comm. discusses release of Palestinian prisoners, establishment of Palestinian police. Israeli negotiator Gen. Amnon Shahak says draft paper on Palestinian police force "almost achieved." Civilian Affairs comm. divides into subcoms. on electricity and civil planning, communications. Palestinian negotiator Radwan Abu-Ayyash estimates cost of Palestinian broadcast network at $30 m.-$50 m. (MENA 2/16 in FBIS 2/16, 2/17; MM 2/16)
Bilateral Arab-Israeli talks resume in Washington. (Qol Yisra'el 2/16 in FBIS 2/16)
Egyptian State Broadcasting Authority renews official contact with Israeli Broadcasting Authority, broken during 1982 Lebanon war. (MM 2/17; JP 2/26)
Higher Jordanian-Palestinian Comm. completes 2 days of mtgs. in Amman. Jordanian Information M. Jawad al-Anani says PLO and Jordan have agreed on joint strategy in economic talks with Israel set for Paris. Israel-Jordan joint economic comm. meets in Washington with U.S. participation. (RJ 2/16 in FBIS 2/16, 2/17; MM 2/16, 2/17)
AFP reports 1st all-Palestinian bank in o.t., "Commercial Bank of Palestine," will start operations 3/15 in Ramallah. Bank, with capital of $14 m., is headed by businessman Suhail Jad`awn. (AFP 2/16 in FBIS 2/17)
U.S. State Dept. announces Secy. of State Christopher will visit Middle East during 3/94. (MM 2/17)
PLO Chmn. Arafat accuses "Israeli officers" of condoning arms trade in o.t., warning flow of weapons "could lead to another Afghanistan among the Palestinians." (NYT 2/17)
IDF kills purported PFLP mbr. Najwan Mahmud Muhammad al-`Izza, 21, in Halhul, West Bank. (MM 2/17)
122-mm. katyusha rocket fired on northern Israel fr. southern Lebanon in 1st incident in 6 mos. IDF blames attack on Palestinian opposition groups. IDF tanks, artillery come to aid of SLA patrol ambushed by Hizballah. Hizballah claims 12 SLA mbrs. killed or wounded. (NYT, MM, WT 2/17; MM 2/18)
Israeli cabinet extends term of IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Ehud Barak to 1/95. Barak had been set to retire 4/94. (MM 2/16)
PM Rabin's spokesman Oded Ben-Ami defends allowing 30 elite IDF veterans to serve in Congo as advisers, denying soldiers are mercenaries. Opponents cite Congolese civil war as reason to bar Israeli support of Brazzaville regime. Press reports say over 2,000 IDF veterans have served in Africa since 1960s. (NYT 2/17)
FRC mbrs. Yusuf Sha`ban, Salim Mahyub confess to killing Jordanian diplomat Na'ib al-Ma'aytah in Beirut 1/29. Bassam Atiya, also arrested, denies involvement. (RL 2/16 in FBIS 2/17; MM 2/17)
Israeli court convicts 4 banks--Leumi, Hapoalim, Discount, and Mizrahi--and 9 bank executives in connection with 10/83 stock market crash precipitated by news of banks propping up own stocks. Crash cost $7 b. in Israeli govt. payments to investors. (CSM 2/17)
U.S. Pres. Clinton, Saudi amb. Prince Bandar announce Saudia Airlines will purchase 50 U.S.-made Boeing 747 and McDonnell-Douglas MD-11, MD-80, and MD-90 commercial aircraft worth $6 b. Deal will be financed in part through U.S. Export-Import Bank loan guarantees. (CSM, NYT, MM, WT 2/17)
Israel/ Occupied Territories: In special Knesset session, Defense Minister Arens says Upper Nablus settlement is of supreme strategic importance for defense, where Jews and Arabs live side by side in Israel they cooperate peacefully and progress together; Druze spiritual leader cancels annual Nabi Shueib celebration to protest tight security checks imposed on Lebanese Druze seeking to enter Israel to participate; Israel Broadcasting Authority empowers director-general to decide whether interviews with West Bank and Gaza personalities are anti-Israel propaganda; US Center for Disease Control doctors report illness in West Bank was induced by anxiety and spread by psychogenic factors, no evidence of poison, no evidence of fabricated symptoms, first cases may have been caused by low concentrations of hydrogen sulfide gas found in latrine in Arraba; teacher at al-Najah University released after 13 days detention on charges of incitement.
Palestinians/ Lebanese: Fateh Central Committee meets in Tunis; tripartite talks suspended for duration of Shultz visit.
US and Other Countries: Secretary Shultz arrives in Cairo, meets Habib and US ambassadors to 9 Middle East countries.