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  • July 6, 1999

    New Israeli government is sworn in, with PM Barak's 7-party governing coalition--comprising the Center party, Meretz, National Religious party, One Israel, Shas, United Torah Judaism, Yisrael Ba'...

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  • May 16, 1999

    A day before Israeli elections, 2 minor candidates--Center party's Yitzhak Mordechai, Herut's Benjamin Begin--withdraw fr. the race for PM, fearing their campaigns undermine efforts to unseat...

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  • March 2, 1999

    Labor Chmn. Ehud Barak pledges to withdraw fr. Lebanon, resume negotiations with Syria within a yr. if he wins 5/17 elections. Center party candidate Yitzhak Mordechai vows to be out...

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  • January 24, 1999

    Israel declines U.S. invitation to hold trilateral mtg. with the PA in Washington in 2/99 to discuss Wye implementation. Israeli FM Sharon says time is not right. (YA 1/25 in WNC 1/26) (see 1/17...

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New Israeli government is sworn in, with PM Barak's 7-party governing coalition--comprising the Center party, Meretz, National Religious party, One Israel, Shas, United Torah Judaism, Yisrael Ba'Aliya--will give him control of 75 of the 120 Knesset seats. One Israel's David Levy, who resigned as Netanyahu's FM 18 mos. ago, resumes the FM position. Fmr. Labor PM Shimon Peres is given the new position of regional development minister, which aims to promote economic integration btwn. Israel, Arab states. Oslo architect Yossi Beilin (One Israel) will hold the justice portfolio; Yossi Sarid (Meretz), education; Natan Sharansky (Yisrael Ba'Aliya), interior; Avraham Shohat (One Israel), finance. Barak will serve as DM as well as PM. Shas party mbrs. are given heath, infrastructure, labor, religious affairs portfolios. Barak says he will make peace process his priority; wants to hold simultaneous negotiations with PA, Syria and withdraw troops fr. s. Lebanon. Arafat, Asad issue statements saying they are willing to work with Barak for peace. (MM 7/6; CSM, MM, NYT, WP, WT 7/7; AFP, France-Info Radio, IDF Radio, JT, JTV 7/7 in WNC 7/8; WJW 7/8; Interfax, MA 7/8 in WNC 7/9; MM 7/9; MEI 7/16)

Arafat makes 1-day trip to Cairo to discuss the peace process with Pres. Mubarak. (WT 7/7)

Syrian pres. Asad leaves Russia after 2 days of talks. Russia, Syria agree to step up technical, military cooperation but do not finalize arms deal. U.S. warns Moscow that it might cancel $50 m. in aid to Russia if it completes a deal with Damascus. (MM, NYT, WP, WT 7/7; Interfax 7/8 in WNC 7/9; MM 7/9; MEI 7/16)

Palestinian High Court orders the PA to release Hamas mbr. Muhammad Jadallah, who has been detained without charge since 3/24/96. (al-Quds 7/8 in WNC 7/12)

In the West Bank, IDF storms Palestinian homes in 3 villages nr. Hebron, arrests 5 alleged Hamas, Islamic Jihad mbrs. on charges of planning an attack in Israel. At least 36 Palestinian have been arrested in similar raids in the Hebron area over the past mo. (MM, WP 7/7; AYM 7/7 in WNC 7/12)

A day before Israeli elections, 2 minor candidates--Center party's Yitzhak Mordechai, Herut's Benjamin Begin--withdraw fr. the race for PM, fearing their campaigns undermine efforts to unseat incumbent PM Benjamin Netanyahu. (NYT, WP, WT 5/16; MM 5/17; al-Ahram 5/18 in WNC 5/19)

On the 2d day of his visit aimed at improving bilateral relations and regional security, Iranian pres. Mohamed Khatami meets with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Abdallah. (MM, NYT, WP, WT 5/17; MEI 5/21) (see 5/15)

Kuwait's cabinet gives women the right to vote, run for parliament as of 2003. The decision must be approved by the new parliament elected in 7/99. (MM, NYT, WP, WT 5/17; MM 5/19, 5/27; NYT 6/18)

Labor Chmn. Ehud Barak pledges to withdraw fr. Lebanon, resume negotiations with Syria within a yr. if he wins 5/17 elections. Center party candidate Yitzhak Mordechai vows to be out of Lebanon even sooner if he wins. (MM 3/2; WP 3/3; MM, WJW 3/4; MA 3/4 in WNC 3/5; MM 3/5; NYT 3/6; MM 3/8; JP 3/12)

Washington Post reports that during the U.S.'s 3 yrs. of intelligence work inside the UN Special Comm. (UNSCOM) weapons inspection team in Iraq (admitted 1/6), the U.S. rigged UNSCOM equipment to intercept Iraqi communications, sent burst transmissions fr. the UNSCOM headquarters to U.S. military without the knowledge of or sharing the information with the UN. UN Secy. Gen. Kofi Annan says U.S. actions could undermine other disarmament programs. (WP 3/2; WP 3/3; MM 3/5; MEI 3/12)

Turkey's Dep. Chief of Staff Hilmi Ozkok leaves Egypt after 3 days of talks on expanding bilateral military cooperation, heads to Jordan to discuss joint military exercises planned for 5/99. (ATL 3/4 in WNC 3/5)

Turkey allows 15-mbr. EU torture prevention group to visit PKK leader Ocalan to inspect the conditions under which he is being jailed. (NYT 3/3) (see 2/25)

Israel declines U.S. invitation to hold trilateral mtg. with the PA in Washington in 2/99 to discuss Wye implementation. Israeli FM Sharon says time is not right. (YA 1/25 in WNC 1/26) (see 1/17)

Ousted DM Mordechai joins the new Shahak-Meridor party. Netanyahu terms Mordechai "immoral" for consorting with centrists. (NYT, WP, WT 1/25; MA 1/25 in WNC 1/26) (see 1/23)

Israelis of Rumanian origin establish new political party, the Progressive Center Party. 14 requests to form new parties have been submitted since the last Knesset elections. Only 3 have been approved. (MA 1/25 in WNC 1/26)

Arab League mtg. on Iraq convenes in Cairo. Iraq attends but walks out in protest of what it calls a biased final statement that could give the U.S. a pretext to launch more airstrikes. The statement expresses "deep concern" over, but does not denounce, 12/98 U.S.-led attack; insists Iraq recognize Kuwait, comply with UN resolutions as a prelude to sanctions relief. Participants agree to set up ministerial comm. to work toward lifting economic sanctions on Iraq in accordance with a specific UN compliance time table. (WP 1/24; AFP, MENA, RE 1/24, al-Ayyam, al-Dustur, MENA, SANA 1/25 in WNC 1/26; MM, NYT, WP, WT 1/25; MENA, al-Quds al-Arabi 1/25, al-Safir 1/26 in WNC 1/27; MM, WT 1/26; MENA 1/28 in WNC 1/29; MEI 1/29)

48 Hamas, Islamic Jihad prisoners in the PA's Nablus, Jericho, Jneid jails begin hunger strike to protest the PA's failure to adhere to the PC's 1/13 call to free political prisoners held without charge at the end of Ramadan. (LAW, MEI, PR 1/29) (see 1/17)

Jewish settlers bulldoze Palestinian land nr. Bethlehem, including property of a historic monastery, to expand Efrat settlement. (INFOPAL 1/25)

U.S. planes attack 2 more Iraqi missile sites in the n. no-fly zone. (NYT, WP 1/25)