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  • August 5, 1999

    PM Barak expands his cabinet to 23 mbrs., appoints MK Nawaf Masalha (One Israel) as 1st Arab dep. FM. Barak's One Israel party holds 12 of the 23 cabinet seats. (MM 8/5; MM, NYT 8/6; al-Riyad...

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  • May 31, 1999

    Without any security guarantees from Lebanon, SLA forces begin unilateral pullout fr. Jazzin, an area n. of Israel's self-declared security zone that the SLA has occupied on behalf of the IDF...

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  • February 19, 1999

    U.S. admits it worked for mos. to help Turkey arrest Ocalan, whom the U.S. considers a terrorist; say U.S. used diplomatic pressure, intelligence gathering to force nations to refuse...

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  • February 18, 1999

    In Rome, the UN Comm. for the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People opens 2-day conference in support of the PA's Bethlehem 2000 tourism, development plan. (Reuters [Internet]...

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  • February 17, 1999

    Israel's Labor party holds its primary in advance of the 5/17 elections. Party Chmn. Ehud Barak takes top position on the slate. (MM, NYT 2/17; CSM 2/18)

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  • November 4, 1998

    PM Netanyahu postpones cabinet discussion of Wye agmt. for 4th time, saying he will not convene cabinet until the PA clarifies when it will arrest 30 wanted Palestinians. Arafat accuses Netanyahu...

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  • October 20, 1998

    At Wye, Pres. Clinton, King Hussein meet with Arafat, Netanyahu. Talks break at 1 a.m., having made little progress. On the sidelines, FM Sharon meets with reps. of Victims of Terror (see 10/18)....

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  • September 1, 1998

    Some 70,000 Iranian troops begin exercises nr. the Afghanistan border. The Taliban fears an attack. Up to 11 Iranian diplomats are believed dead after disappearing during the Taliban's takeover of...

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PM Barak expands his cabinet to 23 mbrs., appoints MK Nawaf Masalha (One Israel) as 1st Arab dep. FM. Barak's One Israel party holds 12 of the 23 cabinet seats. (MM 8/5; MM, NYT 8/6; al-Riyad 8/6 in WNC 8/10; WJW 8/12) (see 8/1)

Arafat orders the Palestinian press to stop printing pieces that insult Syria, particularly DM Mustafa Tlas, who has been attacked in the press for accusing Arafat (on 8/2) of selling out the Palestinian cause. (al-Wafd 8/5, MBC 8/7 in WNC 8/9; WT 8/6; MM 8/9)

In Gaza, PA police detain Palestinian human rights activist Eyad Sarraj for questioning regarding an article in which he criticized the PA's human rights record. Sarraj is released after 2 hrs. but is forbidden to travel abroad until further notice. (LAW 8/5, 8/7)

PKK says it will heed Ocalan's 8/2 call to abandon its 14-yr. insurgency for self-rule, pull out of Turkey by 9/1. Turkey dismisses PKK's announcement as an attempt to convince Turkey to stay Ocalan's execution, vows not to negotiate with the PKK. (CSM, MM, NYT, WP, WT 8/6; MM 8/9; WP 8/10)

Without any security guarantees from Lebanon, SLA forces begin unilateral pullout fr. Jazzin, an area n. of Israel's self-declared security zone that the SLA has occupied on behalf of the IDF since 1985. This is the 1st major Israeli retreat in 14 yrs. 1 SLA mbr. is killed when a roadside bomb goes off soon after the pullout begins. (VOL 5/30 in WNC 6/1; RL 5/31 in WNC 6/2; MM, NYT, WP, WT 6/1; MEI 6/4; JP 6/11)

Turkey opens treason trial against PKK leader Ocalan, who asks court to spare his life, says he is willing to work for peace with the government. PKK supporters are divided over whether to support Ocalan's statement or view it as a betrayal of the Kurdish cause. (CSM, MM, NYT, WP, WT 6/1; NYT 6/2; AFP 6/2 in WNC 6/3; MM 6/3; MEI 6/4; MM 6/8; WP 6/16; MEI 6/18)

In s. Lebanon, an Irish UN peacekeeper is killed, 2 are wounded when a shell fired by the SLA lands inside a UN compound. (LPA, RL 5/31 in WNC 6/1; NYT 6/1; Irish Times 6/1 in WNC 6/2; Interfax, RL 6/3 in WNC 6/8)

U.S. admits it worked for mos. to help Turkey arrest Ocalan, whom the U.S. considers a terrorist; say U.S. used diplomatic pressure, intelligence gathering to force nations to refuse him sanctuary, tracked him in Nairobi but did not have "direct involvement" in his capture. Turkish PM Bulent Ecevit says Turkey received the final tip from another country that he would not identify. Israel's Mossad issues public letter denying involvement. Kurdish protests continue in Europe, Canada, the Middle East. (MM 2/19; AFP, RL 2/19, al-Dustur 2/20, IRNA 2/21 in WNC 2/22; MIL 2/19 in WNC 2/24; NYT, WP, WT 2/20; NYT, WP 2/21; MM 2/22; MED TV 2/25 in WNC 2/26; PR 2/26)

With a private audience with Pope John Paul II on sidelines of UN conference in Rome (see 2/18), PA head Yasir Arafat begins international tour to confer with international leaders on the post-Oslo peace process, whether to unilaterally declare a state when the Oslo interim period ends on 5/4. (WT 2/20; MENA 2/20 in WNC 2/22)

Israel's Jerusalem Post reports that 22 new parties have been formed since early elections were declared 12/21, bring total number of political parties to 56. (JP 2/19)

Lebanese Chamber of Deputies speaker Nabih Birri meets with Hizballah secy. gen. Hassan Nasrallah to discuss coordination against Israel in light of Arnun occupation. (RL 2/19 in WNC 2/22) (see 2/18)

In Rome, the UN Comm. for the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People opens 2-day conference in support of the PA's Bethlehem 2000 tourism, development plan. (Reuters [Internet] 2/18)

Kurdish demonstrations against Ocalan's capture abate in Europe, escalate in Turkey. In the past 3 days, Turkey has sent 10,000 troops into n. Iraq to attack Kurdish rebels, has arrested 750 Kurdish activists in Turkey. To contain the scandal over their involvement in Ocalan's arrest, Greece replaces its FM, 2 cabinet mbrs.; Kenya reshuffles its cabinet. (MM 2/18; CSM, NYT, WP, WT 2/19; MM 2/23) (see 2/18)

IDF fences off the Lebanese village of Arnun to expand its self-declared security zone; says action is meant to protect residents fr. Hizbullah attacks. Lebanon accuses Israel of testing its limits under the 1996 April understandings, aiming to convince the Israel-Lebanon Monitoring Group (ILMG) that occupation is legitimate if it prevents Hizballah fr. using civilian populated areas staging points for attacks, which is prohibited under the understandings. (VOL 2/18 in WNC 2/19; NYT, WP 2/19; SAPA [Johannesburg] 2/19 in WNC 2/22; WP 2/20; MM 2/25; JP, MEI 2/26; MM 4/21)

Hamas spiritual leader Shaykh Ahmad Yassin enters a Gaza hospital with chest pains, high fever. (WT 2/19)

Israel's Labor party holds its primary in advance of the 5/17 elections. Party Chmn. Ehud Barak takes top position on the slate. (MM, NYT 2/17; CSM 2/18)

Netherlands FM Van Aartsen says Turkey's handling of the Ocalan trial should be a test for Turkey's membership in the European Union (EU). Kurds continue protests in Europe (home to 850,000 Kurdish refugees), Turkey over Ocalan's 2/16 capture. In Berlin, Israeli security guards fire on 100s of protesters who storm the Israeli consulate, killing 3, wounding 16. (MM, NYT, WP, WT 2/18; De Volkskrant, al-Rayah 2/18 in WNC 2/19; Frankfurter Rundschau 2/19 in WNC 2/22; MM 2/22; WJW 2/25)

Syria agrees to pay $500,000 to the U.S. to repair the U.S. emb. in Damascus, damaged 12/19 during protests against the U.S.-led attack on Iraq. U.S. says it considers diplomatic tensions over, will begin resuming visa services (suspended 12/22) on 2/28. (NYT, WP, WT 2/18; MM 2/25)

UN says it will hand over $84 m. to Kuwait for reparations to victims of the 1990 Iraqi invasion. Funds will be taken fr. Iraqi oil exports, which have produced $2.7 b. in compensation payments to date. (NYT 2/18; MEI 2/26)

Israel Defense Force (IDF) blocks Jewish settlers fr. occupying a building in East Jerusalem, which they claim to have bought fr. a Palestinian family. The family denies it sold the building. (JP, PR 2/26)

PM Netanyahu postpones cabinet discussion of Wye agmt. for 4th time, saying he will not convene cabinet until the PA clarifies when it will arrest 30 wanted Palestinians. Arafat accuses Netanyahu of adding new conditions to try to wreck the agmt. U.S. says Israel is seeking "extrapolations of commitments." (ITV, RE 11/4 in WNC 11/6; MM, NYT, WP, WT 11/5; SA 11/6 in WNC 11/12) (see 11/3)

In Cairo, PA Planning M Nabil Shaath, negotiator Qurai` discuss Israeli delays in Wye implementation with Pres. Mubarak, FM Musa; ask for Egypt's continued support of the PA. (MENA, RE 11/4, VOA 11/5 in WNC 11/6)

PKK leader Ocalan asks Russia for political asylum. (ATL 11/4 in WNC 11/6; NYT 11/5; ATL 11/6 in WNC 11/12) (see 10/20)

An SLA convoy triggers 2 roadside bombs nr. Jazzin in s. Lebanon, killing 3 SLA mbrs., wounding 1. (VOL 11/4)

At Wye, Pres. Clinton, King Hussein meet with Arafat, Netanyahu. Talks break at 1 a.m., having made little progress. On the sidelines, FM Sharon meets with reps. of Victims of Terror (see 10/18). Clinton phones Egyptian pres. Mubarak to brief him on talks. (MM 10/20; AFP, RJ 10/20 in WNC 10/21; ITV, MENA 10/20, al-Ahram, MA, RJ 10/21 in WNC 10/22; CSM, NYT, WP, WT 10/21; al-Quds 10/21 in WNC 10/23; al-Ra'i 10/21 in WNC 10/26; NYT, WP 10/25)

Israeli Finance M Yaakov Neeman says that Israel will not pay the costs of redeployment fr. the West Bank, money "should come from abroad." (WT 10/21)

Hamas claims responsibility for 10/19 grenade attack in Beersheba. PSF detains 20 alleged Hamas mbrs. in PA-controlled Hebron. (AFP 10/20 in WNC 10/22; NYT, WP, WT 10/21; LAW 10/22; PR 10/23)

Overnight, shots are fired, Molotov cocktails thrown at IDF post in Hebron, causing no damage or injuries. (IDF Radio 10/20 in WNC 10/21)

After 2-days of talks, Syria, Turkey reach agmt. under which Syria promises to halt all support to the PKK; arrest, bring to court any Kurdish rebels found in its territory; deny entry to PKK leader Ocalan, who, according to Turkish PM Yilmaz, has been in Russia for over a wk. (ATL 10/20, ATL, HUR, MENA 10/21 in WNC 10/22; MM, NYT, WP, WT 10/21; MM, NYT, WP 10/22; al-Ahram, MENA, RJ 10/22 in WNC 10/23; SATN 10/22, MIL 10/23 in WNC 10/26; MIL 10/23 in WNC 10/27; MEI 10/30) (see 10/19)

In s. Lebanon, SLA opens fire on a civilian car, injuring 1. In a separate incident, a child is injured by IDF shelling. (RL 10/20 in WNC 10/21)

Some 70,000 Iranian troops begin exercises nr. the Afghanistan border. The Taliban fears an attack. Up to 11 Iranian diplomats are believed dead after disappearing during the Taliban's takeover of the n. Afghan city of Mazar-e Sharif on 8/8. (NYT, WP, WT 9/2; MEI, MM, NYT, WT 9/4; WP, WT 9/5; NYT 9/6; MM 9/7; MM, WP 9/8; MM 9/9; GIU 9/11)

New Jordanian press law goes into force. Critics fear it will be a "penal code" for journalists, forbidding any criticism of the government. Optimists hope that the Royal Press Commission will use the vague language of the law to allow "soft interpretation" of restrictions. (JT 9/2 in WNC 9/3; al-Dustur 9/2 in WNC 9/9) (see 4/18)

Abdullah Ocalan, head of the Turkish separatist group the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), declares an unconditional, unilateral cease-fire with Turkey, which Turkey rejects. (MED Television 9/11 in WNC 9/16; MM 10/7; MEI 10/16; MED Television 10/19 in WNC 10/22)

In s. Lebanon, Hizballah attacks an IDF convoy, injuring 1 soldier. Israeli retaliatory shelling injures 1 civilian. (RL, VOL 9/1 in WNC 9/2)