Tuesday, July 16, 1991

At economic summit in Britain, Group of Seven leaders (U.S., Canada, France, Italy, Britain, Japan, and Germany) endorse U.S.-led peace efforts, call for end to both Arab boycott of Israel and Israeli settlement-building. Prime Min. Shamir reacts to linkage of two issues with "disgust." (LAT 7/17; WP 7/20)

Fateh central committee mbr. Khalid al-Hasan criticizes PLO leadership for supporting Iraq in recent Gulf war, urges formation of provisional government comprised of Palestinian independents. He urged restoration of Palestinian-Arab relations. (MEM 7/17)

Hizballah fighters ambush Israeli troops in Kufr Huna, north of Israel's "security zone" in S. Lebanon. Three Israelis killed, including two officers; four others were wounded. One Hizballah fighter died. Clash was most lethal for Israeli troopsince Nov. 1990. Israel has recently begun dispatching patrols north of the "security zone" to engage anti-Israeli forces before their arrival in zone. (WP, MEM 7/18)

Lebanese Def. Min. Michel al-Murr accuses PLO of hiding medium and heavy weapons in refugee camps near Tyre, vows continued blockade of camps until weapons are surrendered. PLO denies it holds such weapons. Issue centers on definition of "medium" weapon: Lebanese army considers rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) as medium weapons; PLO does not. Lebanese army now has some 10,000 troops deployed in S. Lebanon. (MEM 7/16, 7/18)

PLO committee meeting in Tunis agrees to convene Palestine National Council (PNC) within three months, urges PLO executive committee to seek rapprochement with Hamas, Palestinian National Salvation Front groups, which boycotted the meeting after PLO invited only those PNSF groups which had membership in the Palestine National Council before 1983 to participate. PNSF, Islamic Jihad, Fateh-Revolutionary Council (Abu Nidal) later call on committee to "reconsider" call for convening PNC in order to preserve "unity of Palestinian ranks." Committee also urged greaterepresentation from occupied territories within PNC. PNC currently has 637 seats, including 186 allocated to representatives from the occupied territories. PNC meeting would be first since August 1988, when it declared existence of independent Palestinian state, accepted U.N. Security Council resolution 242. (MEM 7/18, 7/26)

Egyptian-Syrian commission agrees to formulate joint foreign policies between the countries. (LAT 7/18)

Meeting of 6 March Damascus Declaration signatoriesnds. The eight states indicate "total agreement" about amendments to declaration but refuse to state what they are. Observers see move as signalling the effective end of the Syrian-Egyptian-led Gulf security plan. (MEM 7/17)