Thursday, December 16, 1993

IDF seals off 4 settlements nr. Nablus and prevents procession of settlers fr. bringing Torah scrolls to Jewish religious center in Nablus. 15 settlers arrested. New orders, issued 12/12 but only made public today, permit IDF to place Jewish settlements as well as Palestinian towns and villages under curfew, take "strong action" against law-breaking settlers. (NYT, WT 12/17)

FM Peres, in Paris, says Israel and PLO have agreed to open economic market btwn. Israel and Palestinian self-governing areas, allowing Palestinians to freely export farm produce to Israel and import goods fr. Arab states. Disagreements over currency, ties with Jordan remain. (MM 12/16)

Unnamed PLO, Israeli officials meet privately at undisclosed locations to try to bridge differences preventing implementation of Gaza-Jericho withdrawal. PLO-Israel talks in al-Arish on civil issues recess. (CSM 12/17; MENA 12/16 in FBIS 12/17)

Syrian Pres. al-Asad meets U.S. congressional delegation made up of Sens. DeConcini (D-AZ), Specter (R-PA), Grassley (RIA), and Graham (D-FL) and Rep. Richardson (D-NM). Talks focus on overcoming impediments to peace process. (SARR 12/16 in FBIS 12/16; MM 12/17)