Tuesday, September 21, 1993

PLO Chmn. Arafat leaves for tour of China, Malaysia, and Indonesia after brief stopover in Cairo following talks with King Hussein in Amman. (MENA 9/21 in FBIS 9/22)

Fateh leader Muhammad Abu Sha'ban killed in Gaza. The treasurer of the Gaza Bar Association, head of Gaza Center for Human Rights, and former head of Fateh-affiliated Political Comms. is shot by unknown gunmen on his way home fr. a rally in support of PLO-Israel agreement. (NYT 9/22)

Knesset debates ratification of Israel-PLO accord. PM Rabin calls agreement "hope for an end to tears," says "we will no longer live by our swords alone." Rabin calls pact with PLO "the victory of Zionism, which has also won the recognition of its most sworn and bitter enemies." Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu, opposing accord, says "this agreement abandons security of Israeli citizens," argues "We want to give peace a chance, but first we want to give life a chance." (NYT, WP 9/22)

Rally in Jerusalem against PLO-Israel accord called by opposition parties, settler and religious groups, draws 20,000, mostly yeshiva students, according to Israel Radio. (NYT 9/22; WP 9/23)

Pope John Paul II meets Israeli Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau at Castel Gandolfo, Italy, 1st meeting ever be tween a Catholic pontiff and either of Israel's chief rabbis. Vatican stresses that meeting is purely religious, but speculation is rife that it represents progress toward Vatican diplomatic recognition of Israel. Rabbi Shlomo Goren, former Ashkenazi chief rabbi, denounces meeting as "blasphemy beyond expression," a "mockery," and "meaningless." (NYT 9/22)