Wednesday, February 16, 1994

Israeli-PLO security, civilian affairs comm. negotiations continue in Taba.  Security comm. discusses release of Palestinian prisoners, establishment of Palestinian police.  Israeli negotiator Gen. Amnon Shahak says draft paper on Palestinian police force "almost achieved."   Civilian Affairs comm. divides into subcoms. on electricity and civil planning, communications.  Palestinian negotiator Radwan Abu-Ayyash estimates cost of Palestinian broadcast network at $30 m.-$50 m. (MENA 2/16 in FBIS 2/16, 2/17; MM 2/16)

Bilateral Arab-Israeli talks resume in Washington. (Qol Yisra'el 2/16 in FBIS 2/16)

Egyptian State Broadcasting Authority renews official contact with Israeli Broadcasting Authority, broken during 1982 Lebanon war.  (MM 2/17; JP 2/26)

Higher Jordanian-Palestinian Comm. completes 2 days of mtgs. in Amman.  Jordanian Information M. Jawad al-Anani says PLO and Jordan have agreed on joint strategy in economic talks with Israel set for Paris.  Israel-Jordan joint economic comm. meets in Washington with U.S. participation. (RJ 2/16 in FBIS 2/16, 2/17; MM 2/16, 2/17)

AFP reports 1st all-Palestinian bank in o.t., "Commercial Bank of Palestine," will start operations 3/15 in Ramallah.  Bank, with capital of $14 m., is headed by businessman Suhail Jad`awn.  (AFP 2/16 in FBIS 2/17)

U.S. State Dept. announces Secy. of State Christopher will visit Middle East during 3/94. (MM 2/17)

PLO Chmn. Arafat accuses "Israeli officers" of condoning arms trade in o.t., warning flow of weapons "could lead to another Afghanistan among the Palestinians." (NYT 2/17)

IDF kills purported PFLP mbr. Najwan Mahmud Muhammad al-`Izza, 21, in Halhul, West Bank.  (MM 2/17) [CHALLENGE--2/15]

122-mm. katyusha rocket fired on northern Israel fr. southern Lebanon in 1st incident in 6 mos.  IDF blames attack on Palestinian opposition groups.  IDF tanks, artillery come to aid of SLA patrol ambushed by Hizballah.  Hizballah claims 12 SLA mbrs. killed or wounded.  (NYT, MM, WT 2/17; MM 2/18)

Israeli cabinet extends term of IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Ehud Barak to 1/95.  Barak had been set to retire 4/94.  (MM 2/16)

PM Rabin's spokesman Oded Ben-Ami defends allowing 30 elite IDF veterans to serve in Congo as advisers, denying soldiers are mercenaries.  Opponents cite Congolese civil war as reason to bar Israeli support of Brazzaville regime.  Press reports say over 2,000 IDF veterans have served in Africa since 1960s.  (NYT 2/17)

FRC mbrs. Yusuf Sha`ban, Salim Mahyub confess to killing Jordanian diplomat Na'ib al-Ma'aytah in Beirut 1/29.  Bassam Atiya, also arrested, denies involvement.  (RL 2/16 in FBIS 2/17; MM 2/17)

Israeli court convicts 4 banks--Leumi, Hapoalim, Discount, and Mizrahi--and 9 bank executives in connection with 10/83 stock market crash precipitated by news of banks propping up own stocks.  Crash cost $7 b. in Israeli govt. payments to investors.  (CSM 2/17)

U.S. Pres. Clinton, Saudi amb. Prince Bandar announce Saudia Airlines will purchase 50 U.S.-made Boeing 747 and McDonnell-Douglas MD-11, MD-80, and MD-90 commercial aircraft worth $6 b.  Deal will be financed in part through U.S. Export-Import Bank loan guarantees.  (CSM, NYT, MM, WT 2/17)