Monday, December 11, 1995

IDF declares Nablus area a closed military zone, begins final redeployment 6 days ahead of schedule. IDF arrests 13 yeshiva students who refuse to leave Joseph's tomb, inside the closed zone; 40 others settlers who arrive at the tomb to confront the IDF are detained. After withdraw, Jewish settlers who attend yeshiva in the city will continue to receive IDF protection. (IL, NYT, WP 12/12; QY 12/12 in FBIS 12/12; CSM 12/13; MEI 12/15)

Pres. Clinton holds positive telephone conversation with Pres. Asad, then meets with PM Peres. Peres asks for assurances that money fr. its $3 b. 1996 aid package will be received by 1/1/96 even if the foreign aid bill has not been passed (aid for FY 1996 was to begin 10/95); gives Clinton a letter, asking for Pollard's release (see 11/21). (ITV, QY, SARR 12/11, QY 12/12 in FBIS 12/12; MM, NYT, WP, WT 12/12; MM 12/13; MA, SARR 12/13 in FBIS 12/13; WJW 12/14; MM 12/15; HA 12/15 in FBIS 12/15; CSM 1/4; WJW 1/18)

Israel Amb. to the U.S. and chief negotiator with Syria Rabinovitch says Israel is ready to make unspecified "significant concessions" to Syria. (WT 12/12)

In Paris, PA, France sign $15-m. cooperation agmt. (VOP 12/11, 12/12 in FBIS 12/12; PR 12/29)

PA announces creation of National Dialogue Office (NDO) to be headed by fmr. Hamas mbr. Faluji. At the same time, Faluji announces the indefinite closure of al-Watan. NDO will promote dialogue btwn. the PA, other political, social forces amid recognition of the "changed reality" following fr. the Oslo process. (HA 12/12 in FBIS 12/14)

In Gaza, Arafat, Hamas delegation meet to discuss of Hamas-PA talks on elections scheduled for 12/18-21 in Cairo. (VOP 12/12 in FBIS 12/12)

In Gaza, Arafat discusses joint ventures opportunities with Poland's Construction M Barbara Blida, delegation of Polish businessmen. (VOP 12/11 in FBIS 12/12)

Syria grants special amnesty to fmr. secy. gen. of Syria's Muslim Brotherhood `Abd al-Fattah Abu Ghuddah, allowing him to return to Damascus after 16-yrs. exile. (RMC 12/11 in FBIS 12/11; MM 12/14) (see 11/30)