Thursday, December 21, 1995

IDF completes withdrawal fr. Bethlehem. (MM 12/21; QY, VOP 12/21 in FBIS 12/22; CSM, NYT, WP, WT 12/22; JP 12/30)

At PISMC mtg. in Jerusalem, PA demands Israel withdraw immediately fr. Abu-Dis, Sawahirah villages nr. Jerusalem, both part of Bethlehem municipality under Oslo II. Israel says there was a mistake on the Oslo II maps, incorrectly placing the 2 villages in the withdrawal zone; it expects the PA to agree to the corrected maps that exclude them fr. the municipality. (QY 12/22 in FBIS 12/22)

Samiha Khalil, fmr. gen. secy. of the General Union of Palestinian Women and head of a respected West Bank charity, announces she will run against Arafat for the presidency as an independent in 1/20 elections. A PNC mbr., she says she will vote against amending the PLO covenant. (WT 12/28; CSM 1/4; WP 1/19)

PA, Hamas closed 4 days of their 1st formal, high-level reconciliation talks in Cairo, agree talks were positive but fail to reach accord. Hamas refuses to sign pledge to participate in Palestinian elections, cease attacks on Israeli targets, but agrees not to call for election boycott. (MM 12/18; MENA, VOP 12/18, MENA 12/19 in FBIS 12/19; CSM, WT 12/19; MENA, VOP 12/19 in FBIS 12/20; MM 12/20; MBC, RE, VOP 12/20, MENA, VOP 12/21 in FBIS 12/21; MENA, RMC, VOP 12/21, RE, SA 12/22 in FBIS 12/22; CSM, NYT 12/22; al-Quds 12/22 in FBIS 12/26; JP 12/30) (see 11/18)

Likud MK and fmr. DM Ariel Sharon announces that he will not run for PM, endorses party chmn. Benjamin Netanyahu. (QY 12/21, JP 12/22 in FBIS 12/22; JP 12/30)

Ahmad Tibi, Arafat adviser and head of the Israeli Islamic Movement, says his movement has created a party, the Arab Movement for Change, to participate in the 10/96 Knesset elections. (ITV 12/21 in FBIS 12/22) (see 9/10)

In s. Lebanon, IDF clashes with Amal, killing 3 Amal mbrs. (WT 12/26)