Wednesday, September 25, 1996

In the worst fighting since the peace process began, Palestinians, IDF clash in Ramallah. IDF shoots rubber bullets, stun grenades, live ammunition at protesters. IDF, PA security forces engage in firefight. 7 Palestinians are killed, 100s (incl. 2 EA mbrs., the mufti of Jerusalem) wounded; 8 IDF soldiers are injured by rocks, bottles; Ramallah is declared closed military zone; West Bank, Gaza are sealed. Clashes also occur in Bethlehem (wounding 12 Palestinians, 2 Israelis), East Jerusalem. In Ramallah, Bethlehem fighting dies down when officers fr. IDF, PA negotiate cease-fire, pullback. PM Netanyahu, Israel officials accuse PA of instigating violence. PA says outbursts were spontaneous reaction to 9/24 tunnel opening, months of closure. (MM 9/25; IDF Radio, IGPO, ITV, JTV, al-Quds al-Arabi, RMC 9/25 in WNC 9/27; CSM, NYT, WP, WT 9/26; MM 9/27; TJT 9/27 in WNC 10/1; MEI, PR 10/4)

Egyptian Pres. Mubarak receives phone calls fr. Arafat, Netanyahu, appealing to Egypt to intervene to calm the situation in the territories; suggests holding Arafat-Netanyahu mtg. in Cairo. Mubarak adviser Baz holds urgent phone conversations with U.S. special envoy Ross. (RE 9/25, 9/26 in WNC 9/27; MBC 9/26 in WNC 9/30)

PM Netanyahu arrives in Paris, meets with Pres. Jacques Chirac, leaves for Bonn. (WP 9/26)

At the UN, Israeli FM Levy signs Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, briefs U.S. special envoy Ross on events in West Bank, Gaza. Ross says U.S. demands that Israel "make a gesture" concerning the tunnel. (ITV 9/25 in WNC 9/27; ITV 9/26 in WNC 9/30)

Egyptian Pres. Mubarak invites fmr. PM Peres to visit Cairo. Peres accepts but sets no date. (IDF Radio 9/25 in WNC 9/27)

Tel Aviv district court extends for 3 mos. the remand of Hizballah's Shaykh `Abd al-Karim Obeid (abducted fr. Lebanon in 7/89), fmr. Amal leader     Mustafa al-Dirani (abducted fr. Lebanon 5/21/94). (ITV 9/25 in WNC 9/27) (see 2/23)

ILMG opens 3d day of mtgs. to discuss issues raised 9/24 and new Lebanese complaints concerning Israel's expulsions 9/22, repeated Israeli attacks; releases statement stressing that firing fr. populated areas endangers civilians, Hizballah should refrain fr. carrying out attacks fr. or nr. villages. Lebanese FM Buwayz complains of U.S. bias toward Israel in ILMG. (RL 9/25, 9/26 in WNC 9/27; RL 9/26 in WNC 9/30)

In Damascus, Iranian, Syrian cultural attachés discuss expanding cultural ties. (IRNA 9/26 in WNC 9/30)