Friday, August 1, 1997

Arafat convenes the EA to discuss the 7/30 bombings. In response to the PC vote 7/31, all but 2 EA mbrs. (Planning M Shaath, Information M Yasir `Abid Rabbuh) offer to resign so that Arafat may rebuild the cabinet, diffuse Palestinian resentment over PA corruption report. (NYT, WP 8/2; NYT, WT 8/3; PR 8/8; JP 8/9) (see 7/31)

In reaction to the 7/30 bombings, Israel arrests 10s of Palestinians in an attempt to find "anyone that can help us solve who sent the bombers and who is behind it"; says it still does not know the bombers' identities; sets up a naval blockade against Palestinian fishing boats off Gaza; refuses to transfer $20 m. (half the PA's monthly budget) in VAT revenues owed the PA today. (MM 8/1; NYT 8/2, 8/4; MM, NYT 8/5; RMC, VOL 8/6 in WNC 8/7; PR 8/8; al-Hayat al-Jadida 8/10 in WNC 8/12) (see 7/29)

The Israel Broadcasting Authority refuses a government request to turn over one of its transmitters to help jam Voice of Palestine radio. The government considers issuing a special order to impound the transmitter but decides against the idea. (MA 8/4 in WNC 8/6)

Congress recesses without extending MEPFA legislation. (WP, WT 8/5; WT 8/6) (see 7/27)

In Tehran, Syrian pres. Asad meets with Pres.-elect Khatami, becoming 1st head of state to do so. (MM 8/1; IRIB Television [Tehran], SA, SATN 8/1 in WNC 8/4; Tishrin 8/2 in WNC 8/6; MA 8/3 in WNC 8/5; MM 8/7; al-Watan al-Arabi 8/8 in WNC 8/11)

UN approves a Syrian-Iraqi border crossing as a new entry point for goods going into Iraq under the oil-for-food deal. (MM 8/6) (see 7/27)