Tuesday, June 17, 1997

In Amsterdam, a 2-day mtg. of EU leaders closes. Attendees issue statement for the 1st time urging Israel not to rule out the possibility of a Palestinian state. (MM 6/18)

In Washington, U.S. secy. of state Albright informs visiting Crown Prince Hassan of U.S. plans to give Jordan $100 m./yr. in aid for the next 5 yrs. (al-Aswaq, al-Dustur, JT 6/17, RJ 6/18 in WNC 6/19; MM, WT 6/18; WJW 6/19; JT 6/19 in WNC 6/20; al-Dustur 6/20 in WNC 6/23; MEI 6/27)

The Senate passes a version of House Res. 1757 that contains a section prohibiting most financial transactions with "state sponsors of terrorism," including Syria. A conference comm. must now work out the differences btwn. the bills. (WJW 7/24; MEI 7/25) (see 6/11)

6 wks. after the IDF forcibly evacuated settlers fr. their outpost nr. Yitzhar settlement nr. Nablus (5/6), several settler families are living on the disputed site, guarded by IDF reservists, while IDF bulldozers break ground to expand the settlement and build a permanent IDF lookout. (YA 6/17 in WNC 6/19) (see 5/7)

Hani `Abd al-Rahim Sayigh, the Saudi accused of participating in the 6/25/96 al-Khobar barracks bombing, is extradited to the U.S. from Canada to provide testimony that could link Iran, Syria to the attack. Under his deal with the FBI, Sayigh will plead guilty to plotting a different attack that never took place in exchange for telling all he knows about the al-Khobar incident. (WP, WT 6/18; MM, NYT, WP, WT 6/19; MM 6/24) (see 3/30)

Iraq announces that it will begin rebuilding, expanding the al-Tanf border post with Syria in the next wk. (MEI 6/13; WT 6/18; MM 6/30) (see 6/2, 6/4, 6/14)

In Hebron, IDF troops clash with Palestinian demonstrators for the 4th day, wounding 17 Palestinian. An AP photographer is attacked, kicked in the head by a Jewish settler; IDF soldiers do not intervene. (WP, WT 6/18; MEI 6/27)

Visiting delegation of American Reform and Conservative Jewish leaders convinces PM Netanyahu to shelve the legislation that would give Orthodox rabbinical courts exclusive jurisdiction over government recognition of conversions to Judaism (see 4/1), form 7-mbr. comm. (comprising 5 Orthodox, 1 Reform, 1 Conservative) to investigate the issue. (WT 6/20)