Tuesday, March 18, 1997

1,000 IDF soldiers guard Israeli construction workers as they begin construction at Har Homa. Israeli police, border guards beat back Palestinian protesters with fists, boots, rifles. IDF snipers, other soldiers with belt-fed machine guns take up firing positions nr. the demonstrators. IDF seals Bethlehem, Hebron to prevent protests. Arafat calls on Palestinians not to resort to violence; Netanyahu claims that the PA "has prepared the ground for violence that [it] would initiate," U.S. says no proof exists. (MM 3/18; ITV 3/18, RE, SA 3/19 in WNC 3/20; NYT, WP, WT 3/19; MEI 3/21; TJT 3/21 in WNC 3/25)

Italian PM Prodi arrives in Lebanon for talks with PM Hariri, Speaker Nabih Birri regarding the peace process, economic issues. (RL, VOL 3/18 in WNC 3/19; RAI Televideo [Rome], SATN 3/18, RL 3/19 in WNC 3/20)

Iranian FM Velayati arrives in Qatar on a tour to the Gulf to improve Iranian-Gulf ties. (MM 3/19)

Jordanian police prevent 120 mbrs. of the Jordan Engineers Association fr. marching to the Daqamsa home to show solidarity with the soldier, his family. (WT 3/19; MEI 3/21) (see 3/17)

In Ankara, the Joint Iraqi-Turkish Comm. hold talks on economic, diplomatic relations. (INA 3/18 in WNC 3/19)

Saudi Arabian citizen Hani `Abd al-Rahim Sayigh is detained in Canada at U.S.'s request for extradition in connection with the al-Khobar barracks bombing in Saudi Arabia 6/25/96. (WP 3/24; MM 3/26; WP 3/27-29; NYT 3/31, 4/3; WP 4/5; MM 4/18) (see 11/24/96, 1/10/97)