Monday, December 21, 1998

After unsuccessful last-minute attempt to form unity government with the Labor party, PM Netanyahu removes his opposition to a bill calling for early elections, which passes (81-30), thereby avoiding a Knesset no-confidence vote that he was expected to lose. (MM 12/21; MA 12/21 in WNC 12/22; CSM, MM, NYT, WP, WT 12/22; MA, al-Quds al-Arabi 12/22 in WNC 12/23; CSM 12/23; al-Dustur 12/23 in WNC 12/28; WJW 12/24; MEI 12/25; JP 12/28; MEI 1/15)

In light of Operation Desert Fox, China, France, Russia call for 8-yr. oil embargo on Iraq to be lifted, UNSCOM to be disbanded, UNSCOM head Butler to resign. U.S. warns UN Secy. Gen. Kofi Annan against replacing UNSCOM; says U.S. will compromise on sanctions, disarmament monitoring. (MM 12/21; MA 12/21 in WNC 12/22; MM, WP 12/22)

The Lebanese government restores the right to protest, lifting a 5-yr.-old ban on demonstration imposed in 1993 after anti-Oslo protests led to clashes btwn. the army, Hizballah. (NYT 12/22)