Sunday, February 1, 1998

Secy. of State Albright meets with Arafat to follow up on 1/22 mtg. with Clinton, urges him to consider the U.S. FRD proposal. After mtg., Albright announces that Arafat, Netanyahu have agreed to send envoys to Washington in 1 wk. to try to break impasse. (MM, NYT, WP, WT 2/2; CSM, NYT 2/3; MEI 2/13)

Netanyahu asks Secy. of State Albright for 2+n3 days advance warning of a U.S. attack on Iraq, immediate defensive measures against an Iraqi biological attack. Albright probes Israel's intentions on the manner, scale of its reprisal should Iraq strike Israel. (WP 2/2; MM 2/3; WT 2/5)

After mtg. with Arafat, Netanyahu, Secy. of State Albright heads to Kuwait, Saudi Arabia to gauge support for strike on Iraq. Kuwait supports use of force as last resort. Saudi Arabia says that U.S. may not stage attack on Iraq fr. its territory but will consider allowing U.S. planes to use its airspace. Arab League, France, Jordan, PA, Russia, Turkey send envoys to Iraq to persuade Saddam Hussein to abandon opposition to UNSCOM inspection of palaces. Egypt, Iran, Qatar, Syria warn attack would increase regional tensions. (NYT, WT 2/2; MM, WT 2/3; WP 2/4)

PM Netanyahu orders halt to preliminary negotiations (initiated by Infrastructures M Sharon) with Iran regarding repayment of Israelis $1.2 b. debt to Iran. (Globes [Internet] 2/1 in WNC 2/4) (see 9/20/97)

At entrance to Bethlehem, Palestinians clash with IDF for 3d straight day, leaving 6 Palestinians injured. During clash, IDF troops, PA police train weapons on each other but do not fire. (WT 2/2) (see 1/30)

Lebanese army eases siege on Britel to allow 10,000 Lebanese to hold funeral for Shaykh Khudr Tlays, Tufayli's right hand man who was killed in clash 1/30. Tufayli is still on the run. (MM, WT 2/2; MM 2/9; MEI 2/13)

3 civilians are wounded during IDF bombardment of Mashghara village in s. Lebanon. (RL 2/2 in WNC 2/4)