Tuesday, November 3, 1998

PM Netanyahu again postpones cabinet discussion of Wye agmt., demands that the U.S. obtain a written timetable fr. the PA for arrest of 30 fugitives, claims agmt. cannot pass ratification with oral assurances alone. State Dept. says that the PA has met its obligation, U.S. considers the agmt. to have entered into force 11/2. (MM 11/3; IDF Radio, ITV 11/3, MENA 11/4 in WNC 11/6; NYT, WP, WT 11/4; NYT 11/5) (see 11/2)

Arafat says that arrest of Hamas activists will continue, crackdown has not gone far enough. Since 10/29, 250-450 alleged Hamas activists have been arrested. (MM, WP 11/4) (see 11/1)

Israel arrests right-wing settler leader Rabbi Moshe Levinger on charges of incitement. (WT 11/4; JP 11/16)

Overnight, Jewish settlers move at least 10 trailers onto a new settlement site on the West Bank hill. Another 3 trailers appear on a hill nr. the existing Ma'ale Mikhmas settlement. 3 other new settlements have been founded since the 10/23 Wye signing. (WT 11/4; MM 11/9, 11/13)

In London, U.S. Secy. of Defense William Cohen begins tour of EU, Arab allies to gauge support for strike on Iraq, says forces would be ready for attack within days. Cohen's tour is unusually secretive; no journalists are accompanying him as usual, his schedule has not been released. (NYT, WP, WT 11/4; al-Dustur, Petra-JNA, al-Ra`i, RE, RJ 11/4 in WNC 11/6; JP 11/9) (see 10/31)

Lebanon calls on the EU, UN to halt Israeli theft of fertile topsoil fr. s. Lebanon; says that 20+n30 Israeli civilians, the IDF have taken 100s of tons of soil since 9/98. (RL 11/3, 11/5 in WNC 11/6; NYT 11/4, 11/6)