Thursday, February 18, 1999

In Rome, the UN Comm. for the Inalienable Rights of the Palestinian People opens 2-day conference in support of the PA's Bethlehem 2000 tourism, development plan. (Reuters [Internet] 2/18)

Kurdish demonstrations against Ocalan's capture abate in Europe, escalate in Turkey. In the past 3 days, Turkey has sent 10,000 troops into n. Iraq to attack Kurdish rebels, has arrested 750 Kurdish activists in Turkey. To contain the scandal over their involvement in Ocalan's arrest, Greece replaces its FM, 2 cabinet mbrs.; Kenya reshuffles its cabinet. (MM 2/18; CSM, NYT, WP, WT 2/19; MM 2/23) (see 2/18)

IDF fences off the Lebanese village of Arnun to expand its self-declared security zone; says action is meant to protect residents fr. Hizbullah attacks. Lebanon accuses Israel of testing its limits under the 1996 April understandings, aiming to convince the Israel-Lebanon Monitoring Group (ILMG) that occupation is legitimate if it prevents Hizballah fr. using civilian populated areas staging points for attacks, which is prohibited under the understandings. (VOL 2/18 in WNC 2/19; NYT, WP 2/19; SAPA [Johannesburg] 2/19 in WNC 2/22; WP 2/20; MM 2/25; JP, MEI 2/26; MM 4/21)

Hamas spiritual leader Shaykh Ahmad Yassin enters a Gaza hospital with chest pains, high fever. (WT 2/19)