Monday, July 19, 1999

In Washington, PM Barak holds 2d round of talks with Pres. Clinton, who announces plans to expedite approval of the $1.9 b. in additional economic aid that the U.S. promised Israel, the PA, Jordan after Wye talks. Congress has refused to approve the disbursements since fmr. PM Netanyahu suspended Wye implementation on 12/2/98. Barak, Clinton also agree to create a Strategic Policy Planning Group composed of senior Israeli, U.S. security officials that would report to them every 4 mos. (CSM, GIU, MM 7/19; MENA, Petra-JNA 7/19 in WNC 7/20; al-Ayyam 7/19 in WNC 7/21; MM, NYT, WP, WT 7/20; WJW 7/22; JP, MEI 7/30)

In Damascus, Spanish PM José María Aznar discusses peace process with Pres. Asad; announces that Spain will loan Syria $55 m. in development aid, marking the 1st loan by an EU state to Damascus. (ABC [Madrid], SATN 7/19 in WNC 7/20; MBC 7/20 in WNC 7/21; MM, WP 7/21)

Damascus-based PLO opposition groups report that Syrian VP `Abd al-Hailm Khaddam has met with the heads of Fatah Uprising, PFLP, PFLP-General Command (PFLP-GC), Saiqa to ask them to end their armed struggle against Israel, switch focus to political activities. Unnamed Syrian officials confirm the report, say no discussion has been held with Hamas, Hizballah, Islamic Jihad. (JT 7/19 in WNC 7/20; al-Ayyam, al-Manar 7/19, SA 7/24 in WNC 7/26; CSM, MM, NYT, WT 7/20; SA 7/20 in WNC 7/21; WT 7/21; QA, RMC, SA 7/21 in WNC 7/22; MM, WJW, WT 7/22; MEI 7/30; NYT 8/8) (see 6/16)

DFLP delegation led by Taysir Khalid meets with Fatah delegation headed by Arafat to discuss a reconciliation agmt. that would bring the DFLP into the final status negotiating process. (al-Ayyam 7/21 in WNC 7/26)

For the 1st time, 4 non-Jews are appointed to the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Comm.: Israeli Arab MKs Hashem Mahameed (United Arab List) and Nawaf Massalha (One Israel), Druze MKs Salah Tarif (One Israel) and Ayoub Kara (Likud). Likud calls the appointments a security risk. (NYT, WT 7/20; MM 7/21, 7/22; JP 7/23; MA 7/23 in WNC 7/28; MM 7/29; JP 8/13)

IDF begins work on relocating its Jinin headquarters in anticipation of the resumption of FRD fr. the West Bank. (NYT 7/20)

Israel's new internal security M Ben-Ami says Israel will allow Orient House to remain open, after finding that the PLO has ceased conducting political activity fr. the building. (NYT 7/20; WP 7/22) (see 5/11, 6/11)

Israel's Justice M Beilin says that he plans to cancel the legal basis for holding Lebanese detainees without charge or trial. Beilin also says that he will work toward ending administrative detention for Palestinians. (WP 7/20, 7/22)

A roadside bomb explodes in s. Lebanon, killing 1 SLA mbr. (VOL 7/19 in WNC 7/20)