Tuesday, July 27, 1999

Israeli PM Barak meets with Arafat at Erez crossing to discuss Wye implementation, allay Palestinian fears that Israel will prioritize talks with Syria over negotiations with the PA. Barak asks Arafat to delay implementation of Wye FRDs until a final status agmt. is close to completion, but says he would implement Wye as signed if the PA objects. Arafat says he prefers Wye to be implemented in full as soon as possible, but agrees to Barak's request to have a PA-Israeli comm. examine ideas for a delay over the next 2 wks. before giving a final answer. (MM 7/27; MA, QA 7/27 in WNC 7/28; CSM, MM, NYT, WP 7/28; MENA 7/27, MENA, RMC, SA 7/28 in WNC 7/29; al-Quds, QA 7/29 in WNC 7/30; CSM 7/29; AYM 7/29 in WNC 8/2; MEI 7/30; JP, MM 8/6; MEI 8/20)

Israel, the PA agree to begin work on a joint industrial park, modelled on Gaza's Qarni industrial zone, to be located along the Israel-West Bank border in Jinin. (WT 7/28)

Georgia, Israel sign a memorandum of understanding on defense cooperation. (Radio Tbilisi 7/27 in WNC 7/28)

Israel, Uganda sign an agmt. to expand economic relations. (Radio Uganda 7/27 in WNC 7/29)

Hadassah, the Women's Zionist Organization of America, awards Hillary Clinton, who is considering a run for New York's Senate seat, its highest honor for humanitarian service. Some Hadassah mbrs. protest the decision to honor Clinton, given her statements in 5/98 in favor of a Palestinian state. (WP, WT 7/27; WT 7/28; WJW 7/29; see also WJW 7/15; WJW 8/5)

After 2 days of talks in Damascus, the PFLP Central Comm. recommends accepting Fatah's invitation to engage in national unity talks. (al-Dustur 7/27 in WNC 7/28) (see 7/24)

Hamas says it is not opposed to taking part in national unity talks with the PA, but says it will not take part in final status talks, since doing so would imply Hamas accepts the Oslo process. (al-Dustur 7/27 in WNC 7/28)