Friday, October 15, 1999

PM Barak's office says that despite a 2/00 deadline, Israel will not begin final status talks until Barak decides on Israel's strategy, names a negotiating team. According to his spokeswoman, Barak is considering using informal mtgs., such as the secret mtg. with Arafat on 9/16, to hammer out a framework agmt. by 2/00. (WT 10/16)

Israel frees 151 Palestinian prisoners (83 fr. Gaza, 31 fr. West Bank, 37 fr. other Arab countries), completing the 2d stage of the Wye II prisoner release. (MM, WP, WT 10/15; WT 10/16; JT, MENA 10/16, DUS 10/17 in WNC 10/18; al-Quds 10/16 in WNC 10/19; JP 10/22; DUS, JT 10/24 in WNC 10/25)

100s of Palestinians in Wihdat refugee camp in Amman hold a rally in support of Hamas. 10s of antiriot, plain clothes police surround the main entrances to the camp to prevent the demonstrators fr. taking the protest outside. (JT 10/16 in WNC 10/18; AYM 10/20 in WNC 10/21)