Wednesday, April 5, 2000

The donors' Joint Liaison Comm. and Local Aid Coordination Comm. both meet in Gaza. (World Bank press release 4/19, 5/4)

Israel releases Ghassan Dirani, nephew of Mustafa Dirani (see 3/13), to the Red Cross for repatriation to Lebanon. Lebanese Christian militia men kidnapped Dirani in 1986, hoping to could trade him to Israel, who they thought would want him as a bargaining chip in its efforts to find out what happened to IDF airman Ron Arad, who was downed over Lebanon earlier in 1986, allegedly by mbrs. of Mustafa Dirani's group. Israel took custody of Ghassan in 1990 and had since held him without charge. (NYT, WP 4/6; WT 4/20)

To protest the Israeli High Court's 3/29 decision allowing Palestinians to return to their homes nr. Yatta, Jewish settlers reoccupy the West Bank hilltop where the illegal outpost Havat Maon was dismantled in 11/99 as part of an agmt. btwn. PM Barak and the YESHA settlers council. (NYT 4/6)

The Jordanian air force intercepts the Italian plane that defied UN sanctions on Iraq on 4/3 on its return trip and forces it to land. The plane is impounded, the pilot arrested, and the EU official and Italian filmmaker deported. (MM 4/6, 4/7; JT 4/7 in WNC 4/11; DUS 4/23 in WNC 4/24) (see 4/4)