Sunday, May 21, 2000

King Abdallah of Jordan flies to Damascus to hold talks with Syrian pres. Hafiz al-Asad before heading to Washington to meet with Pres. Clinton next wk. (IsRN 5/21; DUS 5/21 in WNC 5/22; MM 6/8)

In the PA-controlled West Bank city of Jericho, a molotov cocktail is thrown at a car, critically injuring an Israeli child. In response, Barak recalls his negotiators fr. final status talks with the PA in Stockholm; postpones today's transfer of 3 Palestinian villages nr. Jerusalem (Abu Dis, Azariyya, Sawahara al-Sharqiyya) fr. jointly controlled area B to PA-controlled area A; and bans Israeli travel to Jericho, which makes its revenue fr. a casino that is popular with Israeli tourists. (CSM, MM, NYT, WP, WT 5/22; AYM, al-Quds 5/22 in WNC 5/23; AYM 5/22, al-Quds 5/23 in WNC 5/24; WT 5/23; MEI 6/2)

Israel begins its withdrawal from s. Lebanon, 6 wks. before its target date of 7/7. The SLA begins to disintegrate, leaving IDF positions exposed. (MM, NYT, WP 5/22; Politiken [Copenhagen] 5/22 in WNC 5/23; CSM 5/24; MEI 6/2)

The PA Preventive Security Force (PSF) shuts al-Watan TV, accusing the station of inciting violence with its broadcasts of recent Palestinian protests. (al-Haq press release 5/22) (see 5/10)

Fmr. Syrian PM Muhamad Zu'bi who had been replaced when the new government was installed on 3/13 and who had been expelled fr. the Ba'th party on 5/10 for financial corruption, commitsuicide in Damascus. (MM 5/22, 5/23; MM 5/30; MEI 6/2; al-Majallah 6/4; MEI 6/16)