Wednesday, October 23, 1991

Prime Min. Shamir indicates he will head Israeli delegation to the peace conference, not FM David Levy. Invitations sent to the parties by the U.S., USSR had called for talks at the "ministerial level," a diplomatic phrase usually interpreted to mean participation by officials holding rank of foreign minister or below. (NYT 10/24)

Arab foreign ministers representing Syria, Egypt, Jordan, along with representative of Lebanon's foreign ministry and head of PLO political department meet in Damascus to discuss strategies for peace conference. They were later joined by foreign ministers of Saudi Arabia, representing the Gulf states, and Morocco, representing North African states (except Libya). (MEM 10/23)

Strike called for 10/22 by three groups in o.t. partially observed in E. Jerusalem, elsewhere in West Bank, but not in Nablus, Jenin. Residents of Gaza city observe strike, but not those in the refugee camps. (MEM 10/25)

Members of the Jewish Ateret Cohanim seminary move into a house in the Muslim quarter of E. Jerusalem. Group claims the house was owned by Jews driven out by Palestinian rioting in 1929. Settlers occupying a building in Silwan seized 10/9 from Palestinian residents petition Israeli high court of justice to allow them to remain. Group also seeks permission to move into four other buildings from which they had been evicted by police. (MEM 10/24)

European Community official announces EC, Israel have reached agreement over long-standing dispute over status, place of residence of EC official who will be sent to monitor EC economic aid to Palestinians in the o.t. EC had sough to post the official in the territories; Israel objected, seeking to place the representativen Tel Aviv instead. The EC has set aside $100 million in aid for Palestinians in the o.t. (MEM 10/24)

Human rights organization Middle East Watch issues report on condition of 18,000-20,000 stateless Palestinians in Kuwait. The Palestinians, who were either born in Gaza during the British Mandate, during the period of Egyptian administration of Gaza (1948-67), or who are descendants of those born there, have lived in Kuwait for decades but do not hold citizenship in any country. They do not carry Israeli Gaza identity cards but merely hold Egyptian travel documents, and are thus unable to legally live anywhere. According to the report, Kuwait intends to expel these persons to Iraq 11/15. (MEM 20/24)