Sunday, March 17, 1991

Returning from Middle East, and acknowledging deep mutual distrust between Israelis and Arabs, Sec. Baker says both sides must move simultaneously to adopt "confidence-building measures" because neither side can be expected to make the initial concession [LAT, WT 3/18; CSM 3/19].

Tel Aviv district court sentences cashiered soldier Ami Popper to 7 consecutive life sentences plus 20 years in prison for the shooting deaths of 7 Palestinians in Rishon le Zion last May [NYT, LAT, WP 3/18; JDS 3/17 in FBIS 3/19; MET 3/26; JPD 3/30].

Palestinian workers are allowed to return to Jerusalem for 1st time since recent stabbings; workers are also allowed back to Tel Aviv and Haifa for 1st time since 17 January [NYT, LAT, CSM 3/18; JDS 3/17 in FBIS 3/18; MET 3/26]; general strike is observed in o.t. to mark beginning of Gulf war [FJ 3/25].

U.S. and international human rights officials say bodies of 20 to 30 people have been found tortured or shot, and many more are presumedead in what appear to be reprisal killings by Kuwaiti military against suspected pro-Iraqi collaborators [LAT 3/18].

Moving to mollify vocal democracy movement, Kuwaiti gov't. announces it will hold elections for new parliament within 6 months to a year [WP, WT, CSM 3/18; MET 3/26].

Insurgents in Iraq report fierce fighting between rebels and Iraqi troops in many parts of the country [NYT, WT 3/18]; Baghdad's daily newspapers carry accounts of widespread death and destruction in southern Iraq and say rebellion there has been crushed [WP 3/18].

Speaking at AIPAC conference, Israeli Health Min. Ehud Olmert says Israel is willing to begin peace negotiations with all Arab states and to discuss future of o.t. and Golan, but only with Arab delegation that excludes PLO (cf. 3/18) [WP 3/18; JDS 3/17 in FBIS 3/18; CSM 3/19].