Monday, December 24, 1990

Pentagon reportedly tells Pres. Bush that the dominant view held by American military officials is that U.S. troops will not be ready for offensive action against Iraq on 1/15, and that any attack should be deferred until February at earliest (cf. 12/26) [NYT, WP 12/25].

Iraq recalls its ambassadors from major European capitals, Washington, and Tokyo for consultations over deadlock in Gulf crisis [NYT, LAT, WP 12/25].

Saddam Hussein reportedly says Tel Aviv will be his 1st target in the event war breaks out; Israel promises swift and terrible retribution if attacked [LAT, WT, WP 12/25].

The Satanic Verses author Salman Rushdie's statement from hidden location affirms his Muslim faith, says he will not publish paperback version of book (cf. 12/26) [LAT, WT 12/25].

Israel in 1990 received highest number of immigrants in one year since 1949; about 187,000 people, mostly Soviet Jews, have arrived to date, and authorities expect 200,000 by year's end [LAT, WT, WP 12/25].

Housing Minister Ariel Sharon announces gov't.'s plan to locate 2,500 more houses for Jewish settlers in o.t., almost certainly including new Soviet immigrants, despite past assurances new immigrants would not be settled in o.t. [WP 12/26; FJ 12/31].

W. Bank and Gaza observe general strike called for by UNLU; signs of Christmas are noticeably absent in Bethlehem [NYT, WT, WP 12/25].

Newly-appointed Lebanese P.M. Omar Karami forms 30-man pro-Syrian cabinet, half-Christian and half-Muslim. Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea refuses post because of cabinet's pro-Syrian tilt [BVL, BDS 12/24, AFP 12/25 in FBIS 12/26; AFP 12/24, BVL 12/26 in FBIS 12/27; NYT, WP 12/25].