Tuesday, May 30, 2000

In Jericho, PA interim issues negotiator Saeb Erakat, Israeli chief negotiator Oded Eran hold talks on Palestinian prisoners. Erakat reportedly threatens to suspend talks unless Israel agrees to release more prisoners, improve their living conditions. After Barak, Arafat discuss the issue by phone, Eran announces that Israel agrees in principle to carry out another release, still plans to carry out the 3d further redeployment (FRD) by 6/23, as required by the Wye II accord. (AYM 5/31 in WNC 6/2)

Israel's Interior M Sharansky sends a letter to PM Barak asking him to respond to rumors of a secret deal almost completed btwn. Israel, the PA that would eventually give the PA control of more than 90% of the West Bank. Barak dismisses the substance of Sharansky's letter as "nonsense." (IMRA [Intemet], MA [Internet], YA [Internet] 5/31; NYT 6/24)

As of this date, Hizbalah has taken control of providing services in s. Lebanon, including running hospitals previously supported by the IDF, dispatching mobile clinics, sending architects to plan reconstruction of Lebanese homes damaged (1,200) or destroyed (1,600) by the IDF and SIA, trucking in drinking water to compensate for the IDF shutting off a pipeline fr. Israel, clearing debris, repairing roads, sending veterinarians to check livestock, and spraying insecticides. (NYT 5/31)

Israel agrees to accept temporary membership in the UN's Western Europe and Other Group while it works toward permanent membership in its natural regional bloc, the Asian Group. (WP, WT 5/31; NYT, WW 6/1)

The PSF shuts al-Nasr and al-Manara TV stations without giving cause. (LAW 5/30; WP 6/16) (see 5/24)