Monday, July 17, 2000

As PA-Israeli talks continue at Camp David, U.S. officials begin lowering expectations for an agmt. to be concluded, hinting that teams may take a break of a couple of wks., then resume mtgs. (MM, White House press briefing 9/17; MM, NYT, WP, WT 7/18; SA 7/23 in WNC 7/24; NYT 7/29)

Bashar al-Asad is sworn in as pres. of Syria at a special session of parliament. He gives an inaugural address in which he vows to continue to seek peace with Israel on the basis of Israel's full withdrawal fr. the Golan to the 6/4/67 lines and to implement economic and administrative reforms. (WT 7/17; ITAR-TASS, MENA 7/17, MENA 7/18 in WNC 7/19; CSM, MM, NYT, WP, WT 7/18; NYT, WT 7/19; MM 7/20, 7/21; JP, MEI 7/28)

In Qalqilya, clashes btwn. West Bank, Gazan Palestinians continue for the 2d day. In total, 7 people have been injured, 40 arrested, and 7 buildings housing Gazan laborers have been burned. The PA rushes 400 policemen into Qalqilya fr. Nablus and surrounding towns to quell the riots, protect the city's 200 Gazan laborers. (WP 7/18)

Palestinians stone 4 Israeli busses that mistakenly enter Qalandiyya refugee camp en route to a nearby Jewish settlement to pick up settlers holding a demonstration against the Camp David talks. 3 drivers abandon their busses and flee in the 4th bus, suffering light injuries. Qalandiyya residents torch the 3 deserted busses. The IDF accuses the PA of incitement. (JP [Internet] 7/17)