Friday, February 18, 2000

In Beirut, around 5,000 Lebanese protest nr. the UN headquarters against Israel's recent air strikes on civilian targets, the U.S.'s failure to restrain Israel. At another rally outside the CNN bureau, 3,000 students are confronted police firing tear gas and water cannon. The U.S. makes its 1st comment critical of Israel's strikes, which began 2/8, saying "we do not believe that Israeli attacks against civilian infrastructure and populated areas will solve the problem." (NYT, WP 2/19; MM 2/21; MEI 2/25)

In protest over Israel's threats to continue strikes against civilian targets in s. Lebanon (see 2/16), King Abdallah of Jordan cancels a planned visit to Israel. (WP 2/19; MEI 2/25)

Iran holds the 1st round of parliamentary elections, with some 6,000 candidates, including 400 women, vying for 290 seats. Reform-minded supporters of Pres. Mohamed Khatami overwhelmingly defeat conservative candidates, with 80% voter turnout. The 2d round of voting will take place on 5/5. (CSM, MM 2/18; NYT, WP, WT 2/19; MM, NYT, WP 2/21; MM, NYT, WP, WT 2/22; AYM 2/22, al-Quds 2/24 in WNC 2/29; MM 2/23; JP, MEI 2/25; WJW 3/2; NYT 3/9)

The PA arrests without charge al-Najah University professor `Abd al-Sattar Qasim, one of the 20 signatories of the 11/99 anticorruption statement. (LAW 2/20; AFP 2/21 in WNC 2/23; MEI 2/25; JP 3/3)