Tuesday, May 2, 2000

On the 3d day of mtgs. in Elat, Israel for the 1st time presents the PA with maps that show how it envisions the final status. The PA walks out, saying the maps show Israel plans to annex large areas of the West Bank, leaving 3 noncontinuous parcels to the PA and preserving numerous West Bank and Gaza settlements. U.S. special envoy Ross arrives in Elat this evening. (MM 5/2, 5/3; CSM 5/5; NYT, WP 5/8; Financial Times, MA 5/11; AYM 5/11 in WNC 5/12; MEI 5/19)

UN special envoy Larsen flies to Paris to meet with Pres. Chirac regarding Israel's planned withdrawal fr. s. Lebanon. France is expected to provide the bulk of extra troops if UNIFIL is expanded. (Le Monde 5/6 in WNC 5/10)

The PC postpones discussions on the implementing the civil service law until 4/5. In response, West Bank Palestinian teachers resume their strike for higher wages, which was called off 3 wks. ago; schools in Gaza are not affected. (MENL 5/2, 5/3) (see 4/2)

Jordanian parliamentarian Ishaq Farhan, a university president and prominent moderate Islamist political leader who received his PhD fr. Columbia University, arrives at JFK airport in New York with a multiple-entry diplomatic visa issued by the U.S. State Dept. that is valid until 2003. Nonetheless, he is held by the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) for 6 hrs. of questioning on his "terrorist" connections, forced to buy a $2000 return ticket to Jordan, and deported. The State Dept. says it revoked Farhan's visa last yr. without informing him and gives further explanation. U.S. emb. in Jordan says it considers Farhan an important moderating political force, cannot comprehend the INS or State Dept.'s actions. (MM, NYT, WP 5/5; DUS 5/5, 5/7 in WNC 5/8; DUS 5/5, 5/8 in WNC 5/10; MM 5/9; WT 5/13)