Thursday, December 16, 1999

Israeli PM Barak, Syrian FM Shara` close 2 days of "friendly" talks in Washington, agree that teams will hold their 1st round of intensive negotiations 1/3+n9 in Washington. (MM 12/16; MM, NYT, WP, WT 12/17; ITAR-TASS 12/17 in WNC 12/20; IRNA, al-Quds, SA 12/20 in WNC 12/21; JP, MEI 12/24)

In Washington, Orthodox Jews protest outside the White House, objecting to any return of the Golan Heights to Syria. (WT 12/17)

In Gaza, Russian dep. FM Sredin hands Arafat a message fr. Pres. Boris Yeltsin, discusses the peace process. (ITAR-TASS 12/16 in WNC 12/17)

In s. Lebanon, 3 IDF shells strike an elementary school, wounding 20 Lebanese children. Israel apologizes for the attack, which marks the 4th time the school has been hit by errant IDF shells over the yrs. Hizballah says it will not retaliate in light of the Syrian-Israeli negotiations ongoing in Washington. (AFP, RL 12/16 in WNC 12/17; CSM, MM, NYT, WP, WT 12/17; DUS, ITAR-TASS, RL 12/17 in WNC 12/20; NYT 12/18; MEI 12/24)

The PA General Intelligence Service mbrs. detain, severely beat PC mbr. `Abd al-Jawad Salih for participating in a sit-in protest outside Jericho prison where several signers of the Petition of the 20 are still being held. (LAW 12/16; AYM 12/20, al-Quds 12/22 in WNC 12/23; MEI 12/24)

Pakistan extradites to Jordan for questioning a suspected Bin Laden associate Khalil Deek, the 14th person arrested for plotting attacks on tourists. (WP 12/18; JT 12/18, The News [Islamabad] 12/18, 12/19 in WNC 12/20) (see 12/13)

Iraq resumes oil exports. (WT 12/17) (see 11/22)