Monday, January 3, 2000

Israeli PM Barak, Syrian FM Shara` resume substantive peace talks in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. Pres. Clinton, Secy. Albright both meet separately with Barak, Shara`; these mtgs. run long, forcing the cancellation of a 3-way mtg. among Barak, Clinton, Shara`. Talks focus on Israel's demand that talks start with security issues, Syria's demand that they start with the extent of Israel's withdrawal fr. the Golan. The U.S. convinces them to discuss all issues simultaneously. (AFP, IRNA 1/3 in WNC 1/4; AYM 1/3, DUS, al-Quds 1/4 in WNC 1/5; CSM, MM, NYT, WP, WT 1/4; WP 1/5; Tehran Times 1/5 in WNC 1/6; WJW 1/6; MEI 1/14)

During their private mtg., Barak asks Clinton for a $17-b. military assistance package to ensure Israeli security in the event of a Golan withdrawal. (MM 1/4; MM, WP 1/5; NYT, WJW, WT, WP 1/6; SA 1/6 in WNC 1/7; MM 1/7; MEI 1/14)

In Beirut, Ahmad Raja Abu Kharub, a Palestinian refugee angered by Russia's war in Chechnya, fires 4 grenades at the Russian emb., killing a policeman, injuring 7 civilians before being killed by security forces. (ITAR-TASS, RL 1/3 in WNC 1/4; MM, WT 1/4; Interfax, ITAR-TASS, RL 1/4 in WNC 1/5; ITAR-TASS 1/5 in WNC 1/6; MM 1/6; RL 1/10 in WNC 1/11; MEI 1/14) (see 12/8)

Lebanese soldiers storm a village in the Diniyya region, where mbrs. of Takfir wa al-Hijra, on the run from authorities following their 12/31 attack, are hiding out. 11 Takfir mbrs., 2 civilians, 1 soldier taken hostage on 12/31, 3 other soldiers are killed in the clash. (SA 1/3 in WNC 1/4; MM, WP 1/4; AFP 1/4 in WNC 1/5; al-Nahar 1/5 in WNC 1/6; RL 1/7 in WNC 1/10; MEI 1/14; al-Safir 1/21 in WNC 2/1)

In Ramallah, a group of armed Palestinian youths fr. al-Amari refugee camp close off the Jerusalem-Ramallah road, roam downtown Ramallah, occasionally fire into the air in an attempt to pressure the PA into releasing a camp resident serving a life sentence in a PA jail. PA security forces disperse the youths, reopen the road, take up positions downtown to ensure residents safety. (AYM 1/4 in WNC 1/6)