Tuesday, October 26, 1999

Barak names Amb. to Jordan Oded Eran, to head final status negotiations with the PA. The PA reportedly does not think Eran is a senior enough figure, thinks his appointment is proof that Barak wants to conduct real negotiations in a back channel. (MM 10/26; NYT 10/27; AYM 10/27 in WNC 10/28; AYM 10/30, 11/1 in WNC 11/3; NYT 10/31; JP 11/5) (see 9/16)

Israel also announces that David Ivri, a fmr. air force cmdr. and DMin. dir. gen. who is now on Israel's national security adviser, will replace Zalman Shoval as amb. to the U.S. Washington reportedly asked for Ivri's appointment, just as Barak asked for Indyk to return as U.S. amb. to Israel (see 10/20). (MM, WP, WT 10/27; MM 10/28; JP 11/5)

U.S. special envoy Ross arrives in Israel for talks with Arafat, Barak in advance of the 11/2 Oslo summit.  During their meeting in Gaza, Ross, Arafat also discuss Israeli settlement activity, land confiscations, house demolitions. (AYM 10/26 in WNC 10/28; WT 10/27; AYM 10/30, 11/1 in WNC 11/3) (see 10/20)

In Israel, U.S. Defense Secy. William Cohen assures PM Barak, that the Clinton administration will press Congress to approve $1.2 b. in aid to help Israel implement the Wye accords; expresses concerns over Israel's proposed sale to India of Popeye air-to-surface missiles, which was jointly developed by Israel, the U.S. (WT 10/26; NYT, WP 10/27)

British FM Cook meets with the PA Jerusalem Affairs M Husseini at the American Colony Hotel in East Jerusalem for talks on Jerusalem's contested identity. Israeli, Palestinian security officials scuffle over who should guard Cook. (MM, NYT, WT 10/27; JP 11/5)

In Bethlehem, Palestinians, IDF troops clash for 2d day. Although the city is under PA security control, IDF troops are deployed to guard Rachel's Tomb, a Jewish religious site. A total of 30 Palestinians, 2 Israelis have been injured since 10/25. (MM, WP 10/27)

The IDF demolishes 2d Palestinian home in East Jerusalem in a 24-hr. period. (LAW 10/26)

In s. Lebanon, IDF shelling injures 4 civilians, damages 30 homes, an electricity station, and a water network. (RL 10/26 in WNC 10/27; RL 10/28 in WNC 10/29)

On the 5th anniversary of the assassination of its leader Fathi Shiqaqi by Mossad, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, aided by Hizballah, detonates a roadside mine in s. Lebanon, targeting IDF and SLA forces. This is the 1st time Islamic Jihad has staged an attack in Lebanon. No injuries are reported. (NYT 10/28; MEI 11/12)