Sunday, November 7, 1999

A day before PA-Israeli final status negotiations are to begin, 3 pipe bombs explode in Netanya, Israel, lightly injuring 27 people, including a number treated for shock; a 4th pipe bomb is dismantled. Israeli police arrest and later releases 2 Palestinians on suspicion of planting the devices; no group claims responsibility for the act. Israeli authorities think the crude bombs mark the work of individual Arabs, not Hamas or Islamic Jihad; PA suggests Israel's Russian mafia may be to blame. PM Barak, PA negotiator `Abid Rabbuh condemns the bombing but says talks will not be delayed. (MM, NYT, WP, WT 11/8; WP 11/9; WJW 11/11; MEI 11/12)

PM Barak tells his cabinet that UN Res. 242 is not applicable to the West Bank, Gaza on the grounds that the res. deals with sovereign states and not organizations. Arafat protests. DFLP head Hawatimah urges the PA to halt talks with Israel in response. (AFP 11/8 in WNC 11/9; al-Quds 11/9 in WNC 11/12; MEI 11/12)

In Paris on his 1st high-level official visit, Syrian heir-apparent Bashar al-Asad meets with Pres. Chirac, discusses resuming Israeli-Syrian talks. (AFP 11/7 in WNC 11/8; MM, WT 11/8; SA 11/10 in WNC 11/12; MM 11/11; MEI 11/12)