Wednesday, January 6, 1999

In his 1st policy address, Israeli PM candidate Shahak stakes out a left-of-center line, favoring resumption of negotiations with the PA, Syria. He says that a Palestinian state is inevitable, but Jerusalem should never be divided; Netanyahu is "dangerous for Israel." Polls show decline in Shahak's popularity after the address. (MM 1/6; IDF Radio 1/6 in WNC 1/7; CSM, MM, NYT, WP, WT 1/7; YA 1/7 in WNC 1/8; JP 1/15)

Tensions over Hebron closure continue, with IDF shooting, killing 1 Palestinian protester. (NYT 1/7) (see 1/4)

Confirming long-standing Iraqi accusations, U.S. officials admit that for 3 yrs., U.S. spies using diplomatic cover/false identities worked undercover on UNSCOM teams but denies that the U.S. directed UNSCOM intelligence efforts. Officials say eavesdropping devices ("bugs") supplied to UNSCOM inspectors by Washington provided the U.S. with information used to undermine Saddam Hussein; the idea of using bugs was 1st suggested by fmr. UNSCOM cheif inspector Ritter in talks with Israeli intelligence. (MM, NYT, WP, WT 1/7; MM, NYT, WP, WT 1/8; al-Dustur 1/9, YA 1/10 in WNC 1/12; MM 1/13; MEI 1/15, 1/29) (see 1/5)

UNICEF, World Food Program releases the 1st independent report on the effect of U.S.-led attack on Iraq 12/16-19, showing that at least 12 schools and hospitals, a Bagdad water system supplying 300,000 persons, storehouse containing 2,600 tons of rice were hit. (NYT 1/7; WP 1/8)

In the 7th wk. of government crisis, PM-designate Erez gives up his bid to form a coalition after failing to form a government excluding Islamist parties. Ecevit will try again. (ATL 1/6 in WNC 1/7; CSM, WP 1/7) (see 12/23)