Monday, February 16, 1998

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Mahmud Abbas, adviser to PA head Yasir Arafat, and Palestinian Council (PC) Speaker Ahmad Qurai`. In separate mtg., Arafat meets with Netanyahu adviser Yitzhak Molho. (QY, YA 2/17, YA 2/18 in WNC 2/21; IGPO 2/18)

Israel's Ciechanover Comm., charged with investigating Mossad's attempted assassination of Hamas mbr. Khalid Mishal in Amman 9/25/97, reports its findings to PM Netanyahu. (MM, WP, WT 2/16; ITV 2/16, JT 2/17 in WNC 2/21; CSM, MM, NYT, WP 2/17; IGPO 2/17 in WNC 2/24; NYT 2/18; WJW 2/19; JP 2/21)

Jordan announces arrest of 5 Hizballah mbrs. who infiltrated fr. Syria, allegedly to carry out attacks on Israeli, U.S. targets in Amman. (MM 2/17)

PA police in Bethlehem force closure of Shepherds Television station for airing report on pro-Iraqi demonstrations in West Bank. (LAW 2/19; NYT 2/20; IGPO 3/1) (see 2/14)

Israeli, Palestinian activists hold demonstration outside U.S. consulate in Jerusalem to protest U.S. threats to strike Iraq. (PR 2/20)

Following talks with UK and France 2/14, U.S. cabinet mbrs. draw up guidelines to limit any diplomatic compromise UN Secy. Gen. Kofi Annan might offer Iraqi pres. Saddam Hussein. U.S. Amb. to the UN Bill Richardson carries U.S. position to the UN, where Annan holds 3d mtg. with UN Security Council (UNSC) permanent mbrs., who fail to reach consensus on substance of the message that Annan should carry to Iraq. Meanwhile, U.S. envoy David Newton arrives in Cairo on 1st leg of regional tour to explain the U.S. position on Iraq; he will also visit Saudi Arabia, the Gulf Cooperation Council countries, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan. (MM 2/16; MENA 2/16 in WNC 2/21; MM, NYT 2/17; MM 2/19)