Thursday, March 5, 1998

PM Netanyahu arrives in Spain on 1st stop on weekend shuttle to Europe (including stops in Germany, Norway, UK) to sell his plan for conditional withdrawal fr. s. Lebanon. Netanyahu was also going to go to France but canceled because of a statement by the French amb. to Jordan that Netanyahu is blocking the peace process. (MM 3/5)

Israeli DM Mordechai leaves on 4-day tour of France, the Netherlands to discuss s. Lebanon withdrawal proposal. (MM 3/5; MM 3/10; Algemeen Dagblad [Rotterdam] 3/10 in WNC 3/11; PR 3/27)

Shin Bet arrests 5 Palestinians, including 1 PA policeman, on charges of operating a large Hamas cell responsible for at least 10 attacks on Israeli targets. (WP, WT 3/6; IGPO 3/8; WJW 3/12; PR 3/13)

Without Secy. Gen. Annan's knowledge, UNSCOM head Richard Butler dispatches a 50-mbr. team headed by Scott Ritter, previously accused by Iraq of being a U.S. spy, to Baghdad to test Iraqi compliance. The team resumes inspections without Iraqi interference at sites other than the 8 "presidential palaces." (MM 3/6; WP 3/11; MM 3/12) (see 2/23)