Wednesday, December 31, 1997

Arab League announces Arab free trade zone will go into effect 1/1/98, in keeping with a 1981 trade facilitation agmt. (RE 12/31 in WNC 1/2)

Israeli DM Mordechai attends ground breaking ceremony for new 130-unit settlement called Ma'oz Tsur nr. Beit El settlement in the West Bank. (NYT 1/1; JP 1/10)

Netanyahu spokesman David Bar-Ilan confirms Associated Press report that visits to 65 of 144 West Bank settlements found more than 7,500 apartments, houses being built--enough to increase the settler population by at least 30,000 (or 20%) over the next 2 yrs. 1,000s more units are planned. (WT 12/31; MM 1/8)