Sunday, August 18, 1996

Israel's ministerial forum on Hebron reconvenes to discuss redeployment issue. (ITV 8/18; MM 8/19; IDF Radio, YA 8/19 in WNC 8/21) (see 8/15)

Hebron settler leaders hold mtg. to discuss how they will react if the government goes through with plans to redeploy. Kach mbrs. propose attacking Palestinians in the city after a pullback. (ITV 8/18 in WNC 10/3; YA 10/17 in WNC 10/22)

Israeli Interior M Eliyahu Suissa says his min. is working out a plan to be submitted to the government for approval that calls for expanding Jerusalem's area by annexing many settlements abutting it, incl. some that lie across the Green Line such as Ma'ale Adumim, Giv'at Ze'ev. (MM 8/19; MA, QY 8/19 in WNC 8/21)

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, FM David Levy meet to resolve differences; agree to set up negotiations oversight comm., steering comm. for talks with Syria that will both incl. the PM, FM, DM. Netanyahu also agrees to redesignate all the head of the "Jordan desk" in the PM's office as "staff"; do the same for all geographic desk officers in the PM's office, so there is no overlap with the FMin.; improve coordination btwn. the PM's office, FMin. (MM, NYT 8/19; WJW 8/22; JP 8/31) (see 8/14)

PA Preventive Security Forces (PSF) bulldozes 5 Palestinian houses in Khan Yunis, saying the houses were build on government property that will be used for housing projects in the future. Owners of the homes said they received building permits fr. the PA Housing Min. (PR 8/23)

Bread riots continue in Amman, nearby Jordanian villages. In the past 3 days, 300 have been arrested, 40 injured in the countrywide protests. Many of those arrested are mbrs. of leftist political groups, such as the pro-Iraqi Arab Socialist Ba`th party (ASB), Jordan People's Democratic party (JPD), Jordanian Communist party. (RMC 8/18, 8/19 in WNC 8/21; JT, JTV 8/18, al-Ra'i 8/20 in WNC 8/22; MM, NYT, WP, WT 8/19; MEI 9/6) (see 8/17)

Lebanese parliamentary elections begin with Mount Lebanon district. Hizballah's 1 candidate is defeated, as is influential Greek Orthodox opposition figure Albert Mukheiber. 32 of the 35 seats go to progovernment candidates. There will be voting on 5 consecutive Sundays in separate regions. The last elections, boycotted by Christians, were held in 1992. (VOL 8/18 in WNC 8/21; WT 8/19; RL 8/19 in WNC 8/21; CSM 8/19, 8/20; MM 8/21, 8/28; MEI 9/6; CSM 9/10)

Israel's National Oil Exploration Company announces it has discovered oil in s. Israel, nr. Beersheba. The site, which could produce 600 bpd, is a sign oil could exist in significant quantities in the area. (WJW 8/22; JP 8/24)