Friday, March 24, 1995

Israeli FMin. Dir. Gen. Uri Savir says that, following recent secret talks, PA has accepted a phased IDF withdrawal fr. West Bank, may also accept partial withdrawal. 1st phase would occur on eve of elections, additional stages after elections. (ITV 3/24 in FBIS 3/27; IDF Radio 4/13 in FBIS 4/13)

Israeli, Syrian ambs. hold 1st mtg. in Washington since 12/94, prepare for negotiations to resume 3/27. (WT 3/27)

VP Gore meets with Arafat in Jericho, announces PA will be allowed to export goods to the U.S. tariff-free, says $73 m. of pledged U.S. aid will be disbursed to build and renovate housing, pave roads, repair sewer system in Gaza. Arafat pledges to prosecute those who attack Israelis to derail the peace process. Both sign economic agmt. on U.S. participation in building health, educational, industrial projects. U.S., Palestinian businessmen meet. (MM 3/23, 3/24; VOP 3/24 in FBIS 3/27; NYT, WP, WT 3/25; WJW 3/30; MEI 3/31; JP 4/1) (see 2/16)

 Arafat attends Friday prayers at Jericho mosque. When prayer leader Shaykh `Abd al-Salaam Abu Shaykhidim denounces making peace with Jews, Arafat dispatches 2d shaykh to the pulpit, ending Abu Shaykhidim's sermon. (NYT, WP 3/25) (see 3/3)

PA Agriculture Min. bans entry of Israeli produce into Gaza, citing Israel's banning entry into Israel of Palestinian produce trucks. (VOP 3/24 in FBIS 3/28) (see 2/26)

Poll released by Dahaf pollsters shows 73% of Israelis think current negotiations will result in a Palestinian state as long as the PA "overcomes terror"; 23% think no state will result. (WT 3/25)