Sunday, April 9, 1995

U.S. special coordinator Ross flies to Cairo to brief Pres. Mubarak on talks with PM Rabin, Pres. al-Asad, then returns to Tel Aviv for scheduled mtg. with PM Rabin, which Rabin cancels. Israeli Amb. Rabinovitch says Syria's insistence on "equality" is preventing progress in talks. (ITV, MENA 4/9 in FBIS 4/10; MM 4/10; WJW 4/13)

In 2 separate incidents nr. Jewish settlements in Gaza,  suicide bombers drive explosive-laden cars into bus, military jeep, killing 8 (incl. 1 American), wounding 46 (incl. 3 Americans). Islamic Jihad takes credit for 1st bombing, Hamas for 2d. Both are apparently in response to 4/2 explosion for which both groups blame Israel. PM Rabin credits closure with preventing attacks fr. occurring inside Israel, says he will not let attacks halt negotiations. Pres. Weizman calls for halt to talks.(IDF Radio, QPAR, QY, SARR, SATN, VOP 4/9 in FBIS 4/10; CSM, MM, NYT, WP, WT 4/10; CSM, WP 4/11; MEI, WJW 4/14)

Secy. of State Christopher sends Arafat message that he must take stronger measures to ensure those attacking Israelis are found, shut down. (MM 4/10)

IDF says 2 main Gaza roads will be permanently closed to Palestinians following bombings. Closing the roads--used by 1000s of Palestinians, 10s of Israelis daily--is meant to curb "terrorists' . . . freedom of action." (IDF Radio, HA 4/10 in FBIS 4/10; MM 4/11)

PM Rabin's settlement review comm. announces mtg. to consider 6,000 new housing units around Jerusalem, quickly calls it off when FM Peres, Communications M Shulamit Aloni, Justice M David Libai protest expansion. (NYT 4/10; WJW 4/13)

Hizballah tanks shell SLA patrol nr. Marja'uyun in s. Lebanon, killing 5 SLA mbrs. (WP 4/10)