Tuesday, May 9, 1995

Housing M Ben-Eliezer says Israel will go ahead with confiscations of Arab-owned lands despite growing outcry; land will be expropriated as part of 5-yr. plan to build 30,000 new apartments in Jerusalem. FM Peres says confiscations are necessary to accommodate "natural growth" of Jerusalem's Jewish population. (MA 5/9 in FBIS 5/9; WT 5/10)

As way of solving current dispute over expropriations, FM Peres suggests confiscating land in Jerusalem for Arab housing. Palestinians across political spectrum denounce idea. (QY, VOP 5/9, QY, RE 5/10 in FBIS 5/10)

PA postpones 1st mtg. of new Palestinian-Israeli Jerusalem Comm. on land expropriations until 5/14 because Israel will not set agenda for discussions. Comm. is headed by Arafat advisor Husseini, Israeli Police M Shahal. (VOP 5/10 in FBIS 5/11; VOP 5/14 in FBIS 5/15) (see 5/8)

U.S. Amb. to the UN Albright criticizes Arab League call for UN to debate Israeli land confiscations, says it is not the proper forum, threatens to veto any resolution or statement on the issue. (MM 5/11; al-Hayat 5/12 in FBIS 5/15; JP 5/13; CSM 5/15)

Sen. Dole, Rep. Gingrich submit identical bills to Congress that would force Clinton to begin ground-breaking on new embassy site in Jerusalem before end of 1996, to open embassy by 5/31/99, under penalty of cutting in half total State Dept. construction funds for FY 1997, FY 1999. Secy. of State Christopher calls legislation "ill-advised and damaging" to peace process. Arafat, Arab League Secy. Gen. `Abd al-Majid urge against move. (MM 5/9; al-Hayat 5/9 in FBIS 5/10; NYT, WP, WT 5/10; NYT, WP, WT 5/11; NYT 5/18) (see Doc. D8)

American Jewish Congress issues letter to Congress in support of Dole initiative on U.S. embassy. Americans for Peace Now sends letter to Congress urging them to not support bill. (MM 5/10)

Arafat releases 2 Hamas mbrs., 21 other Palestinian prisoners arrested following bombings in April to mark Id al-Adha; promises more releases soon. (WT 5/10)