Thursday, February 17, 1994

Current round of Israel-PLO talks in Taba ends, both sides reporting progress.  PM Rabin says talks held in a "good atmosphere."  Security comm. divides into subcomms. on police, prisoners.  PLO negotiator Nabil Shaath says draft agreement on Palestinian police force reached.  (MENA, IDF Radio 2/17 in FBIS 2/18; MM 2/17)

During 2d day of bilateral Arab-Israeli talks in Washington, Israeli negotiators Uri Lubrani, Itamar Rabinovich complain to Lebanese delegate Suhail Shammas, Syrian amb. Muwaffaq al-Allaf over 2/16 katyusha incident.  Meanwhile, Lebanese Pres. al-Hirawi, Syrian Pres. al-Asad meet in Damascus to discuss tensions in southern Lebanon.  (Qol Yisra'el 2/17 in FBIS 2/17; MM 2/17; SARR 2/17 in FBIS 2/18)

Israel-Jordan-U.S. economic talks in Washington end, Jordanian side expressing reluctance to pursue joint projects with Israel until Israel-Syrian talks achieve progress, Israeli-Jordanian disputes over refugees, water, Arava region resolved.  (Qol Yisra'el 2/18 in FBIS 2/18).

Israeli PM Rabin blames 2/16 katyusha attack on "Black September 13" group, notes "our understandings with Syria regarding Hizballah remain in effect."  (Qol Yisra'el 2/17 in FBIS 2/18; MM 2/18)

Anwar Rashid Tahir Qtait, 24, killed by IDF at checkpoint in Saris [Misilyah??] village, nr. Janin in West Bank, when he makes a "threatening gesture."  In Halhul, IDF shoots and seriously wounds at least 4 Palestinians protesting 2/16 killing of Najwan al-`Izza.  (MM 2/17; IDF Radio 2/17 in FBIS 2/17)

Israeli Yuval Golan, stabbed in Hebron 12/29/93 by Palestinian, dies of wounds, becoming 201st Israeli killed by Palestinians during intifada according to AFP figures.  1,179 Palestinians killed by Israeli gunfire in same period.  (AFP 2/17 in FBIS 2/18)

Hamas's `Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigade issues statement offering "protection and weapons" to Palestinian collaborators who kill their Shin Bet control officers.  (AFP 2/17 in FBIS 2/18)

MK `Abd al-Wahab Darawsha (Arab Democratic party) announces Syrian govt. has allowed him to visit Damascus at head of 31-mbr. delegation to pay condolences on death of Basil al-Asad.  Visit will be 1st official trip by Israeli Arab allowed by Syria.  PM Rabin calls trip a "positive step." (MM, WP 2/18; WT 2/19; NYT 2/20)

Congolese Int. M Martin Mberri confirms Brazzaville has signed $50 m. contract with Israeli company for training, equipping Congolese army.  Officials say 40 Israelis training presidential guard unit, 20 more to come.  Mberri says France will train regular army and police.  Congo armed forces fighting guerrillas loyal to frmr. dictator Denis Sassou-Nguesso for 8 mos.  (WP 2/18)