Tuesday, February 22, 1994

FM Peres criticizes some settlements in Gaza Strip as "totally illogical," saying Netzarim "has no agricultural importance, no economic importance, no security importance."  (MM 2/22)

15 settler families, most fr. Ariel, sign petition for Knesset assistance to help them leave o.t.  MKs Yossi Katz (Labor) and Avraham Poraz (Meretz) submit Knesset bills calling for comprehensive compensation plan for settlers leaving o.t., while Labor MKs Haggai Merom and Avraham Burg set up "hot line" for settlers who wish to leave.  (MM 2/23)

Lebanese govt. officials, responding to U.S. concerns over violence in southern Lebanon, agree to restrain actions of guerrilla groups in south.  Int. M Bishara Mirhaj says "We will not approve of any operation that undermines the responsibility of the state in south Lebanon."  (NYT 2/25)

Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics puts Israeli population at end 1993 at 5.325 m., compared to 5.196 m. in 1992.  CBS says settlements' population at 115,000 compared to 105,000 in 1992, Palestinian population in o.t. 1.9 m.  (MM 2/23)

Likud leader Binyamin Netanyahu meets in Washington with VP Al Gore, Senate Minority Leader Robert Dole.  Gore expresses both personal and official Clinton admin. opposition to Palestinian state, according to Netanyahu, while Dole says Senate would oppose posting U.S. troops on Golan.  (MM 2/23)

Jordanian Crown Prince Hassan expresses "respect and appreciation" for Saudi fund-raising drive for Islamic holy places in Jerusalem.  (RJ 2/22 in FBIS 2/23)

Senate confirms Strobe Talbott as dep. secy. of state by 66-31 vote.  Opponents had charged Talbott was overly critical of Israel while a journalist for Time magazine, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)  calling Talbott's articles "insulting, immature and incorrect," Sen. Minority Leader Robert Dole (R-KS) accusing Talbott of "clear anti-Israel bias." (MM, NYT, WP, WT 2/23)