Chronology 16 August-15 November 1998

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VOL. 28

1998/99

No. 2
P. 165
Chronology
Chronology 16 August-15 November 1998
ABSTRACT

16 AUGUST
    Palestinian Authority (PA) head Yasir Arafat, Israeli negotiator Yitzhak Molho meet in Gaza to discuss further redeployment (FRD) ideas. (HA 8/20 [Internet]; IGPO 8/25; IDF Radio, YA 8/31 in WNC 9/1)
    Jordan's King Hussein, who is undergoing cancer treatment in the U.S., gives Crown Prince Hassan power to name new government in response to public criticisms of government handling of the ongoing domestic water pollution crisis. (AFP, JTV, MBC 8/16, SA 8/17 in WNC 8/18; WP 8/17)
    Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu approves plan to build 50 miles of walls, ditches, fences along stretches of the 194-mi. Green Line dividing Israel, the West Bank, in order to prevent car thefts; stresses that the barriers will not constitute a de facto border demarcation. (MM 8/17, 8/18; Vesti 8/18 in WNC 8/19; WP 8/19; MM 8/20; PR 8/21)
    South Lebanon Army (SLA), Hizballah clash in s. Lebanon, leaving 1 Hizballah mbr. dead, 1 captured. (RL 8/17 in WNC 8/18)

17 AUGUST
    In Washington, U.S. Pres. Bill Clinton testifies before a grand jury on his relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. In a televised address afterward he admits having an affair; misleading the special prosecutor, the public. (MM 8/17; MM, NYT, WP, WT 8/18; IDF Radio 8/18 in WNC 8/19; MM 8/19; al- Thawra 8/19 in WNC 8/24)
    PA lifts curfew on Jericho, saying that escaped prisoner, Hamas mbr. Imad Awadallah, is no longer in the area. (WP 8/18; ITV 8/19 in WNC 8/21; LAW 8/21; HA [Internet] 8/21; JP 8/22) (see 8/15)

18 AUGUST
    In Marsa Matruh, Egyptian pres. Husni Mubarak meets with Arafat on the peace process, possible international summit. (MENA 8/18 in WNC 8/19; ESC Television 8/29 in WNC 8/20)
    PA bans visits by Jews to Joseph's Tomb in Nablus after Jewish settlers, allowed by the IDF regional cmdr. to stay in the tomb for 1 mo. to observe a mourning period for 2 Yitzhar settlers killed 8/5, announce that they are going to establish a permanent settlement there. (MM 8/19; MEI, PR 9/4)
    Numerous media reports claim that Egypt has arrested Fatah Revolutionary Council leader Sabri al-Banna (Abu Nidal) in Cairo, but Egypt denies them. Abu Nidal is known for staging lethal attacks on Israeli, Jewish, PLO targets in the 1970s, 1980s. (MM 8/18; HA, MA, YA in IGPO 8/18; al-Quds, SA 8/24 in WNC 8/26; MM, NYT, WP, WT 8/26; MENA 8/26 in WNC 8/27; NYT 8/27; WT 8/31; MEI 9/4; AFP 9/12) (see 8/18)
    In s. Lebanon, 2 IDF soldiers are killed in clash with Hizballah. (RL 8/18 in WNC 8/19)

19 AUGUST
    PM Netanyahu approves plan to expand Golan heights settlements. (HA [Internet], IGPO, MM 8/20; JT 8/20 in WNC 8/26; WT 8/21; SA 8/21 in WNC 8/24; PR 8/28; ITV 9/4 in WNC 9/9) (see Peace Monitor)
    PM Netanyahu agrees to send his political adviser Uzi Arad to represent Israel at Norway's celebrations marking the Oslo agmt.'s 5th anniversary. (IGPO 8/19) (see 8/9)
    IDF demolishes 15 Palestinian homes nr. Hebron. (IDF Radio 8/19 in WNC 8/20; WP 8/20; LAW 8/21)
    Hizballah detonates roadside bomb in s. Lebanon, killing 1 IDF solider, wounding 4. (RL 8/19 in WNC 8/20; IGPO, MM 8/20)

20 AUGUST
    In retaliation for the 8/7 embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, the U.S. launches 79 Tomahawk cruise missiles striking 6 training camps in Afghanistan reportedly connected to Saudi dissident Osama Bin Laden; a pharmaceutical plant in Khartoum, Sudan, in which Bin Laden possibly holds stock. U.S. claims that "terrorists" at the sites were planning attacks on U.S. interests. Sudan says plant was a legitimate medical drug company. Sudanese stone the U.S. embassy in protest. (ITV 8/20 in WNC 8/21; MM, NYT, WP, WT 8/21; AFP, IDF Radio, ITV, JTV, MENA, News [Islamabad], RE, RJ, VIRI, VOL, YA 8/21 in WNC 8/24; NYT, WP, WT 8/22; al-Dustur, MENA, Petra-JNA, RE, RJ, SANA, VOL 8/22, JT, MA, MENA, al-Ra'i, RJ 8/23, al-Ahram, MENA, al-Ra'i 8/24, MENA, al-Dustur, al-Wafd 8/25 in WNC 8/26; MM 8/24; MM 8/28; MEI 9/4)
     King Hussein replaces PM `Abd al-Salam al-Majali with Chief of the Royal Court Fayiz al-Tarawnah after Majali officially resigns over recent water pollution scandal. Tarawnah is replaced by FM Jawad al-Anani. Abdallah al-Khatib is named FM. (MM 8/20; AFP, JT, JTV, RJ 8/20 in WNC 8/21; JTV 8/20; CSM, WP 8/21) (see 8/16)
    In Tal Rumayda, one of the most tightly guarded Israeli enclave, an unknown assailant stabs to death a Jewish settler rabbi, wounds another before setting fire to the settlers' home. Settlers take to the streets, attack Palestinians. IDF seals Hebron, places curfew on Israeli-controlled sector of Hebron. (MM, NYT, WP 8/21; IDF Radio 8/21 in WNC 8/24; NYT, WT 7/22; ITV 8/22 in WNC 8/26; CSM 8/25)
    IDF demolishes 7 Palestinian homes in Samu`a village in the West Bank. (PR 9/4)

21 AUGUST
    U.S. transfers to Jordan Egypt's $50-m. contribution to the Peace and Stability fund. (JT 8/24 in WNC 8/26) (see Peace Monitor in JPS 109)
    Hizballah detonates a roadside bomb in s. Lebanon, killing 2 IDF soldiers, 1 Israeli civilian contracted to the IDF. Israeli planes bomb Hizballah targets, injuring 1 civilian. (MM 8/21; RL, VOL 8/21 in WNC 8/24; WP 8/22; MEI 9/4)

22 AUGUST
    In Hebron, IDF soldiers clash with 60 Palestinians protesting the sealing of the city, curfew; arrest 7 demonstrators. A 3-mo.-old Palestinian baby dies when IDF soldiers refuses bars access to Hebron hospital. (ITV 8/22 in WNC 8/26; NYT, WP 8/23; LAW 8/25; PR 8/28; MEI 9/4; WP 9/19)
    PA imposes house arrest on escaped prisoner Imad Awadallah's family, which lives in al-Bireh. (PR 8/28) (see 8/17)

23 AUGUST
    In Oslo, Norwegian FM Knut Vollebaek hosts dinner to celebrate 5th anniversary of the initialing of the Oslo Accord on 8/20/93. Fmr. Israeli PM Shimon Peres, PA negotiator Ahmad Qurai`, fmr. Israeli negotiator Uri Savir, U.S. special envoy Dennis Ross attend. (WP 8/24)
    France says there is "no compelling evidence" that the target the U.S. struck in Sudan 8/20 was tied to terrorism. Russia has already termed strikes on Afghanistan, Sudan "state terrorism." Israel has been the only country to applaud the U.S. attacks. (MM 8/24)
    Egyptian FM Amr Musa arrives in Syria for 1-day visit, meets with FM Faruq al-Shara` on the peace process. (MENA, SANA 8/23 in WNC 8/26)
    Israeli cabinet approves construction of permanent structures in Tal Rumayda where a settler was killed 8/20, thereby sanctioning creation of a new settlement. (Settlers at Tal Rumayda live in mobile homes.) IDF lifts curfew on Hebron briefly but reimposes it when 50 Jewish settlers attack Palestinians stocking up on food at the central market. (MM, WP, WT 8/24; CSM 8/25; MA 8/25 in WNC 8/27; PR 8/28; JP 8/29; MEI 9/4)

24 AUGUST
    UN Security Council (UNSC) holds an informal, closed-door mtg. on U.S. strikes on Sudan, Afghanistan; decides to take no action to reprimand the U.S. (MM 8/24, 8/25, 8/27)
    Arab League holds emergency session, condemns 8/20 U.S. attack on Sudan; does not mention Afghanistan. Meanwhile, the U.S. claims that senior Iraqi scientists were helping to produce elements of the nerve agent VX at the targeted Sudanese factory. (MENA, RE 8/24 in WNC 8/26; NYT 8/25)
    Israeli Finance Min. approves transfer of $23.4 m. fr. urban building to settlements. (Globes [Internet] 8/24 in WNC 8/26)
    Turkey rejects Syria's proposal to revive water talks of the Turkish-Syrian-Iraqi Joint Technical Comm., which has not met in 6 yrs. (ATL 8/25 in WNC 8/27)

25 AUGUST
    PM Netanyahu makes surprise visit to Hebron, promises settlers he will build them new homes. Settlers, Palestinians scuffle again when curfew is lifted for several hours to allow Palestinians to shop for food. (MM 8/25; CSM, WT 8/26; PR 8/28) (see 8/23)
    An Israeli Housing Min. document states that a quarter of settlement housing units built btwn. 1989 and 1992 are still empty; only 45% of the units have been sold. (MA 8/25 in WNC 8/27; HA [Internet], WT 8/26)
    Israel allows Syrian wives of 13 Golani Druze to take up residence in the Golan Heights. (IGPO 8/25)
    IDF helicopter unit assassinates Amal operations chief Hussam al-Amin in Tyre, Lebanon. Amal fires 26 rockets into n. Israel, damaging buildings and cars, knocking out power, injuring 9 Israelis. 9 Lebanese civilians are injured in IDF counterattacks. (RL 8/25 in WNC 8/26; AFP, RL 8/25 in WNC 8/27; IGPO, MM, NYT, WP, WT 8/26; CSM, MM, WP 8/27; MA 8/27 in WNC 8/28; VOL 8/28 in WNC 8/31; WJW 9/3; MEI 9/4; JP 9/5)

26 AUGUST
    UNSCOM chief inspector Scott Ritter resigns in protest over recent revelations that the U.S. repeatedly urged UNSCOM to forgo "challenge inspections" at Iraqi sites thought to house weapons of mass destruction. (MM 9/3; MA 9/3 in WNC 9/11; MM 9/4; MM 9/9, 9/11; Babil 9/17 in WNC 9/25; NYT, WP 10/2; WP 10/11, 10/12) (see 8/7)
    IDF soldiers enforcing the Hebron closure prevent Palestinian woman in labor fr. reaching hospital, causing her baby's death. (LAW, WP 8/27; JP 9/5, 9/12; WP 9/19)
    Libya tentatively accepts proposal approved by Britain, U.S. to try 2 suspects in the 1988 Pan Am bombing in the Hague under Scottish law. (MM 8/26; NYT, WP, WT 8/27; WP, WT 8/28; MEI 9/4; WP 9/30) (see 7/30)
    Five settlers fr. Yitzhar settlement abduct a Palestinian teenager, take him to the graves of 2 settlers killed 8/5, hold him there for 2 hrs., beat him. (PR 9/4)
    Settlers in Hebron set fire to a Palestinian home nr. the Jewish sector of the city, injuring 1 man. IDF soldiers enforcing th curfew on the city prevent fire fighters fr. reaching the site. (PR 9/4)
    Amal shells an SLA post in s. Lebanon, killing 1 SLA mbr., wounding another. (RL 8/26 in WNC 8/27)

27 AUGUST
    A bomb explodes in a Tel Aviv trash can, seriously injuring 1 Israeli, lightly wounding 27. No one claims responsibility. (MM 8/27; IDF Radio, MENA, QY 8/27 in WNC 8/28; MENA 8/27 in WNC 8/31; CSM, NYT, WP 8/28; MM 9/1; PR 9/4; JP 9/5; WJW 9/8)
    Israel's Jerusalem city authorities approve U.S. millionaire Irving Moskowitz's plan to build 132 housing units for Jews in the Palestinian neighborhood of Ras al-Amud in East Jerusalem. (MM, WP 8/28; PR 9/4, 9/11) (see Peace Monitors in JPS 105, 106)
    A U.S. federal judge orders Iran to pay $65 m. to 3 Americans (Joseph Cicippio, Frank Reed, David Jacobsen) who were kidnapped by Hizballah in Lebanon in the 1980s. (NYT, WP 8/28; WP 9/27) (see 3/11)
    The IDF mobilizes 2,000 troops in Hebron to prevent violence as 1,000 settlers gather to mark end of 7-day mourning period for rabbi killed 8/20. Settlers beat Palestinian reporters covering the event. (NYT 8/28)

28 AUGUST
    The Jewish settlement of Migdalim nr. Nablus begins construction on 500 dunams of recently confiscated Palestinian land. (al-Quds 8/28 in WNC 9/1)
    Nr. Jazzin, a roadside bomb detonates as a car passes, injuring 1 SLA mbr., 1 civilian. SLA blames Hizballah. (VOL 8/28 in WNC 8/31) (see 3/31)

29 AUGUST
    PA military court sentences 3 PA policemen (all brothers) to death for killing 2 Palestinian brothers--both Fatah mbrs., 1 a mbr. of the PSF--in a family feud on 8/27. A 4th policeman (cousin to the other 3) is sentenced to life in prison with hard labor. (LAW 8/29; WT 8/30)
    Israeli police release Jewish settler arrested 8/28 for shooting at Palestinian houses in al-Arub refugee camp in the West Bank, causing damage but no injuries. (WT 8/30; PR 9/4)

30 AUGUST
    PA executes 2 Palestinian brothers convicted of murder 8/29. The 3d brother's death sentence is commuted to life in prison. These are the 1st executions by the PA. (LAW, NYT, WP 8/31; MM 9/1, 9/2; MEI, MM, PR 9/4; JP 9/5)
    IDF lifts curfew, imposed 8/20, on Palestinian

31 AUGUST
  
 Arafat goes to Amman to brief Crown Prince Hassan on the Peace Process. Hassan later receives a delegation fr. the Arab Democratic Party of Israel. (al-Ra'i, RJ 8/31 in WNC 9/1; JTV 8/31 in WNC 9/2)
   Bipartisan Senate comm. report on Gulf War syndrome questions government assertion that exposure to nerve gas sickened U.S. soldiers who fought in Iraq; concludes that evidence is insufficient in all but 1 case to prove troops were exposed to any chemical agents. (WP 0/1; WT 9/2)
    Amal attacks 3 IDF posts inb s. Lebanon, wounding another 5 soldiers. (RL, VOL 8/31 in WNC 9/1)


CHRONOLOGY SOURCE ABBREVIATIONS
AFP        (Agence France Presse, Paris)
ATL         (Anatolia, Ankara)
CSM        (Christian Science Monitor, Boston)
GIU          (Global Intelligence Update, Austin)
HA           (Ha'Aretz, Tel Aviv)
HUR         (Hurriyet, Istanbul)
IGPO        (Israeli Government Press Office, Jerusalem)
INA          (Iraq News Agency, Baghdad)
IRNA        (Islamic Republic News Agency, Tehran)
ITV           (Israel Television Network, Jerusalem)
JP            (Jerusalem Post International Edition, Jerusalem)
JT             (Jordan Times, Amman)
JTV           (Jordan Television Network, Amman)
LAW         (Palestinian Society for the Protection of Human Rights and the Environment, Jerusalem)
MA           (Ma'ariv, Tel Aviv)
MBC         (Middle East Broadcasting Centre, London)
MEI          (Middle East International, London)
MENA      (Middle East News Agency, Cairo)
MIL          (Milliyet, Ankara)
MM          (Mideast Mirror, London)
NYT         (New York Times, New York)
PCHR      (Palestine Center for Human Rights, Gaza)
PR           (Palestine Report, Jerusalem)
QY           (Qol Yisra'el Radio, Tel Aviv)
RE           (Republic of Egypt Radio, Cairo)
RJ            (Radio Jordan, Amman)
RL            (Radio Lebanon, Beirut)
RMC         (Radio Monte Carlo, Paris)
SA            (al-Sharq al-Awsat, London)
SANA       (Syrian Arab News Agency, Damascus)
SATN        (Syrian Arab Television Network, Damascus)
VIRI           (Voice of the Islamic Republic of Iran,Tehran)                                                           
VOA         (Voice of the Arabs, Cairo)
VOL         (Voice of Lebanon, Beirut)
WJW        (Washington Jewish Week, Rockville, MD)
WNC        (World News Connection [Internet], Washington, DC)
WP          (Washington Post, Washington, DC)
WT          (Washington Times, Washington, DC)
YA           (Yedi'ot Aharonot, Tel Aviv)

Chronology compiled by Michele L. Kjorlien