Question of Palestine home
31 July 1997
D i v i s i o n f o r P a l e s t i n i a n R i g h t s
Chronological Review of Events Relating to the
Question of Palestine
Monthly media monitoring review
The Arab Group at the UN officially called for the resumption of the Emergency Special Session of the General Assembly to consider Israel’s refusal to halt settlement construction in the occupied territory.
Israeli Defence Minister Yitzhak Mordekhai met with PA Minister for International Cooperation Nabil Shaath in Herzliya at the residence of Egypt’s ambassador to Israel. Four “confidence-building measures” were discussed: the opening of the Palestinian airport in the Gaza Strip, the start of construction of a port in Gaza, free passage between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, and release of Palestinian prisoners.
UNRWA launched an appeal for US$11 million to cover the urgent medical and educational needs of 350,000 Palestinians in Lebanon, most of whom lack jobs and access to the public health and school systems. Peter Hansen, the Agency’s Commissioner-General, said he had received promises for half of the US$11 million. According to the Agency, the funds would be used in part to pay hospitalisation for refugees. Some 1,000 patients face a waiting period of up to six months for surgery.
Israeli and Palestinian negotiators met again to discuss the opening of the Palestinian airport and seaport, as well as the passage between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Jamil al-Tarifi, PA Civil Affairs Minister, said the two sides remained far apart on the issues.
The 10th Emergency Special Session of the UN General Assembly resumed its work in order to consider illegal Israeli actions in occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the occupied Palestinian territory. The Assembly adopted a resolution entitled “Illegal Israeli actions in occupied East Jerusalem and the rest of the occupied Palestinian territory, in particular in occupied East Jerusalem”. The resolution (ES-10/3), sponsored by 23 States, was adopted with 131 votes in favour, 3 against (Israel, Micronesia, United States), with 14 abstentions (Andorra, Australia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Marshall Islands, Nicaragua, Romania, the Russian Federation, Rwanda, Slovakia and Uzbekistan).
President Chirac told Saudi daily
that France was “pushing with all its strength to unblock the peace process”. He said: “We are going to present the broad lines of this initiative”.
PA President Arafat appointed his top legal adviser Fayez Abu-Rahme, 67, as the new attorney-general to replace Khaled al-Qidra, who resigned in June.
Israeli Foreign Minister David Levy held EU-sponsored talks in a Jerusalem hotel with PA Minister for International Cooperation Nabil Shaath ahead of a Brussels meeting of EU foreign ministers.
the Israeli Ministry of Environment was working on a plan to dump household trash in the Palestinian territories. Naham Ronen, the Ministry’s director-general, was quoted as saying that a large mountain of trash near Tel Aviv could be used to fill holes in quarries in the West Bank.
PA President Arafat and Israeli Foreign Minister Levy met in Brussels for their first meeting in three months. According to Jacques Poos, Foreign Minister of Luxembourg, which holds the current EU presidency, the two sides agreed to resume talks. They also agreed that the joint Israeli-Palestinian committees would get back to work.
plane landed in Amman after completing its first scheduled flight from El Arish, the Egyptian airport closest to the Gaza Strip.
, Israel may accept the creation of an independent Palestinian entity but will oppose the unilateral declaration of a Palestinian State. The paper said that the Prime Minister’s office is preparing a compromise project that would allow the Palestinian capital to be in Abu Dis or Ramallah, near Jerusalem but outside the city limits. Under the project, allegedly prepared for permanent status negotiations, Israel would set up early warning stations on territory likely to be transferred to the Palestinian entity, which would not be allowed to join an Arab military coalition or manufacture arms.
Israel and the PA have decided to extend the mandate of the Temporary International Presence in Hebron for another six months. The present mandate was to have expired on 1 August.
According to Efraim Inbar, director of the Begin-Sadat Centre for Strategic Studies (BESA), a third of West Bank settlers believe the peace process will fail and the Israeli army will reoccupy Palestinian self-rule areas. In a survey of 511 Jewish West Bank residents, BESA found that 32 per cent of settlers said Israel would reoccupy the territories. About 67 per cent said they would not leave their homes in exchange for fair compensation from the Israeli Government. Seventeen per cent said they would consider staying in their settlement if the West Bank came under Palestinian sovereignty.
Saudi Prince Walid ibn Talal ibn Abdel Aziz made his first investment in the Palestinian self-rule territory. According to his office, US$10 million will be invested in the Palestine Development and Investment Company (PADICO) for hotel and housing projects. PADICO has a capital of US$200 million.
Prime Minister Netanyahu asked the Knesset for another US$16 million to expand the Jewish settlements infrastructure in the West Bank.
Thirteen people were killed and more than 150 wounded by two suicide bombers in the Mahane Yehuda market in West Jerusalem. Israel introduced total closure of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip following the bombing. It also decided to suspend a resumption of peace negotiations with the Palestinian side.
(AFP, AP, CNBC, CNN, Financial Times, Reuters)
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