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Wednesday, December 18, 2002
Excerpts: UNRWA offices stormed.Yom Kippur War warning. Saudi rift with Qatar.European Union presses US 18 December 2002

Excerpts: UNRWA offices stormed.Yom Kippur War warning.Saudi rift with
Qatar.European Union presses US 18 December 2002

+++JORDAN TIMES 18 Dec.'03:
"Palestinians in Lebanon storm UNRWA office over medical aid cuts"
"Palestinian refugees stormed on Tuesday an office of the UN Relief
Work Agency (UNRWA) in southern Lebanon to protest cuts in medical aid which
they said led to the death of a heart patient."
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EXCERPTS:
TYRE, Lebanon (AFP) - Palestinian refugees stormed on Tuesday an office of
the UN Relief Work Agency (UNRWA) in southern Lebanon to protest cuts in
medical aid which they said led to the death of a heart patient.
Dozens of protesters gathered in front of the main UNRWA office in the
southern port city of Tyre to protest Monday's death of Ahmad Salem, a
refugee from the nearby Bass camp, an AFP correspondent said.

Representatives of the protesters said Salem, 60, had failed to secure UNRWA
financial coverage for a necessary open-heart surgery, he said.

A number of protesters entered the UNRWA office by force and occupied the
premises for half an hour, he said.

. .

The protesters distributed a statement which called for more protest actions
against UNRWA budget cuts and for finding solutions to health problems,
particularly those related to chronic diseases.

Similar incidents in the summer in which Palestinian refugees stormed
several UNRWA offices to protest the budget cuts led to the closing of the
agency premises in south Lebanon and the relocation of staff to Beirut for
about two months.

UNRWA ... has repeatedly complained about a lack of funds coming from
international donors.

Some 376,000 Palestinian refugees reside in Lebanon, more than half of whom
live in miserable conditions in 12 sprawling camps scattered across the
country.

+++HA'ARETZ 18 Dec.'02:
"Document shows Maj. Gen. Tal warned of Syrian
attack a month before 1973 War"
By Ha'aretz Staff
QUOTE FROM TEXT:
"Tal's warning contradicted the prevailing opinion among
the military's top brass at the time that the Syrian forward
formation was in response to an aerial dog fight in
September 1973 in which 13 Syrian MiGs were
downed."
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EXCERPTS:

A month before the outbreak of the Yom Kippur War, the deputy
chief of staff at the time, Maj. Gen. Yisrael Tal, warned chief of staff
Lt. Gen. David Elazar of a Syrian attack aimed a gaining control of
the Golan Heights. Tal's warning contradicted the prevailing opinion
among the military's top brass at the time that the Syrian's forward
formation was in response to an aerial dog fight in September 1973
in which 13 Syrian MiGs weredowned.

[IMRA:That opinion still prevails]

The information, which supports Tal's version of events ... appeared in a
letter by Dr. Uri Bar-Yosef, quoting from a transcript of the minutes of a
discussion held by the chiefs of staff on September 30 1973, which will
be published today in full in the literary supplement that appears with the
Hebrew edition of Ha'aretz. According to the transcript, Tal said,
"The problem is the danger of an attack on the Golan Heights. The balance
of power on the ground has changed.

+++JORDAN TIMES 19 Dec.'02:
"Prince Abdullah to shun Gulf summit in Qatar - source"

QUOTE FROM TEXT:
"A rift developed ... between ... Saudi Arabia and Qatar over the
controversial Qatar-based Al Jezeera satellite channel and Doha's continued
ties with Israel. ... relations grew more acriomonious after Doha's
decision to allow US access to Qatari military facilities that could b e
used in a possible strike on Iraq."
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--------------EXCERPTS:
DUBAI (R) - Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler Crown Prince Abdullah will not
attend an upcoming Gulf summit in Qatar, signalling a diplomatic row between
the key US allies is far from over, regional sources said on Tuesday.
Saudi Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al Faisal will participate in the annual
summit, but Prince Abdullah - who took part last year - will not be present
... .

The Saudi-led Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) - which also groups Kuwait, the
United Arab Emirates, Oman and Bahrain - meets on Saturday amid heightened
regional concern over a possible US-led attack on neighbouring Iraq.

"Obviously there is a reason for the crown prince not attending. Saudi
Arabia has withdrawn its ambassador from Qatar," said a Gulf source. ...

A rift developed this summer between the energy-rich Saudi Arabia and Qatar
over the controversial Qatar-based Al Jazeera satellite channel and Doha's
continued ties with Israel.

Diplomats said relations grew more acrimonious after Doha's decision to
allow US access to Qatari military facilities that could be used in a
possible strike on Iraq.

Saudi Arabia, a launch pad for the 1991 Gulf War, has yet to decide if it
will let Washington use its facilities.

The kingdom was angered by Qatar's failure to restrain the popular Jazeera
television network, which in June aired programmes seen as an affront to the
Saudi royal family.

. . .

It was not clear which officials would attend the summit on behalf of other
members of the pro-Western GCC, a loose political, economic and military
alliance.

+++HA'ARETZ 18 Dex.'02

"EU laments Mideast stalemate, wants U.S. as partner"

By Ha'aretz Service and Reuters
QUOTES FROM TEXT:
"Brzezinski said he saw the seeds of disagreement between Washington
and Europe over the Middle East because of Washington's reluctance to tackle
the conflict."

"The European Union official (Solana) also found fault with aspects of
the U.S. conduct of the 'war on terrorism', saying the world had to reduce
the disparity between rich and poor."
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EXCERPTS:

WASHINGTON - The European Union's foreign policy chief Tuesday lamented the
lack of progress by Middle East mediators and said he longed for an American
partner to help work on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Javier Solana, visiting Washington for talks with U.S. officials Wednesday
and a meeting of Middle East mediators Friday, also said Washington should
let United Nations inspectors report on their work in Iraq before taking
unilateral action.

Europe has been pressing the United States to let the Quartet of mediators
complete a new Middle East peace plan or "road map" by Friday's meeting but
Arab and European diplomats say they have now given up hope that this will
happen.

Washington has agreed to hold off the presentation of the road map until
after Israeli elections on January 28 ... .

"On the Middle East, I think that there has not been the necessary momentum.
The road map is very clear but we have not been able to move ... a single
inch," Solana said.

[IMRA: One of the reasons for the lack of momentum has been Palestinian
foot-dragging in hope of increased EU impact.]

"I would very very much like to have somebody with me, working together
[from the United States]," he added.

He noted that ... Colin Powell had worked on the Israeli-Palestinian
conflict but no other U.S. official of his stature had visited the region.

[IMRA: And which Europeans of Powell's stature have visited?]

. . .
"I think the time has come now to work in a more parallel manner," Solana
said, referring to collaboration between the United States and the EU. "We
have to be more committed to it in trying to find a real solution or at
least to give the real impression that we care for the solution to that
conflict."

Solana spoke at the Center for Strategic and International Studies ...
alongside former U.S. national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski.

Brzezinski said he saw the seeds of disagreement between Washington and
Europe over the Middle East because of Washington's reluctance to tackle the
conflict.

[IMRA: Brzezinski has a long record of insisting Middle East differences
can be solved only by US tackling them. So, he and Clinton were astonished
when the Egypt-Israel breakthrough came without US pressure.]

"We... are not inclined to address that problem head on or [are inclined] to
postpone it, or to take positions which are ostensibly vague but very
one-sided in substance, and that has the makings of a serious clash," he
said.

Solana said the United States, having taken its case for disarming Iraq to
the United Nations in September, must now "go all the way" with the UN
process.

"... let Mr. Blix [the chief UN weapons inspector] do what he has to do and
he has to report the Security Council and we have to wait until he reports
to the Security Council," he said.

[IMRA: But we should not disregard how he does his work, including
access to scientists.]

The European Union official also found fault with aspects of the U.S.
conduct of the "war on terrorism", saying the world had to reduce the
disparity between rich and poor.

[IMRA: So what is the European Union doing "to reduce the disparity
between rich and poor?]

"We cannot live in a stable world if the rich become more rich and the poor
become more poor. That is something that has to be addressed," he said.

Dr. Joseph Lerner, Co-Director IMRA

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