Israel: December 22, 1999

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; Hamas, the militant Islamic fundamentalist organization, has vowed retaliation for the Israeli killing of two Palestinians on 13 Dec at Beit Awa (near Hebron on the West Bank). Israel said that the men were terrorists killed while resisting arrest. Three other men in the same house were arrested after they surrendered. Police found weapons and explosives, along with plans to conduct an attack to mark the 14 Dec, 1987, founding of the Hamas movement. --Stephen V Cole

December 22; Israel has a continuing relationship with Cyprus as an arms supplier, but this role is endangered by its increasingly close military relations with Turkey (a deadly enemy of the Greek Cypriots). The US and Western European countries have avoided selling weapons to Cyprus as this might inflame the continually tense situation. Israel has warned the US that Cyprus is being driven toward Russia, which is currently willing to sell weapons to just about anyone with cash. Cypriot Defense Minister Khasikos went to Moscow on 2 Dec, and was personally greeted by Russian Defense Minister Sergeyev and a group of military industrial officials. --Stephen V Cole 


December 22; Egypt continues to send signals that it is not happy with the Camp David peace process, and resents US pressure to begin overt military cooperation with Israel. The Egyptians feel that there should be no military cooperation until Israel reaches a peace deal with the Syrians and Lebanese. Egypt is also highly suspicious over US involvement in Africa, such as its support for the Nigerian peacekeepers in Sierra Leone. --Stephen V Cole

 

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