3.4.00 European Commission (EC) Deputy Commissioner Chris Patten signs an agreement in Gaza with the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) to finance the construction of a 25-million-euro cargo wing in Gaza International Airport to be ready next year. This will allow Palestinian exporters and importers to ship their products directly through Gaza airport rather than having to use Israeli ports.
4.4.00 Israeli Foreign Minister David Levy assures UN Secretary General Kofi Annan that Israel will withdraw from Southern Lebanon in July, in coordination with the UN.
8.4.00 British journalist and Hafez al-Assad biographer Patrick Seale writes what Israel considers to be a compromise proposal on the Golan. However, two days later, Israel lifts the construction freeze on Jewish settlement of Qatzrin in the Golan.
9.4.00 Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak informs his cabinet that he will annex the West Bank settlement of Ma'aleh Adumim, with a population of 30,000, to Jerusalem. The Jewish settlement divides the West Bank into northern and southern regions.
10.4.00 In a Gaza meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, Palestinian President Yasser Arafat says that Jewish settlements in the Palestinian territories are illegal, and that the United States has described them as destructive to the peace process.
12.4.00 The Israeli Jerusalem Municipality is going ahead with its plan for the "Eastern Belt" of settlements after the Israeli Ministerial Committee for Jerusalem Affairs, headed by Haim Ramon, approved the $2.25-million project. The plan includes the recent confiscation of 657 dunums from Issawiyeh, the Mount of Olives, Abu Dis, Izzariyeh and Ras al-Amoud.
16.4.00 Israeli ministers Ben-Ami, Peres, Ramon, Sarid and Sneh say that, under the right conditions, Israel would formally recognize a Palestinian state.
20.4.00 Israeli bulldozers demolish six houses in Issawiyeh near East Jerusalem, and the Israeli police confiscate the residents' tents and declare the town a closed military zone.
20.4.00 President Clinton and President Arafat meet in Washington to discuss final-status negotiations.
23.4.00 A group of Jewish extremists try to enter Al-Aqsa Mosque but are prevented from doing so by the Mosque guards.
24.4.00 Fist fights break out between Palestinian residents of the Gaza Strip and Israeli soldiers as hundreds of Palestinians protest over sewage coming from the Jewish settlement of Kfar Darom.
25.4.00 President Yasser Arafat and King Abdullah II of Jordan meet in Ramallah. The two leaders held "a fruitful and important" discussion, calling for "a comprehensive peace settlement in the Middle East that would include peace accords with Syria and Lebanon."
26.4.00 Israeli press reports claim that new settler families will soon move to Hebron's downtown area. Over Passover, hundreds of settlers visited the city, marching in the streets, and attacking several Palestinians, including three journalists working for Reuters and the Associated Press.
26.4.00 Former Israeli PM Yitzhak Shamir suggests that Israel expeditiously settle a million Jews in the West Bank to put an end, once and for all, to the prospects of Palestinian statehood west of the Jordan River.
26.4.00 The Shin Bet security service recommends to PM Ehud Barak that all prisoners identified with Fateh and other groups that are part of the PNA be released in negotiations with the Authority. Israel has usually refused to release Palestinian prisoners "with Israeli blood on their hands" as part of the Oslo process.
26.4.00 The Paris UNESCO conference on Palestinian refugees discusses ways by which UN Resolution 194, which calls for the Right of Return of the Palestinian refugees, could be applied effectively. Asa'ad Abdel Rahman, who heads the PLO's Refugee Department, stressed that no peace that excluded the implementation of UN Resolution 194 was possible with Israel.
27.4.00 George Habash asks to be replaced by Abu Ali Mustafa as head of the Palestinian Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), according to a report from Damascus.
27.4.00 Israeli settlers, rightist politicians and soldiers occupy a cave and the surrounding land in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of East Jerusalem, claiming it to be a Jewish religious site. The land belongs to the Abu Jibneh family, who have an Israeli court order validating their property rights.
29.4.00 An agreement is signed between the Jericho municipality and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) for financial assistance to the Palestinian people. The UNDP will offer $882,000 for the opening, widening and maintenance of roads.
30.4.00 Palestinian and Israeli negotiators open talks in Eilat on a final-status agreement, with the presence of United States envoy Dennis Ross. The talks were delayed when the Palestinians protested Barak's authorizing new construction in the Jewish settlement of Ma'aleh Adumim near Jerusalem. The talks broke down with Palestinians demanding that the government rescind the decision.
3.5.00 Israeli PM Ehud Barak rejects the Shin Bet's recommendation for the release of Palestinian prisoners who support the peace process. According to the Hebrew daily Ha'aretz, Barak believes that the prisoners' detention could be used as a bargaining chip to pressure President Arafat into further concessions.
4.5.00 Palestinian negotiators leave the talks with Israel after a few days, angered by Israeli final-status maps that showed Palestinians in control of 65 percent of the West Bank, with the majority of Israeli settlements and roads remaining under Israeli sovereignty.
5.5.00 Chief of the Palestinian Police Major-General Ghazi Jabali announces the arrest of officials in the Islamic Jihad and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine (DFLP) for incitement against the PNA.
5.5.00 In retaliation for Hizbullah rocket attacks, Israel carries out air strikes on Lebanese power stations and highways.
7.5.00 Israeli PM Ehud Barak and Palestinian President Yasser Arafat meet at the Ramallah home of Palestine Liberation Organization Secretary Mahmoud Abbas. Barak's office called the meeting "friendly and objective."
9.5.00 The Arab League informs the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council of their decision to suspend Arab participation in multilateral talks until progress is seen in the peace process.
10.5.00 According to the Israeli daily Ha'aretz, Israeli PM Ehud Barak recently gave the green light for the construction of 1,000 new housing units in West Bank Jewish settlements.
15.5.00 Thousands of Palestinians, commemorating the Nakba, clash in the occupied territories with Israeli troops. Three Palestinians are killed and 100 injured.
15.5.00 Outgoing Israeli Housing Minister Yitzhak Levy signs announcements for official tenders for the building of 580 housing units in the East Jerusalem Jewish settlement of Har Homa (Jabal Abu Ghneim). The minister signed the tenders prior to his resignation in protest against Ehud Barak's decision to transfer three East Jerusalem villages to the PNA.
17.5.00 Palestinians pelt Greek President Constantine Stephanopoulos and his Israeli army escort with eggs while on his way to the Holy Sepulcher in the Old City of Jerusalem, in protest against the cancelled meeting between him and Palestinian figures in East Jerusalem. Stephanopoulos said his government had no objection to meetings between Greek and Palestinian officials in East Jerusalem, blaming the visit's organizers for the misunderstanding.
17.5.00 The Israeli Knesset discusses a draft law submitted by the right-wing opposition aimed at reinforcing annexation and occupation of Arab East Jerusalem within its extended borders. The law stipulates a two-thirds majority - 80 of the 120 members - for any changes to be made in the borders of the current Israeli municipality.
22.5.00 The Jerusalem Municipality approves the construction of a Jewish settlement on Abu Dis land. According to PLC member Hatem Abdul Qader, this is a "serious and provocative" decision that could lead to a dangerous escalation in tension.
24.5.00 At a Nuclear Proliferation Treaty conference, the Federation of American Scientists involved in the struggle against nuclear proliferation shows satellite pictures of an Israeli missile base 45 kilometers south of Tel Aviv. The pictures depict three medium-range missile batteries with nuclear warheads. Israel is one of the countries that have refused to sign the treaty against nuclear proliferation.
31.5.00 Sources in the Israeli daily Ma'ariv confirm that the Greek Orthodox Patriarch Theodoros I recently sold lands belonging to his congregation around the King George St. area in West Jerusalem to Israeli institutions, including to the Jewish National Fund.
2.6.00 At a Labor Party meeting, Israeli PM Ehud Barak says that 20 percent of the Jewish settlers in the West Bank would come under Palestinian sovereignty in the context of a proposed peace agreement.
4.6.00 Interim-agreement negotiations teams, headed by Palestine's Saeb Erekat and Israel's Oded Eran, meet officially. Erekat said that Israel is committed to implementing the third phase of redeployment by June 23. Eran was quoted by Israel Radio as saying that the size of land to be handed back to Arafat will be decided in final-status talks.
5.6.00 U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright arrives in the region to push Palestinian-Israeli dialogue forward in order to meet the September deadline.
7.6.00 A new quarter with over 1,000 homes is inaugurated in the settlement of Kokhav Ya'akov near Ramallah, which will double the settlement's population. Moshe Raz of the Israeli group Peace Now condemned the settlement's expansion.
7.6.00 Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat announces that the Palestinians and Israelis signed an agreement to implement the economic sections of the Wye River Memorandum. The new agreement will allow the Palestinian side to increase imported and exported items from Jordan and Egypt by $20 million every six months.
10.6.00 Syrian President Hafez al-Assad dies and is succeeded by his son Bashar.
11.6.00 Palestinian Minister of State for Environmental Affairs Yousef Abu Saffiya warns, in a speech in Gaza, of continued activity at the Israeli Dimona nuclear reactor, calling it a "time bomb" threatening the entire region. He added that the reactor had exhausted its time limit of 30 years.
12.6.00 Palestine Liberation Organization executive committee member in charge of the Jerusalem file, Faisal Husseini, warns that if the United States moves its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, this would put an end to its role as a peace broker in the Middle East. His statements were made at an open meeting with representatives of foreign consulates in Jerusalem.
14.6.00 According to the Israeli daily Ma'ariv, Burger King and the Israeli Rikamor Company, which owns concessions for Burger King branches in Israel, reach an agreement to open new branches of the fast-food chain in Jewish settlements on Palestinian lands.
14.6.00 The Israeli government approves the construction of new housing units near Al-Ibrahimi Mosque in the heart of Hebron.
20.6.00 The Palestinian-French Committee signs five agreements of cooperation in which France offered a total of $180 million to the PNA over the next five years. Also, two soccer fields will be built, one in Gaza and one in East Jerusalem. France and Saudi Arabia are to jointly fund the project, estimated at $1.5 million.
21.6.00 Israel conducts military maneuvers around major population centers in the Gaza Strip and announces that Israeli settlers would be outfitted with tear gas and rubber bullets "for their own defense." On June 22, at a press conference, Arafat complained about the maneuvers.
21.6.00 The Israeli Knesset passes the first reading of the proposed law of "Imprisonment of Combatants Not Entitled to Prisoner-of-War Status," which would legalize hostage-taking and the imprisonment of the victims, including Lebanese like Obeid and Dirani who have been held hostages in Israeli jails for years.
22.6.00 The World Bank announces it is offering $7.5 million in loans to infrastructure works in the West Bank and Gaza. The loans will be used to improve roads and upgrade the water network and sewage system. The entire project is estimated at $27 million. While Saudi sources are contributing $5 million, the PNA is looking for sources to fund the remaining sum.
24.6.00 The Islamic Bank for Development signs, in Jeddah, a memorandum of understanding with the al-Quds al-Sharif Bayt al-Mal Association for $56 million to save occupied East Jerusalem and to assist its citizens in facing the occupation.
5.7.00 Abdul Rahman Hamad, head of the Palestinian Energy Authority, announces the discovery of two natural gas wells near the Gaza seashore, which contain large quantities of gas. The British Gas Company was reportedly due to start drilling near the Gaza seashore at the end of July. The commercial production of natural gas is planned to start at the end of 2002 or the beginning of 2003.
8.7.00 Former deputy secretary general of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), Abu Ali Mustafa, is sworn in as the new secretary general after the resignation of party founder George Habash.
8.7.00 Over 1,000 Palestinian Israelis hold a demonstration near the village of Ein Mahel in the Nazareth region in protest at the confiscation by the Israeli authorities of 450 acres of land, for the expansion of Upper Nazareth.
8.7.00 I'tidal Mu'ammar from Rafah is fatally shot in the head by Israeli soldiers who opened fire at her car near the Kfar Darom settlement, also injuring her husband and two children. One child later died of his injuries. The Israeli army later officially apologized for the shooting, saying it was an "unfortunate mistake."
9.7.00 Three right-wing Israeli parties, Shas, Yisrael B'aliyah and the National Religious Party, resign from the Barak government one day before Barak was scheduled to fly to Maryland to try to hammer out a framework arrangement with the Palestinians at the secluded Camp David resort.
11.7.00 U.S. President Bill Clinton inaugurates the trilateral Camp David summit with the participation of President Yasser Arafat and Israeli PM Ehud Barak. After a short opening session, Clinton met Arafat and Barak separately.
12.7.00 According to a Palestinian report on settlement expansion, during Israeli PM Ehud Barak's rule, 50,000 dunums (12,500 acres) have been either confiscated or closed off, and 15,000 new settlement housing units have been approved.
12.7.00 In a statement to the press, a senior official of the Israeli Ministry of the Environment told the press that "after several years of drought, the water situation is deteriorating by all standards. Palestinian and Israeli leaders can talk about refugees and other issues, but without water there won't be a good life for anyone."
19.7.00 The Zionist Organization of America calls upon Columbia University to take disciplinary action against Professor Edward Said for "taking part in a violent assault against Israelis." On July 4, the prominent Palestinian intellectual and author was photographed throwing a stone at Fatima Gate on the Israeli-Lebanese border, which Said termed a "symbolic gesture."
19.7.00 Minister Haim Ramon, Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert, and the head of the Jewish Agency agree to a five-year plan of $250 million to reinforce Israeli control over Jerusalem under a program called "City Development."
22.7.00 Palestinian Authority minister in charge of refugee affairs, Asa'ad Abdel Rahman, resigns from his post, saying he was no longer responsible for the results of the Camp David summit on the issue of Palestinian refugees.
23.7.00 At a special session of the Yesha council of Jewish settlers in the Psagot settlement near Ramallah, the settlers announce their resolve not to leave their homes in the West Bank and Gaza under any circumstances.
23.7.00 Jerusalem Mufti Sheikh Akrima Sabri issues a fatwa forbidding Palestinian refugees from accepting compensation in place of a return to their homes lost in 1948. Sabri said his fatwa is similar to the one issued in the 1930s forbidding the sale of land to Jews, saying "Because all of Palestine is holy land, any acceptance of compensation would be regarded as selling the land and against Islam."
4.8.00 Amnesty International in its report accuses the Palestinian Authority of violating the right of freedom of expression, and the arbitrary imprisonment of dozens of Palestinians.
11.8.00 U.S. President Bill Clinton is quoted in an Arab newspaper as saying that he hopes to open a U.S. embassy in the capital of a Palestinian state if Israeli-Palestinian peace talks are concluded by the end of the year.
21.8.00 Twenty-three Palestinians, including four Palestinian Israelis, are arrested by Israel on charges of planning military operations against it, alleging the group is affiliated with Osama bin-Laden, the Saudi leader wanted by the United States for attacks on American nationals.
22.8.00 King Abdullah II of Jordan meets with Arafat in Ramallah to discuss the lack of progress in the negotiations since the Camp David summit last month.
23.8.00 Two more Jewish families move into a section of the Muslim Quarter in Jerusalem's Old City. At present, there are 60 Jewish families living in the Muslim Quarter.
23.8.00 Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics shows an 81-percent increase in settlement construction in the first quarter of 2000 in the occupied Palestinian territories. In the first three months of the year, work began on 1,000 new housing units, mostly through private construction companies.
27.8.00 Sixty-one Israeli Knesset members sign a draft law initiated by a rightist MK to block Israeli PM Ehud Barak from signing any peace agreement with the Palestinians that would entail the relinquishing, by Israel of its sovereignty over Jerusalem.
28.8.00 The extremist settler movement Ateret Cohanim announces that it intends to take over two Palestinian apartments and four stores in the Ras al-Amoud neighborhood in East Jerusalem, after concluding a $1-million deal for the real estate.
30.8.00 The United States proposes the division of the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound into four sections, each under different control. The four sections would be the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock, the plaza around the two areas, the external walls, and the underground areas.
3.9.00 Papal ambassador to Cairo Monsignor Paolo Giglione says during the Arab League Council meeting in Cairo that the Vatican is calling for a special status for Jerusalem, and demanding that free access to holy sites be granted to all worshippers.
6.9.00 Israel Radio claims the abduction by members of the Palestinian Preventive Security of three Palestinian citizens of Israel in the West Bank suspected of collaboration with Israel. PM Ehud Barak has requested their release.
6.9.00 Ahmad Ka'abneh from the Fawwar refugee camp near Hebron is sentenced by the Beit El Israeli Military Court to two life sentences plus five years after being convicted of the killing in 1997 of two Israeli girls in Wadi Qelt.
10.9.00 The Palestinian Central Council decides in a Gaza meeting to "give peace another chance" by postponing the declaration of the Palestinian state until November 15, when the situation was to be reevaluated and the "necessary decisions" taken.
11.9.00 Jordanian authorities bar Sheikh Raed Salah, mayor of the Palestinian village of Um el Fahm inside Israel, from entering Jordan via the Sheikh Hussein border crossing for "security reasons," and considering him persona non grata in Jordan.
13.9.00 Israel files an official complaint to Jordan following a visit to East Jerusalem by the Jordanian Education Minister Khaled Touqan. The minister, who was a guest of the PA, was said to have made his visit without the knowledge of the Israeli authorities.
13.9.00 The Palestine Report, quoting The Jerusalem Post as its source, states that Yesha Council spokesperson, Yehudit Tayar, says settlers are collecting millions of dollars in donations both in the country and abroad to prepare for a possible war in the event that the peace process breaks down. She added that the equipment, including telescopic sights, night-vision equipment, four-wheel-drive vehicles, combat gear and medical supplies, is all being bought in coordination with the Israeli army.
13.9.00 On the 7th anniversary of the signing of the Oslo Accords, Israeli peace activists demonstrate near Jaffa Gate under the slogan "Two Capitals in Jerusalem." The demonstrators supported the Palestinian demand to establish their capital in the eastern sector of the city, occupied in 1967 by Israel.
20.9.00 Christian leaders of Orthodox, Catholic and Anglican churches in the United States address a letter to U.S. President Bill Clinton demanding the U.S. administration give more attention in the current negotiations to the interests of Christian churches in Jerusalem.
26.9.00 The Palestinian and Israeli delegations to the peace negotiations conclude their round of talks north of Tel Aviv. The meeting preceded talks in Washington scheduled to begin on September 27 in an effort to bridge the wide gaps between the two sides.
27.9.00 The Israeli Ministry of Defense approves the establishment of 1,400 new housing units near the Alfei Menashe settlement, located on Palestinian lands near Qalqiliya.
27.9.00 Three explosives go off in the Gaza
Strip during the passage of a convoy of Israeli military and civilian vehicles between the Mintar crossing and the Netzarim settlement, resulting in the death of one Israeli soldier and the injury of another. Israel accused Hamas of the operation.
28.9.00 Israeli Likud leader Ariel Sharon visits the Haram al-Sharif/Temple Mount compound, which both Jews and Muslims regard as a holy site in Jerusalem. PM Barak was informed in advance of the visit, which was accompanied by a large police contingent. Hundreds of Palestinians gathered from the early hours of the morning at the Haram al-Sharif compound, which houses the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque, to protest against the visit by Sharon and fellow Likud party members. PLO Executive Committee member Faisal Husseini and some Palestinian members of the Israeli Knesset, blocked the path of Sharon and other Likud members. After the visit, young Palestinians rushed to the Al-Aqsa Mosque area where they clashed with police, who were still present in their hundreds. This marked the beginning of the Al-Aqsa Intifada.
29.9.00 During Friday prayers, the Israeli military enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in force. Israel claims that Palestinians were throwing stones from the courtyard that overlooks the Western Wall. Palestinians affirm that the prayers were not yet finished when the Israeli police entered the courtyard. Clashes resulted in the death of 7 Palestinians and the injury of more than 220.
In the first day of clashes, 13 Palestinians were killed and 600 injured. These numbers were destined to increase dramatically in the following days.
30.9.00 Mohammad Jamal al-Durra, 12, is killed in his father's arms at the Netzarim junction, south of Gaza City. The two were returning home from the second-hand car market after Jamal had sold his car. Because of clashes between Israeli soldiers and Palestinians, the father and his son hid behind a cement block. The father pleaded with the Israeli soldiers to stop shooting, but in a hail of bullets, the boy suddenly slumped over dead. The father was shot in the back and legs.
In this period, in the occupied territories, 26 Palestinians and 4 Palestinian children under the age of 16 were killed by Israeli security forces. Two Israeli security forces personnel were killed by Palestinians, 1 Israeli security forces personnel was killed by Palestinian security forces, and 8 Palestinian security forces personnel were killed by Israel security forces. There were no fatalities within the Green Line.
Additionally, since the beginning of the Al-Aqsa Intifada, on September 28, until December 2 (the time of going to print), 264 people were killed in the occupied territories, and over 10,000 were injured:
* 204 Palestinian civilians were killed by IDF forces, of whom 73 were minors aged 17 and under.
* 24 members of the Palestinian security forces were killed by IDF forces.
* 4 foreign nationals were killed by IDF forces.
* 3 Palestinian civilians (at least) were killed by Israeli settlers.
* 13 Israeli civilians were killed by Palestinian civilians.
* 11 members of the Israeli security forces were killed by Palestinian civilians.
* 5 members of the Israeli security forces were killed by members of the Palestinian security forces.
Above figures from B'Tselem<