2.4.98 Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) member Hisham Abdul Razeq, in charge of Palestinian Prisoners Affairs, meets with Israeli Public Security Minister Avigdor Kahalani in Tel Aviv. As a result, Kahalani is preparing a list of names of Palestinian prisoners for their future release.
3.4.98 Jordanian economic researcher Mohammad Jawabreh says he expects the number of joint Israeli-Jordanian enterprises in Jordan to reach 35 by the end of this year.
3.4.98 In an interview with the Chicago Tribune newspaper, Israeli PM Binyamin Netanyahu says he is sure that he can make peace with Syria, Lebanon and the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) before the end of his term in the year 2000.
4.4.98 Families of Palestinian political prisoners inside PNA prisons protest in front of the Palestinian Legislative Council headquarters in Gaza, calling for the release of their sons.
5.4.98 Israeli newspapers quote Leah Rabin, widow of the late Yitzhak Rabin, as saying that King Hussein of Jordan and his wife, Queen Nour, donated $50,000 to the Yitzhak Rabin Center.
5.4.98 Concluding his meeting with Palestinian Minister of Local Government Saeb Erekat, Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Musa says that Israeli positions lack credibility, leading Syria and Lebanon to hesitate regarding the resumption of negotiations with Israel.
6.4.98 A general strike prevails in all the Arab cities and villages inside the Green Line in protest at the injuring, two days earlier, of 40 Arabs in clashes with Israeli police during the demolition of three Arab houses.
6.4.98 In Ramallah, the Palestinian Police find the body of Palestinian Mohammad Al-Ankawi, 50, from the Nablus area. He was shot in the head. AI-Ankawi, who had been summoned by the Palestinian Intelligence for investigation on land deals, was supposed to be released from the Intelligence building on the day of his death.
7.4.98 An Israeli public opinion poll shows that 63 percent of Israelis support withdrawal from South Lebanon on condition the Lebanese government provide Israel with security guarantees.
9.4.98 The PNA orders the closure of the Reuters news agency office in Gaza for "distributing false news" relating to the assassination on March 29, 1998, in Ramallah of Hamas military chief Muhiyeddin Sharif.
13.4.98 Activists from the Israeli Peace Now movement demonstrate near the Israeli police station in Hebron to protest the arrest on April 12, 1998, of some of their colleagues during the movement's demonstration in Hebron.
13.4.98 The political head of Hamas in Gaza, Abdel Aziz Rantisi, is arrested. To date, 31 Hamas activists have been arrested by the Palestinian General Intelligence and the Preventive Security Service since the assassination of Hamas military chief Muhiyeddin Sharif.
15.4.98 Israeli security forces release the longest-serving Palestinian administrative detainee, Ahmad Qatamesh, from Damoun prison, following five and a half years of administrative detention. Israel claims that Qatamesh is a senior member of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).
15.4.98 A report by the Palestinian Prisoners Club shows there are more than 3,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons; more than 2,000 of them were arrested since the signing of the Oslo Accords.
15.4.98 The "Million Signatures" campaign, demanding the release of all Palestinian and Arab prisoners inside Israeli jails, gets under way. Hundreds of sponsors gather in front of the Ministry of Information in Gaza to sign the petition that will be sent to Pope John Paul II, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, and international organizations and personalities.
16.4.98 Israeli PM Netanyahu holds talks on the peace process with King Hussein of Jordan in Eilat. This meeting marks an improvement in Jordanian-Israeli relations following the Israeli attempt to assassinate Hamas leader Khalid Mesh'al in Amman, in October 1997.
19.4.98 The coordinating committee of the Refugee Working Group meets in Canada. US $4 million are earmarked for reconstruction work in the Palestinian occupied territories. The Canadian International Development Agency announces the contribution of US $2.5 million toward the improvement of municipal services in Gaza and US $575,000 toward the relocation of UNRWA headquarters from Vienna to Gaza.
20.4.98 With the arrival in Tel Aviv of US Secretary of Defense William Cohen, Washington approves the financing of the $45-million Israeli project to develop the "Arrow" anti-missile defense system. Cohen says, "We are committed to maintaining Israel's qualitative superiority."
22.4.98 PM Netanyahu meets with members of the Israeli extreme-right Moledet party to discuss the possibility of the party joining the coalition government.
22.4.98 Justice and Interior ministers from the 22 member countries of the Arab League, including Palestine, sign the League's first joint treaty to fight terrorism. The treaty will go into effect 30 days after its ratification by the parliaments of at least onethird of the League members. The document clearly distinguishes between terrorist activity and armed struggle against foreign occupation and for liberation and selfdetermination - a reference to the Palestinian struggle.
25.4.98 Former Israeli mayor of Jerusalem Teddy Kollek says in an interview with the Austrian Courier newspaper that Palestinians must have their own state.
26.4.98 Palestinian President Yasser Arafat meets with US Special Envoy to the Middle East Dennis Ross in Gaza. Arafat promises to exert all possible efforts to assist Madeleine Albright and Bill Clinton to salvage the peace process and restore confidence in the region.
27.4.98 The Palestinian-Israeli Committee to implement the Paris Economic Agreement holds a meeting at the Israeli Finance Ministry headquarters. Issues discussed include car thefts, Palestinian debts to Israeli institutions and matters pertaining to tourism.
27.4.98 Former Israeli PM Shimon Peres announces his support for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state.
30.4.98 Right-wing Israelis demonstrate at Jabal Abu Ghneim, site of the planned Har-Homa settlement. Israeli police are present to prevent any friction between the settlers and Israeli peace activists, protesting the symbolic step of laying the cornerstone of the projected settlement.
1.5.98 A joint Palestinian-Israeli-World Bank technology fund project begins implementing projects. According to World Bank representative in Gaza, Joseph Saba, an initial $50 million has been raised for this $100-million special fund.
3.5.98 US Vice President Al Gore meets with President Yasser Arafat and discusses the peace process in depth. Arafat affirms his confidence in Washington's efforts to save the process.
4.5.98 The Israeli monthly "Peace Index" results show 56 percent of Israelis believe that Israel has failed in pushing the peace process forward.
5.5.98 Former US secretary of state James Baker criticizes the White House for not exerting pressure on Israel, and losing credibility as regards the peace process.
5.5.98 Mayor of Tel Aviv Roni Milo resigns from the Likud party and proposes to found a new centrist party to run in the next elections.
5.5.98 PNA Attorney General Fayez Abu Rahmeh announces his resignation after less than one year in the post, because of obstruction to the performance of his duties.
6.5.98 An Israeli settler is stabbed in Jerusalem's Old City. The Israeli police close off the Old City and arrest several Palestinians. On the same day and in another incident, an Ateret Cohanim settler is stabbed to death in the Old City by unknown assailants.
6.5.98 The United States Congress unanimously approves a non-binding resolution that urges the PNA to hand over Palestinians suspected of killing American citizens.
Congress claims that nine US citizens have been killed in Israel since the signing of the Israeli-Palestinian peace agreements in 1993.
7.5.98 US First Lady Hillary Clinton says that it is in the interest of the Middle East to have a Palestinian state.
8.5.98 During US Special Envoy to the Middle East Dennis Ross's unscheduled visit, Israeli PM Netanyahu makes it clear that he cannot accept the US initiative, which is based on a 13-percent Israeli withdrawal from Palestinian lands.
10.5.98 The White House cancels the Washington meetings scheduled for May 11, 1998, in the wake of Israeli PM Netanyahu's rejection of US proposals regarding redeployment.
10.5.98 A US Federal Court in New York sentences Palestinian Iyad Ismail to 240 years in jail.
Twenty-six-year-old Ismail was found guilty of involvement in the bombing of the World Trade Center in New York in 1993 in which 6 people were killed and over 1,000 wounded.
12.5.98 Israel officially admits that the American Jewish citizen Jonathan Pollard, currently serving a life sentence in the USA for spying for Israel, was an Israeli agent.
13.5.98 US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright meets in Washington with PM Netanyahu in an attempt to convince him to accept the US proposals relating to the peace process.
13.5.98 The Israeli telephone company Telecom will install 650 public phones in the PNA areas in a $900,000 deal. The agreement is signed in Ramallah between the Israeli company and the Palestinian-French Communications Company.
13.5.98 A 51-year-old Palestinian laborer is stabbed to death in the Orthodox quarter of Mea She'arim on his way to work in West Jerusalem. On 17.5.98, Israeli President Ezer Weizman visits the victim's house.
13.5.98 The European Commission of the EU recommends a boycott of all products imported from Jewish settlements, which benefit from Israeli trade advantages. In response, the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture threatens to cancel all trade privileges given to Palestinian agricultural produce marketed inside Israel.
18.5.98 French President Jacques Chirac calls for exerting pressure on the Israeli government to force it to accept the US proposals for peace.
19.5.98 Israeli PM Netanyahu threatens to fire Palestinian laborers and exclude Europe from the peace efforts if the EU takes any action to boycott Jewish settlements produce.
20.5.98 Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk Al-Shara accuses PM Netanyahu of totally halting the peace process on various tracks.
25.5.98 Thirty settlers from the Jewish acquisition company Ateret Cohanim, accompanied by Israeli police, enter the home of Mrs. Na'ila Jawdat Al-Zarou in the Moslem Quarter of Jerusalem's Old City, summarily evict her and throw her belongings into the street. The settlers claim the house belongs to them.
26.5.98 The European Union accuses Israel of obstr.ucting progress in the Middle East peace process and in any economic development in the region.
26.5.98 On the first day of the Palestinian Legislative Council's seventh session, the members vote overwhelmingly to shift the session from the temporary chambers in Ramallah, to Burj Al-Laqlaq (a site Jewish settlers had tried to occupy) near Herod's Gate in the Old City of Jerusalem, in protest of continued illegal Israeli settlement activities.
27.5.98 The Vatican and the Al-Azhar Higher Islamic Association form an Islamic-Christian committee to fight religious fundamentalism and terrorism. The agreement, signed in the Vatican between Sheikh Fawzi Al-Zafzaf and Cardinal Francis Arinzi, is the first of its kind.
The two sides pledge to work together for peace, justice and mutual religious respect.
28.5.98 Two Israeli soldiers are killed and three others are injured during an attack by the Lebanese resistance movement against an Israeli patrol in South Lebanon.
31.5.98 In a meeting between Tel Aviv Mayor Roni Milo and Crown Prince Hassan of Jordan, the two discuss means of promoting the Middle East peace process, including a twinning project between the cities of Tel Aviv and Amman.
2.6.98 The PLO and the Belgian government, represented respectively by Faisal Husseini and the Belgian consul in Jerusalem, sign an agreement in which Belgium will donate 11 million Belgian francs to renovate the main amphitheater at Al-Quds University in Abu Dis.
3.6.98 The US Justice Department announces that Mohammed Rashid, a former official in the PLO, was arrested in Egypt and extradited to the United States. Rashid is to stand trial before a US court on charges of bombing a US plane en route to Hawaii in 1982.
6.6.98 Israeli demonstrators in Tel Aviv protest the continued Israeli occupation of South Lebanon, and call for an immediate unconditional Israeli withdrawal.
7.6.98 US President Bill Clinton signs a decree renewing the exceptional status given to the PLO, which exempts it from abiding by the US Anti-Terrorism Law, and permits it to open its offices in the USA.
8.6.98 Armed settlers from the El. Ad group occupy another four homes in Silwan, bringing to 12 the number of homes forcibly occupied by Jewish settlers.
9.6.98 The Israeli Interior Ministry gives its go-ahead for the construction of 58 new homes for Jewish settlers on the Mount of Olives in East Jerusalem.
10.6.98 Labor party Knesset Member Amir Peretz wins the Histadrut elections by a large majority.
11.6.98 Israel grants the Jewish settlement of Ariel, near Nablus, city status. Ariel is now the second Israeli "city" in the West Bank after Ma'aleh Adumim.
12.6.98 The UN Security Council is concerned over the seizing by Jewish settlers of Arab houses in Jerusalem and their intention to build housing units on the Mount of Olives.
14.6.98 According to official Israeli sources, Israeli PM Netanyahu has decided to take measures in order to limit the influence of the PNA in East Jerusalem schools, blocking any influence it may retain on educational programs in these schools.
16.6.98 Fifty-year-old Abdel Majeed Abu Turki from Hebron is killed on a bypass road when a settler from Beit Hagai threw a heavy metal object at him while passing in his car, hitting him in the head.
16.6.98 The IsraeJi. army destroys the homes of Abdullah and Abdel Qader Jabarin in Beit Hanina in Jerusalem. They were refused building permits on the grounds that this area of Beit Hanina is considered "open space."
16.6.98 Israel considers issuing new travel documents, valid for one or two years, to Palestinian Jerusalemites leaving to Jordan. According to Tova Elinson, Israeli Interior Ministry spokesperson, the Ministry has confiscated 178 IDs from Jerusalernite Palestinians in the last three months because they changed their place of residence, pointing out that 1,741 families lost their ID's between January 1, 1994, and March 1998. This figure involves 6,800 individuals.
17.6.98 An opinion poll conducted by the Israeli Dahaf Institute and published in the Israeli daily Yediot Aharonot shows that the majority of Israelis support a second-phase redeployment from the West Bank. Fifty-nine percent of the respondents support a 13-percent withdrawal, while 36 percentoppose it. Seventy-four percent of those asked said they support a continued implementation of the Oslo Accords, while 24 percent oppose it.
22.6.98 Sixty-five-year old Yousef Ar'eer from Gaza dies in a RamIeh prison hospital, allegedly due to medical negligence on the part of the Israeli authorities. Al-' Ar' eer had spent a total of 26 years in Israeli prisons and was expected to be released in February 1999.
22.6.98 Israeli bulldozers begin opening a road to connect four Jewish settlements located near Nablus with Israeli territory in the event of a military withdrawal from the West Bank. The road is expected to be finished within ten months.
26.6.98 The Israeli organization Rabbis for Human Rights and other groups initiate a project in which Israeli families sponsor Palestinian families from the West Bank and Jerusalem who have received house demolition orders.
1.7.98 A center for civil guards is officially opened in the Beitar Hit settlement near Bethlehem which is home to approximately 11,000 settlers. Similar groups of armed volunteers who are to assist Israeli police are being formed in the settlements of Kiryat Arba', Ma'aleh Adumim, Giv'at Ze'ev and Alfei Menasheh.
1.7.98 The PNA and Israel sign a renewal agreement to extend the presence of the Temporary International Presence in Hebron (TIPH) for a further six months.
Minister of Local Government, Sa'eb Erekat, stressed that TIPH's daily reports relay a true picture of the city to world public opinion.
4.7.98 Arab members of the Greek Orthodox congregation organize a demonstration in front of the Patriarchate in Jerusalem in protest against land sales between the Greek Orthodox Patriarch and Israelis. Demonstrators called for a halt to such land deals all over the country.
5.7.98 PNA President Yasser Arafat, King Hussein of Jordan and Egyptian President Husni Mubarak hold a trilateral summit meeting in Cairo to discuss a united Arab stance for a just and'comprehensive peace:
7.7.98 US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright announces that the US is "about to arrive at an agreement" between Palestinians and Israelis concerning the implementation of the second phase of redeployment. In response, Israeli PM Netanyahu states, "Such an agreement depends on the Palestinians honoring their commitments."
7.7.98 Against Israeli objections, the United Nations General Assembly approves a resolution upgrading the status of the PLO and granting the organization additional rights and privileges in UN deliberations.
10.7.98 The legal advisor of the Israeli government submits a document, signed by Israeli PM Netanyahu, to the central court in Tel Aviv demanding that the PNA pay NISS million as compensation to an Israeli citizen injured in the Dizengoff suicide operation two years ago.
13.7.98 An explosion rocks the Orient House entrance, injuring one Palestinian, Mohammad Abu Siriyye, 40. The explosive object was placed outside the gate.
14.7.98 The United Nations Security Council issues a statement condemning the Israeli decision to expand the boundaries of Jerusalem, and demanding a halt to all Israeli steps in Jerusalem until final-status negotiations.
15.7.98 The Israeli peace organization Gush Shalom issues a plan to demarcate the Green Line as the border between Israel and the Palestinians, using green paint and stones to draw the Israeli-Palestinian "peace borders."
16.7.98 The Coalition Against House Demolition launches a joint Palestinian-Israeli campaign against the destruction of Palestinian homes and the forcible transfer of the Bedouins of the West Bank. A protest tent is set up near the settlement of Beit EI outside Ramallah.
17.7.98 In its annual assessment, the Shin Bet (Israeli intelligence agency) has warned for the first time that extremist Jewish groups are prepared to take up violence against other Jews in the event of a withdrawal from the Palestinian territories.
19.7.98 Secretary to the Executive Committee of the PLO, Abu Mazen, meets with Israeli Defense Minister, Yitzhak Mordechai, at the US ambassador's residence in Tel Aviv. The two met at the request of US Secretary of State Albright, following the admission by the United States of its failure to effectively mediate in the peace process.
27.7.98 Israeli authorities hand out eviction orders to 12 Palestinian families in Yatta village near Hebron, in preparation for the demolition of their homes.
27.7.98 The Badawi family from Breij refugee camp in Gaza donates the organs of their son' Abdel Haleem, 35, who died in a car accident, to four recipients in Israeli hospitals.
28.7.98 Secretary to the Executive Committee of the PLO, Abu Mazen, meets with Israeli Public Security Minister Avigdor Kahalani. Weekly meetings are to resume to discuss the issues of detainees, safe passage between the West Bank and Gaza, administrative detainees, movement of Gaza students, car thefts, and the Gaza sea port.
30.7.98 A team of foreign, ISraeli and Palestinian volunteers begin to rebuild the home of a Palestinian family in Dahiyat AI-Salam near Anata, after it was demolished by Israeli forces. The house is redemolished by Israeli bulldozers on 3.8.98.
5.8.98 Speaking to a special PLC session held in Ramallah, intended to introduce the new cabinet, President Arafat announces that the old government will remain in place and names several new posts, most of them cabinet ministers without portfolio.
6.8.98 The former minister of Higher Education, Hanan Ashrawi, announces that she declines her appointment as minister of Tourism in the new cabinet. Former minister of Agriculture, Saleh Abdel Jawad also rejects his appointment as State Minister. Both emphasize their opposition to the structure of the new government. On 9.8.98, the PLC votes its approval of the new government by a wide margin of 55 council members for and 28 against.
7.8.98 Settlers in Ma'aleh Adumim begin the construction of a new religious neighborhood in the settlement consisting of 90 housing units at a cost of US $20 million.
9.8.98 The Israeli authorities approve a plan to open road No.16, which will swallow up 53 acres in Sheikh Jarrah and the Mount of Olives, to link Ramat Eshkol with Ma'aleh Adumim in East Jerusalem. The estimated cost is $26 million.
10.8.98 The Palestinian Prisoners' Club announces that five Palestinian women prisoners held in Ramleh prison began an open-ended hunger strike to protest the harsh treatment by prison authorities.
12.8.98 The Peace Now movement announces that Israeli settlers are building 6,000 new housing units in settlements in the West Bank, while 3,000 units are lying vacant.
17.8.98 Palestinian police arrest Islamic Jihad leader Sheikh' Abdallah AI-Shami for writing an article criticizing the new Palestinian cabinet.
20.8.98 Rabbi Shlomo Ra'anan, from Tel Rumeideh settlement in Hebron, is stabbed to death by Palestinian activists who manage to infiltrate the rabbi's mobile home, stab him several times and throw two firebombs at the house before escaping.
23.8.98 A three-month-old baby from Hebron dies after its mother, Shireen Haddad, is prevented from crossing an Israeli checkpoint to take the baby to hospital.
27.8.98 A bomb placed in a garbage can explodes near the Tel Aviv city center. No Palestinian organization claims responsibility for the attack.
28.8.98 Israeli Infrastructure minister, Ariel Sharon, gives the green light for the construction of an additional 2,500 housing units on the Golan Heights, distributed among four settlements in the area.
30.8.98 The PNA carries out its first execution. Mohammad and Ra'ed Abu Sultan, members of the Palestinian police force in Gaza are executed by a la-man firing squad in the courtyard of the police headquarters in Gaza. The two brothers were charged with the murder of Majdi and Mohammad Al-Khalidi during a wedding, four days earlier.
30.8.98 Twelve-year-old Ahmad Fatafteh from Hebron is killed when a settler's car hit him on the Tarqumya-Hebron road.
4.9.98 In a 4O-page report, Amnesty International criticizes both Israel and the PNA for the consistent practice of torture.
11.9.98 The Israeli Army's Central Command returns to West Bank settlers weapons that were confiscated in the wake of the Hebron massacre in 1994.
11.9.98 The Israeli forces kill two Hamas activists in Hebron. Checking on the sound of an explosion in the area, the Israeli soldiers found the place where the two brothers, Imad and Adel Awadallah, were hiding, burst in immediately and shot them.
20.9.98 Mohammad Muqbal, director general of the Ministry of Youth and Sports, is arrested by the Presidential Security Forces after giving a speech during a demonstration in Ramallah, protesting the killing of the Awadallah brothers.
21.9.98 The head of the Saudi Chamber of Commerce and Trade, Abdel Rahman Al]reisi, announces that Israeli products have made their way into Saudi markets, despite Saudi Arabia's economic boycott Israel.
27.9.98 Over 100 Israeli Arabs, including Umm AI-Fa hem mayor, Ra'ed Salah, as well as 8 policemen are injured in Umm AI-Fa hem and Wadi' Ara during clashes with Israeli police. The clashes began when Israeli police raided a protest tent on the Al-Roha lands, which was set up at the beginning of the month, following the confiscation by the Israeli army of 42,000 dunums for "training purposes".
29.9.98 President Clinton meets with President Arafat in Washington. Arafat announces his acceptance of the proposed 13-percent Israeli withdrawal, including the 3 percent for a nature reserve.
In this period, in the occupied territories 10 Palestinians were killed by the Israeli security forces, 4 by Israeli civilians and 5 Israeli civilians by Palestinians. Within the Green Line, 1 Palestinian was killed by Israeli civilians.
Above figures from B'Tselem.