1.1.97 Uri Lubrani, the Israeli Coordinator of Activities in Lebanon, announces that 180 Israeli soldiers have been killed and over 480 injured in Lebanon since 1985. As regards the "Security Zone," he said that a unilateral Israeli withdrawal from South Lebanon cannot guarantee an end to Hizbullah shelling of northern Israel, and may lead to war
with Syria.

1.1.97 Several resignations are expected in the Israeli government in the wake of the appointment of Roni Bar-On to the post of legal consultant to the Israeli government. Forty-eight hours later, Bar-On resigns and an investigation committee is formed.
On 18.2.97, Israeli police question Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu for four hours within the context of the Bar-On scandal.

1.1.97 Noam Friedman, a 19-year-old soldier from Ma'aleh Adumim settlement in the West Bank, opens fire randomly at Palestinian civilians in the Hebron central market. He injures 6 before he is arrested by Israeli soldiers at the scene.

3.1.97 Syria accuses Israeli Mossad agents of involvement in a bus explosion in Damascus on New Year's Eve, which killed 9 and injured 44 Syrian civilians. Israel denies any responsibility for the attack.

3.1.97 Scores of residents of Beit EI, a Jewish settlement near Ramallah, work throughout the night to build the new settlement of Maoz Tzur on Mt. Artis (adjacent to Beit EI), in memory of Ita and Ephraim Tzur, who were killed by Palestinians 3 weeks earlier. The settlement was subsequently canceled on government orders.
On 5.1.97 Beit EI leaders meet with Israeli Minister of Defense, Yitzhak Mordechai, to discuss plans for the immediate enlargement of Beit El.

6.1.97 Israeli intelligence sources claim that the Palestinian Authority (PA) is storing weapons, such as anti-tank and anti-aircraft, smuggled from Egypt by sea.

8.1.97 Fifteen-year-old Sa'ed Ahmad Abu Vsba' from Qalandiya refugee camp, working at a grocery store in the Mahaneh Yehuda market in Jerusalem, drives a car into a bakery there, killing a 72-year-old Israeli and wounding 6 others. He is arrested but later released after it was proved that his boss had asked him to move the car although he knew the boy had no driving permit.

9.1.97 Two bombs, hidden in a garbage container, explode in the central bus station in south Tel Aviv. Thirteen Israelis are wounded, 3 seriously.

12.1.97 King Hussein of Jordan visits Gaza for the first time since 1967. Israel refuses to allow the king's helicopter to land in the newly built Palestinian airport in Rafah; it lands in Gaza city.

15.1.97 Palestinian President Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, initial the Hebron agreement, according to which Israel will redeploy from most of Hebron, as well as from other areas of the West Bank.

19.1.97 A 14-year-old Palestinian girl attempts to stab an Israeli soldier near al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, in "revenge for the killing of Arabs and the expropriation of Arab land."

20.1.97 The Israeli Ministry of Defense confirms plans for the construction of 60 housing units in the Ma'aleh Ephraim settlement in the West Bank, to be followed by an additional 200.

24.1.97 A joint delegation of the Israeli Peace Now movement and Jews born in Hebron visit Hebron Municipality and congratulate the Palestinians on the extension of their jurisdiction over the city. The visit is an act of solidarity with the Palestinians against continued provocation by the fanatic Jewish settlers in the city of Hebron and in Kiryat Arba settlement near Hebron.

26.1.97 The Special Ministerial Committee for Jerusalem Affairs, led by Binyamin Netanyahu, allots NIS 130 million for the consolidation of Israeli control over East Jerusalem and the prevention of any "foreign" activity in the city.

27.1.97 The Israeli army moves in for the second time in two weeks to evict by force 6 families of the Jahalin Bedouin tribe, living near the Jewish settlement of Ma'aleh Adumim, to allow for the expansion of the settlement. The Jahalin moved to this spot near Jerusalem in 1950 after they had been expelled from their original site in the Negev in Israel.
On 11.2.97 the Israeli army evicts 23 Jahalin families and moves 115 persons to a site near the Jerusalem Municipality garbage dump. At a protest demonstration against the eviction, peace activist Vri Avnery says that today he is ashamed to be a Jew.

1.2.97 Yusef Isma'il al-Baba, aged 32, dies from wounds inflicted from torture during interrogation by the Palestinian Military Intelligence in Nablus Prison. Several officers have been arrested in connection with the death.
On 4.2.97, Palestinian Justice Minister Freih Abu Meddein publicly criticizes and protests al-Baba's arrest which he terms as arbitrary, without a legal detention order and without the knowledge of the police or the PA Attorney General.

4.2.97 Two Israeli helicopters, transporting soldiers to IDF bases in South Lebanon, collide over the Israeli village of She' ar Yashuv in the Galilee. There are no survivors and 73 Israeli soldiers are killed, including 13 officers.

4.2.97 The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the PLO sign a statement of understanding for the benefit of the Palestinian Legislative Council. USAID will provide an estimated $6 million in financial support to enhance the legitimacy of the council.

11.2.97 Four Palestinians are violently beaten by settlers from the Daboya building in Hebron. They are taken to hospital for treatment.

12.2.97 Thirty-one Palestinian women prisoners are released. Their release comes after a 16-month delay, as 27 of them had refused to leave prison in protest against the rejection by Israel to free four of them.

14.2.97 The Israeli Housing Ministry decides to build a new settlement on Palestinian-owned land in Jabal Abu Ghneim (Har Homa) between East Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
On 1.3.97 over 600 Palestinian and Israeli peace activists, as well as members of the Palestinian Legislative Council, protest the building of a Jewish settlement on this site. Similar protests were to take place in the months ahead, as the building work proceeded.

17.2.97 A Druze Israeli citizen, Azzam Azzam, is accused of spying against Egypt. He is transferred to the Egyptian Higher State Security Court in Cairo and is later convicted, along with an Egyptian citizen, of spying for Israel.

17.2.97 Members of the Palestinian Legislative Council meet with members of Netivot Shalom to discuss the Palestinian state. The Israeli religious peace movement supports the establishment of the state in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem.

19.2.97 A "Fear of Peace" seminar is held in Amman under the sponsorship of Crown Prince Hassan. Participants come from Israel, Palestine, Egypt and Jordan.

19.2.97 The Israeli government announces its intention to build a residential quarter of 1,000 housing units for Palestinians in Urn Tuba village near Jabal Abu Ghneim (Har Homa). No date is given for the beginning of construction. 21.2.97 Jewish settlers from Hebron hold a memorial service to mark the anniversary of the death of Baruch Goldstein, the settler who carried out the Hebron massacre in February 1994 in which 29 Palestinians were killed. The memorial is led by Kiryat Arba Rabbi Dov Lior.

3.3.97 Israeli Defense Minister Yitzhak Mordechai signs a plan for the construction of a new settlement between the huge Ma'aleh Adumim settlement and Jerusalem. The plan calIs for the expropriation of hundreds of dunums of Palestinian land.

5.3.97 The Palestinian Authority arrests three Palestinians accused of killing Isma'el Hassuneh, head of security in Rafah near Gaza. The killing was in revenge for the death of one of the killers' relatives during the Intifada.

10.3.97 Members of the Knesset Interior Committee meet in Orient House with PLO Executive Committee Member Faisal Husseini.

11.3.97 In a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, King Hussein of Jordan expresses his lack of confidence in the Israeli government's policy towards peace with the Palestinians. He says, "My pain is real and deep, peace looks more and more like a distant mirage. I can't accept your apologies that you act under great pressure and coercion."

13.3.97 A Jordanian soldier, Ahmad Musa Daqamseh, opens fire in al-Baqoura on a bus of Israeli schoolgirls, killing 7 and injuring 50. He claims the Israeli girls made fun of him while he was praying at the site. He is in prison awaiting trial.
On 16.3.97 King Hussein of Jordan visits Israel to pay condolences to the families of the 7 Israeli schoolgirls and to visit the wounded in Hadassah Hospital.

17.3.97 Human-rights organizations working in the occupied territories confirm that Israel has revoked 2,011 identity cards from Palestinians in Jerusalem, under the pretext they do not reside within the municipal boundaries of the city. This dangerous precedent may affect 60,000 Palestinian Jerusalemites who live outside the borders outlined by the Israeli authorities.

19.3.97 According to the Israeli Central Bureau of Statistics, more that 12 percent of houses in West Bank and Gaza Strip Jewish settlements are empty.

20.3.97 Five Jewish families seize a five-flat building in Silwan near Jerusalem, bringing in clothes and furniture. The settlers claim that the building was sold to them a year ago by a Palestinian who had since moved to the United States.

21.3.97 Musa Abdel-Qader Ghnaimat, from Surif near Hebron, blows himself up in a suicide attack on Apropo cafe in Tel Aviv, killing 3 Israeli women. The Israeli army imposes a total curfew on the village of Surif.
On 22.3.97 three houses belonging to the Ghnaimat family are sealed.

22.3.97 One-hundred-and-forty Palestinians are injured in Hebron in clashes with Israeli soldiers, who fire live bullets and tear gas.

23.3.97 Avigdor Kahalani, Israeli minister of Internal Security, and Colonel Jibril Rajoub, head of the Preventive Security Apparatus in the West Bank, meet to discuss security issues.

24.3.97 The Israeli police arrest 10,000 Palestinians for working in Israel during the past three months. Nine thousand are found without permits to enter or work in Israel.

26.3.97 According to a Peace Now report, more than 14,000 Jewish newcomers from the former Soviet Union live in West Bank and Gaza settlements. This is in contradiction to former Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Shamir's commitment not to move new immigrants to settlements.

30.3.97 Four fire bombs are hurled at the Israeli police station in Ras al-Amud in Jerusalem. Three bombs explode, causing some damage in a neighboring building.

30.3.97 A Palestinian woman is raped when 2 Israeli soldiers search her house in Surif, near Hebron. The incident is referred to the IDE The soldier accused of raping her is interrogated and his weapon is confiscated. The IDF confirms that "indecent acts" have taken place.

30.3.97 Thousands of Palestinians march in the funeral of Bir-Zeit student Abdallah Salah, killed the previous day in clashes with the Israeli army in the Ramallah district.
In this period in the Occupied Palestinian Territorief;, 4 Palestinians were killed by the Security Forces. Within the Green Line, 3 Israeli civilians were killed by Palestinians.

Above figures from B'Tselem