DevMode
2.10.99 Three prisoners of the Islamic Jihad movement escape from Jneid Prison in Nablus.
The three men are wanted by the Israeli security for their alleged involvement in armed attacks against Israelis.

2.10.99 Over 70 children in Gaza set fire to the United States flag and to Disney-labelled toys in protest against the controversial Israeli pavilion in Disney's millennium exhibition in Florida, depicting Jerusalem as "the heart of the Israeli people."

3.10.99 A secret meeting is held in Ramallah between Palestinian President Yasser Arafat and the head of the Israeli Internal Security, Ami Ayalon. The latter informed Arafat of expected attacks in Israel by the extremist Palestinian group, the Islamic Jihad, in commemoration of the fourth anniversary of the assassination of its former leader, Fathi Shiqaqi.

8.10.99 According to the Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharonot, the leaders of the United States, Israel, Jordan, Egypt and the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) conclude a secret agreement on security cooperation to combat terrorism, including systematic and comprehensive exchange of information.

9.10.99 The Jordanian ambassador in Israel, Omar al-Rifa'i, lodges a diplomatic protest to the Israeli Foreign Ministry over the incident in Hebron involving the Jordanian speaker of parliament, Abdul-Hadi Majali, and his entourage, who refused to be subjected to an Israeli search before entering the Ibrahimi Mosque. The Jordanians were also verbally and physically attacked by an angry group of Jewish settlers. The Israeli Foreign Ministry blamed lack of coordination between the Jordanian delegation and Israeli officials for the incident.

9.10.99 According to Palestinian Minister of Telecommunications, Imad Falouji, the United Nations has set the letters PS, referring to Palestine, as a special code for Internet users. Previously the code WG, for West Bank and Gaza, was proposed, but the Palestinian National Authority rejected it, insisting on a code for Palestine.

12.10.99 Judges from Ramallah, Bethlehem and Hebron begin a strike demanding "fundamental and serious reforms" in the judiciary system, especially the independence of the judiciary from the executive. President Yasser Arafat appointed a three-member ministerial committee to deal with the strikers.

13.10.99 The Israeli government and settlers' leaders in the West Bank reach an understanding to dismantle 12 nucleus settlements instead of 15. The leaders of the settlers welcomed the agreement, because it provides legitimacy to the settlements.

13.10.99 The Israeli Minister of Education, Yossi Sarid, calls on Israeli civil education teachers to teach their students the details of the 1956 Kufr Qassem massacre, in which 47 Palestinian Israelis were killed by Israeli soldiers for breaking a curfew of which they were unaware. Sarid stressed that pupils should draw their own conclusions.

13.10.99 The philatelic services in Israel will begin issuing a postage stamp in memory of King Hussein of Jordan starting next February. This will be the first Israeli stamp depicting the face of an Arab leader. The decision was approved by the Jordanian authorities.

15.10.99 One hundred and fifty-one prisoners are released from Israeli prisons in the second prisoner release stipulated by the Sharm al-Sheikh agreement.

17.10.99 Hundreds of Greek Orthodox Palestinian Christians demonstrate in front of the Church of the Nativity protesting land sale deals in Jerusalem between the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate and Israel.

22.10.99 The Peace Now movement condemns the Israeli government's decision to add 22 new housing units to the Neve Dekalim settlement in the Gaza Strip.

25.10.99 The safe passage between the Gaza Strip and the West Bank village of Tarqumia is inaugurated.

25.10.99 In a press release, the Israeli human-rights organization B'Tselem expresses concern over the appointment of former head of the Israeli GSS (General Secret Services) Carmi Gillon as director of the Peres Center for Peace, calling for a reconsideration of the decision. According to the statement, Gillon used and advocated torture in the interrogation of thousands of Palestinians.

27.10.99 According to the Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot, the office of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak is considering nominating Tel Aviv and Gaza to host the 2008 Olympic Games. Israeli representative to the International Olympic Committee, Alex Giladi, thought that Israel is not properly equipped for such an event, and 2012 is a more reasonable target date.

27.10.99 According to Peace Now, NIS 27 million have been allocated from the 2000 Israeli budget for the opening of bypass roads in the Palestinian territories, NIS 120 million for settlement expansion and NIS 216 million for the confiscation of Palestinian lands in the West Bank and Gaza.

27.10.99 The Seeds of Peace Center is inaugurated in French Hill in Jerusalem. The project includes 250 youth from Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Qatar, Oman, Tunisia, Palestine, Israel and Cyprus. The opening ceremony was attended by United States peace coordinator Dennis Ross, Israeli education minister Yossi Sarid and Palestinian Authority minister in charge of the Jerusalem file, Faisal Husseini.

2.11.99 Palestinian President Yasser Arafat meets with Israeli PM Ehud Barak and US President Bill Clinton in Oslo. The meeting is held to commemorate the fourth anniversary of the assassination of the late Israeli PM Yitzhak Rabin by a Jewish extremist. Rabin had partnered Arafat in the "peace of the brave."

7.11.99 During an Israeli cabinet meeting, Minister of Agriculture Haim Oron (Meretz) states that the expansion of 61 settlements is either currently underway or is planned for in the near future. In addition, 300 new housing units are being built in the Anatot settlement on lands from the village of Anata, east of Jerusalem.

8.11.99 The Palestinian-Israeli final-status talks officially open at the Grand Park Hotel in Ramallah after a delay of about two months. Minister of Culture and Information, Vasser Abed Rabbo, headed a seven-person Palestinian team to the talks, and his Israeli counterpart, Oded Eran, an eight-person team.

10.11.99 Israel has rejected 40 percent of 6,000 Palestinian applications to use the safe passage that runs between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Israeli security sources blame this on the large number of Gazan applicants that are already prohibited from entering Israel. Subsequently, Palestinian and Israeli officials met to seek a solution to the security problems.

14.11.99 An Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesperson announces that Israel will allow Jordanian trucks to enter the West Bank. Previously, for "security reasons," Jordanian trucks were unloaded at the border crossings and the merchandise reloaded onto other trucks on the other side. The decision will be implemented first in the West Bank and later in Gaza.

14.11.99 The Israeli High Court orders the removal of the shrine from Baruch Goldstein's grave, the Jewish settler from Kiryat Arba' responsible for the massacre in 1994 of 29 Palestinians in the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron.

15.11.99 According to an Israeli Peace Now report, since he took office in the summer, Israeli PM Ehud Barak's government has offered tenders for the construction of 2,703 housing units in settlements on Palestinian lands.

18.11.99 A German parliamentary delegation, accompanied by Palestinian National Authority (PNA) officials, is attacked by a group of Jewish settlers while touring Hebron.

18.11.99 A number of flower and strawberry growers in Gaza destroy their produce at the Erez crossing on the Gaza border with Israel to protest an Israeli decision banning them from using this crossing to transport their products out of the Gaza Strip.

20.11.99 Twelve Palestinians are injured by rubber-coated metal bullets fired by Israeli troops during clashes that erupted near the Beit EI settlement between Ramallah and Jerusalem. Hundreds of Palestinian students faced off against Israeli soldiers after marching in protest against the continued detention of Palestinians and Arabs in Israeli jails.

21.11.99 The Jordanian government officially expels four Hamas leaders to Qatar, banning the Palestinian opposition group's activities in Jordan. Khaled Mash'a!, Ibrahim Ghosheh, Izzat Rizeq and Sami Khater said that they were blindfolded and handcuffed and taken to the airport.

26.11.99 Israeli police forcibly remove 11 members of the Christian Peace Team (CPT) who set out to sell tomatoes in the Hebron market after it was reopened on November 1, according to the Sharm al-Sheikh memorandum. CPT is a group of US and Canadian citizens who have lived in Hebron since the 1994 Hebron massacre.

27.11.99 Twenty leading intellectual and political Palestinian figures come under heavy official criticism for signing an outspoken leaflet, harshly criticizing the PNA and accusing Palestinian President Arafat of having "opened the door to corruption." Within 24 hours, nearly half of the signatories were detained at police stations or placed under house arrest.

6.12.99 The Palestinian and Israeli economic teams meeting in Ramallah fail to reach an agreement on the economic part of the interim agreement, each accusing the other of changing the agenda and failing to honor former agreements.

8.12.99 United States presidential candidate George W. Bush promises to move the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on the day of his presidential inauguration, and to maintain Israel's security and strength.

16.12.99 One day after the opening of the Syrian-Israeli talks in Washington, US President Bill Clinton calls President Yasser Arafat to reassure him of the American commitment to push forward the peace process on the Palestinian track.

20.12.99 King Abdullah II of Jordan stresses the importance of the Palestinian track, reiterating his support to the Palestinians during Arafat's visit to Jordan. King Abdullah regards the Palestinian cause as the heart of the Arab-Israeli conflict, saying that there will not be peace without a just solution for Palestinians.

21.12.99 The Arab party Balad splits over Azmi Bishara's and Ahmad Tibi's disputes. Tibi now heads the Arab Movement for Renewal. Both it and Bishara's are one-man Knesset factions.

22.12.99 President Yasser Arafat and Israeli PM Ehud Barak hold top-level talks in Ramallah to explore ways in which progress can be achieved on the Palestinian-Israeli track. Barak assured Arafat the progress on the Syrian-Israeli track would not impact negatively on Palestinian-Israeli talks.

22.12.99 The Arab League will not send a representative to the Bethlehem millennium celebrations, in protest against Israeli policies in the Palestinian territories. Arab League Secretary General Ismat Abdul Majid sent a letter to President Arafat with an apology explaining that he will not attend the celebrations as long as Palestinian lands are under Israeli occupation.

22.12.99 According to Israeli government statistics, no less than 70 percent of children in East Jerusalem live below the poverty line. Sixty percent of Jerusalem's families and 38 percent of Palestinian families inside Israel are poor.

26.12.99 Speaking to journalists, Palestinian Legislative Council member Abbas Zaki says that an Israeli plan is pending for the confiscation of 5,000 dunums (1,250 acres) of land in Hebron. Recently Palestinian land was also reported seized in Nablus and Bethlehem.

10.1.00 Oded Eran, head of the Israeli peace negotiation team, walks out of a 90minute meeting after refuting the refugee document presented by the Palestinians.
"We presented our stance from a historical point of view and we have based our requests on UN Resolution 194," said chief Palestinian negotiator Yasser Abed Rabbo.

11.1.00 Knesset Member Yisrael Katz (Likud), along with 60 other co-signatories, submits a bill asking that a two-thirds or 80-member vote in favor be required to allow any return of Palestinian refugees to Israel.

12.1.00 Sixty cameras installed along the Old City of Jerusalem alleys will provide a detailed picture of what is going on in virtually every corner of the Old City. Israeli Internal Security Minister, Shlomo Ben-Ami, described the monitoring center as part of the national security initiative to cope with millennium tourists.

17.1.00 Arafat and Barak meet at a secret location in an endeavor to defuse the looming crisis between Palestinians and Israelis. The two agree to intensify talks in the upcoming days until a framework agreement is reached by February 13, the deadline set in the Sharm ai-Sheikh Accords.

19.1.00 The experienced American diplomat and lobbyist Edward Abington will be advising the Palestinian leadership on how to better approach its American counterparts.
Abington, a former US consul general in Jerusalem, has worked in the US State Department for 30 years.

26.1.00 According to the Israeli daily Ha'aretz, President Arafat has presented President Clinton with the Palestinian proposal for a final-status agreement. In the document, Palestinians are quoted as claiming the establishment of a Palestinian state within the 1967 borders and conceding the annexation to Israel of Jewish settlement blocs close to the Green Line.

2.2.00 The Israeli cabinet approves the redeployment map in 6.1 percent of the West Bank, without consultation with the PNA. The bulk of the redeployment, which is to be carried out on February 10, will be in the Hebron area. Limited areas around Nablus and Jenin will also be included.

3.2.00 President Arafat meets with PM Ehud Barak at the Erez crossing in a somber atmosphere, the result of lack of progress in the peace talks. In the meeting, attended by top PLO and Israeli officials, Barak said that the targeted date of February 13 will not be met and asked for a postponement.

9.2.00 The Palestine Liberation Organization's negotiations department claims that during the Barak government, tenders have been issued for 4,112 settlement housing units. An additional 2,700 housing units are under construction in Jabal Abu Ghneim (Har Homa) and 132 in Ras al-Amoud, pushing the total number of housing units being built in Jewish settlements to 6,944.

10.2.00 One Palestinian dies and another is critically wounded following the explosion of a bomb that two members of Hamas were allegedly preparing in Burqin, near Nablus.

15.2.00 The Palestine Liberation Organization and the Holy See, the sovereign authority of the Catholic Church, sign a diplomatic agreement that recognizes the juridical status of the Catholic Church in the Palestinian territories. The preamble to the accords calls for an "equitable solution to the question of Jerusalem, based on international resolutions" that are essential to reaching "a just and lasting peace in the Middle East." The agreement has angered the Israeli government, which defined it as "interference in the negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians."

15.2.00 The Israeli organization Peace Now announces that only a small percentage of land claimed for Israeli settlement purposes is actually being utilized. Through satellite photographs, Peace Now has calculated that 78,786 dunums (or 315,000 acres) of the West Bank is allocated for settlement purposes. The widest unused plot of land belongs to the largest settlement, Ma'ale Adumim, a few kilometers northeast of Jerusalem.

16.2.00 During his three-day visit to Israel and the Palestinian areas, German President Johannes Rau asks, at the entrance to the Knesset, for forgiveness for the Holocaust. Rau was in the region to inaugurate the Jenin industrial zone, which the German government will help to fund.

17.2.00 Prominent Palestinian academic Walid Khalidi announces at a Washington, D.C press conference that the land where the United States intends to build a new embassy in Jerusalem is the property of the Islamic Waqf and 19 Palestinian families. The heirs to the land, which was confiscated by the Israeli government after the 1948 war, now hold American, Canadian, European and other nationalities. The United States leased the land from Israel in a 1989 agreement that bars any third-party claims to the land.

23.2.00 The Israeli Shin Bet has dropped its demand that the Knesset pass a draft bill legalizing torture in light of last year's Supreme Court decision that certain methods of pressure in interrogation were illegal. The Shin Bet was promised money by the Israeli prime minister for the development of its facilities and staff, and protection from prosecution for its offending interrogators.

23.2.00 According to the Israeli daily Ha'aretz, Washington blames Israel for the stalemate in talks with the Palestinians, condemning Israeli inflexibility and reluctance to accept compromises.

23.2.00 Knesset Member Husnieh Jabara proposes a law requiring food companies to put Arabic labels on their products, for both economic and health reasons. The proposal was vehemently opposed by the right wing of the Israeli Knesset, and accepted by the Israeli minister of trade and industry.

26.2.00 Students at Birzeit University stone French PM Lionel Jospin during his visit to the university, in an angry response to statements made earlier by Jospin depicting Hizbullah resistance against Israel as "acts of terrorism." Arafat ordered the arrest of the assailants, threatening to expel them from the university and from other institutions of higher education.

27.2.00 French President Jacques Chirac issues a statement against Jospin, stressing that the good reputation France has gained in the Middle East is based on its neutral position.

28.2.00 Palestinians and Israelis come together to discuss cooperation for the protection of intellectual property rights. Ministers of justice of both sides agree that the way to guarantee intellectual property rights against piracy is to make piracy a crime. Israel is considered the No.1 country in the world where pirated computer programs and other related products such as CDs and DVDs are found.

29.2.00 PNA officials and diplomats will not meet any European officials refusing to hold meetings in East Jerusalem. Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, Nabil Sha'ath, states that the decision was taken in response to repeated Israeli attempts to prevent European officials from meeting with Palestinians. Israel has tried to prevent Romano Prodi, president of the European Commission, from visiting East Jerusalem and meeting with PLO Executive Committee member Faisal Husseini.

2.3.00 Soldiers and members of the Israeli security forces storm the village of Taybeh, inside the Green Line, surrounding a house where members of a Hamas cell were preparing explosive devices. In the exchange of fire, three Palestinians are killed and a fourth is buried under the rubble of the house.

7.3.00 Israeli PM Ehud Barak meets with President Arafat in Tel Aviv in an attempt to revive the peace process. Talks had been frozen since the two last met on February 3.
According to Israeli sources, Barak presented the Palestinian leader a" goodwill" proposal including the release of prisoners, the opening of the northern safe passage and the transfer by Israel of some monies owed to the PNA. Israel also proposed reaching a framework agreement by May, the implementation of the third redeployment by June 30 and the achievement of a final agreement by September 13.

7.3.00 Israeli Minister of Education Yossi Sarid's proposal to include Palestinian poets like Mahmoud Darwish on the Israeli high school reading list is met with opposition from some members of the ministry's curriculum committee. PM Barak commented that "conditions are not yet ripe for teaching Darwish in schools."

7.3.00 Palestinian Minister of Social Affairs Intisar al-Wazir submits her resignation to President Arafat in protest against the $300,000 budgetary cut in the funds for the needy.
Arafat rejected her resignation and is said to be reconsidering her demands.

8.3.00 The Israeli parole board decides to release Israeli settler Yoram Skolnik after seven years in prison for killing a Palestinian whose hands were bound. Skolnik had originally received a life sentence after the 1993 killing. Later, the Supreme Court rejected the decision and Skolnik will remain in jail.

8.3.00 In a meeting between Jordanian King Abdullah II, Turkish President Suleiman Demirel and Turkish businessmen, the Turkish president declares that the PNA, Jordan and Israel are preparing a joint project to purchase water from Turkey.

8.3.00 United States special envoy Dennis Ross announces the resumption of the Palestinian and Israeli talks after the second meeting between President Arafat and PM Barak within a 24-hour interval. The first meeting was held in Israel and the second was convened at the Grand Park Hotel in Ramallah. The two sides have agreed to begin intensive talks in Washington.

9.3.00 A one-day trilateral summit in Sharm al-Sheikh attended by Palestinian President Yasser Arafat, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Israeli PM Ehud Barak ends in "hope that Israel would honor its commitments."

10.3.00 The Israeli military court in Adoraim sentences Hamas member Amin Tloul, from the town of Thahiriya, Hebron, to life for participating in two military operations south of Mt. Hebron over a year ago.

11.3.00 Israel expresses its shock over the recent Arab League meeting of foreign ministers held in Beirut, with Israeli Foreign Minister David Levy accusing the leaders of adopting a hard line. The meeting called on Arab countries to freeze normalization with Israel in response to Israel's raids on Lebanon, and to reconsider participating in multilateral talks with Israel until real progress towards peace is achieved.

21.3.00 Pope John Paul II begins his historic visit to the Holy Land. Arriving in Amman on March 20, the pope was met by enthusiastic crowds in Jordan, and later in Israel and the West Bank.

23.3.00 A conference in Jerusalem's Notre Dame Center is held between Pope John Paul II and leaders of the three monotheistic religions. The conference, scheduled as a part of Pope John Paul II's visit to the Holy Land, attempted to promote dialogue and understanding among the leaders of the three religions, including on the status of Jerusalem.

29.3.00 Shulamit Aloni, former head of the Israeli left-wing Meretz party, along with dozens of Israeli figures, signs a petition supporting the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homeland, saying that peace for Palestinians also means rectification, although partial, for the oppression they suffered. The petition also calls for the establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, including East Jerusalem, alongside the State of Israel.

29.3.00 The Israeli magistrates court in Afuleh rules that Israel must pay NIS 670,000 or $167,500 to five Palestinians from Qabatia in the northern West Bank as compensation for beatings they received by Israeli soldiers at the beginning of the Intifada.

31.3.00 In a letter to the 450 Hebron Jewish settlers, PM Ehud Barak voices his support for their presence, saying the right of Jews to live in Hebron "protected and safe from harm" is not open to question. The letter came on the 32nd anniversary of Jews settling in Hebron. Palestinian and Israeli peace activists were outraged by the letter, insisting that the Hebron settlers must leave the city in a final peace treaty.

In this period, in the occupied territories, six Palestinians were killed by Israeli security forces and two Israeli civilians by Palestinians. Four Palestinians were killed by Israeli security forces within the Green Line.

Above figures from B'Tselem


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