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  • May 27, 2015

    In Gaza, Hamas security forces arrest 3 Islamic Jihad mbrs. allegedly connected to the rocket fire that targeted Israel on 5/26. Off the coast nr. Jabaliya, Israeli naval forces open fire on...

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  • February 15, 2015

    In the Gaza Strip, unknown assailants set fire to the cars of senior Hamas and Fatah officials in Jabaliya r.c. and Nussayrat r.c., respectively. Off the coast nr. Bayt Lahiya, Israeli naval...

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  • June 4, 2014

    In the West Bank, IDF troops violently disperse a protest nr. Ofer detention center outside Ramallah in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners and administrative detainees on hunger strike,...

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  • February 1, 2014

    In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces open fire on open areas close to the n. border fence, causing no injuries. Separately, off the coast nr. Bayt Lahiya, Israeli naval vessels open fire at...

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  • September 27, 2013

    In the Gaza Strip, Palestinians fire 1 rocket into s. Israel which causes no damage or injuries. In addition, Israeli troops fire upon a demonstration that approaches the border fence, as part of...

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  • November 8, 2012

    PA pres. Abbas circulates a draft resolution to UN member states, ahead of an expected vote later in the month on upgrading the Palestinian status to that of non-member observer state. The draft...

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  • July 16, 2012

    U.S. secy. of state Clinton meets with Israeli leaders (including PM Netanyahu, Pres. Peres, DM Barak, FM Avigdor Lieberman) and Quartet special envoy Tony Blair in Jerusalem and with PA PM Salam...

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  • February 11, 2012

    PA Pres. Abbas meets with Quartet special envoy Blair in Jordan before leaving for Cairo to meet with Arab League FMs. Blair urges Abbas to continue low-level talks on borders; says he has urged...

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  • November 23, 2011

    IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire warning shots at Palestinians hunting for birds in the fmr. Nisanit settlement area nr. the Erez crossing, forcing them to flee. For the 3d straight day,...

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  • September 14, 2011

    Ross and Hale return to the region 9/14–15 to meet with Netanyahu and Abbas. They propose that the Palestinians drop their UN bid in exchange for “some attributes of a state” (e.g., getting aid...

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  • September 7, 2011

    Ross and Hale meet with Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erakat. Quartet special envoy Tony Blair is also in the region. (Bloomberg 9/6; NYT, WP 9/9)

    The IDF makes a predawn raid into...

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  • February 4, 2011

    In advance of a major Quartet meeting on 2/5, Netanyahu announces that Israel has drawn up a package of steps (under discussion with Quartet special envoy Tony Blair for months) to encourage...

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  • June 20, 2010

    Under continued pressure fr. Obama and Quartet special envoy Tony Blair, Israel’s security cabinet agrees in principle to switch fr. a blanket ban on entry of goods to Gaza to a prohibited list of...

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  • November 10, 2009

    In the West Bank, the IDF opens the Jalama crossing connecting Israel’s Gilboa region with Jenin in the West Bank to Palestinian vehicular traffic for the first time in 8 yrs. (the crossing...

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  • November 11, 2008

    Israel agrees to a request by Quartet special envoy Tony Blair to resume fuel shipments to Gaza but allows industrial fuel for Gaza power plant to flow for only 4 hrs. before cutting off the...

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  • March 1, 2005

    Israeli security officials say they now believe that a renegade Islamic Jihad cell fr. Jenin, commanded fr. outside the territories, was responsible for the 2/25 bombing. IDF severely beats a...

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  • October 15, 2001

    The IDF withdraws fr. Palestinian areas of Hebron, vandalizing several homes, cars before leaving. The National Union and Yisrael Beitunia bloc (led by Tourism M Rehavam Ze'evi, Infrastructure M...

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  • November 8, 2000

    Israeli-Palestinian clashes intensify, especially in Gaza. 4 Palestinians are killed by IDF troops, 2 others die of injuries received earlier, and 1 Israeli customs official is ambushed and killed...

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  • August 10, 2000

    PNC speaker Salim Za'nun announces that Arafat will convene the PLOCC in early 9/00 to ask mbrs. approval to delay a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state. Za'nun says Arafat took the...

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  • July 5, 2000

    Pres. Clinton announces that Arafat, Barak will come to Camp David, MD, on 7/11 to hold 3-way summit on final status issues. Talks are expected to end before Clinton leaves for a G-8 mtg. in Japan...

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  • November 9, 1999

    Barak, Arafat hold generally positive mtg. on the sidelines of the Socialist International congress in Paris, but Barak sparks controversy afterward by saying that Israel no longer sees UN Res....

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  • July 20, 1999

    Pres. Clinton phones Syrian pres. Asad to brief him on his talks with Israeli PM Barak, encourages Syria to resume negotiations with Israel. (MM 7/20; WT 7/21)

    Meeting on the peace process...

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  • March 11, 1999

    In London, Arafat meets with British PM Tony Blair. (SA 3/11 in WNC 3/12; VOA 3/18 in WNC 3/19; PR 3/19)

    For 2d day in Gaza, PA police clash with 100s of...

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  • January 14, 1999

    King Hussein meets with British PM Blair in London, says that he will return to Jordan on 1/19. (JTV 1/14 in WNC 1/20)

    Israeli DM Mordechai, PA negotiator Abbas discuss keeping security...

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  • November 27, 1998

    PM Netanyahu cuts short a trip to Britain to brief PM Tony Blair on the Wye agmt., cancels trip to Spain as a result of death of 2 IDF soldiers s. Lebanon 11/26; says Lebanese government is "...

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  • April 22, 1998

    In Cairo, Egypt's Pres. Mubarak, PA's Arafat discuss peace process, British PM Blair's tour, upcoming visit by U.S. special envoy Ross. (MENA 4/22 in WNC 4/28)

    In...

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  • April 20, 1998

    In Gaza, British PM Blair, Arafat sign security cooperation agmt. After mtg. Blair announces that Arafat, Netanyahu have agreed to meet separately with him, U.S. Secy. of State...

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  • February 19, 1998

    In last effort to achieve a "diplomatic solution" preventing a U.S. airstrike, UN Secy. Gen. Annan leaves for Baghdad for weekend of talks with Iraqi officials. U.S. warns that it...

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  • January 26, 1998

    Following phone conversation with Secy. of State Albright 1/25 regarding her talks with Arafat, PM Netanyahu tells coalition mbrs. that he now supports U.S. proposal for staged FRD based on the...

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In Gaza, Hamas security forces arrest 3 Islamic Jihad mbrs. allegedly connected to the rocket fire that targeted Israel on 5/26. Off the coast nr. Jabaliya, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, IDF troops conduct late-night house searches and raids in Jenin, 1 village nr. Tulkarm, and al- ‘Arub r.c. nr. Hebron, arresting 2 Palestinians. Israeli settlers take over 10 dunams (around 2.5 acres) of land nr. Nablus, planting grapevines on the land. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces demolish a newly built home in Silwan; arrest 1 Palestinian on a late-night raid in Bayt Hanina. (HA, MNA, WAFA, YA 5/27; MNA, PCHR 5/28; PCHR 6/4; NYT 8/4)

The Union of European Football Associations’ (UEFA) exec. comm. agrees to oppose the Palestinians’ bid to suspend Israel from FIFA via a res. at the body’s 5/29 congress. Meanwhile, PFA chair Jibril Rajoub says, “The vote is still on the agenda,” following talks with FIFA pres. Sepp Blatter. (HA 5/27; JP, MNA, WAFA 5/28)

Middle East Quartet envoy Tony Blair announces his resignation after 8 years in the post. He will step down next mo., but continue working with the U.S., EU, and others to support a 2-state solution. (AFP, statement from Blair’s office 5/27)

In the Gaza Strip, unknown assailants set fire to the cars of senior Hamas and Fatah officials in Jabaliya r.c. and Nussayrat r.c., respectively. Off the coast nr. Bayt Lahiya, Israeli naval forces open fire on Palestinian fishing boats, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids nr. Jenin and Hebron; patrols nr. Hebron, Tulkarm, Jericho, Ramallah, and Jenin. Israeli forces accelerate their efforts at leveling land outside Dayr Istya nr. Salfit, clearing the area for a major settlement expansion. They also begin expanding a settlement nr. Bethlehem. In East Jerusalem, Israeli forces arrest a Palestinian woman nr. the Old City. (MNA, WAFA 2/15; PCHR 2/19)

In Gaza, Middle East Quartet envoy Tony Blair calls for international donors to fulfil their pledges and deliver the funds necessary for the reconstruction of the Strip. He also calls on Israel to make a “radical change of approach” and to lift restrictions on Gaza. While in Gaza, Blair meets with PA unity govt. ministers and UN officials. (AP, REU, TOI 2/15; MNA 2/18; HA 2/19)

In the West Bank, IDF troops violently disperse a protest nr. Ofer detention center outside Ramallah in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners and administrative detainees on hunger strike, shooting rubber-coated metal bullets and wounding 3. The IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in 2 villages nr. Hebron and 1 village nr. Jenin at night; patrols in 3 villages nr. Jericho, and 1 village each nr. Hebron and Ramallah at night. Jewish settlers set fire to dozens of olive trees in 2 Palestinian villages nr. Nablus. (MNA 6/4; PCHR 6/5)

Secy. of State Kerry says that the U.S. will work with the new Palestinian unity govt. “as is appropriate” and will monitor it “very closely” to make sure it upholds its commitments to cooperate with Israel and the peace process. Meanwhile, Quartet Rep. Tony Blair calls PA PM Hamdallah to congratulate him on the formation of the govt. Pres. Abbas officially informs the head of the central elections commission to start preparing for presidential and legislative elections in 6 mos. Hamdallah urges the international community to pressure Israel to allow elections in East Jerusalem. (MNA, YA, WAFA 6/4)

Syria’s parliament speaker Jihad Lahan announces that Pres. al-Asad won 88.7% of the vote, winning him another 7-year term. Al-Nouri and Hajjar won 4.3% and 3.2%, respectively. Voter turnout was recorded at 73.42%. (AP, REU 6/4)

In a statement, the White House urges Egyptian pres.-elect al-Sisi to adopt democratic reforms and expresses concern about the “restrictive political environment.” (AP 6/4)

In the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces open fire on open areas close to the n. border fence, causing no injuries. Separately, off the coast nr. Bayt Lahiya, Israeli naval vessels open fire at Palestinian fishermen, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts house searches and arrest raids in Hebron and in al-‘Arub r.c. and 2 villages nearby at night; patrols in Hebron in the afternoon, and in 2 villages nr. Jenin at night. (PCHR 2/6)

U.S. Secy. of State Kerry tells the Munich Security Conference that any alternatives to a comprehensive Israeli-Palestinian agreement are unacceptable. Kerry also says that failure is risky for Israel, and observes that “people are talking about boycott.” In response, Israeli economy and trade minister Naftali Bennett says that Israel would never submit to economic threats. Meanwhile, on the sidelines of the conference, officials from the Quartet of the UN, U.S., Russia and the EU meet to discuss Kerry’s efforts. The meeting is chaired by EU foreign affairs chief Ashton, and attendees include Tony Blair and UN Secy.-Gen. Ban Ki-moon. (INN, REU, YA 1/2)

A suicide car bomber kills 4 people at a petrol station in Hermel, a Hizballah stronghold on the n. Lebanese border with Syria. (AFP, REU 1/2)

In the Gaza Strip, Palestinians fire 1 rocket into s. Israel which causes no damage or injuries. In addition, Israeli troops fire upon a demonstration that approaches the border fence, as part of protests in solidarity with Palestinians facing restricted access to al-Aqsa mosque, injuring 5. In the West Bank, hundreds of Palestinians clash with Israeli troops as part of demonstrations marking the 13th anniversary of the 2d intifada. In al-Fawar r.c. nr. Hebron, the IDF opens fire with rubber-coated metal bullets, hitting a child and blinding her in 1 eye. In c. Hebron, more than 200 Palestinians throw stones at Israeli soldiers, who injure 23 Palestinians with live ammunition and rubber-coated metal bullets. There is also a protest outside Ofer prison nr. Ramallah, and in the Nablus area at Hawara checkpoint (where 1 person is injured with a rubber-coated metal bullet to the head). The IDF also conducts house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Jenin and Hebron at night; patrols in 1 village nr. Ramallah in the morning, and in 2 villages nr. Ramallah at night. Jewish settlers set fire to 2 Palestinian vehicles nr. Beit El settlement n. of Ramallah. In East Jerusalem, Palestinian youths smash a hole in the separation wall in Abu Dis before Israeli forces arrive and violently disperse them. Outside the Old City nr. Damascus Gate, Palestinians throw stones at police officers. (JP, MNA, NYT 9/28; PCHR 10/3)

Diplomats from the Quartet meet on the sidelines of the UNGA in New York and issue a statement calling on both sides to take “every possible step” to make the current negotiations a success. Envoy Tony Blair says that the meeting heard of initiatives accompanying peace talks to boost the Palestinian economy. The Quartet reps. were also joined by Tzipi Livni and Saeb Erakat in their capacities as lead negotiators for their respective sides. (AP, JP 9/28)

The UNSC votes unanimously for a res. that will see Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile secured and destroyed. Kerry says that the res. shows diplomacy is able to “peacefully defuse the worst weapons of war,” adding that destruction of the arsenal will begin in 11/2013 and run through to mid-2014. The council also backs a road map for political transition in Syria, and calls for an international conference to be convened “as soon as possible.” (AP, ToI, REU 9/27)

U.S. Pres. Obama and Iranian pres. Ruhani speak on the telephone, the highest-level contact between the 2 countries since 1979. Obama, in comments at the White House, and Ruhani, via a Twitter account, said that both are committed to solving the nuclear issue. (REU 9/27)

PA pres. Abbas circulates a draft resolution to UN member states, ahead of an expected vote later in the month on upgrading the Palestinian status to that of non-member observer state. The draft text includes the Palestinian commitment to the two-state solution. An anonymous Palestinian official says that Arab League foreign ministers will discuss the draft and the timing of the vote in a meeting in Cairo on 11/12–13. Israeli FM Lieberman warns of ‘‘far-reaching implications’’ to the UN bid, but Palestinian officials respond with their own threats, such as cancelling the 1994 Paris Protocol, should Israel impose sanctions on the PA after the vote. In meetings with Quartet envoy Tony Blair and the U.S. and French consuls, PLO chief negotiator Saeb Erakat says the UN bid does not contradict the two-state solution. (AP, REU 11/8; JP, MNA 11/9)

The IDF makes a brief incursion into the Gaza Strip nr. Khan Yunis, where troops are engaged by armed PRC mbrs.; the IDF fatally shoots a Palestinian boy during the gun battle. In response, IQB mbrs. detonate a bomb near the border fence, damaging an IDF jeep and wounding 1 soldier. In the West Bank, the IDF uproots trees on land belonging to Nahalin village nr. Bethlehem; patrols in 2 villages nr. Ramallah, 2 villages nr. Qalqilya, and 4 villages nr. Jenin in the morning; patrols in 1 village nr. Qalqilya, 1 nr. Jenin, and 1 nr. Ramallah (firing rubber bullets and tear gas at stone-throwing Palestinians) at night; conducts late-night house searches and arrest raids in 1 village nr. Ramallah. (MNA, REU, YA 11/8; MNA 11/9; PCHR 11/14)

Three mortar shells fired from inside Syria land inside the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, causing no injuries. (HA 11/8)

U.S. secy. of state Clinton meets with Israeli leaders (including PM Netanyahu, Pres. Peres, DM Barak, FM Avigdor Lieberman) and Quartet special envoy Tony Blair in Jerusalem and with PA PM Salam Fayyad in Ramallah. Though the main purpose of her visit is to discuss Iran, Syria, and other regional changes brought by the Arab Spring, she tells the Israeli and Palestinian sides that they must resume peace talks soon and avoid all unilateral actions. She emphasizes that while the international community is ready to offer ample support for a return to negotiations, the hard work must be done by the parties themselves. (WP 7/17)

Israel allows 40 Palestinian prisoners held in its Ramon prison to receive visits from family members from Gaza, marking the 1st time Israel has allowed family visits for Gazan prisoners since Hamas seized control of the Strip in 6/2007. Unidentified Palestinians fire 1 Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF conducts evening arrest raids, house searches nr. Qalqilya; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Jenin; and conducts late-night patrols in al-Nabi Salih. (TOI 7/16; WP 7/17; PCHR 7/19; OCHA 7/20)

Christians United for Israel (CUFI) opens its 7th annual conference in Washington. At least 5,600 participants attend. Organizers note that CUFI now has 1.1 m. members, 754,000 Facebook fans, and 96 college chapters. The conference theme is ‘‘Defend America; Vote Israel.’’ CUFI founder James Hagee focuses on the importance of Christian Zionism and supporting Israel as part of ‘‘living out God’s mandate.’’ Other speakers include Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT), fmr. White House spokesman Ari Fleischer, Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations head Malcolm Hoenlein, and Zionist Organization of America pres. Morton Klein. The speakers focus on Iran, U.S.-Israel security cooperation, and halting Palestinian incitement. (WJW 7/19)

PA Pres. Abbas meets with Quartet special envoy Blair in Jordan before leaving for Cairo to meet with Arab League FMs. Blair urges Abbas to continue low-level talks on borders; says he has urged Israel to make goodwill gestures to revive talks, including easing security restrictions in the West Bank and releasing prisoners. (UPI, WAFA 2/11; YA 2/12)

Unidentified Palestinians fire a Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In response, Israeli warplanes make 4 late-night air strikes on s. Gaza, targeting an open area nr. al-Shuka and 3 Palestinian homes in Gaza City, al-Qarara, and Rafah (suspected weapons depots and entrances to smuggling tunnels), killing 1 Palestinian civilian, wounding another, and causing heavy damage. The IDF patrols in Tulkarm and 2 villages nr. Jenin in the morning; patrols in another 2 villages nr. Jenin in the afternoon (in 1 instance firing tear gas and stun grenades at stone-throwing youths who confront them); conducts late-night patrols in 1 village each nr. Jenin, Jericho, Qalqilya, Ramallah, and Tulkarm; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Qalqilya and Ramallah. Palestinian students at Birzeit University hold a nonviolent march to Israel’s Ofer prison nr. Ramallah to show support for hunger-striking Islamic Jihad prisoner Khader Adnan; IDF troops outside the prison fire rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, stun grenades at the protesters who reply with stones; 4 journalists and several protesters are lightly injured. Jewish settlers fr. Susia settlement in Hebron attack 6 Palestinians planting almond trees on a 20-d. plot nearby (moderately injuring them) and uproot the newly planted seedlings; the IDF observes but does not intervene. (JP 2/11, 2/12; PCHR 2/16; OCHA 2/17)

IDF troops on the n. Gaza border fire warning shots at Palestinians hunting for birds in the fmr. Nisanit settlement area nr. the Erez crossing, forcing them to flee. For the 3d straight day, Israeli naval vessels fire at Palestinian fishing boats off the s. Gaza coast, forcing them to return to shore. Late at night, IDF troops on the n. Gaza border make a brief incursion into areas n. of Bayt Lahiya, searching the area and opening fire, but causing no reported damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF escorts Jewish settlers into Nablus late at night to pray at Joseph’s Tomb, raiding several Palestinian homes. (PCHR 11/24; PCHR 12/1; OCHA 12/2)

The PA warns that unless Israel releases VAT taxes (suspended on 11/1/11 in violation of the 1994 Oslo Accord), it will be unable to pay civil servants salaries on 12/1 (affecting around one-third of Palestinians) and PA services would likely be disrupted. PA PM Salam alFayyad states: “With each passing day, the [PA] becomes weaker, and it is fast approaching the day when it becomes completely incapacitated.” The UN, U.S., and Quartet have each contacted Israeli PM Netanyahu in recent days to urge him to restore the transfers, with Quartet special envoy Tony Blair stating today: “Only those who oppose peace and Israeli-Palestinian cooperation benefit from the withholding of PA funds.” A Netanyahu aide says that if the PA pledges not to pursue membership in any more UN organizations and backs off planned reconciliation talks with Hamas, Israel would probably restore the transfers, saying, “The idea is to influence Palestinian decision making.” (NYT 11/24; WP 11/28)

Smugglers attempting to sneak into Israel fr. Egypt clash with Egyptian border police inside Egyptian territory (killing 2 border police) and then cross into Israel where they exchange fire with IDF soldiers (causing no reported injuries) before fleeing back into Egypt and escaping. (WP 12/3)

Ross and Hale return to the region 9/14–15 to meet with Netanyahu and Abbas. They propose that the Palestinians drop their UN bid in exchange for “some attributes of a state” (e.g., getting aid directly from the World Bank, which gives only to states) or for restarting talks based on 1967 lines but without a settlement freeze (already rejected by Abbas as insufficient). Separately, EU foreign policy chief Ashton and Quartet special envoy Blair suggest that the Palestinians drop their bid in exchange for a Quartet statement outlining a return to peace talks and a UNGA res. endorsing the idea of Palestinian statehood without granting the status of a state. Abbas rejects these as too little too late. (NYT 9/14; NYT, WP 9/16)

The IDF cuts down 135 olive trees in Dayr Istya village nr. Salfit, saying they were planted on state land; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in al-Bireh (raiding the home of Hamas-affiliated PC mbr. Fadil Hamdan, arresting him) and Nablus; conducts late-night patrols in 1 village nr. Jenin. (PCHR 9/15, 9/22; OCHA 9/23)

Ross and Hale meet with Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erakat. Quartet special envoy Tony Blair is also in the region. (Bloomberg 9/6; NYT, WP 9/9)

The IDF makes a predawn raid into Tulkarm r.c., arresting 1 Palestinian; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches nr. Jenin, Qalqilya; conducts late-night patrols in Jericho. Militant Jewish settlers vandalize IDF base nr. Ramallah, damaging 13 vehicles and breaking windows in apparent retaliation for the 9/5 razing of structures at Migron outpost. (PCHR, WP 9/8; PCHR 9/15; OCHA 9/16)

In advance of a major Quartet meeting on 2/5, Netanyahu announces that Israel has drawn up a package of steps (under discussion with Quartet special envoy Tony Blair for months) to encourage infrastructure development and economic growth in the West Bank, Gaza, and Arab areas of East Jerusalem in effort to “enhance stability” by improving the Palestinian quality of life. He stresses, however, that the package has not yet been offered to the PA. (NYT 2/5; OCHA 2/11)

Unidentified Palestinians fire a Qassam rocket fr. Gaza into Israel, causing no damage or injuries. In the West Bank, the IDF patrols in 2 villages nr. Jenin and conducts arrest raids nr. Salfit. Palestinians (accompanied by Israeli and international activists in some areas) hold weekly nonviolent demonstrations against the separation wall, land confiscations, and settlement expansion in Bil‘in, Ni‘lin, and Dayr Nizam/Nabi Salih. IDF soldiers fire rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades at the protesters; 2 Palestinians (including 1 journalist) are injured, and 4 unidentified activists are arrested. (HA 2/4; PCHR 2/10; OCHA 2/11)

Despite 2 days of violent clashes initiated by pro-Mubarak elements (at least 8 Egyptians killed and more than 800 injured), massive crowds (100,000s of Egyptians) answer the call to turn out after midday Friday prayers to demand for Mubarak’s immediate removal. The army redeploys around Tahrir Square to create buffers separating pro- and anti-Mubarak demonstrators to reduce the chance of violent clashes. Though anticipated as the “Day of Departure” for Mubarak, he does not step aside. The U.S. calls on opposition figures and leaders of the military and society to step forward and bless, if not join, talks between the government and opposition parties. Opposition figures say that while they see “encouraging signs” that Mubarak is seeking a face-saving way to step down, they will not negotiate about a transition until Mubarak has gone. (NYT, WP, WT 2/5)

Under continued pressure fr. Obama and Quartet special envoy Tony Blair, Israel’s security cabinet agrees in principle to switch fr. a blanket ban on entry of goods to Gaza to a prohibited list of items considered “weapons and war-supporting materiel” and to allow “a significantly greater volume of goods” into the Strip. The easing would affect overland transportation only. The naval blockade and all restrictions on exports and the entry and exit of individuals remain. Separately, the U.S. and Israel announce that the Obama-Netanyahu meeting originally set for 6/1 will be held at the White House on 7/6. In addition, Mitchell, who has just returned fr. meetings with the Palestinian (6/18) and Israeli (6/19) peace teams, reports that the sides are ready to consider renewing proximity talks. (NYT, WP 6/21; WP 6/23; JPI 7/9)

The IDF makes a brief incursion into the no-go zone in n. Gaza to investigate a heavy explosion, searching the area and pulling back into Israel without incident. In the West Bank, the IDF fires rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas at Palestinians staging a nonviolent demonstration against the separation wall nr. Bethlehem, also violently beating 3 Palestinian cameramen for Palestinian and foreign news outlets; conducts synchronized late-night patrols in villages w. of Jenin, making no arrests. Israeli police in Jerusalem seal the Ilaf Association for Education Support, which provides student loans for some 160 college students, for allegedly hosting Hamas meetings and thereby supporting a “terrorist organization.” (PCHR 6/24; OCHA 6/25)

In the West Bank, the IDF opens the Jalama crossing connecting Israel’s Gilboa region with Jenin in the West Bank to Palestinian vehicular traffic for the first time in 8 yrs. (the crossing remains closed to Israeli Jews); Quartet envoy Tony Blair attends the opening ceremony. The IDF also conducts late-night raids, house searches nr. Nablus and Jerusalem, arresting 11 Palestinians (including 5 teenagers). Jewish settlers fr. Kiryat Arba throw stones, empty bottles at Palestinians and their homes in the Wadi al-Nasara neighborhood of Hebron; the IDF observes but does not intervene. Also in Hebron, 3 Jewish settlers fr. the unauthorized settlement outpost of Ramat Yishai beat 2 Palestinian teenagers. (NYT 11/11; OCHA, PCHR 11/12; JPI 11/19)

Israel agrees to a request by Quartet special envoy Tony Blair to resume fuel shipments to Gaza but allows industrial fuel for Gaza power plant to flow for only 4 hrs. before cutting off the supply once again. Meanwhile, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) warns that it will be forced to halt food distribution to 750,000 refugees on 11/14 for lack of stocks unless Israel unseals Gaza’s borders. IDF troops on the s. Gaza border fire on Palestinian farmers working their fields nr. the border fence, forcing them to flee. In the West Bank, the IDF sends troops into al-Araqa nr. Jenin overnight, setting up checkpoints and conducting ID checks; fires on Palestinians in Hebron holding a rally to commemorate the 4th anniversary of PLO head Yasir Arafat’s death, wounding 4 Palestinians; sends undercover units into Jenin r.c. in a car with Palestinian license plates to arrest a wanted Palestinian; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in and around Jenin town and r.c., in Nablus, nr. Bethlehem. (JAZ, JP, WP 11/11; WT 11/12; OCHA 11/12; PCHR 11/13)

The Israeli cabinet discusses a proposal by Justice M Daniel Friedmann and Vice PM Haim Ramon to use heavy artillery to retaliate against Palestinian rocket fire fr. Gaza, recommending that the IDF notify civilians to evacuate villages that have become “launching pads for . . . terror groups” and then “raze the villages with artillery”; no decision is taken. (JP 11/11)

Israeli security officials say they now believe that a renegade Islamic Jihad cell fr. Jenin, commanded fr. outside the territories, was responsible for the 2/25 bombing. IDF severely beats a Palestinian at a checkpoint nr. Hebron; demolishes 10 shops built without permits in Bardala, ‘Ayn al-Bayda; blows up a workshop in al-Yamun nr. Jenin that it claimed was a Hamas weapons factory; issues military orders for the demolition of 1 Palestinian home, 3 wells in Wadi Fukin nr. Bethlehem; conducts arrest raids, house searches in Nablus, nr. Tulkarm. Jewish settlers fr. Ma’ale Shomron nr. Qalqilya beat a Palestinian. PA Interior M Nasr Yusuf takes part in a ceremony in Jenin r.c., marking the opening of a new security headquarters there; al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade (AMB) mbrs. fire in the air to protest that the PA security services did not coordinate Yusuf’s visit with them; Yusuf, local AMB head Zakariyya Zubaydi meet at the Jenin headquarters to discuss the issue, with Yusuf saying such incidents would not be tolerated. The PA says it has arrested a total of 6 Palestinians in connection with the 2/25 Tel Aviv bombing. (MM, VOI, VOP 3/1; PR 3/2; JAZ, VOP 3/2 in WNC 3/3; PCHR 3/3; NYT 3/6)

British PM Tony Blair hosts a 1-day conference aimed at encouraging and supporting PA reform, strengthening PA governance in advance of Israel’s disengagement fr. Gaza in mid-7/05. The U.S., EU, and World Bank agree to lead an international effort to coordinate “institutional renewal” in the Palestinian territories. (AFP, AP, BBC, MM 3/1, ITAR-TASS, JAZ, MENA, VOP 3/1; Independent, MM, NYT, PR, WP, WT 3/2; DUS, ITAR-TASS, JP, MENA, al-Quds al-Arabi, VOI, VOP 3/2 in WNC 3/3; HA, MM, WJW 3/3; HJ, VOP 3/6 in WNC 3/7; MM 3/9; JPI 3/11; see also WP 2/26)

According to the U.S. State Dept.’s annual report on human rights, the Palestinian population of Israel and the occupied territories has reached 5.3 m., for the first time exceeding the Israeli Jewish population of 5.2 m. (Electronic Intifada 3/1)

The IDF withdraws fr. Palestinian areas of Hebron, vandalizing several homes, cars before leaving. The National Union and Yisrael Beitunia bloc (led by Tourism M Rehavam Ze'evi, Infrastructure M Avigdor Lieberman) quits the governing coalition in protest, leaving Sharon with control of 76 of the Knesset's 120 seats. As troops withdraw, Jewish settlers attempt to storm the vacated Palestinian neighborhoods, also vandalize several homes and shops, but are halted by soldiers, who arrest 21 (all released later in the day). The IDF also eases passage through roadblocks in a handful of areas, including Ramallah, and expands fishing areas off Gaza, in keeping with cease-fire steps. (HA, MM, WP, WT 10/15; AFP, MM, NYT, WP,WT 10/16; MA 10/16 in WNC 10/17; LAW 10/17)

Meanwhile, however, Hamas mbr. Hamad Marshud is killed when a flechette device, apparently planted by the IDF, explodes in a car outside his Nablus office. The State Dept. reiterates the U.S.'s strong opposition to Israel's assassination policy. The IDF also maintains closures on most West Bank, Gaza areas; surrounds, seals Bayt Umar; conducts arrest raids in Dayr Istya; begins building a bridge to link the Gaza settlements of Gush Katif, Kissufim, confiscating 150 dunams of Palestinian land; hands eviction orders to 250 tradesmen at a market area nr. Tulkarm; conducts arrest raids in Bayt Surik, Dayr Istya. Nr. Ramallah, armed Jewish settlers bar Palestinians farmers fr. reaching their olive groves, firing on them, beating them, burning cars. In Jerusalem, Israeli authorities raid the offices of several Palestinian lawyers, architects; search, photograph, destroy company files. (HP 10/15; MENA 10/15 in WNC 10/16; HP, NYT, WP, WT 10/16; LAW, WT 10/17)

In London, Arafat meets with British PM Tony Blair, who calls for the creation of a "viable Palestinian state, as part of a negotiated and agreed settlement, which provides peace and security for Israel." (AP, NYT 10/15; London Press Association, MENA, SA 10/15 in WNC 10/16; MM, NYT, WP, WT 10/16; AN, MENA 10/16 in WNC 10/17)

Israeli-Palestinian clashes intensify, especially in Gaza. 4 Palestinians are killed by IDF troops, 2 others die of injuries received earlier, and 1 Israeli customs official is ambushed and killed in Gaza (both Fatah Uprising, Islamic Jihad claim responsibility). Blaming Arafat for the ambush, Barak shuts the Gaza airport and the Rafah border crossing to Egypt, reportedly sends more tanks and armored vehicles into the West Bank and Gaza. At Qarni crossing, a gun battle erupts btwn. IDF troops, PA police; the IDF shells a building "used as cover" by the policemen. IDF tank, heavy machine gun fire is reported in Aida refugee camp, Bayt Jala, Bayt Sahur, Beitunia, al-Bireh, Hebron, Salfit; in Bayt Jala, 1 house is completely destroyed, 6 homes and a school are damaged. The IDF also uproots a Palestinian olive grove in Qalqilya. (al-Haq press release, LAW, MM, PCHR 11/8; ADM, NYT, WP, WT 11/9; al-Quds 11/9 in WNC 11/13)

Arafat flies to Cairo to confer with Mubarak, EU special envoy Moratinos and then goes to London to meet with British PM Blair before heading to Washington. After meeting with Arafat, Moratinos leaves for a 2-day visit to Israel. (LPA, MENA 11/8 in WNC 11/9; MENA 11/8 in WNC 11/13; WP 11/9)

UN Human Rights Commissioner (UNHRC) Mary Robinson begins a 1-wk. tour of Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, Egypt, Jordan to investigate the recent Israeli-Palestinian violence. (AP 11/8; NYT, WP 11/9; WP 11/11; al-Quds 11/11 in WNC 11/13; WP 11/28)

The UNSC holds a closed-door mtg. on the ongoing clashes, the PA's request for international forces. The mtg. is adjourned until 11/10, so Arafat may address the council. (XIN 11/8 in WNC 11/9; SA 11/8 in WNC 11/13; MM, NYT, WT 11/9; MEI 11/10)

Under pressure fr. Israeli Arab MKs, Barak upgrades the inquiry comm. into the deaths of Israeli Arabs during the recent clashes to a state commission, which has more authority. (NYT, WP 11/9) (see 10/22)

PNC speaker Salim Za'nun announces that Arafat will convene the PLOCC in early 9/00 to ask mbrs. approval to delay a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state. Za'nun says Arafat took the decision after his tour of Europe, where EU leaders advised him against declaring statehood unilaterally on or around 9/13. (WJW 8/10; WT 8/11; WT 8/12; AYM, DUS 8/13 in WNC 8/14)

Barak taps chief negotiator Ben-Ami to serve as acting FM. (MM 8/10; ATL, MIL 8/10 in WNC 8/14; WT 8/11)

In Alexandria, Egyptian pres. Mubarak receives Britain's Lord Michael Levy, who is carrying a message to the pres. fr. PM Blair regarding the "peace process following the Camp David summit." Lord Michael previously has been involved in back-channel negotiations on the Syrian-Israeli track. (MENA 8/10 in WNC 8/14)

U.S., Israeli officials report that they held 3 days of talks this wk. on strengthening strategic relations. (WP 8/11; WJW 8/17; WT 8/18)

Pres. Clinton announces that Arafat, Barak will come to Camp David, MD, on 7/11 to hold 3-way summit on final status issues. Talks are expected to end before Clinton leaves for a G-8 mtg. in Japan on 7/19. U.S. officials say that the PLOCC's 7/3 "threat" to declare a state as of 9/13 influenced Clinton's decision to hold the summit now. (MM 7/5; MENA 7/5 in WNC 7/6; XIN 7/5, ITAR-TASS, al-Quds, XIN 7/6 in WNC 7/7; NYT, WP, WT 7/6; AYM, XIN 7/6, ITAR-TASS, Le Monde, al-Quds, SA 7/7, DUS 7/8, JT, SA 7/9 in WNC 7/10; CSM, MM, NYT, WP 7/7; MEI 7/14)

In London, PM Barak urges British PM Tony Blair to press Arafat not to declare unilaterally a Palestinian state. Barak then leaves for Paris to hold similar talks with French pres. Chirac. (CNN [Internet], MM 7/5; MM 7/6)

Arafat invites the Palestinian opposition parties to accompany the PA delegation to the Camp David summit, participate on the sidelines. Hamas, the PFLP decline. DFLP, Palestinian People's Party (PPP), Palestinian Popular Struggle Front (PPSF) accept. (AYM 7/8, 7/9, DUS 7/11 in WNC 7/17; SA 7/9 in WNC 7/11 al-Quds 7/14 in WNC 7/18)

The Knesset lifts the immunity of MK Yitzhak Mordechai so he may face sexually assault charges. (NYT 7/6) (see 5/25)

Barak, Arafat hold generally positive mtg. on the sidelines of the Socialist International congress in Paris, but Barak sparks controversy afterward by saying that Israel no longer sees UN Res. 242, one of the bases of the Oslo process, as fully applicable to the West Bank and Gaza Strip. In his speech to the congress, Barak says that while Israel wants political separation fr. the Palestinian areas, "economic cooperation between us must and will continue"; calls on Syrian pres. Asad to resume bilateral negotiations. (MM 11/9; AFP 11/9 in WNC 11/10; AYM 11/9 in WNC 11/12; MM, WT 11/10; MEI 11/12)

Following the Socialist International mtg., Arafat heads to London to brief British PM Tony Blair on the status of the peace process. (LPA 11/9 in WNC 11/10)

In Paris, Egyptian pres. Mubarak holds talks on the peace process with Israeli PM Barak, condemns the PM's position on UN Res. 242. (MENA 11/9 in WNC 11/10; AFP 11/11 in WNC 11/12)

With the passage of the 2d deadline for the voluntary evacuation of 10 West Bank settlement enclaves, Israel announces that the IDF will forcibly evacuate the remaining occupied outpost, Havat Maon. Over the past few days, some 300 ultranationalist settlers have joined the 4 families originally encamped at the site, set up prefabricated houses in protest, hoping to make it impossible for the government to remove the settlement. A group of rabbis for the settlements issues a ruling forbidding the use of force against soldiers, but also calling the eviction a "crime against the Torah and the homeland." Barak cuts his trip to Paris short to return home to deal with the evacuation. (MM 11/9; NYT, WP 11/10; al-Quds 11/10 in WNC 11/12)

In Moscow, Russian FM Igor Ivanov discusses the peace process with EU special envoy Moratinos. Ivanov says Russia is willing to host a multilateral steering comm. mtg. whenever the parties agree that talks should resume. (Interfax, ITAR-TASS 11/9 in WNC 11/10)

Pres. Clinton phones Syrian pres. Asad to brief him on his talks with Israeli PM Barak, encourages Syria to resume negotiations with Israel. (MM 7/20; WT 7/21)

Meeting on the peace process with Pres. Mubarak in Cairo, Arafat says that Barak's 15-mo. timetable for final settlement is unacceptable; says that when the PLO agreed in 5/99 to put of its unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state, it was assured by the EU and the U.S. that an extension would not exceed 1 yr. (MENA 7/20 in WNC 7/21; MM 7/21; CSM, NYT, WJW 7/22; MEI 7/30)

In Washington, Israeli PM Barak holds 2d round of talks with Secy. of State Albright, meets with congressional leaders, departs for London to meet with British PM Tony Blair. Barak tells Congress mbrs. that they should not push for implementation of the Jerusalem Embassy Act now. (WT 7/20; MM, NYT, WT 7/21)

Israel's new interior M, Sharansky, says he wants to stop Israel's policy of stripping Palestinians of their residency rights if they leave Jerusalem for more than 7 yrs. (CSM, NYT 7/21; LAW, WP 7/22; JP 7/30)

In Gaza, IDF troops fire rubber bullets at Palestinians protesting Jewish settlement expansion, injuring 9. (CSM 7/21)

In London, Arafat meets with British PM Tony Blair. (SA 3/11 in WNC 3/12; VOA 3/18 in WNC 3/19; PR 3/19)

For 2d day in Gaza, PA police clash with 100s of Palestinians protesting PA police shooting of demonstrators 3/10. PA declares area a closed military zone, confiscates film fr. 6 photographers, detain 3 journalists. More than 50 Palestinians, including 17 policemen, are injured. (WT 3/12; RMC 3/12 in WNC 3/16; PR 3/19; MEI 3/26)

U.S. Senate approves (98-1) resolution urging Pres. Bill Clinton not to recognized a unilaterally declared Palestinian state. (RMC 3/12 in WNC 3/16; al-Jazira 3/13 in WNC 3/17; al-Quds 3/17 in WNC 3/22; WJW 3/18; PR 3/19) (see Doc. C3)

Iranian pres. Khatami meets with Pope John Paul II. (CSM, MM, NYT, WP, WT 3/12; MM 3/15)

On the last day of his regional tour, U.S. Defense Secy. Cohen stops in Egypt, pays courtesy call on PM Netanyahu in Israel. (MM 3/11; MENA 3/11 in WNC 3/12; NYT, WP, WT 3/12; WT 3/13; al-Quds 3/13 in WNC 3/17; MM 3/17; al-Watan al-Arabi 3/26 in WNC 4/5)

Saudi Arabia signs protocol with Afghanistan's Taliban under which only Taliban-certified Afghans may participate in the Hajj, lending credence to rumors that the Taliban broke with Saudi dissident Bin Laden a mo. or so ago, is no longer providing him safe haven. (GIU 3/16; see NYT 3/4)

In Amman, Turkey, Jordan hold talks in the context of their security cooperation agmt. on combatting terrorism, drug smuggling, organized crime. (ATL 3/12 in WNC 3/16)

Turkish lawyer Ahmet Zeki Okcuoglu agrees to take up Ocalan's defense again but says that he still does not feel secure. (NYT 3/12) (see 2/25)

Hizballah attacks a South Lebanon Army (SLA) post in s. Lebanon, wounding 1 SLA mbr. (VOL 3/11 in WNC 3/12)

King Hussein meets with British PM Blair in London, says that he will return to Jordan on 1/19. (JTV 1/14 in WNC 1/20)

Israeli DM Mordechai, PA negotiator Abbas discuss keeping security contacts open despite the freeze in the peace process. (AFP [Internet] 1/16)

After convening 1/13 to continue consideration (begun in 1/97) of 6 petitions questioning the legality of interrogation methods used by Israeli security services, which human rights groups consider torture, the Israeli High Court adjourns without a ruling, date for continuation. Shin Bet of its own accord says it will soon change some of its methods to "make it easier" on those being interrogated, including introducing "more airy" bags to be put over suspects heads, "more comfortable" handcuffs. (YA 1/14 in WNC 1/16, 1/20; LAW 1/16; NYT 1/25)

An Israeli border policeman working undercover is killed, another is injured, 1 Palestinian is wounded in a shootout nr. Hebron. (MM 1/14; WP 1/15; JP 1/22)

U.S. attacks 2 more Iraqi missile batteries in the n. no-fly zone as daily challenges continue. (WP 1/15) (see 1/13)

PM Netanyahu cuts short a trip to Britain to brief PM Tony Blair on the Wye agmt., cancels trip to Spain as a result of death of 2 IDF soldiers s. Lebanon 11/26; says Lebanese government is "directly responsible" for Hizballah's war on Israel. (MM 11/27; YA 11/27 in WNC 11/30; NYT, WP, WT 11/28; MEI 12/11)

Dir. of the PM's Bureau Uri Elitzur calls on the YESHA settlers council to take any steps that encourage settlement, including initiating new West Bank encampments, because "you don't know how long this government will last and what will be the depth of the further withdrawal." (MA 11/27 in WNC 11/30)

Jordanian government bans large pro-Iraq rally planned for today by Jordan's opposition parties. Mu'ta University administration dissolves its Islamist-dominated student council and suspend 8 students for holding demonstrations against the Wye agmt. (JT 11/28, 11/30 in WNC 12/1) (see 11/22)

In Cairo, Egypt's Pres. Mubarak, PA's Arafat discuss peace process, British PM Blair's tour, upcoming visit by U.S. special envoy Ross. (MENA 4/22 in WNC 4/28)

In Beirut, Speaker Birri briefs Kuwait's National Assembly Speaker Ahmad `Abd al-Aziz al-Sa'dun on Israel's proposal for conditional withdrawal fr. s. Lebanon. (RL 4/22 in WNC 4/28)

Arab League mbrs. sign 1st Arab antiterrorism convention, which exempts armed attacks against foreign occupiers. (WT 4/22; RE 4/23 in WNC 4/28; PR 5/1)

Shaykh Murtada Burujirdi, top candidate for the position of grand spiritual leader of Shi'i Muslims worldwide, is assassinated in Najaf, Iraq. Iraqi officials have previously threatened him. (NYT 4/24; al-Ahd [Beirut] 4/24 in WNC 4/30)

A bomb explodes outside the Jordanian Highway Patrol Directorate in Suwaylih, n. of Amman, causing damage but no injuries. No one claims responsibility. (RJ 5/10 in WNC 5/13)

Yedi'ot Aharonot reports that in an interview with its paper last wk., fmr. CIA officer and convicted Russian mole Aldrich Ames stated that after the Pollard affair was uncovered, the CIA recruited a high-level Israeli to spy for the U.S. A U.S. intelligence source reportedly confirmed the story but said that the agent, who was never detected, was in place long before the Pollard incident, was removed when Pollard was captured. (YA 4/22, 4/24 in WNC 4/27)

An SLA mbr. is injured when a roadside bomb explodes in s. Lebanon. (VOL 4/22 in WNC 4/28)

In Gaza, British PM Blair, Arafat sign security cooperation agmt. After mtg. Blair announces that Arafat, Netanyahu have agreed to meet separately with him, U.S. Secy. of State Albright in a London summit beginning 5/4 in what the U.S. warns might be a last chance to save the peace process. (MM 4/20; MM, NYT, WP, WT 4/21; ITV, LPA, MA, RE, SA 4/21 in WNC 4/23; MM 4/23; PR 4/24, 5/1; JP 5/2)

Netanyahu invites extreme hard-liner retired Gen. Rehavam Ze'evi, his Moledet party to join the cabinet as minister without portfolio. Ze'evi has advocated deportation of Palestinians fr. Israel, occupied territories; warned Arafat in 1993 that he would be assassinated if he dared to visit Israel; publicly insulted Asst. Secy. of State Indyk when he was serving as amb. to Israel. (MM 4/22; al-Quds al-Arabi 4/23 in WNC 4/27; MM 4/24; WT 5/5; MM 4/27)

Iran, Iraq hold mtg. to discuss freeing all remaining POWs, fate of MIAs. (CSM, WP 4/21)

In s. Lebanon, an SLA mbr. is injured when land mine explodes. (VOL 4/20 in WNC 4/21)

In last effort to achieve a "diplomatic solution" preventing a U.S. airstrike, UN Secy. Gen. Annan leaves for Baghdad for weekend of talks with Iraqi officials. U.S. warns that it will challenge any agmt. that does not allow unrestricted access to all Iraqi sites, including 8 "presidential palaces," which Iraqi pres. Saddam Hussein has deemed off-limits to inspectors as symbols of national sovereignty. (CSM, MM, WP, WT 2/19; MM 2/20)

Pres. Clinton calls on the UN to set a deadline for Iraqi compliance; orders VP Al Gore, Defense Secy. Cohen to cancel trip to South Africa set to begin 2/23 to keep them in Washington. (NYT, WT 2/20)

Secy. of State Albright travels to Tennessee State University to give 2d televised briefing on Iraq to some 200 hand-picked honors students, coached by the school's administration to "give the opposite impression that was given at Ohio State" 2/18. Before Albright arrives, campus security removes all demonstrators fr. camera view. The secy. then heads to University of South Carolina for 3d, similarly controlled briefing. (NYT, WP 2/20)

UN begins evacuating staff fr. Iraq. All personnel should be out of the country by 2/21. (WP 2/19)

U.S. sends 10s of Patriot missiles to Israel as part of an "emergency aid" package. (MM 2/19; YA 2/19 in WNC 2/21)

Opponents of military action against Iraq stage demonstrations outside the U.S. embassies in Egypt and Belarus, British PM Tony Blair's residence in London. Palestinians hold similar demonstrations in Dura, Bayt `Umar. (RE 2/19 in WNC 2/24; WT 2/20; PR 2/27)

Jordanian "popular delegation" heads to Baghdad to show solidarity with the Iraqi people. Reps. fr. all Jordanian political parties and professional organizations and fr. each governorate have agreed to make staggered trips to Baghdad over the next wk. (al-Dustur 2/19 in WNC 2/24)

Swiss police catch 5 Mossad agents in the process of installing a wiretap in a "foreigner's" house in Bern. For unknown reasons, 4 agents are released, only 1 is detained. No mention of the incident is made public. (ITV 2/25 in WNC 3/3; MM, NYT, WT 2/26; MM, NYT, WT 2/27; WT 3/16)

Hamas spiritual leader Shaykh Ahmad Yasin arrives in Egypt to undergo surgery for bone infection. (MENA 2/19 in WNC 2/24; WP 2/20)

Following phone conversation with Secy. of State Albright 1/25 regarding her talks with Arafat, PM Netanyahu tells coalition mbrs. that he now supports U.S. proposal for staged FRD based on the principle of reciprocity, says that Israel cannot "rule out the possibility of an interim terrace." (ITV 1/26 in WNC 1/27; MM 1/27; IDF Radio 1/27 in WNC 1/30)

After mtg. with UK PM Tony Blair in London, Arafat calls for an Arab summit to discuss the peace process. (MM, WT 1/27; RE, RMC, YA 1/27 in WNC 1/30)

Israeli DM Mordechai meets with Jordan's King Hussein in Amman to brief the king on Netanyahu's trip to Washington, discuss the need to continue the peace process, strengthen security cooperation. (JTV 1/26 in WNC 1/27; IGPO, MM 1/27)

EU FMs mtg. is held in Brussels. Participants agree to become more involved in resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict, Middle Eastern politics. (MM 1/27)

PA Labor M Samir Ghawshah resigns to protests Arafat's failure to ratify civil service law, take steps against corruption. (JP 2/7)

Israel arrests 2 Israeli-Arab bedouin for planning a suicide attack. Israeli Internal Security M Avigdor Kahalani praises PA for its cooperation, but PM Netanyahu objects that PA assistance came "at the end of the road, not the beginning." (MM 1/27; MA 1/28 in WNC 2/2; WT 2/7)

Jordan's Supreme Court suspends controversial press law, saying parliament should have been given time to debate the draft law before it was put into effect by the government, allowing to reopen 13 papers that had been forced to close. Parliament will begin debate on the measure when it reconvenes in 2/98. (RJ 1/26 in WNC 1/27; JT 1/27 in WNC 1/30; JT 2/5 in WNC 2/6) (see 5/17/97, 9/27/97)