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  • January 9, 2012

    Palestinian and Israeli peace teams hold a 2d very low-profile meeting in Amman. The sides downplay the meeting, calling them “exploratory sessions,” so as not to raise expectations of a...

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  • June 28, 1999

    Egyptian pres. Mubarak arrives in Washington on his 1st visit to the U.S. in 2 yrs.; holds separate mtgs. with National Security Adviser (NSA) Sandy Berger, Defense Secy. William Cohen, Commerce...

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  • May 17, 1999

    Israelis elect One Israel's Ehud Barak as PM with 56.1% of the vote, meaning no 6/1 runoff is needed. In the Knesset, 6 of the 15 parties to win seats are new, including the anti-Orthodox Shinui,...

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  • December 14, 1998

     Clinton flies into Gaza airport by helicopter to attend the PNC session on the PLO charter, becoming the 1st sitting president to set foot on Palestinian soil. PNC mbrs., other officials approve...

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  • November 29, 1998

    In Jericho, the Palestinian-Israeli Steering and Monitoring Comm. (PISMC) discusses disputes over prisoner release, settlement expansion, confiscation of Palestinian land for bypass roads. (NYT 11...

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Palestinian and Israeli peace teams hold a 2d very low-profile meeting in Amman. The sides downplay the meeting, calling them “exploratory sessions,” so as not to raise expectations of a negotiating breakthrough. An anonymous Palestinian official says that the Israelis did not offer anything today that would move the peace process forward. Judeh does not issue a formal statement, and Israel refuses to comment. (NYT, WT 1/10)

The IDF conducts morning patrols in Qalqilya, 2 villages nr. Jenin, and 1 nr. Tulkarm; afternoon patrols in 2 villages nr Jenin (firing tear gas at stonethrowing youths in 1 incident), and 1 nr. Qalqilya; late-night patrols in Tulkarm and nearby Bayt Lid and in 1 village nr. Qalqilya. The IDF also enters ‘Azzoun village nr. Qalqilya in the afternoon to summon for interrogation 3 Palestinians released in the 10/2011 Shalit prisoner swap; conducts late-night arrest raids, house searches in Hebron and nr. Nablus. (PCHR 1/12; OCHA 1/13)

On the day before the New Hampshire primaries, Republican presidential candidates Ron Paul and Rick Santorum both stress that the U.S. must maintain close ties with Israel. Paul, who opposes all foreign aid, says he is against continuing massive assistance to Israel, stating “I don’t believe that I should take money from anybody here and send money to them,” saying it sends the message “we own you.” Santorum stresses the threat from Iran, whereas Paul calls the danger of Iran achieving nuclear weapons “way overblown.” (WT 1/10)

The White House announces that Pres. Obama has tapped his dir. of the Office of Budget and Management, Jack Lew, as his new chief of staff, replacing outgoing chief of staff William Daley. American Jewish organizations praise the selection of Lew, an Orthodox Jew who is very involved in Jewish events in Washington, stating that since Dennis Ross’s departure as Obama’s chief adviser on the Middle East they had worried that there was no one “left to call in a White House that has hemorrhaged top Jews over the last year or so” that could directly weigh in with the pres. on issues of concern to Israel. (JTA 1/10; WJW 1/12, 1/19)

Egyptian pres. Mubarak arrives in Washington on his 1st visit to the U.S. in 2 yrs.; holds separate mtgs. with National Security Adviser (NSA) Sandy Berger, Defense Secy. William Cohen, Commerce Secy. Daley, World Bank pres. Wolfensohn, a delegation of American Jewish leaders. Most talks focus on the peace process. (MM 6/28; WT 6/29; WJW 7/1; MEI 7/16)

Acting Likud head Sharon walks out of coalition talks with PM-elect Barak, saying Barak refused to commit himself to continue aggressive settlement construction, particularly in disputed areas of Jerusalem, or to rule out a broad withdrawal fr. the Golan Heights. (CSM, MM, NYT, WP, WT 6/29; al-Quds 7/29 in WNC 7/2)

UNSC begins closed-door debates on a new weapons inspection regime for Iraq. (WP 6/29)

Israelis elect One Israel's Ehud Barak as PM with 56.1% of the vote, meaning no 6/1 runoff is needed. In the Knesset, 6 of the 15 parties to win seats are new, including the anti-Orthodox Shinui, formed 2 mos. ago, which won 6 seats. Control of right-wing parties shrinks, as Russians, other centrists gain, changing the balance of power. The ultra-Orthodox Shas, however, gains 7 new seats for total of 17 seats, security its place as the 3d largest party after Labor/One Israel (27, down fr. 34 seats), Likud (19 seats, down fr. 32 seats). The 1st Israeli Arab woman, Husniyya Jabara of Meretz, is also elected to parliament. Israel seals the West Bank, Gaza for the elections. Arab, Asian, European states, the U.S, and Russia welcome Barak's victory, hope it means the peace process will resume soon. (MM 5/17; AFP, LPA 5/17 in WNC 5/18; CSM, MM, NYT, WP, WT 5/18; AFP, al-Ahram, Chungang Ilbo [Seoul], Interfax, JT, Kyodo [Tokyo], MENA, MKR, RE, RNE-1 Radio Network [Madrid], SANA, SAPA [Johannesburg], Taiwan Central News Agency, VOL, Xinhua [Beijing] 5/18 in WNC 5/19; al-Akhbar 5/18 in WNC 5/21; MENA 5/18, Athens News Agency, Interfax, ITAR-TASS, JT, LPA, RE, Sueddeutsche Zeitung [Munich] 5/19 in WNC 5/20; CSM, NYT, WP, WT 5/19; CSM, NYT, WJW 5/20; CSM, MEI, MM, NYT 5/21; JP 5/28; CSM 6/17)

In a victory speech, PM-elect Barak lists 4 "red lines" for peace negotiations with the Palestinian Authority (PA), promises to put any final status agmt. to a referendum by the Israeli public. (MM 5/18; JT 5/19 in WNC 5/20; MEI 5/21)

On the 3d day of his Washington visit, King Abdallah of Jordan meets with U.S. Secy. of State Madeleine Albright, calls for lifting sanctions on Iraq. U.S. urges France, Germany, other creditors to cancel Jordan's debt; encourages Jordan to seek additional U.S. economic assistance. In the afternoon, the king discusses trade issue with U.S. Commerce Secy. William Daley, receives reps. of various American Jewish groups at Blair House. (JT 5/17 in WNC 5/18; WP, WT 5/18; al-Ra'i 5/18 in WNC 5/20; MM 5/21)

Venezuela signs $20 m. deal to buy Israeli antiaircraft defense system. (YA 5/18 in WNC 5/19)

In s. Lebanon, Israeli Defense Force (IDF) shelling kills 2 civilians. (RL 5/17 in WNC 5/18; NYT, WP 5/18; RL 5/18 in WNC 5/19; WT 5/19)

 Clinton flies into Gaza airport by helicopter to attend the PNC session on the PLO charter, becoming the 1st sitting president to set foot on Palestinian soil. PNC mbrs., other officials approve the nullification of clauses of the PLO charter by show of hands. PM Netanyahu says he is satisfied but still will not carry out the next stage of the FRD on 12/18. U.S. says it will not press Netanyahu on the issue because of the upcoming Knesset no-confidence vote 12/21. In a luncheon speech, Pres. Clinton refers the Palestinian people's "chance to determine their own destiny on their own land," but does not speak of the right to self-determination or statehood directly. Palestinians view his visit to Gaza as tacit U.S. acknowledgement of their right to sovereignty. (CSM, MM 12/14; al-Aswaq, al-Dustur, IDF Radio, ITV, JT, MENA, al-Ra`i RE, al-Safir 12/14 in WNC 12/15; IDF Radio, ITV 12/14, AFP, JT, MA, RE 12/15 in WNC 12/16; CSM, NYT, WP, WT 12/15; WJW 12/17; ITAR-TASS 12/17 in WNC 12/21; Tishrin 12/16, al-Thawra 12/17 in WNC 12/28; PR 12/18; JP 12/21; MEI 12/25)

Hillary Clinton visits a Palestinian refugee camp in Gaza, the Israeli-Palestinian town of Neve Shalom. (CSM 12/14; WP, WT 12/15; PR 12/18)

U.S. Commerce Secy. William Daley attends the official opening of th Qarni industrial zone. Coca Cola will be the first U.S. company to open operations in the zone. A total of 22 factories in the zone are ready for operation; 14 have been leased. (JP 12/21, 12/28)

Secy. Albright meets with Israeli DM Mordechai to discuss Wye implementation, Lebanon. (IDF Radio 12/14 in WNC 12/15)

Palestinians in Lebanese, Syrian refugee camps demonstrate against Wye agmt., amendment of the PLO charter. (VOL 12/14 in WNC 12/15; SATN 12/14 in WNC 12/16)

Jordan confirms that it recently deported, but did not turn over to the IDF, 3 Palestinians carrying PA passports fr. the kingdom because they are mbrs. of Hamas's Izzeddin al-Qassam Brigades, pose a security threat. (JT 12/15 in WNC 12/16; al-Dustur 12/15 in WNC 12/17)

In the West Bank, 2 Palestinians are wounded in clash with IDF. (AFP [Internet] 12/15)

Iran announces it has signed a deal with Anglo-Dutch Royal Dutch/Shell and the British Lasmo to explore Caspian Sea oil reserves. The $19.8-m. deal is just below the threshold set by the U.S. under its Iran-Libya Sanctions Act, which threatens economic reprisals against any company investing more than $20 m. in those countries oil industries. (WT 12/16)

In Jericho, the Palestinian-Israeli Steering and Monitoring Comm. (PISMC) discusses disputes over prisoner release, settlement expansion, confiscation of Palestinian land for bypass roads. (NYT 11/30; MEI 12/11)

In Washington, Arafat meets with Pres. Clinton, Commerce Secy. William Daley, Arab American business leaders. (NYT, WT 11/30)

On the eve of the Washington donor mtg., the Sunday Times of London reports that $20 m. in EU aid earmarked for housing projects for needy Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza has been used to build luxury apartments for Arafat supporters. (WT 11/30; PR 12/4; MEI 12/11; JP 12/14)

PM Netanyahu convenes special cabinet session to reassess Israel's occupation of s. Lebanon amid public outcry over increasing number of IDF casualties there. (20 soldiers have been killed in s. Lebanon this year, including 7 in the past 2 wks., compared to 39 last yr.) U.S. Amb. Edward Walker warns Netanyahu against harsh retaliation against Lebanon. Lebanese pres. Lahoud says Israel is only testing the new regime, he will not submit to Israeli blackmail. (WP, WT 11/29; ITV, RL 11/29 in WNC 12/1; MM 11/30; MM, WT 12/1; MM 12/2; WJW 12/3; JP 12/7; MEI 12/11)

In Gaza, PA police block Israeli trucks carrying building supplies to Netzarim settlement. IDF counters by blocking VIP entrance to Gaza to PA officials, while settlers block road nr. Netzarim to Palestinian traffic. (NYT 11/30)

IDF demolishes Palestinian home in East Jerusalem. (LAW 11/30; PR 1/8)