Middle East Hourglass


21 November 1999: Jordan deports Hamas leaders to Qatar.

21/11: Palestinian Waqf appeals to Nazareth Muslims to postpone mosque ceremony.

21/11: Palestinian Authority police prevent workers from entering Jewish settlements in Gush Katif.

22/11: Holy Land churches shuttered in protest of Nazareth mosque.

22/11: PA offers home to Hamas leaders expelled from Jordan.

23/12: Vatican slams Israel as cornerstone laid for new Nazareth mosque.

23/12: Deranged gunman overpowered outside Israeli Embassy in Amman.

24/11: Israeli Foreign Minister David Levy rebuffs Vatican criticism.

24/11: Cabinet committee plans "Embassy Row" in Jerusalem.

24/11: Knesset Speaker Avraham Burg and Education Minster Yossi Sarid met with Dalai Lama.

25/11: European Union expects new US efforts to revive Israel-Syria talks.

25/11: Israeli jobless rate reported at 9%.

25/11: China’s Li Ping visits Jerusalem, chides Israeli hosts of Dalai Lama.

26/11: Washington Times reports Syria tested chemical weapons in October.

27/11: Twenty prominent Palestinians sign petition against corruption in PA.

27/11: Li Ping pledges support for Palestinian state.

28/11: Six petitioners arrested for manifesto critical of PA chairman Yasser Arafat.

28/11: Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak rebukes Shas for anti-immigrant rhetoric.

29/11: PA to Petition-20 legislators: recant or face arrest.

30/11: Six Petition-20 signers retract under PA pressure.

30/11: Seattle rocked by riots at WTO opening.

1 December, 1999:

PA legislature censures Petition-20 lawmakers before one shot by masked gunmen.

1/12: Barak permits the opening of new door to underground mosque on Temple Mount.

1/12: Reports say Arafat invited Serbian war criminal Slobodan Milosevic for Orthodox Christmas.

2/12: Jerusalem Mayor Ehud Olmert blasts Barak for allowing Waqf to destroy antiquities on Temple Mount.

3/12: First candle of Hanukkah lit.

3/12: Jewish banker Edmond Safra suffocates in Monaco penthouse.

4/12: Huge blazes ravage Carmel forests.

4/12: Palestinians hold large anti-Arafat rally in Nablus.

5/12: PA: US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright must push for settlement freeze on visit.

5/12: Arafat challenges Palestinian poet to shoot him over betrayal charges.

6/12: PA to boycott talks unless Israel halts settlement activity.

6/12: Saudis wants US to break gridlock between Syria and Israel.

6/12: Remains of Yom Kippur War tank crew found near Suez Canal.

7/12: Albright "hopeful" after talks with Syrian dictator Hafez al-Assad.

7/12: Barak freezes new YESHA construction pending framework agreement.

8/12: US President Bill Clinton announces resumption of Israel-Syria peace talks.

8/12: Albright: El Al deal with Airbus could jeopardize US aid.

9/12: Golan residents re-start nationwide campaign to save the Heights.

9/12: PA worries renewed Syrian track could take precedent.

10/12: PA vows to discuss only settlements in resumed final-status talks.

11/12: Israeli officials predict Syrian deal possible within months.

11/12: Golan activists hold big rally in Katzrin.

12/12: Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk a-Shara foresees quick Golan deal.

12/12: Israeli parties wrangle over Golan referendum.

13/12: Knesset endorses renewed talks with Syria by 47 to 31, 24 abstain.

13/12: Golan supporters rally outside Knesset; pro-Barak rally at PM’s residence.

13/12: Barak announces no separate referendum on Lebanon.

14/12: Barak and Shara meet at White House to renew peace talks; Shara delivers strident speech in Rose Garden.

14/12: Israeli President Ezer Weizman says failed Syrian talks could bring war.

14/12: Heavy fighting in south Lebanon.

15/12: Second day of Washington summit with Barak and Shara.

15/12: Druze MKs clash over Golan give-away.

15/12: Israeli, Turkish, and US warships hold joint maneuvers.

16/12: Stray SLA mortar shells accidentally hit school.

16/12: Jordan announces arrest of 13 terrorists linked to Osama bin Laden.

17/12: IDF amnesty reaps NIS 2 million worth of army equipment.

17/12: Venezuelan mudslides kill thousands.

18/12: Barak postpones summit with Arafat.

18/12: Iraq rejects new UN policy for renewing weapons inspections.

19/12: Shas, National Religious Party, Yisrael B’Aliyah threaten vote against budget if demands not met.

19/12: Vatican announces dates for Pope John Paul II’s visit to Israel March 21-26.

20/12: Shara says Syria, Lebanon to sign peace treaties with Israel together.

20/12: SLA finds and detonates roadside bombs in security zone.

20/12: National Insurance Institute report says one million Israelis below poverty level.

21/12: Barak and Arafat agree on little in Ramallah meeting.

21/12: Weizman to Golan residents: "I can’t be the president of the entire country."

22/12: Egypt announces natural gas "peace pipeline" to Israel and PA.

22/12: Coalition in "dismal state" over 2000 budget.

23/12: Archaeology students display artifacts from Temple Mount dirt dumped by Waqf in Kidron.

23/12: Deal struck to end budget crisis in local Arab councils.

24/12: Three-day cease-fire in South Lebanon ends after bodies of Hizb’Allah fighters retrieved.

25/12: Quiet Christmas in Bethlehem with fewer than expected tourists.

26/12: Five Hizb’Allah detainees freed in Israeli "goodwill" gesture.

26/12: Ma’ariv publisher Ofer Nimrodi indicted on eight charges in conspiracy to commit murder.

26/12: TIME magazine names Albert Einstein as "Person of the Century."

27/12: Weizman attempts to keep Shas in coalition.

27/12: Two SLA soldiers wounded in fighting with Hizb’Allah.

27/12: Five thousand join protest on Mount Scopus against Waqf construction on Temple Mount.

27/12: Turkish-Israeli strategic talks held in Tel Aviv.

28/12: Israel returns bodies of two Hizb’Allah gunmen.

28/12: Arutz-7 studios raided by police, allowed back on air.

28/12: Government offices in Druze villages on Golan attacked by pro-Syrian arsonists.

29/12: Barak frees 26 Palestinian prisoners for Ramadan, including 2 with "blood on their hands."

29/12: Shas revokes resignation after Barak caves in to budget demands.

29/12: Shrine at grave of Baruch Goldstien dismantled.

30/12: Hizb’Allah suicide bomber wounds thirteen in Lebanon.

30/12: Israel releases 7 Arab security prisoners from east Jerusalem.

30/12: Knesset passes fiscal year 2000 budget.

30/12: Weizman admits to accepting cash gifts from French millionaire Edouard Seroussi.

31/12: Russian President Boris Yeltsin resigns from office; Vladimir Putin steps in.

31/12: Security tight in Old City as 400,000 Muslims pray on Temple Mount; Iranian Ayatollah calls for Israel’s destruction on "Al-Quds" Day.

1 January 2000:

Y2K bug is mostly a "no show."

1/1: Millions world-wide enjoy spectacular welcome to new Millennium.

1/1: Muslim militants ambush Lebanese patrol near Tripoli.

2/1: Turkey appeals to US not to remove Syria from terrorism sponsors’ list.

2/1: Two Lebanese civilians injured by Hizb’Allah gunfire.

3/1: US-brokered talks between Syria and Israel resume in Shepherdstown, West Virginia.

3/1: Lebanese forces chase Muslim extremists in northern mountains; seventeen killed.

3/1: Fatah activists in shooting spree in Ramallah; road to Jerusalem closed.

3/1: Heavy rain and snow fall in North.

4/1: Clinton speeds to Shepherdstown talks to end impasse over agenda.

4/1: Israel, PA agree on second interim pullback from 5% of Judea/Samaria.

4/1: Fourteen heads of Orthodox Churches hold largest-ever gathering in Jerusalem for Orthodox Christmas.

5/1: Bases in northern Samaria turned over as IDF implements 5% withdrawal.

5/1: Orthodox Church patriarchs hold synod in Israel; Yeltsin dines with Arafat.

6/1: Yeltsin and six East European heads of state celebrate Orthodox Christmas in Bethlehem.

6/1: Weizman hints Nimrodi pressured him for a pardon.

6/1: Benin to open embassy in Jerusalem, vote pro-Israel at UN.

6/1: Archaeologists protest Waqf activities on Temple Mount.

7/1: US drafts seven-page "working document" to bridge gaps in Israel-Syria talks.

8/1: Report shows aliyah from Russia doubled in 1999.

8/1: "Birthright" program brings first 5000 Diaspora students to Israel.

9/1: Hizb’Allah kills SLA soldier in security zone; detonates bomb close to border fence.

9/1: Labor Party presented poll showing increased opposition to Golan withdrawal.

10/1: Shepherdstown negotiations end with parties reviewing US "working document."

10/1: Up to 300,000 attend pro-Golan rally in Tel Aviv’s Kikar Rabin.

10/1: AOL-Time Warner announce mega-merger in New York.

11/1: Barak launches media blitz to counter pro-Golan polls.

11/1: IDF reports Syria allowing Hizb’Allah attacks in security zone only.

11/1: 300 Golan Druze declare they want to stay in Israel.

11/1: Weizman cancels press conference after handing Seroussi documents over to State Attorney Edna Arbel.

12/1: Barak tells CNN of "cracks" in Syrian positions, says Golan deal will ensure "free flow of oil."

12/1: Hizb’Allah bomb kills SLA soldier in security zone.

12/1: Weizman, Attorney-General Elyakim Rubinstein deny pardon deal discussed.

13/1: Attorney-General and State Attorney ask police to take over inquiry into Weizman affair.

13/1: Israel releases 27 Hizb’Allah detainees in exchange for 2 SLA soldiers.

13/1: Ha’aretz publishes US working document comparing Israeli, Syrian positions in peace talks.

14/1: IDF arrests thirty-two Islamic Jihad terrorists in Judea/Samaria.

14/1: Report shows Israel’s 1999 rate of inflation lowest in thirty years.

15/1: Syria denounces leak of US working paper, adds new demands of Israel.

15/1: Barak postpones third interim withdrawal from Judea/Samaria set for January 20.

16/1: Amal militiaman killed, second wounded in IAF strike north of security zone.

16/1: Cabinet barely approves Dr. David Klein as Bank of Israel Governor to replace Jacob Frenkel.

16/1: Israeli teachers go on strike over salary dispute.

16/1: "White Russian" nuns challenge PA over giving Jericho monastery to "Red Russian" Orthodox church.

17/1: Syria places peace talks on hold indefinitely.

17/1: Pipe-bomb in Hadera injuries 34.

17/1: SLA soldier killed by Hizb’Allah roadside bomb in security zone.

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