MIDDLE EAST HOURGLASS

16 April 1999: One Israel leader Ehud Barak calls on convicted Shas leader Aryeh Deri to quit politics.

16/4: US charges Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu "misleading" it on settlements policy.

17/4: State Department admits concern over Israel's growing contacts with Russia.

18/4: Netanyahu kicks-off Likud campaign with rally at Jerusalem's Tower of David.

19/4: Israel begins commemorations of Remembrance Day for Fallen Soldiers.

19/4: Knesset changes extradition laws in the wake of rulings in favor of fugitive Samuel Sheinbein.

19/4: Palestinian Authority police shoot 20 year-old, sparking riots in El Bireh.

20/4: PA chairman Yasser Arafat returns from 22-nation tour to press for Palestinian state.

20/4: Israel starts celebrating 51st anniversary of independence.

21/4: Thirteen teens gunned down in Littleton, Colorado by two schoolmates.

22/4: Security cabinet decides to issue closure orders against PA offices in Jerusalem's Orient House.

22/4: IDF field hospital returns to Israel after treating 1,600 refugees in Macedonia.

22/4: Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov stops in Israel during regional tour.

23/4: Israeli Ambassador to US Zalmon Shoval says Clinton administration wants to set a target date for final-status talks.

23/4: Hizb'Allah roadside bomb badly wounds Lt. Col. Josef Karameh, south Lebanese commander of Jezzine enclave.

24/4: Yaakov Kedmi, head of Israel's Russian Immigration Bureau (Nativ), resigns amid accusations of campaigning to defeat PM Netanyahu.

24/4: Avishai Raviv, former GSS agent provocateur, indicted for failing to report plans to assassinate Yitzhak Rabin.

25/4: TV and radio election ads begin.

25/4: Tel Aviv court rejects Margaret Shefi appeal of nine-month sentence for failing to prevent Rabin assassination.

26/4: Clinton administration declares support for permanent Israel-PA settlement within one year.

26/4: Syria reveals preference for Labor Party in Israeli elections.

27/4: Defense Minister Moshe Arens bashes Syria for increased Hizb'Allah attacks in south Lebanon security zone.

27/4: Netanyahu says release of 3 Palestinians involved in 1996 suicide bombings shows Arafat is keeping "option of terrorism open."

27/4: Convicted Shas leader Aryeh Deri will ask Torah Sages council to endorse Netanyahu.

28/4: Third Way party calls for unilateral IDF withdrawal from south Lebanon.

28/4: Yisrael B'Aliyah head Natan Sharansky launches campaign to wrest Interior Ministry from Shas.

29/4: PLO Central Council leaves decision on statehood open until after Israeli elections.

30/4: Security officials say Hamas beset by internal dissent over terror strategy against Israel.

30/4: Actress Tiki Dayan calls Likud supporters "rabble" at function for Barak.

1 May 1999: Center Party PM candidate Yitzhak Mordechai urged to quit race by former army comrades after poor showings in polls.

1/5: Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic agrees to release three US soldiers held captive for over a month.

2/5: Netanyahu chides Barak for delay in condemning "rabble" slur, charges Labor with "elitism" and racism.

3/5: Peace Now says settlement construction in Judea-Samaria increased 14% over last year.

4/5: Netanyahu takes credit as May 4, once touted as date for Palestinian statehood, passes quietly.

4/5: Hizb'Allah roadside bomb kills Munah Tuma, acting head of SLA forces in Jezzine, following mortar attack that wounded 3 Israeli soldiers at Beaufort castle outpost on previous night.

4/5: PLO Jerusalem official Faisal Husseini warns Orient House closure could mean war.

5/5: Faisal Husseini keeping vigil at Orient House to prevent Israeli closure of PA offices.

6/5: State Department spokesman James Foley says the only acceptable way to resolve final status issues is by direct negotiations between Israel and PA.

6/5: Hizb'Allah artillery shells slam into northern Galilee, wounding one and damaging property.

6/5: Netanyahu arranges reconciliation between Shas Interior Minister Eli Suissa and Yisrael B'Aliyah leader Natan Sharansky.

6/5: US Ambassador to Israel Edward Walker attempts to mediate compromise over Orient House.

7/5: Media continue to call for Mordechai to withdraw from race for prime minister.

7/5: Talks between PA and Israeli officials fail to produce compromise over Orient House closures.

8/5: NATO apologizes for hitting Chinese embassy in Belgrade, killing 4.

8/5: Cabinet approves transfer of NIS 400 million to Jerusalem Municipality for development in east Jerusalem.

9/5: Mordechai pledges to stay in the race for the premiership, blasts media for pressuring him to quit.

10/5: Israeli government issues orders to close Orient House, decision appealed to High Court.

10/5: Hadash and United Arab List endorse Labor's Barak for PM.


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