MIDDLE EAST HOURGLASS

January 12, 1999: Material from Labour leader Ehud Barak's election campaign stolen from US office of his pollsters.

12/1: Netanyahu accused of "election economics" as he backs proposal offering free education to children as young as three.

12/1: Arab worker stabbed in Jerusalem, the apparent victim of a wanted Jewish serial attacker.

12/1: US Mideast envoy Dennis Ross says US intends to play a less central role in the final-status negotiations.

13/1: One Israeli killed and one injured in shoot-out between undercover border police unit and Palestinian terrorists near Hebron.

13:1: Foreign Minister Ariel Sharon admits he can envision the establishment of a Palestinian state.

13/1: US planes target Iraqi missile sites.

13:1: Israel Air Force fighter jets bomb Hizb'Allah targets in south Lebanon.

13:1: Would-be Jerusalem suicide bomber remanded in custody.

13:1: Rabbis move to keep Reform, Conservative members off religious councils.

14/1: Clinton impeachment trial opens.

14:1: Sharon says Palestinian state would have to have limited sovereignty.

15/1: High security alert for last Friday of Ramadan.

16/1: Central Bureau of Statistics announces consumer prices increased 8.6% in 1998

16:1: Israeli aircraft continue to pound Hizb'Allah targets in Lebanon.

16/1: PA policemen and Israeli border policemen trade blows and shots in Gaza Strip over attempted knife attack by a Palestinian policewoman.

16/1: Defence Minister Yitzhak Mordechai confirms security meetings with PA officials.

16:1: Likud MK Uzi Landau drops out of race for party leadership, leaving PM Netanyahu and Moshe Arens to fight it out.

17/1: PA agrees to three-way talks in Washington early in February.

18/1: Muslim holy month of Ramadan ends.

18:1: Orthodox boycott Haifa Religious Council session because of presence of Reform and Conservative representatives.

19/1: Tumultuous welcome for King Hussein of Jordan, returning home after six months of cancer treatment.

19/1: Gush Katif settlers block coastal road in security protest as Palestinian trucks allowed through without security checks.

20/1: Former deputy army chief Matan Vilna'i formally joins Labour Party.

20/1: Government launches digital-broadcasting satellite TV services.

20/1: Netanyahu suggests that two burglaries at the Washington offices of political strategists for Barak may have been set up to smear the Likud.

20/1: Trade union leader Amir Peretz leaves Labour, officially establishes Am Ehad, a new party representing workers.

20/1: European Union may include Israel in its research and development programme.

20/1: Clinton calls on Congress to approve funding for implementing Wye agreement.

20/1: Espionage trial of two Israelis begins in Cyprus.

21/1: Yitzhak Mordechai negotiating to join Shahak's new centrist party.

22/1: Netanyahu fires Mordechai, accuses him of putting own ambitions ahead of interests of the party, government and state.

23/1: Jordan's King Hussein informs his brother, Crown Prince Hassan, that he is removing him as heir to the throne.

24/1: US warplane bombs Iraqi missile site

24/1: National Religious Party names Education Minister Yitzhak Levy party leader.

24/1: Arab League foreign ministers call for Iraq to recognize Kuwaiti borders and to promise not to threaten its neighbours.

25/1: Mordechai announced as leader of new centrist party.

25/1: Netanyahu overwhelmingly re-elected as Likud leader, candidate for prime minister.

25/1: Prince Abdallah named King Hussein's successor in Jordan.

25/1: PM confirms secret talks with Lebanon to resolve Israel's military presence there.

26/1: Knesset approves appointment of Moshe Arens as new Defence Minister.

26/1: Prince Abdallah sworn in as crown prince of Jordan.

26/1: King Hussein suffers relapse. Returns to US clinic for treatment.

26/1: Yitzhak Mordechai helps Orthodox pass bill blocking Reform and Conservative representation on religious councils.

26/1: Golan Law passes in Knesset; special majority of 61 MKs and referendum needed before annexed territory can be ceded.

27/1: Iraq urges Saudis, Kuwaitis to overthrow their rulers for supporting US-British airstrikes.

28/1: US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright visits Jordan, encourages Abdallah and promises economic and military aid.

28/1: US warplanes attack Iraqi anti-aircraft battery in northern Iraq.

29/1: Arens announces that IDF will not pull out of Lebanon unilaterally any time soon.

30/1: Yasser Arafat says he and his advisers are reviewing plans to declare statehood on May 4. Indicates that the date will be observed in some fashion, but not necessarily by a declaration of statehood.

30/1: US jets attack 6 sites in northern Iraq.

February 1: Three-year sentences handed down to two Israelis accused of spying in Cyprus. Cyprus rules out early pardon.

1/2: Judea and Samaria police chief announces PA violations in territories down in number, but more serious in 1998.

2/2: Government official announces plans to boost construction in Judea and Samaria before May 17 elections.

2/2: Judge declares illegal the use of religious amulets, giving blessings or curses, issuing excommunication orders or similar means to influence voters in election.

2/2: King Hussein undergoes bone-marrow transplant.

3/2: Former Jordanian crown prince Hassan rumoured to be considering going into exile.

3/2: President Ezer Weizman commutes sentences of seven Jews serving terms for murdering or attempting to kill Arabs.

4/2: King Hussein suffers organ failure after transplant. Returns to Jordan to die.

4/2: Arafat attends US Congressional Prayer Breakfast amid much controversy.

4/2: Israel delegation to multinational conference on aid to the Palestinians ordered home by Foreign Minister Ariel Sharon after Palestinians present map of "Palestine" showing Jerusalem as part of PA area.

4/2: Palestinian police arrest 40 Islamic militants.

4/2: Israeli and Palestinian heads of more than 20 committees dealing with environment, electricity, water, communications, transport, etc. meet for first time.

5/2: Knesset approves overdue 1999 state budget .

7/2: King Hussein dies. Abdallah II sworn in, names his brother Hamza crown prince.

8/2: Hundreds of dignitaries from around the world, including Israeli and Syrian leaders, attend Hussein funeral.

8/2: Jordanian analysts predict cooler relations with Israel.

8/2: Peace Now accuses settlers of beefing up construction and setting up illegal encampments.

9/2: Supreme Court President Aharon Barak and other judges accused by haredim of making "antisemitic" decisions. Ultra-religious threaten to rebel.

9/2: US says resumption of talks with Syria not likely soon, contrary to statements from Israeli and Syrian officials.

9/2: UN General Assembly votes for a Geneva Convention meeting in July on "illegal" Israeli activities in the territories.

9/2: King Abdallah II pledges to boost ties with Iraq.


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