MIDDLE EAST HOURGLASS:

September 25, 1998: At military parade in Tehran, Iran unveils new Shihab 3 surface-to-surface missile capable of striking Israel.

25/9: US publicly warns Yasser Arafat not to voice plans to declare a Palestinian state at the UN. Arafat says he has "sacred right" to declare state.

25/9: PA-aligned magazine accuses PA Finance Minister Mohammed Nashishibi of embezzling funds.

26/9: Israeli opposition leader Ehud Barak calls for pre-emptive strike against Iran.

26/9: Israel warns Arafat Oslo process over if he announces intention to declare state.

27/9: Report: US officials tell Israel Arafat is an "impediment to peace".

27/9: Scores wounded as Israeli Arabs battle police over land expropriation in Umm el-Fahm.

27/9: Defence Minister Yitzhak Mordechai rejects Barak's call for striking Iran, saying Israel can protect its people from the Iranian threat.

28/9: In his address to the UN Arafat refrains from announcing the PA's intention to declare a state.

28/9: President Clinton says three-way mid-October summit with Binyamin Netanyahu and Yasser Arafat could finalise redeployment agreement. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright reportedly less optimistic.

28/9: Israeli-Arab leaders call for one-day strike in solidarity with residents of Um el-Fahm.

28/9: Arab attacker in Hebron shoots Jewish woman in leg.

28/9: Islamic Jihad leader released from PA jail.

28/9: IDF Chief of Staff Shaul Mofaz says Iran's weapons programme shows that the military must be prepared to carry out pre-emptive strikes.

29/9: Hamas man killed in Ram'Allah car blast.

29/9: US officials say intelligence assessments concur on credibility of UN arms inspectors' reports stating that Iraq built and maintains3-4 "implosion devices" that lack only cores of enriched uranium to make nuclear weapons.

30/9: Dutch newspaper reports El Al cargo jumbo that crashed in Amsterdam six years ago was carrying chemicals used to produce deadly Sarin nerve gas.

30/9: Arab grenade attack in Hebron wounds 14 Israeli security men. Netanyahu says attack won't keep him from attending US summit.

October 1, 1998: IDF chief Mofaz calls for complete closure of Judea-Samaria; curfew imposed on Hebron; Arabs clash with IDF in several Yesha areas.

1/10: Albright says PA compliance with its security commitments has become the "critical issue" of the Oslo process; says will try to gauge PA compliance when visiting region in coming days.

1/10: Turkey warns it could hit back at Syria for Damascus support of Turkish Kurds.

1/10: Sharon's appointment as foreign minister rumoured after he dines out with Netanyahu.

1/10: Hizb'Allah warns it will retaliate if Israel attacks Iran.

1/10: Israeli newspaper says Clinton has agreed to free convicted Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard if deal is reached at mid-October summit; Netanyahu tells cabinet issue was raised but no decision was taken.

2/10: Under-secretary of State Martin Indyk says an agreement with the PA could lead to the renewal of Israeli-Syrian talks.

3/10: PA security forces claim they captured two Hamas terrorists en route to attack Israel.

3/10: Pope John Paul beatifies WWII-era cardinal who was accused of abetting Nazis.

4/10: Report: Israeli government reports PA has intensified its bid to control Christian churches in Israel.

4/10: 1998 Feast of Tabernacles begins.

5/10: Hizb'Allah roadside bomb kills two Israeli soldiers, wounds four, in southern Lebanon.

5/10: US House Judiciary Committee approves launch of formal impeachment inquiry against President Clinton.

6/10: Albright and special envoy Dennis Ross arrive in region to prepare for upcoming summit. Albright meets separately with Netanyahu and Arafat; says time has come to make "tough choices".

6/10: New Israeli Shekel depreciates to 4.01 against the US dollar.

6/10: Egypt holds large military parade to mark Yom Kippur War.

6/10: Turkey gives Syria "last warning".

6/10: National Religious Party warns it will topple government if Netanyahu agrees to cede more land to the PA.

7/10: White House announces three-way summit will convene at Wye Plantation on October 15; Clinton pledges full involvement, saying it's imperative an Israel-PA deal is reached.

7/10: London says wanted international terrorist Osama bin-Laden has acquired tactical nuclear weapons.

7/10: Shekel plunges further 2.1 per cent.

8/10: Report: Jerusalem sent Ankara satellite photographs of Syrian army positions on Turkey's border.

8/10: US House of Representatives votes to launch presidential impeachment proceedings against Bill Clinton.

9/10: Palestinian stabs Israeli girl soldier to death in Jordan Valley.

9/10: Netanyahu names Sharon his new foreign minister; Syria slams appointment as "bullet of mercy" to end Oslo process.

10/10: IDF kills two Hizb'Allah gunmen in security zone.

10/10: Arafat, in Oslo, calls for international pressure on Israel to "protect the peace process".

10/10: PA spokesman Nabil Sha'ath rejects Netanyahu's assertion that third troop pull-back will be from just one percent of Judea-Samaria.

10/10: Damascus accuses Israel of stoking Syria-Turkey tension.

11/10: Huge blaze ravages upscale Haifa residential area.

11/10: Pope triggers Jewish anger by beatifying Auschwitz Jewess-turned-nun Edith Stein.

12/10: Fires gut forests in Carmel and Jerusalem Corridor; police suspect some caused by Arab arsonists.

12/10: Clinton discusses upcoming summit by phone with Netanyahu and Arafat.

12/10: PA officials say outcome of Wye summit rests on Netanyahu.

12/10: Egyptian FM Amr Moussa shuttles between Damascus and Ankara in bid to defuse Turkey-Syria crisis.

12/10: US Defence Secretary William Cohen says America will contain Iraq as long as it poses a threat to Gulf region.

13/10: Arabs shoot and kill 24-year old Jerusalem resident, wound his companion, in natural spring near capital.

13/10: Netanyahu says no chance of summit deal after terror attack.

13/10: Shekel recovers against dollar.

13/10: Cabinet approves Sharon's appointment as FM.

13/10: IDF Intelligence chief says PA not making effort to stop Hamas.

13/10: Settler leaders warn Netanyahu not to agree to give up land at Wye; Land of Israel Front threatens to run candidate for PM against Netanyahu.

13/10: IDF Intelligence says Turk Kurdish rebel leader Abd'Allah Ocelan has left Damascus in accordance with Turkey's demands.

13/10: Israeli Arab MKs angrily call charges that Arabs were involved in starting forest fires, "racist".

14/10: Thousands of Israelis from Judea, Samaria and Gaza gather outside Netanyahu's residence to urge him not to agree to any troop withdrawal.

14/10: Netanyahu and ministers depart for US summit.

14/10: PLO leader Farouk Kaddoumi tells official PA newspaper the Palestinians will follow up their declaration of statehood next year with war to drive Israel out of "Palestinian lands".

14/10: Labour Party promises to support Netanyahu against right wing vote against an agreement with PA.

14/10: Security Minister Avigdor Kahalani says five Israeli Arabs admitted to setting some of the recent forest fires.

14/10: Labour head Barak and former head Shimon Peres meet but fail to end feud.

14/10: Turkey hints at peaceful end to crisis with Syria.

15/10: Clinton formally launches Washington Summit at the White House, Israel-PA talks move to the Wye Plantation, Maryland.

16/10: Channel 2 TV reports US proposal, suggested by Labour MK Yossi Beilin, that Palestinian state should be established on January 1, 2001.

16/10: Reports from Wye Plantation say US is presenting bridging formulae and Netanyahu and Arafat held a long talk.

16/10: PA police rough up two Israelis who chased stonethrowers into PA area.

17/10: "Little progress at Wye"

17/10: Palestinians demonstrate in various towns demanding Israel release all 3,500 remaining Palestinian security prisoners.

17/10: Turkey says meeting scheduled with top-level Syrian officials; expert says Ankara ready to bomb Syria if no agreement is reached.

18/10: US pressures Israel and PA to conclude agreement; Clinton says if no agreement reached US would take a whole new, less involved approach to the Middle East.

18/10: Vatican spokesman says Rome is strengthening its ties with the PA, calls for balanced, reasonable peace.

18/10: Labour party split over whether to keep Netanyahu from being toppled by right wing in event a pull-back agreement is reached.

19/10: Sixty-four hurt in Beersheva Arab grenade attack; Hamas attacker caught. Netanyahu says Wye talks will continue into fifth, unscheduled day, but will focus only on security.

19/10: Six Israeli Arabs charged with setting Yom Kippur forest fires.

19/10: Israeli security officials say intensive efforts to prevent large-scale terror attack have forced terrorists to choose hit-and-run tactics instead.

20/10: "Wye agreement expected soon"; Israelis describe talks as "gruesome"; King Hussein joins negotiators; Sharon ignores Arafat at first meeting.

20/10: Attorney General rules illegal for Israelis to gamble at casino in PA-ruled Jericho.

20/10: IDF intelligence chief says Hamas ability to carry out a strike has been weakened recently.

20/10: Turkey calls talks with Syria "positive".

21/10: Israel threatens Wye walkout over extradition and PLO covenant amendment.

21/10: Settlers protest Wye talks by blocking roads in Judea-Samaria.

21/10: PA security sources say they have detained at least 30 Hamas members in Hebron.

21/10: Turkey-Syria reach agreement in talks.

21/10: Jordan media report King Hussein has three months to live.

21/10: Report: Israeli police on lookout for disappeared members of Denver-based Concerned Christians cult.

22/10: Reports from Wye indicate Clinton making extraordinary effort to secure deal.

22/10: Shekel drops further to all time low against US dollar.

22/10: Settlers and police clash in anti-Wye demonstrations.

22/10: Likud ministers threaten to veto prospective Wye deal.

23/10: Netanyahu says won't sign agreement if spy Jonathan Pollard not released. Clinton refuses; PA accuses Israel of looking for reason to scupper agreement; Netanyahu backs down.

23/10: Israel-PA sign Wye Memorandum in White House ceremony; implementation to take place over 12 weeks in accordance with very specific schedule.

23/10: PA officials pleased; anger and depression on Israeli right; left furiously debates possibility of joining Netanyahu in national unity government.

23/10: Shin Bet warns of violent Jewish response to agreement.

24/10: Arafat tells Austrian Chancellor Viktor Klima PA still has right to declare state next May.

25/10: Netanyahu returns home to accusations he surrendered; Right wing groups tell him "we won't forgive"; flown from airport to Jerusalem to avoid roadside protests.

25/10: Yesha Council of Settlers vote Netanyahu no longer leader of nationalist camp; Habad movement withdraws its support for PM.

25/10: PA police shoot dead Arab youth protesting PA raid on Fatah offices.

26/10: Palestinians murder Israeli security guard Danny Vargas in Hebron.

26/10: Arab man found shot dead outside Samarian settlement.

26/10: Knesset defeats right wing no-confidence Wye vote.

26/10: Several ministers label "weak" US "guarantee" to Israel to oversee implementation of PA's commitments.

26/10: Knesset Law Committee passes early election bill.

26/10: Police clash with Israelis demonstrating outside PM's residence to protest Vargas killing.

26/10: Vatican calls for church involvement in negotiations over future of Jerusalem.

26/10: Report: IDF preparing to carry out pull-back agreed at Wye.

27/10: Netanyahu delays submitting Wye agreement to Israeli cabinet until PA produces its security paper. White House warns he is out of line.

27/10: PA police arrest two suspects in Vargas murder.

27/10: Car-bomb wounds Islamic Jihad leader in Lebanon; Israel blamed, as are Palestinian militants.

27/10: Netanyahu tells Knesset immigration committee he expects wave of up to 150,000 new immigrants from Russia and the Ukraine in coming year.

27/10: Top Republicans urge Clinton not to reprieve Pollard.

28/10: IDF soldier, four SLA soldiers, seriously wounded in Hizb'Allah mortar attacks.

28/10: "If Palestinians don't give, they won't get", Netanyahu tell supportive Likud Central Committee.

28/10: PA says its security plan will be submitted to US on November 2.

28/10: Arafat expresses confidence both sides will keep commitments.

28/10: Police warn they will crack down on Israelis who incite against Netanyahu.


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