Middle East Hourglass


22 August 1999: Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak urges Palestinian Authority chairman Yasser Arafat to accept Wye changes. Arafat meets DFLP leader N’ayef Hawatmeh to heal six-year rift.

22/8: UN estimates death toll in Turkish quake could reach 40,000.

23/8: Agreement reached on opening safe passage route between Gaza and Hebron Hills by 1 October.

23/8: Another 10,000 Palestinian workers allowed into Israel.

24/8: Big gaps in talks on Palestinian prisoner releases.

24/8: Fugitive teen murderer Samuel Sheinbein admits guilt in plea bargain.

25/8: Israel, PA agree on Wye pullbacks starting in October.

25/8: Hamas rejects talks with PA over accepting Oslo.

25/8: Israeli High Court approves another Shabbat turbine transport.

26/8: Burger King-USA withdraws franchise rights at outlet in Ma’aleh Adumim.

26/8: Shas and United Torah Judaism threaten to leave coalition over turbine moves.

27/8: Meimad’s Michael Melchior brokers deal on turbine move to avert coalition crisis.

28/8: Report says Iran to try thirteen Jews as Zionist spies.

28/8: Israel-PA meeting moves parties closer to Wye timetable.

29/8: Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak ultimatum to PA – agree to modified Wye “within hours” or face implementation “to the letter.”

30/8: Police discover two murdered Haifa students in Megiddo forest.

30/8: Jordan raids Hamas offices in Amman.

31/8: US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright urges start of final-status talks within days.

31/8: One hundred thousand local government workers go on strike.

1 September, 1999: Israel, PA blame each other for Wye impasse over prisoner releases.

1/9: Hamas claims responsibility for unsolved Megiddo forest murders.

1/9: IDF orders northern towns into shelters fearing Hizb’Allah attacks.

2/9: Albright arrives in Egypt to deadlock in Wye talks.

2/9: Ariel Sharon elected Likud leader.

2/9: Police identify Israeli Arab as Megiddo forest murderer.

2/9: Tons of garbage piles up in streets as municipal strike enters third day.

3/9: Israel, PA reach breakthrough in rewriting Wye accords.

4/9: Barak and Arafat sign modified Wye agreement at Sharm e-Sheik.

4/9: East Timor votes for independence

4/9: Syria tells Albright no peace talks without pledge to return all of Golan.

5/9: Twin car bombs rock Tiberias and Haifa, killing three terrorists.

5/9: Cabinet approves Sharm e-Sheik by 21-2 vote.

5/9: UTJ leaves coalition over turbine moves on Sabbath.

6/9: Israeli security identifies carbombers as Israeli Arabs.

6/9: High Court rewrites law on interrogation techniques.

6/9: Mubarak lightly wounded by Egyptian attacker.

7/9: Cabinet approves budget, no cuts in education and child allowances.

7/9: Health Ministry worries about health risks as garbage strike continues.

7/9: Greece hit by major earthquake.

8/9: Knesset ratifies Sharm e-Sheik Memorandum by 54-23 vote.

8/9: Shas issues Barak ultimatum to pay teachers’ salaries.

9/9: Israel implements first stage of Sharm, releases 199 Palestinian prisoners.

9/9: IDF imposes closure on PA areas for Rosh Hashana as more terrorist attacks feared.

9/9: Garbage strike ends, but not in time for cleanup before Shabbat.

10/9: IDF begins pullback from seven percent of Judea/Samaria.

11/9: Indonesian forces continue rampage in East Timor.

12/9: Arafat urges reconciliation with Iraq at Arab League summit in Cairo, vows no compromise on “right of return.”

12/9: Top brass say defense budget cuts could hinder IDF’s modernization plans.

13/9: Final-status talks launched at Erez junction.

13/9: Latest terrorist bomb in Moscow kills 73.

13/9: Israel Foreign Ministry asks American Jews to fight Arab boycott of Disney over Jerusalem exhibit.

14/9: Former Shas head and convicted felon Aryeh Deri welcomed back from US vacation.

14/9: Barak assures Ma’aleh Adumim residents they will stay part of Israel.

15/9: Settlers erect outposts in defiance of YESHA council.

15/9: Former PM Binyamin Netanyahu and wife questioned 8 hours on allegations of corruption.

15/9: Vatican envoy first to confirm Pope John Paul II to visit Israel in March 2000.

16/9: Barak hosts Arafat at home for late night one-on-one meeting.

17/9: Barak offers weak apology to Foreign Minister David Levy for no notice on secret rendezvous with Arafat.

17/9: Palestinians demand “right of return” at refugee conference in Ramallah.

17/9: Disney announces Jerusalem exhibit will open, evades questions on effect of Arab boycott.

18/9: Syria’s Foreign Minister Farouk Shara tells French president Jacques Chirac Syrian, Lebanese tracks must proceed together.

18/9: Pope John Paul and King Abdullah II of Jordan discuss papal visit next year.

19/9: Israel, Jewish Diaspora mark high holy day of Yom Kippur at sunset.

20/9: UN General Assembly opens session on Yom Kippur, despite Jewish requests for one-day delay.

20/9: Australian peacekeepers land in East Timor.

21/9: Powerful earthquake rocks Taiwan, death toll hits 2000.

21/9: Barak first world leader received in restored German capital of Berlin, calls visit “symbolic.”

21/9: Israeli security urges crackdown on Islamic Movement in Israel.

21/9: Arafat satisfied with Israel’s implementation of Sharm Memorandum.

22/9: Barak visits German concentration camp; discusses Syrian impasse with Chirac in Paris.

22/9: Albright and Shara make little headway in talks at UN.

22/9: Barak to Jerusalem Post: “Better to make peace with Arab old guard; Arafat understands he will not get all of West Bank.”

22/9: Jordan detains top 3 Hamas leaders on return from Iran.

23/9: Arafat pushes refugee return in UN speech; meets Clinton at White House.

23/9: Barak, Clinton still courting Syrian dictator Hafez al-Assad to renew talks.

23/9: Assad sends Syrian troops to quell rebellion by loyalists to his exiled brother Rifa’at.

24/9: Succot holiday begins at sundown; security alert high.

24/9: Shas demanding teachers’ salaries before holiday begins.

25/9: Extensive looting in Dili, East Timor despite arrival of peacekeepers.

25/9: Barak first prime minister no-show in 20 years at Christian Embassy Succot celebration.

26/9: Barak urges closer monitoring of Islamic Movement in Israel.

26/9: Shas reaches deal with government over school debts that avoids a coalition walkout.

27/9: Hizb’Allah ambush kills high-ranking SLA officer, wounds five.

27/9: Shas Rabbi Ovadia Yosef anoints new party leader Eli Yishai at Jerusalem rally.

28/9: Annual Jerusalem March draws thousands to capital.

28/9: Albright says Iran will not execute 13 Jews on trial for spying.

29/9: Hizb’Allah kills SLA soldier, wounds two in attack; Barak renews pledge to withdraw from Lebanon by July 2000.

29/9: Clinton summons Shara to White House in failed bid to restart Syria/Israel talks.

29/9: Palestinian UN observer Nasser Kidwa walks out during FM Levy’s speech.

30/9: Israeli officials doubtful “southern” safe passage route will open on time.

30/9: Barak confirms he is mulling decision over return of DFLP terrorist leader Nayef Hawatmeh.

30/9: Japan hit by radiation leak.

1 October, 1999: China marks fifty years of communist dictatorship.

1/10: Israeli officials hit US Congress to lobby for Wye aid package.

1/10: Israeli Arab leaders continue to blast government focus on Islamic Movement in Israel.

2/10: Israel celebrates Simchat Torah.

3/10: Safe passage route fails to open on time due to security differences.

3/10: Far-right Freedom Party scores big gains in Austrian elections.

3/10: PA says US State Department to drop DFLP from terrorist list.

3/10: Lake Kinneret drops below “red line” due to drought.

4/10: Shara undergoes emergency heart surgery in Beirut.

4/10: Israel, PA reach new terms on safe passage route.

5/10: Israel and PA sign new safe passage agreement: PA Minister Yasser Abed Rabbo says Barak making “crazy decisions.”

5/10: Religious parties vow to fight plans for Negev casino.

5/10: Hizb’Allah launches heavy mortar and Katyusha attack in security zone.

6/10: Israeli Cabinet loosens criteria for Palestinian prisoner releases to include Hamas, Islamic Jihad, post-Oslo terrorists: terror victims’ families ask President Ezer Weizman to intervene.

6/10: FM Levy warns of cutting ties to Austria if Freedom Party sits in coalition.

6/10: Tel Aviv court convicts Israeli man of raping Linor Abergil, current Miss World.

7/10: Israeli court rules disputed plot in Nazareth is not Waqf property.

7/10: Arab paper says Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein is sending letter of peace to Clinton by hand of Jordan’s King Abdullah II.

8/10: Israel delays prisoner releases after PA rejects list of names.

9/10: Season’s first rains cause bus accident that kills 17, injures 37 in Galilee.

9/10: Hebron Jews heckle Jordanian delegation at Cave of Machpela.

9/10: PA welcomes the loosening of criteria for prisoner release.

9/10: Austrian Chancellor Victor Kilma assures Barak Freedom Party will not be in coalition.

10/10: Cabinet committee lacks consensus on fate of YESHA “outposts,” decision now up to Barak.

10/10: IDF preparing contingency plans for pullout in Lebanon.

10/10: London’s Sunday Telegraph reports Cuban Jews making aliyah.

11/10: Barak warns of renewed wave of terror attacks as Oslo process advances.

11/10: Greek officials call for security partnership after Israel gives earthquake assistance.

12/10: Barak to order dismantling of 15 YESHA encampments.

12/10: Army in control after coup in Pakistan; concern over who controls nukes.

12/10: PA security chief says Iran is encouraging Islamic terrorists to carry out attacks against Israel.

13/10: Barak reduces “outpost” hit list from 15 to 12 in deal with YESHA council.

13/10: Israeli security sources fear talk of Lebanon pullback is hurting SLA morale.

14/10: Israel, PA agree to list of prisoners to be released under Sharm accord.

15/10: Israel releases 151 prisoners to meet Sharm commitment.

15/10: Israel mourns death of Dr. Josef Burg, leading figure of religious Zionism, at age ninety.

15/10: Hitler’s bunker unearthed in Berlin.

16/10: PA denounces Barak’s compromise with settlers over encampments.

16/10: Nazareth Mayor Ramez Jeraise beaten by Islamic extremists in attack linked to property dispute at Basilica of the Annunciation.

17/10: Thousands of settlers demonstrate outside PM’s residence in Jerusalem.  


17/10: Prince Hassan calls for warmer peace between Israel and Jordan in the next five years.

18/10: Former South African President Nelson Mandela arrives in Israel after visit to Iran.

18/10: Clinton vetoes foreign aid bill, in part for lack of Wye aid.

18/10: Nativ director tells Knesset Committee 240,000 Russian Jews expected by 2003.

19/10: Voluntary evacuations of encampments in YESHA begins.

19/10: Vatican opens part of its Holocaust archives.

20/10: Israeli police raid Netanyahu home, office for gifts; press tipped off.

20/10: Settlers erect synagogue at Moan farm outpost in Hebron Hills.

20/10: Levy accuses Egypt of trying to “sabotage” peace talks with other Arab countries.

20/10: Mandela tells PA gathering in Gaza violence is okay as a last resort.

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