MIDDLE EAST HOURGLASS:

September 5, 1998: Israeli and Palestinian officials say secret talks brought no breakthrough.

5/9: Hebron's Jews protest security threats from PA-controlled areas.

5/9: IDF warplanes strike Hizb'Allah targets in Lebanon.

6/9: General strike intensifies; international airport closed down.

6/9: Speculation rife that PM Netanyahu will meet Yasser Arafat in Washington in late September.

6/9: Gesher leader David Levy agrees to join new centrist party headed by Tel Aviv mayor Ronni Milo.

6/9: Palestinian youths graduate from weapons and combat training-camp, in anticipation of a showdown with Israel after Palestinian state is declared next May.

6/7: Hundreds of Habad orthodox Jews pray at Western Wall against further IDF withdrawal from Eretz Yisrael.

6/9: Turkish and Jordanian leaders defend close military cooperation and deny they are forming a powerful regional alliance with Israel.

7/9: School and general strikes end.

7/9: IDF says it is preparing for an outbreak of violence in Judea, Samaria and Gaza when PA declares state.

7/9: Palestinian human rights group alleges PA security forces beat Arab man to death.

7/9: Visiting Turkish PM Mesut Yilmaz and Netanyahu stress bilateral friendly ties are not a threat against any other country.

8/9: Report: 65,000 new Russian immigrants can be expected in Israel in 1998 if economic crisis continues.

8/9: US officials downplay expectations for imminent visit to Israel by Dennis Ross.

9/9: US independent counsel Kenneth Starr delivers his report on President Clinton's behaviour to Congress.

9/9: Ross arrives; meets with Arafat in Gaza as US puts pressure on PA to reach pullback agreement with Israel.

9/9: Hizb'Allah bomb kills two SLA soldiers.

9/9: Egypt slams planned Israel-Turkey military manoeuvres, which it says are directed against Arabs.

9/9: UN Security Council suspends review of Iraqi sanctions, freezing current status.

9/9: US Embassy in Beirut warns Americans to be on alert for terror attacks.

10/9: IDF kills two Hamas members in Hebron shootout; says men were planning terror attacks. Hamas vows revenge.

10/9: Hundreds of thousands of Iranian troops sent to Afghanistan border as Taliban admits its men killed nine Iranian diplomats.

10/9: President Boris Yeltsin names Yevgeny Primakov as candidate for Russia's PM.

10/9: Hizb'Allah bomb kills four SLA men.

10/9: Ross extends his regional visit.

10/9: Starr report published on Internet.

11/9: Russian Duma confirms PM Primakov.

11/9: IDF closes Judea, Samaria and Gaza in effort to prevent Hamas revenge attack; Arabs riot in several territory towns.

11/9: Report: PA official Feisal Husseini told French paper PA will declare state in May and trigger war.

12/9: Around 50,000 Israelis attend Tel Aviv rally calling for Netanyahu to resign.

12/9: Netanyahu tells reporters neither an agreement nor peace is possible without a real Palestinian commitment to fight terror.

13/9: Israeli cabinet passes 1999 budget with increase in defence spending.

13/9: Congressional officials say impeachment inquiry likely against Clinton.

13/9: Netanyahu congratulates Primakov, urges him to stop selling arms technology to the Middle East.

13/9: IDF on high alert for Hamas attacks.

14/9: Arrow anti-missile missile test-launch is successful.

14/9: "Territories" closure partially lifted.

14/9: French and Egyptian officials meet in Paris to pursue preparations for international conference to restart "Oslo".

15/9: Defence Minister Yitzhak Mordechai says Israel is in Lebanon "for the long haul".

15/9: Netanyahu says Arrow missile will be deployed in 1999.

16/9: PA newspaper calls Ross "Shylock".

16/9: AP reports Clinton is seeking to hold three-way summit with Netanyahu and Arafat while the two are in New York.

16/9: London-based Arabic paper reports Syrian plans for major troop redeployment in Lebanon later this year.

16/9: Absorption Ministry says 57,450 new immigrants came to Israel in the past year.

16/9: Iran sends nine army divisions to seething border with Afghanistan.

17/9: Report: Arafat's intention to declare sovereign state next May is on UN agenda.

17/9: Secretary of State Madeleine Albright announces intention to meet with Netanyahu and Arafat in Washington.

17/9: Egyptian ambassador Mohammed Bassiouny says Egypt will not be involved in future military conflict with Israel.

17/9: Israeli youths camping at Har Homa to protest lack of construction at site are removed by police

19/9: Ross leaves Mideast, with no deal.

21/9: Rosh HaShana 5759

21/9: Clinton's video-recorded testimony screened world-wide. Approval ratings up.

22/9: Two IDF soldiers die as APC falls over cliff in southern Lebanon.

22/9: Netanyahu tells Albright Ross did make some progress.

22/9: Iranian President Mohammed Khatami attacks Israel in address to UN.

24/9: Israeli soldier hurt as bomb explodes in Jerusalem bus shelter.

24/9: Addressing UN General Assembly, Netanyahu says PA's unilateral declaration of a state would end Oslo process.

24/9: Iran says it renounces 10-year-old death sentence fatwa on Satanic Verses author Salman Rushdie. Britain says it will renew diplomatic relations with Tehran.


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