MIDDLE EAST HOURGLASS:

August 12, 1998: Swiss banks announce $1.2 billion Holocaust compensation settlement.

13/8: Opposition leader Ehud Barak says unity government no longer on Labour Party's agenda.

13/8: PA chairman Yasser Arafat cuts short South African visit for 'security reasons".

13/8: IDF rescue team returns from Nairobi US embassy bombing site after rescuing three survivors and recovering 96 bodies.

14/8: Bureau of Statistics marks July consumer price index down 0.1 percent, setting the prospective 1998 inflation rate at between three and four per cent—the lowest since 1968.

15/8: PA denies reports of imminent resumption of talks with Israel.

15/8: Top Hamas member escapes from PA jail.

16/8: Media quote Defence Minister Yitzhak Mordechai as saying security with Syria depends on amount of Golan Heights Israel surrenders; says he was misquoted.

16/8: Arafat tells press he cancelled meeting with PM Binyamin Netanyahu as he is no longer interested in "useless talks" with Israel.

16/8: PA policemen close Joseph's Tomb in Shechem for second time in week; make no explanation.

16/8: World press speculates on President Bill Clinton's imminent grand jury testimony concerning Monica Lewinsky.

17/8: Secretary of State Madeleine Albright telephones Arafat to discuss reviving Oslo.

17/8: IDF says soldiers in southern Lebanon have been placed on "ready to fire" alert.

17/8: Netanyahu says Israel's policy of no withdrawal from Golan remains unchanged.

17/8: Israeli chief rabbi Meir Lau condemns the planting of crosses at Auschwitz.

17/8: Clinton admits an "inappropriate relationship" with Lewinsky.

18/8: Infrastructure Minister Ariel Sharon says Israel willing to withdraw from 13 per cent of Judea-Samaria.

18/8: PA charges Israel providing less water to Judea-Samaria than agreed upon.

18/8: Report: Knesset panel to convene in early September to debate bill for early elections.

18/8: Mordechai calls on Syria to resume talks.

18/8: Left and right-wing Knesset members call on PA to erase clauses calling for Israel's destruction from its constitution.

19/8: IDF soldier killed, four wounded in south Lebanon Hizb'Allah ambush.

19/8: Islamist groups warn civilians to steer clear of Israeli and US facilities as some are targeted for attack.

19/8: Jordanian cabinet resigns over polluted drinking water scandal.

19/8: Two Arab prisoners escape from PA jail.

19/8: PA arrests Islamic Jihad leader in Gaza for criticising Arafat in the press.

19/8: Popular Palestinian politician Haider Abdel-Shafi castigates Arafat's plan to declare an independent state in May 1999.

19/8: Ministerial committee approves construction of 2,300 homes and 2,500 holiday homes on the Golan Heights.

19/8: Jewish Agency says Israel will not exploit Russian economic crisis to hasten immigration.

20/8: Arab knifes elderly Hebron rabbi to death.

20/8: The US launches missiles at terrorist targets in Afghanistan and the Sudan, claims strikes are to thwart plans for other terror attacks. Islamic world in uproar.

20/8: Arab League slams Israel's plan to construct housing on Golan.

20/8: Crisis defused after Israel-PA reach agreement re Joseph's Tomb.

20/8: Netanyahu says gaps between Israel and the PA have narrowed.

20/8: Roadside bomb kills Israeli soldier and Israeli civilian contractor in south Lebanon.

22/8: US warns of more possible strikes on Islamist terror targets.

22/8: IDF clashes with Palestinians in Hebron.

22/8: Islamists in Sudan, Egypt threaten attacks on US, Israeli targets.

23/8: Cabinet approves construction of permanent homes on Hebron's Tel Rumeida, site of August 20 slaying of rabbi.

23/8: Leading Islamist announces plans are under way to target US and Israeli sites in revenge for US missile attacks.

23/8: Russia's Boris Yeltsin fires cabinet, reappoints Chernomyrden as PM.

23/8: PA daily paper says Lewinsky affair was a Zionist plot to discredit Clinton.

25/8: IDF kills senior Amal leader in helicopter rocket attack near Tyre.

25/8: Muslim revenge attack for US strikes believed motive for bombing in South African restaurant which leaves two dead.

25/8: Hizb'Allah launches barrage of Katyusha rockets into Galilee, wounding 12 Israelis and inflicting NIS1 million in damages.

25/8: PM Netanyahu visits Hebron, pledges support for settlers.

25/8: Russian ruble tumbles.

26/8: IDF planes rocket Lebanese Army outpost, wounding one soldier.

26/8: Syrian official press condemns "reckless" Israeli raid into southern Lebanon.

26/8: High-ranking Palestinian official reports Abu Nidal detained in Egypt. Egyptian government official denies Nidal in his country.

27/8: Bomb injures 21 in Tel Aviv. Netanyahu says there will be no deal with Palestinians until PA fights terror.

27/8: Security Service announces it has uncovered large terror cell in Hebron.

27/8: IDF Home Front Command begins preparation for new crisis with Iraq, anticipated in October.

27/8: Israeli construction group announces the building of 132 apartments for Jews in Jerusalem's Ras el-Amud neighbourhood will begin "soon".

27/8: Foreign Report publishes news of a new Jewish underground movement which has targeted Yitzhak Mordechai for assassination.

28/8: Hamas' Sheikh Yassin distances his organisation from Nairobi bombers.

28/8: President Ezer Weizman criticises PM Netanyahu's handling of Oslo Process.

28/8: British Foreign Office voices concern over plans for new homes in Ras el-Amud and on the Golan Heights.

28/8: Amid world-wide sharp economic slump, the Israeli shekel drops against the US dollar to lowest ever point.

29/8: Israeli official says terrorism will set back talks with the PA.

29/8: New York reported readying for attacks following arrival in the city of two Nairobi bombing suspects.

30/8: For first time PA executes two alleged Palestinian murderers of Arabs; PA official says terrorists who kill Jews are not murderers.

30/8: Netanyahu says there is no proof the PA is behind the August 27 Tel Aviv bombing.

30/8: Jordan's Prince Hassan says peace with Israel failed to bring expected economic rewards.

30/8: Opposition MKs call for early elections.

31/8: Israel complains that Arafat backed away just before reaching an agreement on the next withdrawal.

31/8: Weizman reiterates call for early elections.

September 1, 1998: Start of Israeli school year delayed by teachers' strike.

1/9: Union and government officials meet in attempt to avert nation-wide public-sector strike.

2/9: 300,000 Israeli public sector workers down tools in countrywide wage strike.

3/9: US announces envoy Dennis Ross to return.

4/9: PM Netanyahu hints he could call early elections if coalition opposes him on agreement to cede more territory to PA.


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