MIDDLE EAST HOURGLASS:

July 20, 1998: Israel, PA report some progress in secret meetings in Jerusalem.

20/7: PA, Hamas insist car-bombing suspect caught in Jerusalem was merely contractor with building materials.

21/7: PA threatens to end talks if Israel does not accept US withdrawal proposal of another 13 per cent of Judea-Samaria

21/7: Israel fingers Hamas for attempted Jerusalem car bomb; PA concedes it was intended as an act of terrorism.

21/7: Prime Minister's Office, Infrastructure Minister Ariel Sharon in dispute over rumours of secret talks with Syria over Golan.

22/7: Jordan's Crown Prince Hassan steps in to help salvage faltering Israel-PA negotiations.

22/7: Labour leader Ehud Barak blasts party members for offering PM Binyamin Netanyahu an advance "safety net" against no-confidence votes to spur withdrawal talks.

22/7: Members of Palestinian legislature pay first visit to US Congress.

23/7: PA chief Yasser Arafat rejects Netanyahu's request for a head-to-head summit to resolve final issues of redeployment plan.

23/7: US, Israeli officials express alarm following Iran's test-launch on July 22 of Shihab-3 missile with 1300 kilometer range.

24/7: PA agrees to resume direct negotiations with Israel following Arafat meeting with Internal Security Minister Avigdor Kahalani.

24/7: Jewish leaders call on Arafat to condemn Palestinian denial of Holocaust.

25/7: Low-level Israel-PA contacts continue.

26/7: PA says talks with Israel over withdrawal are off, but security discussions will continue.

26/7: President Ezer Weizman again ignores protocol and calls for early elections.

26/7: Peace Now asserts Jewish building in Judea-Samaria and Gaza (Yesha) has mushroomed by 134 per cent.

26/7: Growth in PA's economy: a record 120,000 Palestinians are working "inside" Israel.

26/7: PA reports 21,5 per cent unemployment rate among nearly 2,9 million Palestinians in Yesha.

27/7: Jordanian officials say King Hussein is undergoing chemotherapy.

27/7: Two-year-old Netanyahu coalition survives latest of 60 no-confidence motions in Israeli Knesset just days before summer recess.

27/7: Bureau of Statistics pegs unemployment in Israel at 9,3 per cent, the highest since 1993.

28/7: Poll indicates Israeli support for Palestinian state dropping.

29/7: Knesset passes first reading of bills calling for dissolution of the House and early elections.

29/7: Impact of dissolution bills is minimised after veteran Labour MK Ori Orr accused of making derogatory comments about Sephardi Jews.

29/7: US Asst. Secretary of State Martin Indyk says Oslo process is barely alive.

29/7: Syrian paper quotes new Chief of Staff accusing Netanyahu of blocking peace process.

29/7: Leading Fatah officials call on PA to end talks with Israel.

30/7: IDF soldier killed, five others wounded in Hizb'Allah ambush in south Lebanon.

1 August: After meeting, PA Cabinet issues statement calling negotiations "a waste of time"; PA says it will call for increased pressure on Israel.

2/8: Israel agrees to release 100 Palestinian security prisoners in effort to overcome deadlock.

2/8: Labour faces internal split over future of Ori Orr, and Likud criticism of the party's lobbying trip to US.

2/8: Israeli Defence Minister Yitzhak Mordechai stresses need to counter Iran's new domestic missile capabilities.

3/8: PA threatens walkout over lack of new Israeli proposals in "last ditch" secret meeting.

3/8: New Iraq crisis arises as chief UN weapons inspector Richard Butler declares talks with Baghdad at an impasse.

4/8: PA refuses to rejoin redeployment talks, but stops short of declaring process over.

4/8: Nine hundred new immigrants arrive at Ben-Gurion Airport on "Aliyah Day", marking 50 years of immigration to the state of Israel.

4/8: Annual budget debate finds key ministers at odds over how to handle rising unemployment.

5/8: Israel calls on PA to cooperate to solve terror attack which leaves two Jewish settlers dead.

5/8: Iraqi President Saddam Hussein freezes cooperation with UN inspectors.

5/8: Anglican bishops meeting in Lambeth call for Jerusalem to be shared capital of Israel and Palestinian state.

6/8: Arafat announces long-awaited PA Cabinet reshuffle, bringing in 10 new ministers affiliated to Fatah, and retaining three accused of corruption. Hanan Ashrawi and another minister resign.

7/8: Vatican says its appointments are solely its affair after Netanyahu voices opposition to appointment as Galilee bishop of Pierre Mualem, a Palestinian with close ties to PLO hard-liners and Syrian military intelligence.

7/8: Muslim terrorists suspected as powerful, simultaneous car-bombings in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania devastate US embassies, claiming hundreds of lives and over 5000 wounded.

8/8: 180-man strong Israeli rescue team arrives at Nairobi bombing site.

9/8: Israeli rescuers bring out three survivors from rubble; Video camera atop US embassy in Tanzania may hold key clues.

9/8: New PA cabinet approved by fractured legislature, dealing blow to anti-corruption drive.

9/8: Israeli F-16 fighter crashes in Jezreel Valley.

9/8: Following hottest July in nearly forty years, Jerusalem bakes at 41 degrees (106 F).

10/8: Israeli intelligence joins multi-national investigation of Kenya, Tanzania bombings; Suspects held for questioning as US offers $2 million reward for information.

11/8: On three-day visit to South Africa, Arafat awarded that country's highest honour.

11/8: Body count stands at more than 230, 5000 wounded in African bombings.

11/8: Israel reluctantly joins UN conference on nuclear disarmament.

11/8: Netanyahu concedes more funding for defence in coming fiscal year.


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