1896-1916 – Zionist movement

1896-1916 – Zionist movement

In 1896 following the appearance of anti-Semitism in Europe, Theodore Herzl, the founder of Zionism tried to find a political solution for the problem in his book, ‘The Jewish State’. He advocated the creation of a Jewish state in Argentina or Palestine.

In 1897 the first Zionist Congress was held in Switzerland, which issued the Basle programme on the colonization of Palestine and the establishment of the World Zionist Organization (WZO).

In 1904 the Fourth Zionist Congress decided to establish a national home for Jews in Argentina.

In 1906 the Zionist congress decided the Jewish homeland should be Palestine.

In 1914 With the outbreak of World War I, Britain promised the independence of Arab lands under Ottoman rule, including Palestine, in return for Arab support against Turkey which had entered the war on the side of Germany. (for website)

1916 – Sykes-Picot Agreement

Britain and France signed the Sykes-Picot Agreement, which divided the Arab region into zones of influence. Lebanon and Syria were assigned to France, Jordan and Iraq to Britain and Palestine was to be internationalized.

1917 – Balfour Declaration

The British government therefore issued the Balfour Declaration on November 2, 1917, in the form of a letter to a British Zionist leader from the foreign secretary Arthur J. Balfour: �His Majesty’s Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will use their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of the existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.

1922 – A Mandate for Palestine

The Council of the League of Nations issued a Mandate for Palestine. The Mandate was in favor of the establishment for the Jewish people a homeland in Palestine.

1929 – The riots

In August 1929, the century’s first large-scale attack on Jews by Arabs rocked Jerusalem. The riots, in which Palestinians killed 133 Jews and suffered 116 deaths. Mostly inflicted by British troops were sparked by a dispute over use of the Western Wall of Al-Aqsa Mosque ( this site is sacred to Muslims, but Jews claimed it is the remaining of jews temple all studies shows clearly that the wall is from the Islamic ages and it is part of al-Aqsa Mosque). But the roots of the violence lay deeper in Arab fears of the burgeoning Zionist movement , which aimed to make at least part of British-administered Palestine a Jewish state.

The British had made promises to both Arabs and Zionists. The 1917 Balfour Declaration supported the establishment of a “national home” for the Jews, while pledging that nothing would be done to ” prejudice the civil and religious rights” of the Arabs. But the very presence of a Jewish homeland would, Arabs insisted, infringe on those rights.

1937 – The Peel Commission

Since the Balfour Declaration of 1917 (which endorsed the idea of a Jewish state within Palestine), the British government had been struggling to reconcile the conflicting aspirations of Jews and Arabs in Palestine, which Britain administered under a League of Nations mandate . Those who still believed in the possibility of peaceful coexistence between the two groups got a grim comeuppance in July 1937 when the Peel Commission, headed by Lord Robert Peel, issued its report. Basically, the commission concluded, the mandate in Palestine was unworkable There was no hope of any cooperative national entity there that included both Arabs and Jews, . The impetus for the commission’s formation had been the most recent spark of Palestinian violence.Riots and Arab protests against the Jews in Palestine had been escalating throughout the 1920s and ’30s. In the mid-1930s, in response to the thousands of Jews who’d arrived from Europe, Palestinian Arabs formed the Arab High Committee to defend themselves against what they perceived as a Jewish takeover A general strike exploded into a revolt. Desperate for a solution, the British appointed Lord Peel to study the situation. The Arab leadership boycotted the study.

After dismissing the possibility of Arab-Jewish amity, the commission went on to recommend the partition of Palestine into a Jewish state, an Arab state, and a neutral sacred site state to be administered by Britain. Within two years, Britain found itself in a no-win situation, and on the eve of World War II issued the infamous “White Paper” severely curtailing Jewish immigration into Palestine.

1947 – Great britain withdraw & the UN partition plan

Exhausted by seven years of war and eager to withdraw from overseas colonial commitments, Great Britain in 1947 decided to leave Palestine and called on the United Nations (UN) to make recommendations. In response, the UN convened its first special session in 1947, and on November 29, 1947, it adopted a plan calling for partition of Palestine into Jewish and Arab states, with Jerusalem as an international zone under UN jurisdiction; the Jewish and Arab states would be joined in an economic union. The partition resolution was endorsed by a vote of 33 to 13, supported by the United States and the Soviet Union. The British abstained.

1948 – First Arab-Israeli War

In Palestine, Arab protests against partition erupted in violence, with attacks on Jewish settlements in retaliation to the attacks of Jews terrorist groups to Arab Towns and villages and massacres in hundred against unarmed Palestinian in there homes , that soon led to a full-scale war. The British generally refused to intervene, intent on leaving the country no later than August 15, 1948, the date in the partition plan for termination of the mandate.

When it became clear that the British intended to leave by May 15, leaders of the Yishuv decided (as they claim) to implement that part of the partition plan calling for establishment of a Jewish state. In Tel Aviv on May 14 the Provisional State Council, formerly the National Council, �representing the Jewish people in Palestine and the World Zionist Movement,� proclaimed the �establishment of the Jewish State in Palestine, to be called Medinat Israel (the State of Israel) � open to the immigration of Jews from all the countries of their dispersion.�

On May 15 the armies of Egypt, Transjordan (now Jordan), Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq joined Palestinian and other Arab guerrillas who had been fighting Jewish forces since November 1947. The war now became an international conflict, the first Arab-Israeli War. The Arabs failed to prevent establishment of a Jewish state, and the war ended with four UN-arranged armistice agreements between Israel and Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, and Syria. The frontiers defined in the armistice agreements remained until they were altered by Israel’s conquests during the Six Days War in 1967.

1948 – Israel founded

The population balance in the new state of Israel was drastically altered during the 1948 war. The armistice agreements extended the territory under Israel’s control beyond the UN partition boundaries from approximately 15,500 to 20,700 sq km (about 6,000 to 8,000 sq mi). The small Gaza Strip on the Egypt-Israel border was left under Egyptian control, and the West Bank was controled by Jordan . Of the more than 800,000 Arabs who lived in Israeli held territory before 1948, only about 170,000 remained. The rest became refugees in the surrounding Arab countries, ending the Arab majority in the Jewish state.

Israel’s Provisional State Council organized elections for the first Knesset (parliament) in 1949. Chaim Weizmann, the most prominent Zionist leader of the prewar period, became the country’s first president.

1954 – Nasser Takes Charges

For almost two years, Colonel Gamal Abdal Nasser had quietly directed Egypt’s revolution-from-above, while General Muhammad Naguib served as president and prime minister. In February 1954, the colonel stepped to the fore. Citing Naguib’s ties to the banned Muslim Brotherhood and his intention to restore the old system of government, Nasser forced him to resign. In April, Nasser took over the premiership.

1956 – The Suez campaign

Attempts to convert the Israeli-Arab armistice agreements into peace treaties were unsuccessful. The Arabs insisted that the refugees be permitted to return to their homes, that Jerusalem be internationalized, and that Israel make territorial concessions before they entered peace talks. Israel charged that these demands would undermine its security and refused them. Frequent incursions by refugee guerrilla bands and attacks by Arab military units were made, which Israel answered with forceful retaliation. Egypt refused to permit Israeli ships to use the Suez Canal and blockaded the Straits of Tiran (Israel’s access to the Red Sea), which was seen as an act of war. Border incidents along the frontiers with Egypt escalated until they erupted in the second Arab-Israeli War in October and November of 1956.

Great Britain and France ostensibly joined the attack because of their dispute with Egypt’s president Gamal Abdel Nasser, who had just nationalized the Suez Canal. Nasser took over the canal after Great Britain and France withdrew offers to finance the construction of the Aswan High Dam. Israel scored a quick victory, seizing the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula within a few days. As Israeli forces reached the banks of the Suez Canal, the British and French started their attack. The fighting was halted by the UN after a few days, and a UN Emergency Force (UNEF) was sent to supervise the cease-fire in the Canal zone. In a rare instance of cooperation, the United States and the Soviet Union supported the UN resolution forcing the three invading countries to leave Egypt and Gaza. By the end of the year their forces withdrew from Egypt, but Israel refused to leave Gaza until early 1957, and only after the United States had promised to help resolve the conflict and keep the Straits of Tiran open.

1958 – Arabs Unite

The 1958 merger of Syria and Egypt into the United Arab Republic was the first of a series of dramatic realignments throughout the Middle East, inspired by the vision of Gamal Abdal Nasser. Syria had been moving in the Egyptian dictator’s ideological direction since the fall of a rightist military regime in 1954: the new junta, dominated by the socialist Ba’ath party, had followed Egypt in recognizing Mao’s China and acquiring Soviet arms, Squeezed between Washington (which backed anti Soviet Arab governments against their nonaligned neighbors) and a growing domestic Communist movement, Syria’s leaders decided to put their pan-Arabist notions to the test. National borders, after all, were a Western invention: Syria would lose nothing and gain untold strength by melding with dynamic Egypt. More changes followed quickly. Yemen, though ruled by a conservative monarch, sought security by affiliating itself with the U.A.R. in a confederation called the United Arab States, The Western-oriented kingdoms of Iraq and Jordan formed a rival union. In Saudi Arabia, King Saud was forced to cede authority to his relatively pro-Egyptian brother Faisal after being implicated in a plot on Nasser’s life. In Lebanon, civil war erupted between Syrian-backed Arab nationalists and supporters of pro-Western president Camille Chamoun. In Iraq, when Premier Nuri al-Said decided to aid Chamoun, pro-Egyptian officers revolted killing Said along with King Faisal II and most of the royal family. The Iraqi-Jordanian federation was no more.

Fearing the spread of Nasserism to Lebanon, the United States sent 10,000 troops and sponsored talks between the warring factions. A compromise led to elections, and General Fuad Chehab less enthusiastically pro-Western and friendlier to Nasser than Chamoun became president.

Except for Jordan, all the Arab nations had now fallen more or less into Cairo’s camp. But they soon fell out again. Iraq’s strongman, Abdul Karim Kassem, developed a bitter personal rivalry with his Egyptian counterpart . The Syrians came to resent Nasser’s authoritarianism, while the Saudis and Yemenites resisted his socialism. And by 1961, when Syria seceded from the U.A.R. , Arab unity lay in ruins.

1964 – PLO established

The Palestine Liberation Organization was established. On 1 January 1965 The Palestine ‘Revolution’ began .

1967 – The Six Days War

After the Suez-Sinai war Arab nationalism increased dramatically, as did demands for revenge led by Egypt’s president Nasser. The formation of a united Arab military command that massed troops along the borders, together with Egypt’s closing of the Straits of Tiran and Nasser’s insistence in 1967 that the UNEF leave Egypt, led Israel to attack Egypt, Jordan, and Syria simultaneously on June 5 of that year.

The war ended six days later with an Israeli victory. Israel’s French-equipped air force wiped out the air power of its antagonists and was the chief instrument in the destruction of the Arab armies.

The Six Days War left Israel in possession of Gaza and the Sinai Peninsula, which it took from Egypt; Arab East Jerusalem and the West Bank, which it took from Jordan; and the Golan Heights, taken from Syria. Land under Israel’s jurisdiction after the 1967 war was about four times the size of the area within its 1949 armistice frontiers. The occupied territories included an Arab population of about 1.5 million.

The occupied territories became a major political issue in Israel after 1967. The right and leaders of the country’s orthodox religious parties opposed withdrawal from the West Bank and Gaza, which they considered part of Israel. In the Labor Alignment, opinion was divided; some Laborites favored outright annexation of the occupied territories, others favored withdrawal, and some advocated retaining only those areas vital to Israel’s military security. Several smaller parties, including the Communists, also opposed annexation. The majority of Israelis, however, supported the annexation of East Jerusalem and its unification with the Jewish sectors of the city, and the Labor-led government formally united both parts of Jerusalem a few days after the 1967 war ended. In 1980 the Knesset passed another law, declaring Jerusalem �complete and united,� Israel’s eternal capital.

The 1967 war was followed by an upsurge of Palestinian Arab nationalism. Several guerrilla organizations within the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) carried out guerrillas attacks on Israeli targets, with the stated objective of �redeeming Palestine.� Guerrillas attacks on Israelis targets at home and abroad unified public opinion against recognition of and negotiation with the PLO, but the group nevertheless succeeded in gaining widespread international support, including UN recognition as the �sole legitimate representative of the Palestinians.�

1972 – Munich Olympics

The stunning performances of the young Soviet gymnast Olga Korbut and the gold medals of American swimmer Mark Spitz and British athlete Mary Peters could not dispel the horror in Munich when the 20th Olympic Games became the setting for an guerrilla attacked which left 11 Israeli athletes dead. The attacked began just before dawn on September 5th when eight hooded guerrillas scaled the fence around the Olympic Village. Bursting into the dormitory where the 11 Israeli athletes were sleeping, they shot two dead and took the other nine hostage, threatening to kill them unless 200 Arab guerrillas were released. The German authorities agreed to take the guerrillas to Furstentbldbruck military airfield where a Lufthansa airliner was waiting on the tarmac to fly them out of the country. There they were ambushed by German marksmen, but in the ensuing gun battle all nine hostages were killed in the cross-fire.

1973 – The October War

In 1973 Egypt joined Syria in a war on Israel to regain the territories lost in 1967. The two Arab states struck unexpectedly on October 6, which fell on Yom Kippur , Israel’s holiest fast day . After crossing the suez channel the Arab forces gain a lot of advanced positions in Sinai Peninsula and Golan Heights and manage to defeat the Israeli forces for more then three weeks . Israeli forces with a massive U.S. economic and military assistance managed to stop the arab forces after a three-week struggle and defeat with the cost of many casualties,and the Arabs strong showing won them support from the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and most of the world’s developing countries. Saudi Arabia and Kuwait financed the Arab forces, making it possible for Egypt and Syria to receive the most sophisticated Soviet weapons , and the Arab oil producing states cut off petroleum exports to the United States and other Western nations in retaliation for their aid to Israel.

Israel, forced to compete with the nearly unlimited Arab resources, was faced with a serious financial setback. Only massive U.S. economic and military assistance enabled it to redress the balance, but even American aid was unable to prevent a downward spiral of the economy.

In an effort to encourage a peace settlement, U.S. President Richard M. Nixon charged his secretary of state, Henry Kissinger, with the task of negotiating agreements between Israel and Egypt and Syria. Kissinger managed to work out military disengagements between Israel and Egypt in the Sinai and between Israel and Syria in the Golan Heights during 1974.

1979 – Camp David peace treaty

Begin, however, was the first Israeli leader to achieve a peace settlement with an Arab state. It resulted from the surprise initiative of President Anwar al-Sadat of Egypt, who in November 1977 flew to Jerusalem, where he addressed the Knesset and called on Begin to begin peace talks. After protracted negotiations sponsored by U.S. President Jimmy Carter at Camp David, Maryland, the Egyptian-Israeli peace treaty was signed in Washington, D.C., on March 26, 1979. Although the treaty ended the prospects for war between Israel and Egypt, many issues remained between the two countries, including the problem of arranging for Arab autonomy in the occupied West Bank and Gaza.

1979 – Russian Jews

The Jews of the Russian empire had been oppressed for centuries, and though the pogroms ended under Soviet rule, discrimination did not. Fearing international embarrassment and a “brain drain” of skilled workers, MOSCOW had long restricted emigration. But in the 1970s, detente brought a loosening of curbs. The exodus peaked in 1979 , when more then 51,000 exit visas were issued.

The sharp increase, coinciding with the conclusion of the second U.S.-Soviet Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT II) , was widely seen as an attempt to influence treaty ratification. A second Soviet foreign policy goal to achieve most favored nation status with the United States was equally important: In 1979, U.S. officials were considering repeal of the Jackson-Vanik Amendment, a 1974 law that tied trade grants to free emigration.

Even as emigration soared, the Kremlin cracked down on Jewish activism reviling refuseniks (the term for those refused permission to leave) as “agents of world Zionism” and sentencing many to long terms in labor camps or psychiatric institutions. The 1977 arrest of Anatoly Shcharansky, a young mathematician who’d talked openly with Western reporters about his failure to gain an exit permit, generated international outrage. Charged with spying for the CIA, Shcharansky was convicted in a closed trial, and served nine years in prison before being released to Israel as part of a spy exchange. His case was extraordinary only in the attention it drew.

Watchdog groups estimated that by 1979, some 180,000 Soviet Jews had filed for visas, yet emigration plummeted the following year, when SALT II failed to be ratified and the Carter administration – reacting to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan – imposed a grain embargo. By 1984, the number of emigres had slumped to 896.

1981 – President Sadat assassinated

On October 6th, President Mohammed Anwar el Sadat of Egypt was murdered by Islamic fundamentalist gunmen in Cairo. The shooting happened at 1 p.m. during the annual military parade to commemorate the beginning of the Egyptian attacked in the 1973 Arab-Israeli war. A lorry in the procession stopped in front of the rostrum where the President and other luminaries were watching a fly-past of Egyptian Air Force jets. Armed men climbed out and ran towards Sadat, hurling grenades and opening fire with automatic weapons. The President and seven others fell, mortally wounded. Sadat was flown to the Maadi military hospital where he died an hour and 40 minutes later. Sadat’s funeral on October 10th was attended by only one Arab head of state. He had isolated himself in the Arab world by the rapprochement with Israel which had won him and Menachem Begin the Nobel Peace Prize in 1978 and led to a peace treaty between the two countries in 1979. Iraq, Libya, Syria and the Palestinian Liberation Organization openly applauded his assassination.

1982 – Lebanon invasion

In 1982 Israel launched an invasion of Lebanon aimed at wiping out the PLO presence there. By mid-August, after intensive fighting in and around Bayrut, the PLO agreed to withdraw its guerrillas from the city. Israeli troops remained in southern Lebanon, however, and the cost of the war and subsequent occupation drained the already troubled Israeli economy.

1982 – PLO leave Beirut

Some of the 1,500 Palestinian fighters forced to leave the war-torn city of Beirut give victory signs to supporters gathered to greet them at the harbour gate in Larnaca , Cyprus. In further attempts to destroy guerrillas bases, Israeli jets had bombed Moslem West Beirut, despite appeals for restraint from the US government. The guerrillas were allowed to go with one gun each, leaving behind grenade-launchers and other sophisticated weaponry .

1985 – Falash airlift stopped

Ethiopia in 1985 forced the Israeli government to stop its covert airlift of Falasha – Ethiopian Jews – to Israel. Since beginning the airlift in 1974 (when persecution of the Falasha increased after the fall of Ethiopian emperor Haile Selassie), Israel had airlifted some 12,000 members of the ancient Jewish sect, which had existed in isolation from the rest of the Jewish world since about the second century BC. Israel resumed the airlift in 1989, and within a few years most of the approximately 14,000 remaining Falasha had emigrated.

1987 – The Intifada

Relations between Israel and the Palestinians entered a new phase in the late 1980s with the intifada, a series of uprisings in the occupied territories that included demonstrations, strikes, and rock throwing attacks on Israeli soldiers. The harsh response by the Israeli government drew criticism from both the United States and the UN.

1988 – Jordan gave up the West bank

1988, Nov. 15 : Jordan gave up the West Bank, in favour of the Palestinian people. The West Bank had still a strong majority of Palestinians. The West Bank was also under boundless Israeli control, which it had been since the occupation of 1967.

1988 – PNC declared the State of Palestine

On 14-04-1988 , Abu Jihad, Palestinian leader, was gunned down in his home in Tunis by the Israeli Mossad.

On 15-11-1988 , The PNC meeting in Algiers declared the State of Palestine as outlined in the UN Partition Plan 181 , and a flag for the new state is presented. The new state is recognized only by states that have not recognized Israel.

On 09-12-1988 , British Junior Foreign Minister William Waldegrave met with Bassam Abu Sharif President Arafat’s adviser, thus upgrading Britain’s relations with the PLO.

Following the US government refusing President Arafat a visa to enter the US, the UN General Assembly held a special session on the question of Palestine in Geneva.

1990 – Arafat addressed UN In Geneva

On 20-05-1990 , Seven Palestinian workers from Gaza were massacred by an Israeli gunman near Tel Aviv.

Yasser Arafat addressed the UN Security Council In Geneva after the massacre in which he called for the deployment of a UN emergency force to provide international protection for the Palestinian people to safeguard their lives, properties and holy places.

The US vetoed a motion which called for the Security Council to send a fact finding mission to the area. At the end of their hunger strike, Palestinian leaders in the Occupied Territories decided to boycott the US.

The Arab Summit in Baghdad pledged support fort he Palestinian Intifada and strongly denounced the settlement of Soviet Jews with in the Occupied Territories.

On 20-06-1990 , The US suspended its dialogue with the PLO after the PLO refused to denounce a military operation in the sea by the PLF.

On 26-06-1990 , The EEC in Dublin issued a new declaration on the Middle East which condemned Israeli human rights violations and the settlement of Soviet Jews in the Occupied Territories. It also doubled its economic aid programme to the Occupied Territories.

On August-1990 , The Gulf Crisis erupted.

On 20-12-1990 , UN Security Council adopted Resolution 681.

1991 – Peace Talks

The first comprehensive peace talks between Israel and delegations representing the Palestinians and neighboring Arab states began in October 1991. After Likud lost the parliamentary election of June 1992, Labor party leader Yitzhak Rabin formed a new government .

1993 – Washington peace agreement

Events in the Middle East took a surprising turn in 1993. After secret negotiations, Prime Minister Rabin and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat flew to Washington, D.C., and agreed to the signing of an historic peace agreement. Israel agreed to allow for Palestinian self-rule, first in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank town of Jericho, and later in other areas of the West Bank that are not settled by Jews.

In Sept,93 , At a ceremony in Washington, D.C., representatives of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) signed an agreement designed to end 45 years of confrontation between the Israelis and Palestinians. The actual signing was done by Israel’s foreign minister, Shimon Peres, and PLO foreign policy spokesman, Mahmoud Abbas. Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin of Israel and PLO leader Yasser Arafat met and shook hands on the White House lawn, as President Bill Clinton of the United States and 3,000 guests looked on. The agreement was limited in scope; it provided for transfer of the Gaza Strip and Jericho to Palestinian rule within a few months. But the accord was regarded as a first step in resolving years of violent conflict between Jews and Palestinians. The agreement had been worked out secretly in Oslo, Norway, with the mediation of Norway’s foreign minister, Johan Jorgen Holst. Following the signing, a long process of negotiation began on the means of transferring power in the occupied lands.

1994 – Israel withdrew from Jericho and Gaza Strip

In May’94 , At a ceremony in Cairo, Egypt, attended by 2,500 guests, Yasser Arafat, chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), and Yitzhak Rabin, prime minister of Israel, signed the final version of the Declaration of Principles that had been signed in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 13, 1993. The accord was regarded as a start toward bringing peace between Israelis and Palestinians after 45 years of conflict. Within 24 hours of the signing, Israeli military forces were scheduled to leave the Gaza Strip and Jericho, ending 27 years of occupation of those territories. A Palestinian police force was ready to move into the areas to keep order. Among the foreign visitors at the ceremony were Secretary of State Warren Christopher of the United States, Foreign Minister Andrei V. Kozyrev of Russia, and Foreign Minister Koji Kazikawa of Japan. In spite of the accord, Jewish and Palestinian extremists in Israel vowed to prevent its full implementation.

1994 – Jordan signed a peace agreement with Israel

In July 1994 Prime Minister Mr. Rabin and King Hussein of Jordan signed a peace agreement ending 46 years of war and strained relations. The agreement, which was signed at the White House in the presence of U.S. President Bill Clinton, laid the groundwork for a full peace treaty.

1995 – Oslo II Agreement signed in Washington

In Sept. 24 , Israeli and Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) officials meeting in Taba, Egypt, finalized agreement on the second stage of eventual Israeli withdrawal from Palestinian lands. Under the pact, which was officially signed on September 28 in Washington, D.C., Israeli forces were scheduled to be removed from six Arab cities and 400 villages in the West Bank by early 1996, after which elections would be held for a 82-member Palestinian council, which would possess legislative and executive power in the West Bank and Gaza.

Special arrangements were agreed upon for the West Bank city of Hebron, where Israeli soldiers will remain to protect the 450 Jewish settlers living there. Disagreement over the status of Hebron almost scuttled the agreement, and it took almost a week of non-stop negotiations between PLO leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres to resolve the issue.

The pact was the second stage in a three-step process agreed upon in the Declaration of Principles, a framework for eventual Palestinian autonomy signed by the PLO and Israel in September 1993. The first phase in the process was finalized in May 1994, when an accord was signed in Cairo, Egypt, for the pullout of Israeli troops from the Gaza Strip and the West Bank town of Jericho and the handing over of administrative duties to the Palestinian National Authority, led by Arafat. The third stage will tackle such contentious issues as the status of Jerusalem, the fate of Israeli settlers, and the final borders between Israel and the Palestinian state that many analysts believe is close to becoming a reality. Negotiations concerning the last phase of the peace process were scheduled to begin in May 1996, with any agreement to be implemented before the end of the century.

1995 – Israeli Prime Minister Rabin assassinated

In Nov.4 , Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, was assassinated in Tel Aviv by a right-wing extremist who considered Rabin’s crusade for peace a betrayal of the Jewish state. The prime minister was shot three times as he was getting into his car to leave a peace rally at 9:30 PM local time. He was rushed to nearby Ichilov Hospital but had no heartbeat or blood pressure when admitted to the emergency room. Doctors tried without success to revive Rabin, but he was pronounced dead at 11:10 PM. Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres took over leadership of the Labor government upon Rabin’s death.

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