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Last Updated: Monday, 5 May, 2003, 12:40 GMT 13:40 UK
Timeline: Recent Mid-East peace process

BBC News Online provides a quick guide to the Middle East peace process since 1993.

30 April 2003:
Copies of internationally-backed "roadmap" for peace are presented to Israeli and Palestinian prime ministers

29 April 2003:
Palestinian parliament endorses the cabinet drawn up by Mahmoud Abbas - known as Abu Mazen.

23 April 2003
Yasser Arafat and Mr Abbas agree a cabinet list after much wrangling.

18 April 2003
President Bush announces he will publish an internationally agreed "roadmap" for peace once Mr Abbas names his cabinet.

19 March 2003
The deputy leader of the Palestinian Authority agrees to become prime minister.

28 January 2003
The Israeli general election gives Ariel Sharon's Likud party a convincing victory over leftist rivals.

22 December 2002
Yasser Arafat cancels elections for a Palestinian president and parliament in January, blaming the Israeli military occupation.

24 June 2002
US President George W Bush calls on Palestinians to choose new leaders if they want peace and their own state.

27 February 2002
Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Abdullah proposes peace plan based on Israel's withdrawal from occupied territories in return for the recognition of Israel's right to exist. A tougher version is later endorsed by the Arab League.

13 June 2001
The head of the US Central Intelligence Agency, George Tenet, negotiates a ceasefire which rapidly crumbles during a bloody summer of Palestinian bomb attacks and Israeli military strikes.

31 May 2001
Heart attack kills respected Palestinian figure Faisal Husseini during a visit to Kuwait.

21 May 2001
Former US Senator George Mitchell releases his long-awaited report on the Middle East which calls for a ceasefire, confidence-building measures and, ultimately, negotiations.

7 March 2001
Ariel Sharon formally takes office as head of a fragile coalition government.

6 February 2001
Right-winger Ariel Sharon sweeps to power in Israel's prime ministerial election. Mr Sharon uses his victory speech to call for a government of national unity to bring peace to the Middle East.

December 2000
With his governing coalition teetering on the edge of collapse, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak gives his resignation to the country's president. Mr Barak says he wants to seek a new mandate from the Israeli people.

17 October 2000
US President Bill Clinton presides over a summit at the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh which announces plans to bring to an end weeks of Palestinian-Israeli violence. The plan unravels soon after it is agreed.

28 September 2000 Ariel Sharon, the leader of the right-wing Israeli opposition, visits the Temple Mount, known to Muslims as the Haram al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary). Against a background of the failure of the peace process, the visit sparks off a spiral of violence that leaves more than 300 dead by the middle of December.

25 July 2000 A peace summit at Camp David in the United States ends without agreement after two weeks of intensive negotiations. The negotiators were unable to come up with a formula to reconcile their competing claims to Jerusalem. Palestinians and Israeli accused each other of intransigence, but promised to continue working towards a permanent peace agreement.

26 March 2000
Presidents Clinton and President Hafez al-Assad fail to break the deadlock on the Syrian-Israeli track after several hours of talks in Geneva.

21 March 2000
Israel finally hands over West Bank territory to the Palestinians amounting to 6.1% of the total - the last part of a transfer originally agreed at Wye River in 1998. Palestinian and Israeli negotiators also meet in Washington to restart final status talks.

13 February 2000
Final status negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians are deadlocked as the deadline for a framework agreement is missed.

3 February 2000
Summit between Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Mr Arafat breaks up over a disagreement on a promised Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank under the revised Wye accord.

15 December 1999
Mr Barak meets Syrian foreign minister Farouk al-Shara in Washington for the highest ever level of talks between the countries. Negotiations resume in the new year but are suspended on 17 January without explanation. Breakdown triggers a new round of violence in Lebanon.

6 December 1999
Final status talks hit a serious problem when Palestinians withdraw in protest over the building of new settlements in the West Bank. Mr Barak responds the following day by announcing a freeze on the addition of 1,800 more houses to Jewish settlements around Jerusalem.

5 September 1999
The Israelis and Palestinians sign a revised deal based on the stalled Wye River accord, aimed at reviving the Middle East peace process.

18 May 1999
Labour Party leader Ehud Barak pledges he will be a prime minister for all Israelis after a decisive general election victory over incumbent Binyamin Netanyahu.

7 February 1999
King Hussein of Jordan dies. He spearheaded moves towards normalisation between Israel and Arab states. Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu talks of grief in Israel which "almost matches the grief of the people of Jordan".

4 January 1999
Israeli Knesset votes to bring forward elections to 17 May after the Netanyahu coalition collapses in disarray over implementation of the Wye deal. Israel suspends Wye timetable.

23 October 1998
Mr Netanyahu signs Wye River Memorandum outlining further Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank after US pressure to end 18 month's of stagnation on the Israeli-Palestinian peace track.

Upon completion of each phase of Palestinian commitments, Israel agrees to transfer a specified percentage of land to the Palestinians within the context of the "further redeployments" as stated in previous agreements.

18 March 1997
Israel defies world opinion by beginning work on construction of the Har Homa settlement on Jabal Abu Ghneim to complete a circle of Jewish settlements around occupied East Jerusalem.

17 January 1997
Israel hands over 80% of Hebron to Palestinian rule, but holds on to the remainder where several hundred Jewish settlers live among 20,000 Palestinians.

12 August 1996
First step in lifting four-year freeze on Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

29 May 1996
In Israeli parliamentary and prime ministerial elections Shimon Peres loses to Binyamin Netanyahu, who campaigned against the Rabin-Peres peace programme under the motto Peace with Security.

November 1995 - March 1996
Mr Peres decides to go all-out for peace deal with Syria, in contrast to earlier cautious negotiations under Mr Rabin. Considerable progress is made in talks at the secluded Wye Plantation in Maryland. Talks eventually collapse.

4 November 1995
Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin is assassinated by Yigal Amir, an orthodox Jewish student who is opposed to Israeli withdrawals from the occupied West Bank. Shimon Peres takes over.

28 September 1995
Mr Arafat and Mr Rabin sign the Taba agreement (known as Oslo II) in Washington to expand Palestinian self-rule in the West Bank and Gaza and allow Palestinian elections (held on 20 January 1996).

26 October 1994
Israel and Jordan sign a peace treaty. Israel agrees to respect the special responsibility of the Hashemite Kingdom over Muslim holy shrines in Jerusalem.

1 July 1994
Arafat makes a triumphal return to Gaza to take up his position as head of the new Palestinian self-rule authority, after nearly 12 years of running the PLO from Tunis.

May 4 1994
Israel and the PLO reach agreement in Cairo on the initial implementation of the Oslo Accords, including a Israeli military withdrawal from about 60% of the Gaza Strip (Jewish settlements and their environs are excluded) and the West Bank town of Jericho.

The Cairo agreement envisages further withdrawals from yet to be agreed areas of the occupied territories. A five year period begins in which a permanent resolution is to be negotiated on Jerusalem, settlements, Palestinian refugees and sovereignty.

13 September 1993
Yasser Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin sign Declaration of Principles in Washington on the basis of the Oslo channel. Israel recognises the PLO and gives them limited autonomy in return for peace and an end to Palestinian claims on Israeli territory.

January 1993
Secret Israeli-PLO talks in Oslo begin.




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The signing of the declaration


Prime Minister Rabin, Declaration of Principles 1993
"We who have fought against you, the Palestinians, say enough of blood and tears, enough"



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