CHRONOLOGY: Middle East peacemaking

Author : Mircea Birca | Sunday, November 25, 2007

The United States will host a peace conference in Annapolis, Maryland on Tuesday aimed at relaunching talks on Palestinian statehood after a 7-year break.Here is a timeline of events in Middle East peacemaking.

March 26, 1979 – Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin sign peace treaty to end 30 years of war.

Dec 1987 – First Palestinian uprising, or Intifada, starts.

Sept 13, 1993 – Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin trade historic handshake at Bill Clinton’s White House, sealing Oslo Accords outline for limited Palestinian self-rule in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip.

July 1, 1994 – Arafat ends years in exile and returns to Gaza Strip to create the first Palestinian Authority.

Oct 26, 1994 – Rabin and King Hussein of Jordan sign peace treaty ending 46 years of war.

Nov 4, 1995 – Rabin assassinated by ultra-nationalist Jew.

July 25, 2000 – Camp David peace summit, brokered by Clinton, breaks down after two weeks of talks between Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak. 

Sept 28, 2000 – Second Palestinian Intifada erupts after Israeli opposition leader, Ariel Sharon, visits Jerusalem’s Temple Mount, revered by Muslims as al-Haram al-Sharif.

Jan 21, 2001 – In last-ditch effort to reach peace with the Palestinians before February Israeli election, Barak launches talks at Egyptian Red Sea resort of Taba. Talks end without deal and Labor’s Barak loses election to right-winger Sharon.

April 30, 2003 – “Road map” for peace drafted by Quartet — United States, European Union, United Nations and Russia.

Nov 11, 2004 – Arafat dies in Paris. Mahmoud Abbas takes over as head of Palestine Liberation Organization. He later becomes Palestinian president after landslide election.

Feb 8, 2005 – Sharon and Abbas declare ceasefire at summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.

Sept 12, 2005 – Israel completes pullout of troops and settlers from Gaza Strip after 38 years of occupation.

Jan 4, 2006 – Sharon suffers stroke and Ehud Olmert succeeds the comatose leader, later winning parliamentary election.

Jan 25, 2006 – Islamist Hamas wins parliamentary election, prompting Western sanctions and factional fighting with Abbas’s Fatah, even after March 2007 formation of unity government.

June 14, 2007 – Hamas beats Fatah in Gaza fighting. Abbas dismisses Hamas premier and names Fatah-backed administration.

July 16, 2007 – U.S. President George W. Bush calls for Middle East peace conference bringing together Israel, the Palestinians and Arab states. Expected to be around November.

Nov 27, 2007 – Bush to host Abbas, Olmert and Arab leaders at Annapolis, Maryland, to relaunch negotiations in hope of securing peace deal before he steps down in January 2009.

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