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Source: Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR)
31 August 1995
CHRONOLOGICAL REVIEW OF EVENTS

RELATING TO THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE

August 1995













Monitored from the media by the
Division for Palestinian Rights

1 August Hundreds of Israeli settlers took over two hills near the settlements of Beit El and Kedumim near Ramallah in a third day of protest against the anticipated expansion of the Palestinian self-rule in the West Bank. Israeli police evacuated dozens of them. (The New York Times, Reuter)
3 August Dr. Nabil Shaath, in charge of the Planning and International Cooperation Department, announced that the Palestinian Authority has received $520 million from donor countries since the Palestinian self-rule began in May 1994. He added that needed funds were still short of $720 million for the first year alone. (AFP)
5 August The Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, has called on the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Conference to put pressure on the United States to release Mr. Mussa Abu-Marzuk who was accused of being a leader of Hamas. (Reuter)


6 August Israeli security forces sealed off the shrine of al-Aqsa (Al-Haram al-Sharif) in East Jerusalem after dozens of Israeli Jews tried to force their way into the compound. A PLO spokesman condemned the closure and described the act as a real injustice. (AFP)


8 August The United States Government formally arrested Mr. Mussa Abu-Marzuk, believed to be a key leader of Hamas. It was also reported that the extradition process to Israel to face charges of terrorism and conspiracy to commit murder has begun. (AFP)


9 August The Israeli authorities decided to seal off the Gaza Strip after receiving security reports about an attempt by the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, to blow up a car in Tel-Aviv. The closure would take effect at 1.00 a.m. on 10 August, barring Palestinians in Gaza from entering Israel. (Reuter)


10 August Libya has begun to expel to the Palestinian self-rule areas Palestinians who were placed by the Libyan Government in temporary camps near its border with Egypt. Security officials at the Egyptian border checkpoint of Al Saloum reported that around 400 Palestinians have already crossed Egypt from Libya. PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat dispatched a representative to Cairo to discuss the issue with the Egyptian authorities in an effort to change the Libyan decision of expelling the more than 30,000 Palestinians living in Libya. (AFP, The Washington Post)


12 August The Israeli authorities extended the closure of the Gaza Strip until 13 August. (AFP)


13 August Following several extensive meetings held between 7 and 11 August in Taba, Egypt, PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat and Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres initialed an interim agreement on expanding Palestinian self-rule in the West Bank. In a joint statement, both leaders announced that several issues had been resolved, including control of rural zones in the West Bank, military redeployment, Palestinian prisoners release, taxation, economic development and amending the Palestinian national charter. Water sharing and the issue of Hebron were among the intractable issues that were yet to be solved. The agreement was ratified by the Israeli cabinet. (The Washington Post, Reuter)
14 August The Israeli authorities decided to keep the Gaza Strip sealed off from Israel until 16 August, extending the security measures for a seventh consecutive day. The closure was already extended three times. (AFP)
15 August PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat held a two-day meeting with the PLO Executive Committee in Tunis which approved the interim agreement on the expansion of the Palestinian self-rule in the West Bank. The interim agreement was approved by ten members out of 18. The other eight members boycotted the meeting and called it illegitimate. Among the eight members was Farouk Kaddoumi, the head of the PLO Political Department. The PLO Executive Committee meeting was followed by a meeting of the Central Committee of Fatah where the agreement was also discussed. (The Financial Times, AFP)


16 August According to an Israeli military historian, Aryeh Yitzhaki, about 900 Egyptian and Palestinian men were killed by the Israeli forces during the 1967 war after they had surrendered. The biggest massacre took place in the El-Arish area where 300 Egyptian soldiers and Palestinians from the Palestinian Liberation Army were shot dead by the Shaked Commando Unit. According to Mr. Yitzhaki, there were six massacres of prisoners in 1967, including those at the Mitla Pass and Khan Yunis in the Gaza Strip. In an interview Mr. Aryeh Biro, an Israeli former colonel admitted that he personally shot dead 40 to 49 Egyptians captured by his unit at Mitla Pass in 1956, during the Israeli invasion of the Sinai. Egyptian Foreign Minister Amr Mussa urged Israel to investigate the killing. (The Washington Post, AFP)


17 August The Egyptian-Jordanian-Palestinian-Israeli Technical Committee met in the Gaza Strip and discussed the return of Palestinians displaced in the 1967 war. During the two-day meeting, the delegates made efforts to define four points, including who is a refugee; the number of displaced persons; a time table for their return; and international aid to absorb the displaced. According to United Nations estimates there were about 700,000 displaced Palestinians from the 1967 war. Israeli estimates accounted for only 200,000 people. The committee ended the two-day meeting without an agreement on a definition of a displaced person and decided to meet in Amman in September 1995. (Reuter)


19 August The Israeli authorities closed the Ibrahimi mosque (Tomb of the Patriarchs) in the West Bank city of Hebron from 19 to 24 August. According to an Israeli army statement, the decision was taken for organizational needs. It gave no other details. (Reuter)


20 August Israeli authorities lifted the closure imposed on the Gaza Strip on 9 August. Colonel Redwan Abu al-Qumsan, head of Palestinian security at the Erez crossing, reported that only 6,000 out of the 16,000 Palestinians with permits left Gaza to work in Israel. The remainder stayed home assuming they needed new permits to enter Israel. (Reuter)
21 August A Palestinian suicide bomber blew himself up and killed five Israelis and injured more than 100 others in a bus attack in Jerusalem. Israeli radio reported that a caller from the Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, claimed responsibility for the attack. Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin temporally suspended the peace talks with the Palestinians until the victims were buried. The West Bank and Gaza Strip were sealed off by the Israeli authorities until further notice. (The New York Times, Reuter)

23 August The Israeli authorities allowed more than 10,000 Palestinians from the Gaza Strip to return to work in Israel. But the West Bank would remain sealed off until 25 August. (Reuter)
24 August At a briefing for Israeli military reporters, the head of Israels Shin Bet (General Security Services), revealed the arrest of two Palestinians, believed to be top organizers of the recent bombings in Tel-Aviv and Jerusalem, and claimed to have broken a network of about 30 bomb builders, suppliers and couriers. The cell allegedly represented the infrastructure of the military wing of Hamas in the West Bank. The head of the Shin Bet said that Yahya Ayyash, the man who trained and commanded the ringleaders, was still at large in the Gaza Strip. PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat ordered senior security officials Muhammad Dahlan and Jibril Rajoub to search for and arrest Mr. Ayyash. (Reuter)
25 August A group of former members of the Islamic Jihad Movement in the Gaza Strip launched a new Palestinian political party which favored preserving stability in the self-rule areas. The Palestinian Islamic Front (PIF) was the second Islamic group to be set up in the Gaza Strip in two weeks with the recognition of the Palestinian Authority. Earlier this month, another group of former activists of Hamas had also set up a political party. (Reuter)
27 August A closure imposed on the West Bank, following a suicide bomb attack on 21 August on an Israeli bus in Jerusalem, was lifted except for the city of Jericho. Israel state radio reported that the closure of Jericho would continue until the Palestinian Authority handed over to Israel two Palestinians believed to be involved in the recent suicide bomb attack in Jerusalem. (AFP)
28 August Israeli Police Minister Moshe Shahal ordered three Palestinian organizations in East Jerusalem to close their offices within four days. The three offices included the Palestinian Center of Statistics, the Palestinian Health Council and the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation. Israeli officials again warned that they would take action against the Orient House, the PLO Headquarters in East Jerusalem, if the Palestinian Authority did not halt political activity there. PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat condemned the Israeli Police Ministers decision and said that it violated the 1993 PLO-Israeli Declaration of Principles. (Reuter)
29 August United States envoy Mr. Dennis Ross met PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat in Gaza City and discussed obstacles blocking the negotiations on expanding Palestinian self-rule in the West Bank. Later on in the day, Mr. Ross met with Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and proposed collecting $100 million from international donors to help the Palestinian Authority cover its budget deficit for the year 1995. (Reuter)
30 August Israeli authorities lifted the closure imposed on Jericho on 23 August. (Reuter)


31 August A survey on Jerusalem conducted in Cairo and published by the London-based Arab daily newspaper of Ash-Sharq Al-Awsat, showed that 62.8 per cent of 489 Palestinian interviewees living in East Jerusalem and holding a Jerusalem residency card said that they would prefer war than live in Jerusalem under Israeli control. Only 16 per cent chose Israeli control. On the final status of Jerusalem, 41.5 per cent said East Jerusalem should be made the capital of a Palestinian State, while 23.3 per cent preferred the city to come under international control. Only 15.3 per cent said it should become a shared capital. (AFP)


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