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Source: Division for Palestinian Rights
30 September 1994
CHRONOLOGICAL REVIEW OF EVENTS

RELATING TO THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE


September 1994




















Monitored from the media by the
Division for Palestinian Rights


1 September Israel and Morocco established low-level diplomatic relations, making the Kingdom the second Arab country after Egypt to have formal ties with Israel. The Information Ministry in Rabat announced that Morocco has set up liaison offices in the Palestinian self-ruled Gaza City and Jericho and in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv. The Israeli Government announced its decision to open a liaison office in Rabat. (AP, Xinhua)
2 September PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin share this year's Prince of Asturias prize of international cooperation. The Spanish foundation said that the PLO leader and the Israeli Prime Minister had opened a new road to peace in the Middle East. The five million peseta ($40,000) prize, one of eight awarded annually for achievements in different fields, will be presented in the northern Spanish city of Oviedo in autumn. (Reuters)
3 September United Nations Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali met in Paris with Mr. Terje Roed Larsen, United Nations Special Coordinator in the Occupied Territories, and discussed "an enhanced role for the United Nations in the development process in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip". The two also discussed possible United Nations technical help for funding the Palestinian police forces in the Palestinian self-ruled areas. (Reuters)

More than 400 Palestinian former security prisoners confined by Israel in the Jericho self-ruled area blocked the main road outside Jericho to demand the release of thousands of Palestinian prisoners who remain in Israeli jails. The protesters also demanded that Israel allow them to return to their homes in the West Bank. After the May Agreement on the Gaza Strip and Jericho area, Israel, after releasing the prisoners, forced them into Jericho and Gaza, not allowing them to live in their homes in the West Bank. (Reuters)


4 September Two Israelis were stabbed in the back while on their way to the Wailing Wall in East Jerusalem. Israeli police said that one was slightly wounded and the other, seriously, in the attack at the Damascus Gate to the Old City. The attackers then fled, dropping a kitchen knife beside the gate. (Reuters)

One Israeli soldier was killed and two others were wounded when gunmen opened fire from a car near a Jewish settlement in the Gaza Strip. Two Palestinian groups, the Islamic Jihad and the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine, claimed responsibility for the attack. (AP)


5 September A military officer and at least four other Jews were arrested by Israeli security forces for organizing a Jewish terrorist group to attack Palestinians. It was the first armed Jewish group opposed to the Israeli-PLO accord to emerge since an Israeli crackdown on extreme right-wing organizations after the 25 February Hebron mosque massacre. (AP)

Israeli security forces arrested eight Hamas members suspected of involvement in attacks in the West Bank in which three Israelis were killed. (Reuters)

A leading activist of Hamas in Tulkarm was stabbed to death in one of the town's mosques. His brother, who was with him during the incident, accused a fellow Hamas leader in Tulkarm of carrying out the killing. (AP)

PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat condemned the violent attack on Israeli soldiers in the Gaza Strip a day earlier, which left one soldier dead and two wounded. (AP)

Cardinal Andrea Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo, an envoy of Pope John Paul II, visited Chairman Arafat at his headquarters in Gaza to discuss the establishment of a Vatican Mission in Gaza. Two days earlier, Pope John Paul announced his decision to establish official relations with the Palestinian Authority. (AP)


6 September Dr. Abdul Aziz Haj Ahmad, head of the Transport Department of the Palestinian Authority, met in Amman with Jordanian Prime Minister Abdul Salam Majali, and discussed ways of cooperation between both sides. Following the meeting, a spokesman for the Jordanian Government said that his Government has promised to help the Palestinian Authority "by all possible means". (Xinhua)

Radio France Internationale (RFI), the French state-owned radio broadcasting abroad, said it would supply the Palestinian Broadcasting Corporation (PBC) with music programmes and live satellite broadcasts in Arabic, French and other languages. It will also provide PBC with a satellite reception station and a large quantity of compact discs, and help equip its studios in Gaza and Jericho. (Reuters)

The Palestinian security forces arrested 15 members of the Islamic Jihad, which claimed responsibility for the killing of an Israeli soldier in southern Gaza Strip, two days earlier. (Xinhua)


7 September The World Bank signed a $30 million loan agreement for infrastructure projects in the Palestinian self-ruled areas in the Gaza Strip and Jericho. Under the agreement, signed by Mr. Caio Koch Weser, World Bank vice-president, and Mr. Mohammed Nashahibi, head of the Financial Department of the Palestinian Authority, the money will be invested immediately in sewage, water, energy, transport, communications and education. (Reuters)

A group of 60 Palestinian and Jordanian investors are launching a $21 million Islamic bank, the first of its kind in the Palestinian self-ruled areas. Mr. Tawfik al-Fakhouri, heading the investors, said that "The Islamic Arab Palestinian Bank will work according to Islamic rules and its aim is to get deposits of the sector that doesn't believe in commercial banks". It plans to begin operation in early 1995. (Reuters)


8 September PLO Chairman and head of the Palestinian Authority, Mr. Yasser Arafat, met for the first time since his arrival in Gaza on 12 July, with leaders of the Hamas movement, during a visit to the Islamic University. It was reported that the visit of Arafat to the University was part of his efforts to bring Hamas into the political process. (Reuters)

The Palestinian Authority has begun preparations for elections in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Mr. Saeb Erakat, in charge of Local Government in the Palestinian Authority, said that Chairman Arafat had ordered the opening of election offices in the Palestinian areas, including East Jerusalem. (Reuters)

Chairman Yasser Arafat, in his capacity as head of the Palestinian Authority, granted Hamas, a main opposition group, a permit to publish a newspaper in Gaza. Mr. Imad Falouji, a senior member of Hamas, told the press that he obtained Mr. Arafat's approval to open the daily Al-Watan (The Nation). (AP)


9 September Mr. Mahmoud Abbas (known as Abu Mazen), a top PLO official, arrived in Jericho through the Allenby Bridge. Mr. Abbas signed the Declaration of Principles, together with Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, at the White House on 13 September 1993. It was reported that Mr. Abbas will not take a post in the Palestinian Authority since he is in charge of preparing for the final phase of negotiations with Israel. (Xinhua)

A clash between Israel and the PLO over East Jerusalem thwarted a meeting of international donors on aid for the Palestinian Authority. Before the start of the meeting, which was scheduled to take place in Paris, Israel insisted that the Palestinians remove from their 1995 budget projects in Jerusalem, but the Palestinians refused, saying that they did not want to set a precedent for international donors not to fund projects in East Jerusalem. Israel said that the move was not consistent with the Declaration of Principles, which left the issue of Jerusalem until the negotiations on the final status of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. As a result of the disagreement between the two parties, the meeting was postponed and the representative of the World Bank said that he would try to resume the negotiations but set no date. (Reuters, The New York Times)


10 September Thousands of Israeli Golan settlers launched a new initiative at a rally to block an Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights as part of a peace agreement with Syria. A member of parliament from Prime Minister Rabin's own Labour Party, Avigdor Kahalani, vowed at the rally to vote against his party on a peace initiative that includes a substantial withdrawal. (Reuters)


11 September According to the Jerusalem Post, the United States has received signals from 18 Arab States that they would sign peace agreements with Israel once it reaches a peace agreement with Syria.


12 September A Palestinian from Hebron, who converted to Judaism and lived in the Jewish settlement of Kiryat Arba, was arrested on suspicion of involvement in an anti-Palestinian underground movement. Israeli secret police have seven Jews still in custody in the case out of as many as 10 arrested over the previous several days. The suspects, members of "The Jewish Underground of Revenge", are suspected of planning attacks on Palestinians. It was reported that some of them were being questioned about the killing of four Palestinians. (Reuters)

The Dutch Government donated 32 mobile homes to house released Palestinian prisoners in the self-ruled area of Jericho. It was reported that over 500 former prisoners are restricted to Jericho and have been marching repeatedly to protest their living conditions. (AP)

Israel and Jordan agreed to open a third border crossing between their countries. According to the agreement, the crossing would open at the end of October at Sheik Hussein Bridge, 15 miles south of the Sea of Galilee. (AP)

The United States Government will provide financial backing for five American investment projects supporting economic development in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, Vice-President Al Gore announced to the press. He said that the projects, including the building of three hotels, have an initial investment of $87 million and will create 1,800 temporary and permanent jobs in the Palestinian territories. The business ventures were assisted by Builders for Peace, an organization of Arab-Americans and American Jews chartered after the signing of the Declaration of Principles last year, to foster United States investment in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. (AP)


13 September PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat and Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres, met in Oslo to mark the first anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Principles in Washington on 13 September 1993. At the end of their meeting, they released a joint statement in which the two sides reaffirmed their commitment to fully implement the Declaration of Principles and agreed not to discuss controversial matters within the donor countries forum. The statement which has been labelled "Oslo Declaration" is reported to bridge over the differences between the two sides which appeared in Paris on 9 September and caused the postponement of the donors' meeting. (AP)

Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin stormed out of the Knesset (Parliament) after an opposition legislator called him a "swindler", accusing him of having struck a secret land-for-peace deal with Syria. It was reported that the episode reflected the increasingly heated domestic debate in Israel over the Golan Heights and the peace negotiations with Syria. (AP, Ha'aretz)


14 September An Israeli military court issued the first formal charges against a 23-year-old army officer suspected of belonging to a Jewish terrorist cell. A Government spokesman said that the cell was planning murderous attacks on Palestinians in order to sabotage the peace process. One planned attack was purportedly aimed at the Orient House, the PLO headquarters in Jerusalem. (AP, Ha'aretz)


15 September The Arab League, in a final statement after a meeting of foreign ministers and envoys of 22 countries, said that: "Based on the fact that Holy Jerusalem is a Palestinian Arab city that has a sublime status to the Arab and Islamic worlds, the League Council stress the extreme importance of Jerusalem and the need to restore its Arab and Palestinian sovereignty as the capital of the independent Palestinian State". The statement also said that: "The League ask the world's body to put pressure on Israel to stop erecting obstacles to the tasks of the national Palestinian Authority and to stop expanding settlements which are a new obstacle to peace". (Reuters)


16 September Turkish Prime Minister Tansu Çiller assured PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat that Turkey would join development projects in the Palestinian self-ruled areas and contribute to an international monitoring force in those areas. Chairman Arafat arrived in Turkey a day earlier for an official visit. (Reuters)

Russian First Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said that Russia will provide 45 armored personnel carriers as a gift to help Palestinian police in the self-ruled areas. He also said that his Government plans to bring a group of Palestinian police officers to Moscow for training. (AP)


17 September The Palestinian Authority declared itself in charge of all Islamic sites in Jerusalem and the West Bank. According to the decision, all mosques, religious schools and other Islamic institutions in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip will be placed under its newly created Islamic Trust Department. (AP)

PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat has approved the reopening of the Agriculture Development Bank in the Gaza Strip. The bank, which provides farmers with agricultural tools, equipment, seeds and chemical compounds for plantation, stopped its services in Gaza after the 1967 war. (Xinhua)


18 September PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat opened a meeting in Cairo of the Palestinian Economic Council for Development and Reconstruction (PECDAR). PECDAR was set up after the signing of the Declaration of Principles in Washington on September 1993 to handle projects funded to the Palestinian Authority by international donors. (Reuters)

A Palestinian police officer was killed while he was mediating a conflict between a Palestinian security force unit and two activists of the Hamas movement. Hamas issued a statement denying that its people killed the officer while Palestinian police said that the security officer was killed by Hamas. (Reuters)


19 September According to the daily Maariv, a special Israeli army unit has begun training for the removal of Jewish settlers from the occupied territories. In an official statement, the military denied the report but said that it had established a military police unit in the West Bank with a general mandate to quell disturbances by Jews and Arabs.

The daily Ha'aretz reported that 10 Arab and Muslim countries agreed to establish postal links with Israel. The move came at the Twenty-first congress of the Universal Postal Union, which was held a few days earlier in Seoul, South Korea. It was reported that the countries were Algeria, Afghanistan, Brunei, Djibouti, Indonesia, Jordan, Morocco, Oman, Qatar and Tunisia.


20 September Israel's Culture Minister Shulamit Aloni played host to her Palestinian counterpart at the opening of a theatre festival in the northern Israeli town of Acre. "Maybe I am the first Palestinian official who attends such a festival and this represents the new relations that we all intend to build together," said Yasser Abed Rabbo, in charge of the Cultural Department of the Palestinian Authority. (Reuters)

Israeli soldiers shot and killed a Palestinian in the West Bank town of Ram, north of Jerusalem. According to military sources, the man was shot after he tried to avoid an army roadblock. (AP)


21 September Mr. Farouk Kaddoumi, head of the Political Department of the PLO, met in Amman with Jordan's Prime Minister, Abdul-Salam al-Majali, to discuss their bilateral relations, strained over Jordanian-Israel peace moves and the future of the Moslem holy sites in East Jerusalem. (Reuters)

Jordan's Crown Prince Hassan held his first public meeting with the Israeli opposition leader Binyamin Netanyahu, at the official guest house of Jordan's Ambassador in London. "This meeting is part of our efforts to get to know Israel's political spectrum and its leaders," Prince Hassan told Jordanian television. (Reuters, Ha'aretz)


22 September PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat met officially for the first time with leaders of Hamas, including their spokesman, Mahmoud al-Zahhar, in Gaza. The two sides hailed the meeting as providing a basis for cooperation and coordination between Hamas, which opposes the PLO-Israel accord, and the Palestinian Authority running the self-rule areas in the Gaza Strip and Jericho area. Following the meeting, Chairman Arafat ordered released three members of Hamas held by Palestinian police for the killing of a Palestinian policeman some days earlier. (Reuters)

Palestinian police said that they had discovered and sealed tunnels used by smugglers to bring contraband from Egypt into the Gaza Strip. The tunnels were built before the establishment of the Palestinian Authority in the Gaza Strip. (Reuters)

Representative of the European Union, Tomas Dupla, signed a 6 million ECU grant to four Palestinian credit companies. The agreement, which was signed in East Jerusalem, was attended by Ahmed Qurei (Abu Ala), in charge of the Department of Economy and Commerce in the Palestinian Authority. (Xinhua)

A group of religious Jews broke into the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron, which has been closed since the massacre of 30 Muslims in February. It was reported that several thousand West Bank Jewish settlers and their supporters from Israel skirmished with Israeli border police for more than four hours before reaching the Mosque. At least four people were injured and 20 were arrested. (AP, Ha'aretz)


23 September The first Palestinian newspaper published in Gaza City reached the newsstands in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The weekly tabloid Filistin (Palestine) is published by Reuters Gaza correspondent Taher Shriteh who said he hoped this was the start of "a truly free press". (Reuters)


25 September Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat met for two hours at an Israeli army base at the entrance to the Gaza Strip. "I have been to all the meetings (with Arafat) and this was the most successful and most positive," said Environment Minister Yossi Sarid, who attended the meeting with Rabin. The two leaders discussed extending Palestinian self-rule throughout the West Bank and agreed that their delegations will meet in Cairo next week to discuss the elections in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. (Reuters, The Washington Post)

A few hours before the meeting between Messrs. Rabin and Arafat, Israeli soldiers shot dead a Palestinian after he stabbed a teenaged Jewish settler near Neva Dekalim settlement in the Gaza Strip. (Reuters)


26 September Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin approved new housing for a Jewish settlement just inside the West Bank. The move, which drew immediate condemnation from the PLO, reportedly appeared to be designed to tighten Israel's hold on a section of the West Bank directly across the border from where the State of Israel is only 11 km. wide. The settlement of Alfei Menashe, in which the new housing was approved, is 3 km. inside the West Bank near Qalqilia. It was reported that upon taking office two years ago, Mr. Rabin froze the construction of about 10,000 housing units in the occupied territories and allowed work to continue on 13,700 homes whose foundation had been laid. (Reuters)

A group of Palestinian businessmen living abroad announced the setting up of three investment companies in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, with a total capital of $65 million. Sabih al-Masri and Munib al-Masri said that the Palestinian Company for Development and Investment (PCDI) established companies to channel investment into the tourism, industry and real estate sectors. (Reuters)


27 September Israel agreed to allow 78 PLO activists into Palestinian self-rule areas to take up duties in the Palestinian Authority's administration. According to a PLO spokesman, the 78 are members of PLO cadres specializing in education, health, social welfare, finance and other fields. (AP)

Jordan renounced its religious links with the West Bank, in a move reportedly aimed at avoiding further conflict with the PLO but maintained it spiritual claim to East Jerusalem. In a statement issued by Prime Minister Abdul-Salam al-Majali, Jordan also announced the dismissal of hundreds of employees in nearly 40 religious sites in the West Bank. "I think it's a good step in the right direction," said Hassan Tahboub, in charge of Islamic affairs in the Palestinian Authority. (AP)

The Arab League condemned the Israeli decision to resume construction in a Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank. A statement issued by the League's secretariat said that the move by the Israeli Government violates international law and the spirit of the Israel-PLO accord. (Xinhua)


28 September PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat arrived in Madrid where he was due to meet Prime Minister Felipe Gonzalez and seek economic aid for the Palestinian self-rule areas. He will address the World Economic Development Congress the following day and will also meet with King Juan Carlos of Spain. (Reuters)


29 September Pope John Paul II said that the Vatican wanted international guarantees to protect Jerusalem as the common patrimony of the world's major religions. In a speech accepting the credentials of Israel's first ambassador to the Vatican, the Pope also renewed a Roman Catholic commitment to fight anti-semitism. "The leaders of the great monotheistic religions look towards the holy city of Jerusalem, which we know is still today a theatre of divisions and conflict, as a sacred patrimony for all those who believe in God," the Pope said. (Reuters)

Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Jordan's King Hussein held a surprise meeting in Jordan to try to overcome differences on water rights and territory that are blocking a peace treaty between their countries. The two, after meeting in a 90-minute working dinner in Aqaba, issued a brief communiqué saying that they would make "all possible efforts" to resolve core issues. (AP)


30 September A representative of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) signed an agreement in Gaza with the Palestinian Authority in which the Agency grants $4.5 million in aid for Palestinian police and for Gaza Strip housing construction. (Reuters)

The Palestinian Authority and Israeli negotiators have reached a draft agreement on border crossings between the Palestinian self-rule areas and Egypt and Jordan. It was reported that the written draft will be submitted to the leaders of the two parties for approval. (Reuters)
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