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Source: Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR)
16 October 2003

Division for Palestinian Rights

Chronological Review of Events Relating to the
Question of Palestine

MONTHLY MEDIA MONITORING REVIEW

March 2000


1

Israeli media reported that Tzvi Schneider, an official in the Israeli Ministry of the Interior, submitted a report on 29 February to Minister for Jerusalem Affairs Haim Ramon, citing 20,000 structures illegally built in East Jerusalem. This is the first time such a number has been documented by an Israeli official. (Ha’aretz)

The Israeli Higher Planning Council for Judea and Samaria (West Bank) gave its final approval for the construction of a high-tech industrial park on 200 dunums in the “Etzion” settlement block. No action was taken on requests by settlements in the eastern part of the block (“Metzad” and “Nokedim”) for residential expansion. The Israeli Government temporarily froze construction of a bypass road from these settlements to “Har Homa” in East Jerusalem. (Ha’aretz)

2

PA representative for Jerusalem affairs Faisal Husseini announced to the US and European consuls that official meetings between foreign visitors and Palestinian figures would continue to take place in the Orient House as well as other Palestinian institutions, Kol Yisrael reported. Mr. Husseini addressed the consuls in a meeting at the Orient House, saying the decision was made following increased pressure by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs on European officials not to meet with Palestinian officials in East Jerusalem, insisting that such activity violated the PA’ s commitment not to establish offices in areas in which it does not have any authority, and to refrain from all activity in the realm of foreign affairs, including diplomacy. (Ha’aretz, Israel Line)

Israeli security forces raided a two-story house in Taibeh, an Israeli Arab town south-east of Nazareth, where authorities said a group of at least five Islamic militants from the Gaza Strip were preparing explosives for use in Israeli cities. Three Palestinians were killed in the raid: one man surrendered during the raid;two others emerged with weapons and a suitcase that exploded when police fire hit it, killing both men, according to a police account; a third man in the house was shot after opening fire on Israeli troops 12 hours later; another man may have escaped. A police officer wounded in the blast had his foot amputated later. Prime Minister Barak said the raid averted a plan “to sabotage the peace process” with bomb attacks on Israeli civilians. (The New York Times)

Students and teachers at Bir Zeit University, the leading Palestinian academic institution in the West Bank, have suspended classes indefinitely to protest arrests of students by the Palestinian security forces. The arrests followed an incident on Saturday in which a crowd of protesting students stoned Prime Minister Lionel Jospin of France during a campus visit, angered by his remarks in which he called attacks by Hezbollah “terrorist acts.” The decision to suspend classes was made on 29 February. (The New York Times)

3

Chairman Arafat received Knesset speaker Avraham Burg, marking the highest level PA-Israeli meeting in a month. Mr. Burg conveyed to Mr. Arafat Prime Minister Barak’s “full commitment” to achieve a permanent agreement. PA officials said the meeting did not constitute a resumption of talks. (The New York Times)

4

The PA announced that the 13 September deadline for a permanent peace deal with Israel was final and non-negotiable as the Palestinian Central Council had decided that the State will be declared no later than that date. (www.pna.net)

5

Prime Minister Barak objected to a decision by Minister of Education Yossi Sarid to add works by Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish to the high-school literature curriculum. “The conditions are not yet ripe for teaching Darwish in the schools,” Mr. Barak told his aides in his first comment on the subject. “It’s a pity the Prime Minister didn’t speak to me before he issued his reaction,” Mr. Sarid said. “If he had, he might have understood and not reacted as he did.” (Ha’aretz)

The Palestinian police freed 30 students who had been jailed for stoning Prime Minister Jospin. “President Yasir Arafat ordered the release of all Bir Zeit University students,” said Walid Wahdan, a leading Fatah official. Four students were released on bail, but the others will not face charges. (The New York Times)

6

The Israeli parole board decided to release Israeli settler Yoram Skolnik who had been sentenced to life imprisonment for the execution-style murder of a Palestinian in the West Bank. On 23 March 1993, Mr. Skolnik fired several shots from his Uzi submachine gun at Musa Abu Sabha, a Palestinian who lay face down, his hands tied behind him. Mr. Abu Sabha had been caught near the “Susia” settlement, south of Hebron, carrying a knife and a grenade, and had stabbed and slightly wounded a settler before he was subdued. Mr. Skolnik spent seven years in jail, and his life sentence was already cut on two earlier occasions. Israeli High of Court rejected the decision of the board. (The New York Times)

Kol Yisrael reported that Israel had been exploring various avenues to resume talks with the PA concerning the framework agreement on permanent status. Minister of Foreign Affairs David Levy introduced a list of confidence-building measures supported by Prime Minister Barak and including revisions in the latest West Bank withdrawal maps which would not include areas surrounding Jerusalem, details on the northern safe passage route and economic issues. During a Cabinet meeting on 5 March Mr. Levy said, “We need to examine what the Palestinians are ready for and if they have the courage to reach crucial decisions.” (Israel Line)

Israeli Minister of Internal Security Shlomo Ben-Ami, following a meeting with PA official Faisal Husseini, said the understandings previously reached between Israel and the PA, which banned meetings between foreign officials and the PA in the Orient House or elsewhere in East Jerusalem, would be upheld. Mr. Husseini said after the meeting that the Palestinians would retain their right to hold meetings wherever they choose without undercutting their understandings with Israel. Mr. Husseini also requested that Mr. Ben-Ami released Palestinian security prisoners as a goodwill gesture to mark Eid al-Adha holiday. Mr. Ben-Ami replied that he would examine the possibility. (Ha’aretz)

7

Prime Minister Barak met Chairman Arafat in Tel Aviv to discuss differences blocking renewal of their peace talks, especially implementation of the third stage of the second redeployment. Talks had been frozen since the two last met on 3 February. According to Israeli sources, Barak presented the Palestinian leader with a goodwill proposal including the release of prisoners, the opening of the northern safe passage and the payment of taxes owed by Israel to the PA. (The New York Times)

Chairman Arafat and Prime Minister Barak held a second meeting of the day at the Grand Park Hotel in Ramallah, attended also by US special envoy Dennis Ross. After the meeting Mr. Ross said there had been “constructive” talks on interim issues and announced that Israeli and Palestinian negotiators would end a month-long deadlock and resume peace talks after the end of four-day holiday of Id al-Adha on 20 March. Negotiations will be held in Washington D.C. A three-way summit with both leaders and President of Egypt Mubarak was also scheduled to be held at Sharm el-Sheikh on 9 March. It was reported that the two sides had agreed on a new May deadline for a framework accord, an April target date for a handover of West Bank land, as well as a commitment to a 13 September target date for a final settlement. (AFP, AP, BBC, The New York Times)

8

According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, 20 per cent of Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza Strip live below the poverty line. A full 33 per cent of Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip live in poverty, earning less than $112 a month for a family of six. Fifteen per cent of Palestinians living in occupied parts of the West Bank live under the poverty line. Most of the poorest Palestinians, a third of whom have immediate families numbering ten or more, live in refugee camps. Another official study released last week said that the population of the Palestinian territory would increase to nearly five million in the next ten years from 3.15 million this year. The report blamed the 1998 unemployment rate of 14.4 per cent on restrictions on the free movement of Palestinian goods and workers. (AFP)

9

Chairman Arafat and Prime Minister Barak met President Mubarak for an informal lunch at Sharm al-Sheikh, in advance of PA-Israeli meeting of “working level” experts in Washington. According to Kol Yisrael, Foreign Minister Levy, who also attended the meeting, characterized the discussions as “open and productive.” Officials in the Prime Minister’s Office stressed, however, that there was no intention of altering the status of villages near Jerusalem during the next Israeli redeployment from the West Bank. Ha’aretz reported that the PA suspended its participation in the previous talks when Israel refused to include Jerusalem-area land in the third phase of the second redeployment. The Israeli side did not agree to this demand, but both sides offered sufficient concessions to allow the talks to resume. In order to “re-start” the talks, the leaders agreed Israel would hand over 6.1 percent of the West Bank within few days, completing the second redeployment. The Palestinians will be able to choose the areas they prefer from an Israeli map covering about 10 percent of the West Bank, which will not include areas around Jerusalem. To show goodwill, Israel will release Palestinian prisoners to mark Id al-Adha, and make an effort to finish dealing with the two open issues from the Sharm Al-Sheikh accord: the northern “safe passage” route and reimbursement of purchase tax by Israel to the PA. (CNN, Ha’aretz, The New York Times)

10

Czech Republic announced plans to open a permanent mission to the PA in Ramallah in the coming months. (CTK)

13

Yediot Aharanot reported that, according to senior officials in the Israeli Ministry of Housing, the Government had frozen “building plans [in settlements] around Jerusalem. ”The Prime Minister’s Office noted in response: “All Jewish communities around Jerusalem, like Givat Ze’ev and Ma’ale Adumim, will of course remain under Israeli sovereignty in any agreement, and construction in them will proceed according to their needs.” The Ministry of Housing prepared plans for the construction of 22,410 new units in the Jerusalem region, whose settler population at the end of 1997 was 40,000. The ministry’s objective is to increase the number of Israelis living in this area to 250,000 by the year 2020. The Israel Lands Authority plans to merge the settlement of “Beitar” with nearby “Sur Hadassah” in Israel. (Foundation for Middle East Peace)

14

After a meeting with Israeli security authorities, Prime Minister Barak announced that the Area “C”village of Anata, an East Jerusalem suburb, would be removed from the list of possible areas to be transferred to the PA under the third stage of the second redeployment. According to Palestinian media sources, the redeployment maps are to include lands in Bethany, Salfit, Jenin, and Hebron. (The New York Times)

Kol Israel reported that PA culture and arts official Yasser Abed Rabbo had announced that the works of prominent Israeli writers and poets would be taught in the PA’s high schools and universities. Mr. Abed Rabbo said the decision contrasted with the recent criticism in Israel of Minister of Education Yossi Sarid following his decision to include the work of Palestinian poet Mahmud Darwish in the curriculum of Israeli high schools. (Israel Line)

15

Israel and the Palestinians agreed on the next area of West Bank territory to be handed over to Palestinian control. The Israeli Cabinet then approved (by a vote of 5-3 with one abstention) several maps for the third phase of the second redeployment, comprising 6.1 percent of the West Bank, and a list of 15 Palestinian prisoners to be released for Id al-Adha. The approval followed Prime Minister Barak’s decision to exclude the Palestinian village Anata from the territory to be transferred to Area “A.” Prime Minister Barak reportedly said that the unity of Jerusalem was a top Government priority, adding that it would be a mistake to include areas close to Jerusalem in the current withdrawal map. (Ha’aretz, the Jerusalem Post, The New York Times)

Three Hamas activists from the cell uncovered in Tayiba on 2 March turned themselves over to the PA Security Services. Israel and the PA had been conducting an extensive search for the fugitives since the recent clash in Tayiba where four members of the cell were killed and a fifth surrendered. Two of the activists who turned themselves were commanders of the cell. They also turned over two suitcases with explosives. The West Bank Preventive Security Force, headed by Jibril Rajoub, located the fugitives in Area “A” village Kafr Qalil, 2 km south of Nablus. The IDF massed troops nearby in area “C,” but did not intervene. Prime Minister Barak and other Israeli officials praised recent PA actions against Hamas. (Ha’aretz)

16

In Nablus, PA police arrested two Palestinians suspected of plotting bombings, and confiscated 40 kg of explosives. (The New York Times)

The Israeli Security Cabinet approved the release of 17 Palestinian security prisoners as a goodwill gesture for Id al-Adha, among them two Israeli Arabs, five residents of East Jerusalem and 10 residents of PA areas. Thirty felons will also be released. (Ha’aretz)

Rabbi Menachem Fruman, leading a delegation of settlers and religious Jews, meets with Chairman Arafat at his office in Gaza on the occasion of ‘Id Al-Adha to deliver a message of peace and harmony between the two religious communities. Rabbi Fruman told Mr. Arafat that it was possible to create a religious foundation between the two peoples, as “all of us are the sons of Abraham and people of G-d.” In a letter to Mr. Arafat, Chief Sephardic Rabbi Eliahu Bakshi-Doron stressed the obligation of both religious communities to strive for peace. Efrat Rabbi Shlomo Riskin wrote that there was no reason that settlers could not live together with Palestinians, extend mutual respect and build a socio-economic future together. The letters from the rabbis were read to Mr. Arafat in Arabic and in return he expressed his gratitude in Hebrew. Later in the day, Chairman Arafat sent a wooden chest decorated with oriental ornaments to Tekoa’s Rabbi Menachem Fruman, and a gold necklace and bracelet to his daughter, Shulamit Fruman, for her wedding on Sunday, Ma’ariv reported. This was the first time Mr. Arafat sent a gift to a settler. (Israel Line, PASSIA)

19

The Israeli Cabinet approved revised maps for the withdrawal from 6.1 percent of the West Bank, with a vote of 16 in favour, 6 against and one abstention. After the redeployment, expected to take place on 21 June, the PA will have full or partial control over 98 percent of the Palestinian population and approximately 40 percent of the West Bank. Israel will redeploy from three large villages which are close to but not abutting Jerusalem, as well as several towns in the Jericho, Jenin, Bethlehem and Hebron areas. In presenting the maps to the press, Deputy Minister of Defence Ephraim Sneh said that no Israeli settlements would be affected by the transfer and that even the “Negohot” settlement, which is now nearer to Area “A,” would not be cut off. (The Jerusalem Post)

The Israeli Cabinet voted (16 in favour, 6 against) to place the “ Negohot” settlement, in the southern West Bank, under the PA security control. The decision meant that the road between the settlement and Israel proper would be off-limits to Israeli troops by around mid-week, and the residents of the settlement may be subjected to Palestinian roadblocks and security checks on the road. (The Washington Post)

Israeli Ministry of Housing reported that a US$5,000 grant available to buyers of new apartments in some East Jerusalem settlements would cost the Government US$4 million during 2000. (Foundation for Middle East Peace)

20

A new Israeli settlement may be built in the village of Al-Walaja, just south-west of Jerusalem, on the land purchased from three Palestinian families by a group of Jewish investors. About 5,000 housing units were planned to be built on 300 acres of land, with about half of the area within the Jerusalem municipal borders and the rest in the West Bank under full Israeli control (Area “C”). PA officials had warned villagers against any sale of land to Jews and several members of the families suspected of being involved in the property transfer had been arrested by Palestinian security services, but were released after Israeli officials intervened on their behalf. The PA also attempted to re-purchase the land from Jewish buyers, but the offer of US$50 million was rejected. (Ha’aretz)

Three Israelis were injured, one of them seriously, as a result of a shooting attack near the Tarqumiya checkpoint west of Hebron. A number of Chabad Hasidim from central Israel were on their way back from delivering Purim holiday gifts to IDF soldiers stationed in the area when their vehicle was fired upon. The three managed to continue towards the checkpoint, and were evacuated by helicopter to Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem. (Ha’aretz, The New York Times)

IDF soldiers open fire on a Palestinian car at a West Bank checkpoint near Hebron, killing Halima Abdel Aziz Al-Aloul (Al-Sharuf), 45, mother of 12, and wounding her husband. Israel Army Radio reported that they refused to stop at a checkpoint set up to capture those responsible for an earlier shooting attack in the area. Palestinian sources said the husband had turned the car back realizing that he did not have his car papers. (The New York Times, PASSIA)

According to Ha’aretz, negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians were expected to resume on 21 June in Washington. Prime Minister Barak had reportedly instructed chief Israeli negotiator Oded Eran to concentrate on reaching a framework agreement on permanent status. (Ha’aretz)

Israel released ten Palestinian security prisoners as goodwill gesture ahead of the resumption of the talks, in addition to five prisoners released on 19 June. (Ha’aretz)

21

Israel implemented the third phase of the second redeployment, transferring 6.1% of Area B to Area A, a day after the signing of maps of the troop withdrawal. The handover gave the Palestinians full control of 18.2 per cent and partial control of 21.8 per cent of the West Bank. It would also mean that some 60 percent of approximately 1.8 million Palestinians in the West Bank would now live on land governed by Palestinian officials and patrolled by Palestinian police. The territories included a large area near Hebron and fragments of areas near Bethlehem, Ramallah, Nablus and Jenin. IDF commanders met with Palestinian counterparts to patrol the areas of transfer. The IDF began displaying new border signs the same day. (AFP, Ha’aretz, The New York Times, Reuters, the Washington Post)

Israeli and Palestinian working delegations, headed by chief Israeli negotiator Oded Eran and the PA’s Yasser Abed Rabbo commenced talks at the Bolling Air Force Base on the southeastern edge of Washington D.C. under a media blackout. The negotiators are working against a 13 September target for agreement on “final status” issues. US special envoy Dennis Ross and his assistant Aaron Miller were to oversee the talks but would not, at this stage, present US proposals. Mr. Ross stressed that the talks, expected to last one week, were “only a preparatory process for the difficult decisions ahead.” An Israeli official said that, with the help from the US mediators, the aim of the week-long talks was to find bridging proposals on tough problems so that the drafting of an accord could begin at the conclusion of the talks. Ha’aretz also reported that in the negotiations it was Israel’s view that settlement areas included access roads, security areas around settlements, and lands connecting isolated settlements to settlement blocs. ( AP, Ha’aretz, The New York Times)

22

Pope John Paul II celebrated the first papal mass in Manger Square in Bethlehem, recalling the birth of Christ 2,000 years ago and urging Palestinians not to be afraid of the future. The Pope interrupted his mass for two minutes of silence during the Muslim afternoon call to prayer to demonstrate the accommodation and respect necessary among religious groups. The Pope also met Chairman Arafat, visited Dheisheh refugee camp outside of Bethlehem and a memorial honouring refugees killed in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. At Chairman Arafat’s residence, the Pope declared:“No one can ignore how much the Palestinian people have had to suffer in recent decades. Your torment is in the eyes of the world. And it has gone on too long.” The Pope stated that the Holy See had always recognized that the Palestinian people have “the natural right to a homeland and the right to live in peace and tranquillity with the other peoples of the area,” and deplored the plight of Palestinians in refugee camps as “degrading” and “barely tolerable.” “Above all, you bear the sad memories of what you were forced to leave behind,” he said at Dheishe. (AFP, AP, BBC, CNN, The New York Times)

The spokesperson for the Holy See clarified that it would reach a decision regarding a Palestinian State only after an international decision had been reached on the issue. The statement came in response to the question of whether the Pope’s kissing of soil in Bethlehem amounted to Papal recognition of a sovereign Palestinian state. Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Responsible for Jerusalem Affairs Haim Ramon said following the Pope’s speech in Bethlehem that the Palestinians’ rights have been accepted as part of official Israeli policy since 1978 and were in the process of being realized, although within the context of Israel’s security interests. (Ha’aretz)

After overseeing the Pope’s visit, Chairman Arafat left for Cairo to hold talks with President Mubarak in advance of Mr. Mubarak’s trip to Washington beginning on 25 March. (MENA)

The Internet Corp. for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which regulates Net addresses, granted the PA its own two-letter top-level domain suffix “ps.” (PASSIA)

23

The International Labour Office (ILO) launched a $20 million international appeal to help small enterprises in the West Bank and Gaza Strip to create jobs. According to an ILO press release, about 97 per cent of all firms in the area were small, usually family-owned enterprises employing less than 10 workers. With an annual growth rate of more than 5 per cent, the Palestinian labour force was projected to grow from 688,000 this year to more than one million in 2010. The economy had to generate 37,000 jobs each year just to employ the new entrants into the labour market in order to combat the high levels of unemployment. (AFP)

The Pope spent the day in Israel, visiting Yad Vashem, meeting President Ezer Weteman and chief rabbis, and leading mass in Jerusalem. The Pope also hosted a “healing and reconciliation” conference in Jerusalem’s Notre Dame Centre in an attempt to promote dialogue and understanding among the leaders of the three monotheistic religions, including on the status of Jerusalem. The Pope invited Chief Rabbi Martin Lao and Grand Mufti of Jerusalem Ikram Sabri, butas Grand Mufti Sabri refused to share the podium with Rabbi Lau, Sheikh Taysir Tamimi, the newly appointed Deputy Chief Justice of the Palestinian Islamic courts, took his place. In their speeches both Jewish and Muslim leaders stressed their peoples’ rights over Jerusalem. (The New York Times)

24

The Japanese Foreign Ministry announced that it would donate $9.87 million to Palestinians to help improve drainage facilities in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The aid, which would be given through UNDP, brought Japan’s financial assistance to the Palestinians to $518.19 million since the peace process began in 1993. (AFP)

26

The Pope ended his Middle East trip by holding Sunday mass at the Basilica of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, joining worshipers at the Western Wall, visiting with the grand mufti of Jerusalem, and meeting with Latin patriarchs and bishops. (The Jerusalem Post, The New York Times)

27

Israeli Radio reported that the Government called a halt to plans to build a new Israeli settlement in East Jerusalem on a site once belonging to the village of Al-Walaja. Ha’aretz had reported that the plan would involve 5,000 houses. The site would have been an extension of the “Gilo” settlement. (AFP, Ha’aretz)

Ha’aretz quoted PA officials as saying that Vatican was no longer insists on internationalizing Jerusalem’s Old City, as stated in the GA Resolution 181 (II). According to the PLO Ambassador to the Vatican Afif Safieh, the Vatican would accept a political division of Jerusalem between Israel and the Palestinians as part of a final status agreement, based on UN resolutions, provided it receives international guarantees that the status quo was kept. (Ha’aretz)

28

Palestinian and Israeli negotiators ended the first round of talks in Washington and agreed to open the second round on 6 April. Senior Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat said deep differences remained between the two sides. The State Department said the teams had spent this round “attempting to achieve a better understanding of each other’s needs and requirements.” Secretary of State Albright said that with the failed Israeli-Syrian talks, the US planned to focus on the Israeli-Palestinian peace track. She reiterated the US position that the Palestinian track was at the core of a comprehensive Middle East peace. (AFP, DPA, Reuters)

Canada and the Egyptian Land Bank signed an agreement extending a US$3 million line of credit to Palestinian importers of Canadian products. The accord followed an earlier deal between Canada and the PA lifting tariff restrictions as part of plans to develop bilateral trade. A Canadian consular official estimated that about US$100 million in trade deals have recently been concluded between the two sides. (Reuters)

Palestinians in Gaza held demonstrations at the “Morag,” “Katif,” and “Netzarim” junctions, prompting the IDF to briefly close off the settlement of “Morag.” (Foundation for Middle East Peace)

29

During a meeting with PA President Arafat in Berlin, Mr. Erwin Teufel, Prime Minister of Germany’s Baden-Württemberg State, said his state would provide economic aid for Palestinians, especially in vocational education. Palestinian professional teachers would go to Mannheim to receive training, while trainers from Baden-Württemberg would go to Palestine to help train Palestinians. The state would also help extend broadcasting station and television systems into the Palestinian territory. (XINHUA)

The Israeli High Court of Justice decided that about 700 Palestinians, who had been expelled on 16 November from their homes in the hill areas south of Hebron, in what was part of a deal with Israeli settlers evacuated from the “Ma’on” settlement, could return to their homes and graze their herds on their land there. The Israeli Civil Administration carried out the expulsions during the last three months of 1999, calling the area a military firing zone. The Court made the decision after hearing a petition against the expulsion filed by B’tselem on behalf of the Palestinians, saying the real reason for the expulsion was Israel’s desire to annex the area as Israel sought to create territorial continuity in an area not populated by Palestinian residents. (The New York Times, XINHUA)

30

With marches and demonstrations, thousands of Palestinians in towns and villages throughout the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Israel marked Land Day by protesting against Israeli confiscation of Arab-owned land. The annual event marked the day in 1976 when Israeli police killed six Arab Israelis who were protesting Israel’s confiscation of their land. Most of the demonstrations were peaceful, but there were reported clashes in Nablus, Bethlehem, Jerusalem, Hebron and Gaza. (AP, DPA, XINHUA)

During a visit of British Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Peter Hain in Ramallah, Chairman Arafat called on the United Kingdom to play a greater role in pushing forward the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Mr. Hain reaffirmed his country’s continuous support for the Palestinians and expressed the hope that the Palestinians would attain an independent state. Mr. Hain was earlier quoted as opposing a unilateral declaration of statehood in case the peace talks failed to produce an agreement by September. (XINHUA)

For unknown reasons, an IDF soldier shot and killed a Palestinian driver at a checkpoint outside Shu’afat refugee camp in the West Bank and arrested his passenger. (LAW)

At the opening of a Fatah Youth conference in Ramallah, Chairman Arafat said that 2000 was the year of the establishment of the independent Palestinian State, and that Palestinian independence would not be complete without Jerusalem being the eternal capital of Palestine. (PASSIA)

31

Jerusalem residency rights of 411 Palestinians were revoked by Israel during 1999, compared to 788 in 1998, 1,067 in 1997, 739 in 1996, and 91 in 1995. (Ha’aretz)

In a letter to Hebron settlers on the 32nd anniversary of them settling there, Prime Minister Barak voiced his support for their presence, saying the right of Jews to live in the city “in peace and tranquillity” was not disputed. (Ha’aretz)


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