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Source: Division for Palestinian Rights
30 June 1997
D i v i s i o n f o r P a l e s t i n i a n R i g h t s

Chronological Review of Events Relating to the
Question of Palestine
Monthly media monitoring review

June 1997


Osama al-Baz, adviser to and envoy of Egypt’s President Mubarak, met for talks with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu in an effort to break the peace process stalemate. Israel Radio reported “some progress” during the two-and-a-half hour meeting. (AFP)


Israeli soldiers, guarding the Jewish settlement of Morag, beat five Palestinian demonstrators during scuffles in the Gaza village of Khan Yunis over an Israeli attempt to fence off Palestinian-owned land. Some 100 Palestinians took part in the protest. (Reuters)

Israel’s ministerial committee on Jerusalem decided to add some 400 police to the force to increase control over East Jerusalem. A new Israeli police station is also to be opened in East Jerusalem. (AFP, Haaretz)

Speaking at the OAU summit meeting in Harare, Palestinian Authority (PA) President Yasser Arafat called on the members of the organization to back his fight for the resumption of the peace process. He said: “I would like to assure you of our commitment to negotiations and peace to ensure the rights of our people. We invite you to urge Israel to commit itself to the attainment of peace and stop the expropriation of Palestine land.” (AFP, Reuters)




Palestinian analysts criticized the outline of the final settlement proposed on 4 June by Prime Minister Netanyahu. Khalil Shikaki, head of the Center for Palestine Research and Studies, said regarding the proposal: “Netanyahu knows this is nonsense and he knows this cannot be the basis for negotiations. This aims just to reduce Palestinian expectations and to reassure the right wing in his Cabinet that there will be no negotiations.” Mahdi Abdel Hadi of the Palestinian Academic Society for the Study of International Affairs, said the proposal was an end to the core of the peace process, the mutual recognition of the other’s needs and existence. (AFP)

A one-day meeting of the Ad Hoc Liaison Group of donor countries financing development projects in the Palestinian-ruled areas of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip ended its work in Washington, D.C.. The meeting, held at the US State Department, was chaired by Norway. It was attended by officials from the Russian Federation, the United States, as well as Canada, Egypt, Japan, Jordan, Israel, Tunisia, the Palestinian Authority and the World Bank. The meeting was designed to assess how assistance to the Palestinians was being used. According to the State Department officials, no new donations were solicited. (AP, Reuters)



Israeli and Palestinian negotiators met in Cairo for two hours under the auspices of Egypt. The Israeli delegation was headed by chief negotiator and Israeli Cabinet Secretary Danny Naveh and included Prime Minister Netanyahu’s legal adviser Yitzhak Molkho and the Prime Minister’s political adviser Uzi Arad. The Palestinian delegation was headed by chief negotiator and Minister of Local Government Saeb Erakat and included PA President’s spokesman and political adviser Marwan Kanafani and negotiator Hassan Asfour. No joint communiqué was issued at the conclusion of the meeting. (AFP, AP, The Jerusalem Post, Reuters, The Washington Post)


PA President Arafat confirmed in Amman that Palestinian and Israeli negotiators would meet again on 12 June in Israel (AFP)

Yediot Aharonot published details of an alleged Israeli government project to build 100,000 new homes for Jews in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip, if the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations fail. According to the paper, the proposal calls for “creating the physical and community infrastructure necessary for the maximum expansion of the Jewish population” in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The paper said Meir Porush, Israel’s Deputy Minister of Construction and Housing, would submit the plan to the Government if attempts to revive the peace negotiations with the Palestinians fail. (AFP)

According to Haaretz, at a meeting with Likud-Gesher-Tsomet MKs, Prime Minister Netanyahu assured them building would continue on Jabal Abu Ghneim and in Jewish settlements in the Palestinian territory. “No agreement or commitment has been given to in any way stop the building on Har Homa or the settlements. Building in those areas continues and will continue, “ he told his party colleagues. Mr. Netanyahu was responding to comments from European Union Middle East envoy Miguel Moratinos who had said Mr. Netanyahu promised Egypt that building on the site and in the settlements would be slowed. (Haaretz, The Jerusalem Post)



Four Jewish settlers from the settlement of Tel Rumaida in Hebron confronted three Palestinian girls, aged between seven and 10, and their four-year-old brother and beat them, while Israeli soldiers kept nearby Palestinians from intervening. According to the children’s father, the settlers beat all four, leaving them bruised and cut. (AFP)


A Palestinian man died and several were injured in clashes with Israeli troops over attempted expansion of a Jewish settlement in the Gaza Strip. The clashes broke out when Israeli soldiers tried to prevent several hundred Palestinian demonstrators from marching onto a plot of land fenced off by Jewish settlers from the settlement of Morag of the Gush Katif block near Khan Yunis. Israeli soldiers used plastic-coated bullets and tear gas to disperse the demonstrators. The Palestinians only dispersed when the Palestinian police intervened. (AFP, Reuters)

Following a two-day meeting of donors in Amman, Peter Hansen, Commissioner-General of UNRWA, said the agency faced a deficit of US$30 million for 1997. A US$2.4 million dollar gift was received from Saudi Arabia, US$1.2 million were received from Sweden and US$500,000 from the Netherlands. Speaking to journalists, Hansen said: ”UNRWA still has a deficit despite these generous gifts. We still run the risk of running out of funds before the end of the year.” (AFP)


The Permanent Observer of Palestine to the UN Nasser Al-Kidwa submitted a request to the SecretarGeneral to implement the provisions of General Assembly resolution ES-10/2 of 25 April 1997 and prepare a report on the situation in East Jerusalem and other occupied Palestinian territories. (AFP)

The World Bank agreed to allocate US$33.5 to the PA for water, sanitation, legal development and a programme for Palestinian expatriate professionals. In addition, final approval for a US$90 million replenishment of the World bank’s US$230 million Trust Fund for Gaza and the West Bank, from which the bank’s projects in the region are funded, was also agreed. (Financial Times)


Israeli soldiers shot and wounded at least 38 Palestinians, including an 11-year-old boy in the third day of clashes in Hebron. In Gaza Jewish settlers shot and wounded one Palestinian youth and fired at least three bullets at journalists during a clash with Palestinians over the land annexed by the Gush Katif settlement. Israeli soldiers also shot and wounded some 45 Palestinians on 14 June during protests in connection with the United States House of Representatives vote calling on President Clinton to recognize East Jerusalem as part of Israel’s capital. (AFP, Reuters)


In a fourth day of Israeli-Palestinian clashes in Hebron, Israeli soldiers hot and wounded 28 Palestinians. Some of the wounded, including a 12-year-old boy and an elderly man remained in critical condition at Al-Ahli Hospital after being struck in the head with rubber-coated metal bullets. (AFP, AP, Reuters)


Some 50 Palestinians clashed with Israeli soldiers in Hebron for the fifth day. The Israeli soldiers shot and wounded five protesters. More than 100 Palestinians have been wounded in the Hebron clashes. (AFP, AP, Reuters)

The European Union adopted a document at its summit meeting in Amsterdam entitled the “European Call for Peace in the Middle East”. In it, the EU stated inter alia: “Europe calls on the people of Israel to recognize the right of the Palestinians to exercise self-determination, without excluding the option of a State. The creation of a viable and peaceful sovereign Palestinian entity is the best guarantee of Israel’s security.” (Reuters)


Palestinian protesters continued to clash with Israeli soldiers guarding a Jewish settlement enclave in Hebron. Some 70 youths threw stones and petrol bombs at the soldiers who returned fired back with rubber-coated bullets, hurting ten protesters. (AFP, Reuters)


The PA protested to Romania after its foreign minister made use of Jerusalem airport on 14 June. (AFP)Database 'UNISPAL', View 'Documents by\entity', Document 'Jerusalem/Airport - ICAO Assembly resolution'


The PA issued a statement calling on the General Assembly to “impose sanctions against Israel, which violates international law, hinders the peace process and carries on settlement expansion in the Palestinian territories.” (AFP)


At the conclusion of their summit meeting in Denver, Colorado, leaders of the G-8 pledged to reinvigorate the Middle East peace process. Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States said in a final statement: “The peace process faces a crisis and we are determined to re-inject momentum into it … We shall do our utmost to reinvigorate implementation of the Oslo Accords and to uphold the principles of Madrid, including the exchange of land for peace.” (AFP)

In a news conference in Muscat, British Minister of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Derek Fatchett commented on his Government’s position on the question of Jerusalem: “The status of Jerusalem will be determined in the final stages of negotiations, it cannot be pre-empted, it cannot be pre-determined … We will hold to that position.” (AFP, Reuters)


Faisal Husseini, a PA official in charge of Jerusalem affairs, told journalists that the PA signed a deal with the Islamic Development Bank to finance individual housing in East Jerusalem and build 600 housing units at a cost of US$19 million. He said the money came from the US$30 million given by Saudi Arabia to the bank over the past three years for use in East Jerusalem construction. (AFP)


Some 3,500 Palestinians imprisoned by Israel held a one-day hunger strike to protest poor prison conditions and maltreatment. Hisham Abdel Razek, a PA official in charge of prisoner affairs, said that the strike was a warning and that the prisoners would hold a permanent hunger strike if no improvement in their conditions were made. (AFP)



In spite of the easing of the closure of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian economy continues to suffer. According to Samir Ghosheh, PA Minister of Labour: “The problem is not just one of Palestinians entering Israel to work, it goes beyond that to the damage done to the local economy.” He added that the unemployment in the Palestinian territory stood at 30 per cent and could rise as high as 60 per cent. Ghosheh said the PA and the Government of Sweden were organizing an international conference on job creation in the Palestinian territory, which is scheduled for November. (AFP)

The Vatican released the texts of the letters from Pope John Paul II to the PA President Arafat and Prime Minister of Israel Netanyahu. In the letters, dated 16 June, the Pope urged both leaders to restart the Middle East peace process, telling them he was very worried by the deadlock in their dialogue. (Reuters)

Israeli soldiers shot and wounded at least seven Palestinians during resumed clashes in Hebron. Some 50 Palestinian youths took part in the protest. (AFP, Reuters)


The OIC issued a statement at its headquarters in Jeddah “to call on all member States to support its position rejecting the annexation and all other Israeli measures in the Holy City.” It condemned ‘the building of settlements, restraints on freedom of worship, the isolation of the Holy City and the withdrawal of citizenship” from Palestinian residents. (AFP)

Violent protests erupted in Hebron after Palestinians accused Jewish settlers of plastering their shops with pictures insulting to Muslims. In response to the anti-Arab and anti-Muslim posters and spray-painted slogans in the city, some 30 Palestinian youths clashed with Israeli soldiers who responded with volleys of rubber-coated bullets. At least two Palestinians were shot and wounded. (AFP, Reuters)



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