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Source: Division for Palestinian Rights (DPR)
30 April 1996
CHRONOLOGICAL REVIEW OF EVENTS

RELATING TO THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE

April 1996






















Monitored from the media by the
Division for Palestinian Rights


1 April More than 200 Palestinian children, protested against Israel's closure of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The demonstration took place near Erez, the main crossing point between Israel and the Gaza Strip. (Reuter)

2 April The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories BTselem reported that Israel's closure of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip had caused the death of at least eight Palestinians by denying Palestinians access to medical treatment. It was also reported that Israeli security forces have sealed and demolished nine homes, and another home was accidentally blown up during a demolition operation. (Reuter)


3 April Israeli security forces sealed the family home of Mohammed Abu Wardeh at al-Fawwar refugee camp in the West Bank. Mr. Abu Wardeh was suspected of being involved in suicide attacks against Israel. (Reuter)
5 April The French Government appealed to Israel to allow Christian Palestinians to enter East Jerusalem to participate in the ceremony of the Easter holiday. In a joint statement by the 11 major Christian denominations in Jerusalem, Michel Sabbah, the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, demanded that Israel lift the closure of the territories and allow Palestinian Christians to enter the City. The Israeli authorities responded to these demands by allowing entry into the city only to those above 35 years old, a restriction which was rejected by the Christian leaders. (AFP)


6 April Hundreds of Palestinians, joined by more than 100 Israeli peace activists and Easter pilgrims from Europe, protested in Bethlehem against Israeli confiscation of Palestinian land in the West Bank to build a road for Israeli settlements. (Reuter)


7 April Mr. Yasser Arafat arrived in Saudi Arabia for talks on the future of East Jerusalem and on the Israeli closure of the Palestinian self-rule areas. He met in Riyadh with Crown Prince Abdullah who expressed his concern over Israel's closure of the Palestinian territories and pledged to help alleviate the economic crisis in the areas. (AFP)


8 April The Israeli army arrested two Palestinians from the villages of Yabrud and Qibiya near Hebron, for suspected involvement in the petrol bomb attack at an Israeli bus on 7 April. (AFP)


9 April The Israeli authorities announced some minor measures to ease the closure of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, including permission for eight ambulances to enter Israel during life-threatening situations. Some 50 Palestinians employed by embassies and consulates in Israel would also be allowed to return to their jobs. (Reuter)
10 April Addressing the Gulf Economic Forum in Bahrain, the head of the Palestinian Planning Department, Nabil Shaath, called for Arab and international investment in Palestinian self-rule areas, which he described as an emerging market under Israeli siege. The forum was attended by Arab, Western and Asian businessmen and bankers. (Reuter)
12 April The Israeli army arrested four Palestinians from Jenin, Tulkarem and Ramallah in the West Bank. The four were suspected to be involved in anti-Israeli attacks. (AFP)


13 April Addressing a meeting of the Liaison Committee on Economic Aid to the Palestinians, Uri Savir, General-Director in the Israeli Foreign Ministry, urged the international community to boost its economic aid for the Palestinians in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Mr. Savir pledged that Israel would facilitate the transit of goods into the areas. At the same meeting, the European Union (EU) spokesman said that $20 million would be released by mid-May to help the Palestinian Authority reduce its budget deficit. (AFP)


15 April The UN Security Council held a meeting on the situation in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and discussed Israel's closure of the areas imposed since 25 February. The meeting was requested by the Arab Group at the United Nations. The debate ended without a resolution or a formal statement. (Reuter)


16 April The US House of Representatives unanimously passed a bill that would allow President Clinton to eliminate tariffs on goods produced in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The legislation, which would be brought to the Senate for approval, gives the Palestinian self-rule areas the same tariff treatment provided to Israel under the US-Israel Free Trade Agreement. (AFP)


18 April The Israeli Government announced that it had granted authorization for all members of the Palestine National Council (PNC) to enter the Palestinian self-rule areas to attend its twenty-first special meeting to amend clauses in the PLO Charter calling for the destruction of Israel. The meeting is scheduled for 22 April and will be held for the first time in Gaza City. (AFP)


19 April The Israeli Army fired an artillery barrage into a United Nations peace-keeping camp in Qana in southern Lebanon, killing more than 100 Lebanese civilians and injuring more than a hundred. The Israeli Government said the attack came in response to Katyusha rocket and mortar fire by Hezbollah groups in northern Israel. (The New York Times)


22 April The Israel army imposed a three-day full closure of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. The decision came on the eve of Israel's Independence Day. The closure would be gradually lifted on 25 April. (Reuter)


25 April The PNC ended its twenty-first session held in Gaza City for the first time since 1964. The four-day meeting was attended by 572 out of the 669 PNC members. During the first session, Mr. Yasser Arafat was reelected as the Chairman of the PLO Executive Committee. The Council also cancelled by majority vote articles in the PLO Charter That are contrary to the letters exchanged between the PLO and the Government of Israel 9-10 September 1993. It was also decided that the Charter would be redrafted within six months. (Reuter)


30 April Israel and the Palestinian Authority announced that negotiations on the final status of the Palestinian territory, including the status of Jerusalem, Israeli settlements, Palestinian refugees, and the final borders would start on 5 May, in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Taba. The peace talks delegation would be headed by the Israeli coordinator for the peace process, Uri Savir, and his Palestinian counterpart Mahmud Abbas. (The Washington Post, AFP)


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