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Source: Division for Palestinian Rights
31 July 1994


July 1994

Monitored from the press by the
Division for Palestinian Rights

1 July PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat, after 27 years of exile, made a historical return to the Gaza Strip, crossing into the self-ruled area via the Rafah crossing point from Egypt. He then arrived at Gaza city where he spoke for an hour to tens of thousands of Palestinians. In his speech he reaffirmed his commitment to the Gaza-Jericho agreement and was quoted as saying, "I say to the Israeli people with whom we have signed a peace of the courageous: The peace needs more courage from all of us in order to hold up, and we must uphold this peace, just so we have signed and said to the heroes, `The promise and oath are upheld'". Some hours later he summoned members of the Palestinian Authority to his hotel for a working meeting. (The New York Times) 2 July In his second day in the Gaza Strip, PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat visited the refugee camp of Jabaliya, one of the largest in the strip and the birthplace of the intifadah (uprising). Mr. Arafat appealed to friends and foes alike to help him make the new Palestinian self-rule work. (The New York Times)
3 July Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin lashed out at his Israeli rightist opponents and accused them of using negative tactics to undermine the peace process with the PLO. After the weekly cabinet meeting, several ministers accused the opposition of abusing democratic freedom and inciting Israelis to rebellion. (Ha'aretz)

5 July A leading Israeli Arab, Knesset Member Tufik Ziad, was killed in an automobile crash while returning from a meeting with PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat in Jericho. Mr. Ziad served, until his death, as mayor of the city of Nazareth and was one of the leading figures of the Democratic Front Party. (DPA)
6 July Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat launched a critical new phase of the peace process by opening talks in Paris on self-rule for areas of the West Bank other than Jericho, as well as on the fate of Palestinian refugees and some 7,000 prisoners (elsewhere 5,000) still held by Israel. Arafat, Rabin and Peres were in Paris to receive the UNESCO Peace Prize for their breakthrough agreement last year. Henry Kissinger, a former US Secretary of State and head of the UNESCO prize jury, handed out the awards worth almost $50,000 to each winner. Earlier in the day, President François Mitterrand of France held separate meetings with Chairman Arafat as well as Prime Minister Rabin and Foreign Minister Peres. He urged the West to come up with financial assistance swiftly to make the Palestinian autonomy work and was quoted as saying that, "A failure of the Middle East peace process as a result of a lack of financial means would see a drama". (Reuters)

7 July In a press conference in Paris, Israeli Prime Minister Rabin said that talks between his Government and the PLO on further Palestinian autonomy will continue in Cairo next week. Chairman Arafat and Foreign Minister Peres said that they were happy with the results of their first stage negotiations which stretched into the night a day earlier. The negotiations had reached an agreement on the composition of three working groups who are due to look at problems during the second stage of talks. Chairman Arafat announced that he intends to move the Palestine National Council to Gaza in the next few months. (DPA)
8 July The Israeli army clamped a strict curfew on the city of Hebron and carried out sweeping searches for a suspected Palestinian who a night earlier shot and killed a Jewish settler schoolgirl in a drive-by shooting. The shooting incident was preceded by the kidnapping and killing of an Israeli soldier whose body was discovered in a village near Ramallah. Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin convened a consultation with his top security experts to discuss the attacks. (DPA)

9 July PLO chairman Yasser Arafat met in Jeddah with Saudi King Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz to discuss the peace process and their bilateral relations. The meeting was attended by Defense Minister Prince Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz and Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al Faisal. Mr. Arafat was accompanied by Dr. Nabil Shaath and Mr. Yasser Abed Rabbo. Saudi Arabia is one of the international donor countries which have pledged $2.4 billion in aid last October for the rebuilding of the Palestinian infrastructure over a period of five years. (DPA)

11 July Israeli and PLO negotiators met in Cairo after a two-month break to discuss the expansion of the Gaza-Jericho self-rule to the rest of the Israeli-occupied West Bank. The negotiators, headed by General Danny Rothschild for Israel and Nabil Shaath for the PLO, discussed the formation of a special subcommittee to deal with the preparations for general elections in the Palestinian self-rule areas, possibly to be held next October. (DPA)
12 July PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat returned to settle permanently in the Gaza Strip to lead the Palestinian Authority of the self-rule areas. Prior to his arrival, he presided over farewell ceremonies for the PLO Headquarters in Tunis, where it had been based since it departed from Lebanon in the aftermath of the Israeli invasion of 1982. (DPA)
13 July Israel expelled four Palestinians who had entered the Gaza Strip a day earlier in PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat's motorcade, accusing them of planning past terrorist attacks against Israeli targets. The discovery that the four had entered Gaza with Mr. Arafat touched off an uproar among Israeli politicians. Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was quoted as saying, "I believe they have to learn that they cannot cheat". It was reported that Palestinian officials in Gaza did not defend the move and tried to defuse criticism. (The Washington Post News Service)

14 July PLO Chairman and head of the Palestinian Authority Yasser Arafat received for the first time the United States Ambassador to Israel in his office in Gaza. Ambassador Edward Djerejian led a delegation with US Aid officials to sign an agreement for a US-funded house construction project for the Gaza Strip. (AFP)

17 July In the worst outbreak of violence since the Palestinian self-rule began in Gaza, Israeli troops and Palestinian police exchanged fire during a riot at Erez crossing point by thousands of Palestinians unable to get to their jobs in Israel. Two Palestinian labourers were killed and 90 others were injured, including 25 Palestinian policemen, during the four-hour rioting, in which Palestinians set a gas station on fire and torched buses on a parking lot. According to Palestinian sources, unemployment rate in Gaza has reached 60 per cent and only 21,000 of the 60,000 Palestinians working in Israel were allowed to enter Israel. (AP)

18 July Israeli cabinet ministers approved legislation outlawing the opening of offices in Israeli-annexed East Jerusalem by the PLO and the Palestinian Authority. A judicial committee will put final touches to the bill before sending it to Israel's Parliament for final approval. Under the Declaration of Principles signed by Israel and the PLO in September 1993, the status of Jerusalem will be negotiated at a later stage of implementing the accord. (Reuters)
19 July Jordan and Israel agreed, after two days of talks, on ways to handle their border and water disputes. In a joint statement at the Jordan-Israel border, they announced they would resume their talks on 8 August in Israel at the Dead Sea and would expand their discussions to include economic cooperation, the environment and energy. (AP)
20 July Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres became the highest-ranking Israeli official to set foot publicly in Jordan where he met for two hours with Jordan Prime Minister Abdul Salam Majali and US Secretary of State Warren Christopher at the Jordanian side of the Dead Sea. Reading a final communiqué after the meeting, Mr. Christopher said that Israel and Jordan would work on a plan for developing the Jordan Valley and that they affirmed their goal of peace. (Reuters)

21 July US Secretary of State Warren Christopher met with PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat in Gaza City, the first American cabinet member to visit the self-rule areas since the Israeli withdrawal in May. It was reported that at the top of their agenda was the Palestinian frustration with the delays in promised economic aid. (AP)
22 July Israeli troops shot dead a Palestinian man and injured 8 others in the West Bank city of Nablus. The army said that the man was killed after soldiers opened fire on a vehicle fleeing from police but that they were investigating the incident. In Hebron, 17 Palestinians were injured in clashes with Israeli troops which spread to several parts of the city. (Reuters)
23 July The Palestinian Authority, in its first full meeting, endorsed an operational plan to be implemented by year's end. The plan outlines the work of each department in the self-rule administration. (Reuters)

24 July Israeli Finance Minister Abraham Shohat met in Jericho with Mr. Ahmed Korei, in charge of the Palestinian economy, to follow up the economic aspects of the self-rule agreement. Mr. Shohat was quoted as saying that his country's economic agreement with the PLO could be amended to accommodate Jordan, but only with Palestinian agreement. Mr. Shohat said that Israel would immediately transfer seven million Shekels ($2.5 million) to the Palestinian Authority representing customs duties Israel had collected from Palestinians. (Reuters)
25 July Jordan's King Hussein and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin sealed the end of a 46-year-old state of war between their countries with a handshake and a declaration to pursue peace and friendship. At the White House ceremony, the two leaders signed a joint declaration as US President Clinton presided over. In his speech, King Hussein said that "What we have accomplished and what we are committed to is the end of the state of war between Jordan and Israel". Mr. Rabin said, "We have gone a long way towards a full treaty of peace". President Clinton was quoted as saying that, "From this day forward they pledge to settle their differences by peaceful means. Both countries will refrain from actions that may adversely affect the security of the other and will thwart all those who would use terrorism to threaten either". The joint declaration also acknowledged Jordan's key religious role as guardian of Islamic holy sites in East Jerusalem, a move that one Jordanian official said was likely to anger some Arab and Moslem Governments. (Reuters)
26 July The European Union welcomed the Washington Declaration and paid tribute to what it called the vision and courage of the Jordanian and Israeli leaders who had made possible the Washington direct talks and the signing of an agreement ending the state of war between their two countries. (Reuters)

27 July PLO chief negotiator with Israel Nabil Shaath accused Israel of dismembering Palestinian territory by giving Jordan (in the Washington Declaration) religious supremacy over Jerusalem and demanded that the Arab League reassert that the city is the capital of Palestine. (Reuters)
28 July Palestinian and Israeli negotiators have concluded draft agreements that would give Palestinian control over health and education in all of the West Bank. The implementation of the agreements is pending the final approval by the leaderships of Israel and the PLO. (AP)
30 July A summit meeting took place in the Egyptian resort of Taba between Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. The meeting of the two leaders came after Mr. Mubarak visited Syria on 24 July and last week's signing of the Israeli-Jordanian Declaration.
31 July The Secretary-General of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, Hamid Al-Gabid, urged Israel and its Arab peace partners to determine the final status of Jerusalem within the PLO-Israel peace accord. He was quoted as saying, "We would like to underline the crucial importance for the entire Islamic Ummah of the city of Al-Quds Al-Sharif whose final status must be defined at a later stage of negotiations, in accordance with provisions of the Israeli-Palestinian agreement". (Reuters)
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