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Source: Division for Palestinian Rights
31 October 1994
CHRONOLOGICAL REVIEW OF EVENTS

RELATING TO THE QUESTION OF PALESTINE


October 1994















Monitored from the media by the
Division for Palestinian Rights

1 October Israeli soldiers shot and killed a Palestinian man who stabbed and wounded an Israeli soldier in Hebron. The army imposed a curfew on the city. (Reuters)
2 October Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres and Jordan's Crown Prince Hassan conferred in New York in preparation for joint talks with President Clinton in Washington the following day. (Reuters)
3 October Israeli police arrested two more Jewish settlers suspected of involvement in an anti-Arab underground group. Their arrest raised to 15 the number of Israelis detained in the case. Seven have been released. (Reuters)
4 October The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said it would provide technical assistance to the Palestinian self-rule areas. Officials of the agency said they would start work soon and identify projects in the Gaza Strip for technical assistance. (Reuters)
5 October Delegations from Israel, the PLO and several Arab States met to discuss the problem of scant water resources in the Middle East as part of the multilateral peace talks. The two-day meeting was held in Oslo and hosted by the Norwegian Government. (Reuters)
7 October A young Palestinian from Hebron was shot dead by Israeli border police after he tried to pour acid on two policemen near the Ibrahimi Mosque. (Xinhua)
8 October Israel's peace activists from Gush Shalom (Peace Block) held a joint demonstration with Palestinians against the confiscation of Palestinian land in the vicinity of East Jerusalem. The Palestinian lands in Abu Ghneim, southeast of Jerusalem, are threatened with confiscation by Israeli authorities for the purpose of building on them an exclusively Jewish neighbourhood to be named "Har Mohem". (Xinhua)


9 October Mr. David Hunt, Minister of Science and Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, met in Gaza with Chairman Arafat and pledged a substantial British aid to build a civil administration for the Palestinian Authority in Gaza. He also said that Britain was ready to offer money and expertise in promoting international investment in Gaza, helping with scientific and technical research and establishing a Palestinian Standards Institute. Mr. Hunt was the first British cabinet member to meet with Mr. Arafat at his Headquarters in Gaza. (The Financial Times)
10 October The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation, which was established in 1992, announced that Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat and King Hussein of Jordan will share the institution's 1994 award in recognition of their efforts to bring peace to the Middle East region. The foundation announced that the three leaders were to be presented with their awards at separate ceremonies this autumn. (Reuters)
11 October Members of Hamas abducted Nachshon Waxman, an Israeli soldier, near Tel Aviv airport and threatened to kill him in two days unless the Israelis released from prison the ailing leader of Hamas, Sheik Ahmed Yassin, and 200 other Hamas prisoners. Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, under mounting domestic pressure to clamp down on terrorism, reacted by sealing Israel's border with the self-rule area of Gaza Strip and placing "full responsibility" for the soldier's life on Chairman Arafat and the Palestinian Authority, and suspending negotiations with the PLO in Cairo. It was reported that Mr. Arafat condemned the abduction as a challenge to the Palestinian Authority and telephoned the kidnapped soldier's parents "to express his concern". (The New York Times)
12 October Mr. Saeb Erekat, the PLO chief negotiator with Israel over the elections in the Palestinian self-rule areas, said that Israel's suspension of talks with the PLO over the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier, was uncalled for and he hoped it would not delay Palestinian elections even further. Earlier in the day, the Israeli team cut off the talks with the Palestinian side upon an order by Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. (Reuters)
13 October Palestinian police launched a massive search in the Gaza Strip and Jericho for the kidnapped Israeli soldier. Some 200 Hamas members and their supporters were arrested in the Gaza Strip in the early morning hours. (Reuters)


14 October Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat and U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher held tripartite talks on the Middle East peace process in the Egyptian city of Alexandria. (Xinhua)
15 October About 1,000 Palestinian students, supporters of Hamas, marched in Gaza to demand that the Palestinian Authority release around 300 Hamas activists arrested earlier for questioning about the kidnapping of an Israeli soldier. A PLO official in Gaza said that the pressure the kidnapping had put on the Palestinian Authority had soured relations with Hamas in the Gaza Strip. (Reuters)
16 October Hundreds of students from the Islamic University in Gaza rioted near the Jewish settlement of Netzarim in the Gaza Strip and threw stones at an Israeli checkpost protecting the settlement. The Israeli soldiers manning the post withdrew several hundred yards towards the settlement while the Palestinian police dispersed the students without any casualties. (Reuters)
17 October The Working Group of the multilateral talks on arms control and regional security of the Middle East concluded a meeting in Paris in which delegations from Israel and 12 Arab States participated. The group decided on the establishment of a center for the resolution of regional crises to be located in the region. The United States and Russia chaired the meetings. A plenary meeting of the talks on arms control is scheduled in Tunisia for December during which a draft document on the proposed center is expected to be approved. (Israel Information Service)
18 October The Working Group of the multilateral talks on water concluded a two-day session in Muscat, Oman, with a proposal to establish an international research center on water desalination in Oman. The proposal will be finalized during the meeting of the full multilateral group on water which was scheduled for next month in Greece. (Reuters) 19 October A bomb tore apart a bus in the centre of Tel Aviv, killing at least 22 people and wounding 48, in one of the bloodiest bomb attacks on Israel in recent years. A preliminary investigation revealed that a suicide bomber entered the bus carrying explosives. Apparently, when the bus came to a stop along its route in Dizengoff Street, the explosives were detonated. The Voice of Palestine radio, based in Jericho, said that it received an anonymous call claiming responsibility for the bombing in the name of Izz-aldin al-Qassam, the military wing of Hamas. Israel Radio also said that it received a phone call claiming responsibility in the name of Hamas. (Reuters)
20 October The Israeli Cabinet decided to take new measures aimed at curbing Hamas following the suicide bombing in Tel Aviv a day earlier. The measures include the indefinite closure of its border with the Gaza Strip and the sealing off of the West Bank, preventing thousands of Palestinian workers from reaching their jobs in Israel. The Cabinet also agreed on unspecified measures to give the security forces greater freedom to confront the Hamas group. A spokesman for the PLO in Gaza said that the new Israeli measures would punish two million Palestinians for the actions of a handful of militants and would breed more hatred and instability. (The Financial Times)
22 October The PLO permanent representative to the Arab League in Cairo submitted to the League's Assistant Secretary- General for Political Affairs a request for the omission of Article 9 of the Jordanian-Israeli draft peace treaty which states that Jordan is entitled to have jurisdiction over Islamic sanctuaries in Jerusalem. The PLO request claims that Article 9 contradicts United Nations General Assembly and Security Council resolutions and also contradicts the PLO-Israeli Declaration of Principles signed in September 1993.


23 October Israel and the PLO opened a meeting of their Joint Liaison Committee with sharply different views on how to respond to the threat to their agreement by Hamas and other Islamic militant groups following the suicide bombing in Tel Aviv a few days earlier. PLO chief negotiator Nabil Shaath said that Israel has to end its closure of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank which "threatens all the peace process ... economically and politically". But Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres said that Israel expects the PLO to crush Hamas and other Islamic groups. (Reuters)
24 October Israeli environment minister Yossi Sarid arrived in the Gulf island state of Bahrain to attend a session of the multilateral working group of the Middle East peace talks on environment. He was the first Israeli official to ever visit Bahrain. Mr. Sarid was accompanied by a 40-person team to the talks. (Reuters)


25 October The seventh round of the multilateral working group on environment in the Middle East opened in Manama, Bahrain. A joint Israeli-Jordanian- Egyptian proposal for combatting pollution in the Gulf of Aqaba was expected to be approved by the working group. (Ha'aretz)
26 October Jordan and Israel signed a historical peace treaty at the Arava Border Crossing, in a ceremony burying 46 years of hostility between both countries. The treaty was signed by Jordanian Prime Minister Abdel-Salam al-Majali and his Israeli counterpart, Mr. Yitzhak Rabin. U.S. President Bill Clinton also signed the document, as did U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher, Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev and Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres. (The New York Times)
27 October U.S. President Bill Clinton, while visiting with Israel, decided not to tour East Jerusalem and its holy places. The cancellation of the tour was decided upon in order to avoid a political crisis concerning the status of East Jerusalem, which is considered by Israel as part of its land, but is held by Palestinians as the capital of their future independent state. Mr. Faisal Husseini, the senior PLO official in Jerusalem, was quoted as saying that the cancellation has confirmed that "these places are under occupation and are not part of the territories under Israeli sovereignty". The mayor of West Jerusalem, Ehud Olmert, was quoted as saying that the tour cancellation was "an affront to the city's honor". (Reuters)


28 October King Hassan II of Morocco met with Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres in Rabat ahead of the Casablanca economic summit. Moroccan Prime Minister Abdellatif Filali also attended the meeting which focused on the Middle East peace process and the summit which was scheduled for 30 October. Mr. Peres and seven other Israeli ministers arrived in Morocco two days earlier for the Casablanca economic summit and the opening of an Israeli liaison office in Rabat. (AFP)


30 October A Middle East Economic Summit opened in Casablanca, Morocco with the participation of over 2,000 business and political leaders from around the world. The summit was convened at the invitation of King Hassan II of Morocco and with the support and endorsement of Presidents Clinton of the United States and Yeltsin of the Russian Federation. Representatives of 61 countries (including representatives from the United States, Germany, Japan, the European Community, many Arab States, Israel and the PLO) and 1,114 business leaders from all regions of the world attended the conference. At the opening, King Hassan II declared that "peace is here", adding that the conference is aimed at "strengthening peace and transforming it into a lasting peace". U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher declared at the summit that the region is "now open for business" and told the gathering that "Madrid opened the pathway for peace. Here this week, let us declare that the Casablanca conference will open the pathway to economic ties and growth". (AFP)

Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat and Foreign Minister Shimon Peres met in Casablanca before the opening of the economic summit there. During the meeting, Prime Minister Rabin announced an easing of the Israeli closure of the West Bank and Gaza Strip beginning 1 November. (Yediot Ahronot)


31 October According to Israeli sources, Israel will soon launch official ties with Oman and Qatar after breaking down barriers at the Casablanca economic summit. The same sources indicated that Israel has also established contacts with Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates during the conference. It was also reported that Israeli Foreign Minister Shimon Peres met in Casablanca with his Qatari counterpart, Sheikh Hamed Ben Jassem al-Thani, and discussed an Israeli project to import Qatari natural gas. (AFP)

Israeli Environment Minister Yossi Sarid met in Tunis with his Tunisian counterpart upon the latter's invitation. It was reported that the two discussed plans for an exchange programme involving experts in environmental science, and both expressed their confidence that their countries could be successful partners in bilateral and regional environmental projects. (Ha'aretz)

A Palestinian flag was raised for the first time at the international border with Egypt as the Palestinian Authority took joint control with Israel of travel into and out of the Gaza Strip. "Welcome to the Palestinian Authority", read a new sign in English, Arabic and Hebrew. According to the 4 May autonomy agreement between Israel and the PLO, Israel retains final control over the borders of Rafah and at the Allenby Bridge into Jordan. (AFP)
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