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Chairman of the Executive of the Jewish Agency and the WZO: Avraham Burg and Sallai Meridor.

Director General of the Jewish Agency: Aaron Abramovich.

Treasurer of the Jewish Agency: Chaim Chesler.

January 17: A delegation of 200 lay leaders and professionals of the United Jewish Communities (UJA)/Federations of North America visits Israel and the Ukraine on the Jewish Agency "Voyage of Discovery II".

February 25: The Board of Governors of the Jewish Agency for Israel elects Sallai Meridor to the position of Acting Chairman of the Jewish Agency.

February 28: The Jewish Agency for Israel Board of Governors elects Alex Grass as next Chairman of the JAFI Board of Governors. He succeeds Charles (Corky) Goodman.

February: The Jewish Agency launches long-term absorption projects for Ethiopian Jews.

March 10: Jewish Agency for Israel (JAFI) figures show that the trend of increased immigration to Israel from Russia continues: In the first two months of 1999 the number of immigrants from Russia increased by over 100% in comparison with the same period of last year From Novosibirsk the increase was of 200%

March 16: The Jewish Agency for Israel brings new immigrants from Argentina who will settle in the town of Kiryat Bialik near Haifa, as part of JAFI project “Aliyah 2000”.

March 30: 750 Jews from the former Soviet Union arrive on 18 flights before Passover. 17,000 Jews participate throughout the FSU in some 60 towns in communal Seders organized by the Jewish Agency.

March 30: Seven immigrants from Yugoslavia arrive.

April 6: In light of the need for aid based on requests from the government of Albania, the Jewish Agency for Israel sends over 100 tons of humanitarian aid and supplies on seven planes which leave as part of an airlift which begins on April 6th.

April 12: A specially chartered Jewish Agency for Israel plane brings 104 Kosovo refugees from Macedonia to Israel. The flight to Skopje will be carrying 8 tons of medical supplies. A welcoming ceremony for the refugees takes place at Ben Gurion Airport in the presence of the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu.

April 14: The Jewish Agency for Israel brings first group of Jews from Belgrade.

May 3: Two additional Jewish Agency for Israel flights with humanitarian aid for Kosovo refugees depart over the next two days for Tirana, the capital of Albania.

May 26: The Jewish Agency for Israel sends a special plane to Macedonia to bring a further 100 refugees to Israel.

May 30: Anti-semitism is one of the major reasons for immigration to Israel from Russia since the economic and political crisis has begun in August 1998, according to a survey conducted by the Jewish Agency for Israel’s Department for the Former Soviet Union.

June 2: The Jewish Agency for Israel brings 100 new immigrants on a special flight from Argentina to Israel in cooperation with Keren Hayesod.

June 9: The Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel, Sallai Meridor, calls upon various government offices to expedite the immediate immigration of the Jews of Kwara to Israel and to accelerate the process of determining their status.

June 13: The XXXIII/3 session of the Zionist General Council opens in Jerusalem.

June 15: Incoming Chairman of the Jewish Agency for Israel, Sallai Meridor addresses the Zionist General Council. (More.)

June 20 - 23: The Jewish Agency for Israel Assembly convenes in Tiberias. Prime Minister-elect Ehud Barak makes his first public appearance before Jewish leadership from the Diaspora.

June 29: Rabbi Yechiel Eckstein president of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews presents Jewish Agency for Israel Chairman, Sallai Meridor, with check for US $2 Million for JAFI immigration efforts.

June: The first Max M. Fisher Prize for Jewish Education in the Diaspora is awarded to Rabbi Aaron Monsonego, Chief Rabbi of Morocco.

July 19:Arieh Azoulay - former Mayor of Ashdod - is appointed acting Chairman of the Aliyah Committee.

July 19: Director-General of JAFI, Aharon Abramovich, calls for increased security measures in several countries around the world in light of a rise in antisemitic threats. The head of security issues directives for tighter cautionary measures for emissaries, and in several places security checks are carried out by local security forces in coordination with security officers of the Jewish Agency.

July 25: Jewish Agency for Israel helps 145 of the 217 refugees who came to Israel from Kosovo in recent months return to their homeland. In coordination with the Foreign Ministry and other international organizations, the refugees are flown to Skopje. From there, they are taken by bus to Kosovo.

August 25: Jewish Agency for Israel brings almost 1000 new immigrants from the Former Soviet Union to Israel in one single day.

September 13: The Jewish Agency brings a further 77 new immigrants from Makhachkala, the capital of Dagestan. Since the beginning of 1999 the Jewish Agency has brought 550 Jews to Israel from the Russian autonomous republic, Dagestan.

October 14: The dramatic story of the immigration of 400 Cubans to Israel is broadcast across the world. The 400 Cuban Jews were brought to Israel in the past five years in a secret operation ("Operation Cigar") that had the blessing of Cuban leader Fidel Castro.

October 25 - 28: The Jewish Agency Board of Governors convenes in Jerusalem.

October 26: Prime Minister Ehud Barak states: The Jewish Agency for Israel is the primary vehicle for maintaining the connection between the State of Israel and the Jews of the Diaspora.

October 31: Jewish Agency Chairman Sallai Meridor meets with leaders of the Zimbabwe Jewish community.

October 31: The Jewish Agency for Israel decides to increase the Jewish studies programs in the FSU in order to assist those new immigrants interested in conversion to achieve this goal within a reasonable period of time so as to facilitate a smooth absorption into Israeli society.

October 31: The Board of Governors of the Jewish Agency for Israel authorizes the Jewish Agency a Budget of US$ 376 Million for the year 2000. US$ 55 Million from the budget are contributions earmarked for special projects and for the building of educational installations. Apart from the US$ 376 Million a further US$ 7 Million are allocated for Partnership 2000 programs in impoverished neighborhoods.

December 7: The Jewish Agency for Israel brings fourteen year old Vladimir Fayil, who had been held hostage for ransom by Chechen rebels since 12th May 1999, and freed last week.

December 7: Jewish Agency for Israel Chairman, Sallai Meridor and Minister of Interior, Natan Sharansky, hold a joint press conference in light of the recent discussions about changing the Law of Return.

New immigrants 1999: 76,766. 66,500 olim come from the countries of the former Soviet Union, over 2,200 olim from Ethiopia and nearly 8,800 from other countries.



January 1: Following a guerrilla rocket attack on northern Israel in the last week of 1998 that wounded 16 people, Israel's Cabinet adopts a new policy of retaliation.

January 2: A Clinton-Arafat summit is set for early 1999.

January 2: Loyalists to Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, celebrating the birth of his PLO faction, march in the thousands, shoot rifles in the air and burn American and Israeli flags.

January 3: Israeli police arrest eight members of a U.S. Christian cult, saying the group was planning to carry out violent acts in Jerusalem ahead of the millennium.

January 3: Israeli jets raid suspected Hezbollah sites in east Lebanon.

January 4: Palestinian gunmen shoot and wound two Jewish settlers in Hebron.

January 4: The Knesset fixes a May 17 date for early elections, sealing an end to a government bitterly divided over peace with the Palestinians.

January 6: Calling Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu "dangerous for Israel," a charismatic former army chief of staff, Amnon Lipkin-Shahak, announces that he will run for prime minister in the May 17 national election.

January 6: Israeli security forces shoot and kill a Palestinian man in the West Bank when he brandishes what turns out to be a toy gun.

January 10: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tells his Cabinet that Israel reserves the right to extend Israeli law to the occupied territories if Palestinians unilaterally declare independence.

January 11: Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat offers a nuanced approach to the volatile issue of independence, saying that the Palestinians have chosen peace as a strategic option while not ruling out declaring an independent state on May 4.

January 11: Israel lifts the Hebron curfew after skirmishes with the Palestinians.

January 12: Authorities investigating the stabbing of an Arab man say the attack may be the work of a Jewish serial knifer.

January 13: A break-in at a prominent polling firm in the United States is causing a stir in Israel, where the Greenberg-Quinlan Research Company is advising the opposition Labor Party's candidate for prime minister.

January 16: Israeli jets attack southern Lebanon strongholds.

January 17: The Palestinians agree to meet in Washington in February to try to salvage the Mideast peace pact and are waiting for Israel's response.

January 23: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fires Defense Minister Yitzhak Mordechai, accusing him of working with rival politicians trying to bring down Netanyahu's Likud party government.

January 23: Palestinian police release a senior leader of the Islamic Jihad movement for the Muslim Eid al-Fitr festival.

January 24: Four former leaders of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party will join in a new centrist opposition party, which will probably be led by Yitzhak Mordechai.

January 26: The Knesset passes a bill that requires a national referendum on any government decision to withdraw from the Golan Heights.

January 27: King Hussein of Jordan names his little-known son Abdullah as heir.

January 27: Moshe Arens is appointed Minister of Defense.

January 28: Jordan's King Hussein will undergo a 10-day course of chemotherapy for the recurrence of cancer of the lymphatic system.

January 30: Crown Prince Abdullah meets with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, his first meeting with an Arab leader since being named heir to Jordan's throne earlier this week.

January 31: The deadline for a land-for-security arrangement between Palestinians and Israelis passes, but the two sides remain far apart over how or whether to implement key provisions.

February 1: Under a torrent of insults labeling them "Nazis" and "Haters of Israel," a group of male and female Reform rabbis challenge Orthodox tradition by praying together at Judaism's holiest site.

February 3: Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat reaffirms his commitment to making peace with Israel.

February 4: U.S. President Bill Clinton on reiterates that he does not want Yasser Arafat to unilaterally declare that he will set up a Palestinian state in May.

February 6: As the long-ruling Jordanian monarch struggles for life in a hospital outside Amman, 37-year-old Abdullah Bin Hussein prepares to take up the reins of the small but strategic kingdom of Jordan.

February 7: King Hussein of Jordan dies of cancer, aged 63.

February 8: Israelis and Palestinians bid farewell to a common friend.

February 9: The U.N. General Assembly calls on Israel to cease settlement activities in east Jerusalem and other occupied territories.

February 14: Ultra-Orthodox Jews are due to demonstrate in Jerusalem against judgments that have favored civil rights above religious law, including one allowing some shops to open on the Shabbat.

February 23: Three Israeli soldiers are killed and four others wounded in a clash with Lebanese guerrillas.

February 25: Israel's Supreme Court rules 3-2 that an 18-year-old Maryland teen cannot be extradited to the United States to stand trial for murder, overturning a lower court's decision.

March 1: Lebanon braces for a widescale Israeli offensive after Hezbollah guerrillas kill a senior army officer and three other Israelis.

March 2: The past week's clashes appear to have brought Israel closer than ever to pulling out of southern Lebanon.

March 2: Facing a dwindling water supply, Arabs and Israelis must work together to preserve the Middle East's water.

March 4: Labor Party leader and candidate for prime minister Ehud Barak puts together the "One Israel" bloc, a new electoral coalition of Labor, the Gesher party associated with former Likud Foreign Minister David Levy, and Meimad.

March 10: A Palestinian court sentences a security agent and alleged member of the Islamic movement Hamas to death for killing an officer belonging to another Palestinian security agency.

March 10: Protests erupt after alleged Hamas member are sentenced to death. Two Palestinian youth are shot dead. (More.)

March 12: U.S. Defense Secretary William Cohen finishes his Middle East tour in Israel.

March 14: Jerusalem can never be internationalized nor divided to give Palestinians sovereignty in part of the city, the Israeli Cabinet proclaims, challenging a European Union assertion that East Jerusalem is separate from Israel's capital.

March 17: An Israeli court convicts political kingpin and Shas leader Aryeh Deri of taking a bribe, fraud and breaching public trust in a climax to a political trial that has underscored ethnic tensions in the Jewish state.

March 26: The Israeli Foreign Ministry announces that Walid Mansour will be the new ambassador to Vietnam. This is the first time a Druze has been appointed to a top diplomatic post.

March 26: The European Union issues its strongest support yet for Palestinian statehood, which draws angry criticism from Israel and praise from the Palestinians.

March 30: Thousands of Israeli Arabs and Palestinians gather for the annual Land Day protests against Israeli land seizures.

March 31: Israeli military confronts new foe: Y2K.

April 3: Hundreds of Jewish demonstrators march to a Palestinian political stronghold in East Jerusalem, in support of Palestinian statehood.

April 15: After an investigation spanning nine years, the Supreme Court finds Aryeh Deri guilty of bribery, fraud and falsifying documents during his five year tenure of Israel's Interior Ministry and, since then, of intimidating witnesses and perverting the course of justice by building an "edifice of lies on a foundation of truth." Deri is sentenced to 4 years in prison and fined over 60,000 Dollar.

April 16: Tensions are rising in Nazareth, where Muslims want to build a mosque next to the Christian Church of the Annunciation.

April 16: Israel moves troops into a south Lebanon village to combat Hezbollah guerrilla activity and effectively expands its military occupation zone.

April 25: The Palestinians want the United States to set a deadline for peace negotiations with Israel before they consider delaying a declaration of statehood.

April 26: On the eve of a crucial decision on statehood, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat welcomes a letter from President Clinton pledging U.S. help to conclude a Mideast peace deal "within one year."

April 27: Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat indicates he will likely postpone declaring a Palestinian state and extend peace talks with Israel for one year.

May 10: Prime Minister Netanyahu orders PLO offices in East Jerusalem closed.

May 11: The Supreme Court decides to postpone the closure of the Orient House.

May 12: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu picks up the election support of key rabbinical leaders, and accuses some Israeli media of "brainwashing" voters in support of his main opponent, Ehud Barak.

May 13: Barak's lead over Netanyahu grows in the polls.

May 14: With his biggest challenger holding a commanding lead in the polls, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu campaigns feverishly.

May 15: Arab candidate Azmi Bishara pulls out of the race for Israeli prime minister. While Azmi Bishara is not expected to reach the second round of elections for prime minister, he has already made history by becoming the first Arab to run for Israel's highest office. (More.)

May 16: Yitzhak Mordechai withdraws from the prime minister's race, a day before the general election. Ultra-nationalist candidate Benny Begin, son of former prime minister Menachem Begin, is the last of the three to announce his withdrawal.

May 16: Hours before Israelis vote for a new prime minister, opinion polls and analysts predict Labor Party challenger Ehud Barak will unseat right-wing incumbent Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu says, opinion polls have been wrong before.

May 17: Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat has a simple message Monday for Israelis heading to the polls: "Elect peace."

May 17: Israel elects the 15th Knesset and a new prime minister. 4.3 million Israelis are eligible.

May 17: Ehud Barak heads for a landslide victory over Benjamin Netanyahu. The Palestinians welcome Barak's victory.

May 19: Prime Minister-elect Ehud Barak seeks support from allies and rivals to build a broad-based coalition government.

May 23: Prime Minister Ehud Barak begins the coalition discussions. He invites Likud to join the coalition.

May 31: In an effort to build the broad coalition of disparate parties he has vowed to forge, Israeli Prime Minister-elect Ehud Barak floats a compromise proposal on one of the most contentious issues in Middle East peace: the building of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza.

May 31: The South Lebanese Army, Israel's client militia in occupied south Lebanon, announces the first withdrawal from the "security zone" since it took its current shape in 1985. The decision to withdraw follows an electoral pledge by the new Israeli prime minister, Ehud Barak, to get Israeli troops out of Lebanon within a year.

June 1: Evidence from the Mediterranean grave of the Israeli submarine "Dakar" reveals that the vessel sunk more the 30 years ago after a collision with a large ship

June 3: Thousands of Palestinians march across the West Bank and Gaza to express their impatience with Israel's expansion of Jewish settlements.

June 5: Lebanese President Emile Lahoud is greeted by church bells and cheering residents in Jezzine, a Christian town vacated last week by Israeli-allied militiamen.

June 6: Israel's prime minister-elect will not dismantle existing Jewish settlements on land claimed by Palestinians, but he will curb construction of new settlements.

June 7: The 15th Knesset convenes for the first time. Knesset elder and former Prime Minister Shimon Peres, 76, presides over the inaugural session.

June 8: Israel and the United States call on Iran to release 13 Jews accused of spying on behalf of both countries.

June 14: Israel and the United States sign an agreement launching a joint Israeli-Jordanian project to protect the Eilat-Aqaba Gulf.

June 16: Syrian President Assad is ready of offer Israel peace for land.

June 18: Israel's prime minister-elect, Ehud Barak, announces an audacious plan to link the Palestinian-controlled Gaza Strip and the West Bank with an enormous bridge. The four-lane elevated road would stretch 47km to provide safe passage for Palestinians - allowing Israel to avoid dedicating a land corridor for this purpose.

June 20: At their meeting in Germany, G-8 (Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United States) leaders ask Israel Prime Minister-elect Ehud Barak to resume early peace negotiations with Syria, Lebanon and the Palestinians.

June 24: Israel and Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon exchange firepower, in rocket and bomb attacks that kill at least seven people.

June 25: The Israeli military move tanks and armored personnel carriers to the Lebanese border. (More.)

June 27: Outgoing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tells the Cabinet: Israel's most severe airstrikes against Lebanon in three years were a success because "Lebanon and Syria got the message."

June 30: Jordan's King Abdullah calls for an end to the discrimination against Jordan's Palestinians.

June 30: After nearly six weeks of dickering with various parties across Israel's fractious political spectrum, Prime Minister-elect Ehud Barak announces that he has put together a coalition government with broad support for restarting the Middle East peace process.

July 1: The Center Party joins Ehud Barak's coalition.

July 6: Ehud Barak takes the oath of office as Israel's new prime minister. (More.) The new Israeli prime minister, Ehud Barak, ends seven weeks of political limbo with an effusive speech in praise of peace at the swearing-in of his cabinet, drawn from a relatively dovish coalition

July 8: Rabbi Uzi Meshulam is released from jail after. Meshulam was sentenced in 1995 to eight years in prison after he and his followers barricaded themselves in his home, throwing Molotov cocktails and opening fire on police.

July 8: A building collapses in the West Bank town of Ramallah. Palestinian and Israeli rescue workers cooperate in the search for survivors.

July 9: Prime Minister Ehud Barak begins his Middle East peacemaking mission in Egypt.

July 12: Saying that "Both sides have suffered enough," Israel's new Prime Minister, Ehud Barak, joins Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in renewing the peace process at a meeting near the Israeli-Gaza border. (More.)

July 13: Prime Minister Ehud Barak meets with King Abdullah of Jordan. (More.)

July 14: Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu confirms reports that he has secretly negotiated with Syria to hand over the Golan Heights. In an Israeli television interview on Channel Two, Netanyahu says Syria agreed to a key Israeli demand to maintain a strategic early-warning station on Mount Hermon. He denies, however, reports that he has agreed to a withdrawal to the June 1967 border. Netanyahu says that the agreement has not been put into writing, and that the Syrians might therefore deny even having acquiesced to the idea of such an arrangement.

July 14: Prime Minister Ehud Barak arrives in the US.

July 15: U.S. President Bill Clinton warmly welcomes Prime Minister Ehud Barak to the White House for an afternoon of talks.

July 16: Prime Minister Ehud Barak and US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright meet in Washington.

July 19: U.S. President Bill Clinton and Prime Minister Ehud Barak announce that they will meet every four months in an effort to put the Middle East peace process back on track. (More.)

July 19: Announcing that "there will be peace with Israel under Ehud Barak," Syrian officials tell three radical Palestinian groups based in Damascus that they must abandon their armed struggle against the Jewish state.

July 21: Prime Minister Ehud Barak assures Palestinian Authority Chairman that Israel will meet the Wye River Memorandum obligations.

July 24: The death of Morocco's King Hassan II forces the postponement of meetings between Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and two Mideast Arab leaders.

July 25: Prime Minister Ehud Barak attends the funeral of King Hassan II and holds talks with Arab leaders.

July 27: Palestinian Authority leader Yasser Arafat and Prime Minister Ehud Barak meet at the Erez crossing point between Gaza and Israel. They begin talks to determine both the spirit and the pace of the rekindled Middle East peace process.

July 30: Ahmed Qurei, the Palestinian Legislative Council speaker also known as Abu Ala, stops by the Knesset as the guest of Speaker Avraham Burg.

August 1: Representatives of Arafat's Fatah faction meet with a delegation from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine in Cairo. The two groups have been estranged since Arafat signed the Oslo peace accord with Israel in 1993. (More.)

August 1: Israel will begin troop withdrawals from the occupied West Bank on October 1, a spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak indicates.

August 2: Prime Minister Ehud Barak travels to Moscow for a one-day meeting with Russian leaders.

August 4: Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat marks his 70th birthday with the wish for statehood.

August 5: Despite criticism and complaints that he is overstepping his bounds, Prime Minster Ehud Barak wins parliamentary backing to add five seats to his Cabinet.

August 8: Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat welcomes an Israeli commitment to forge ahead with implementation of the Wye River peace accord in September. (More.)

August 9: U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright delays her visit to the Mideast.

August 10: A Palestinian drives into a crowd of Israeli soldiers, injuring 11 before being shot to death by police.

August 11: Israeli and Palestinian negotiators hold talks against a backdrop of violence to try to iron out disagreements over the promised pullback of Israeli troops from the West Bank.

August 13: Hopes for peace with Syria fade.

August 14: A giant power plant part arrives by truck at a new Israeli power station, despite protests by ultra-Orthodox political leaders who object to moving the 300-ton device on the Jewish Shabbat.

August 15: German Jewish leader Ignatz Bubis is buried not in his hometown of Frankfurt, but in Tel Aviv, where he hoped to escape desecration of his grave by neo-Nazis.

August 16: A car bomb explodes accidentally outside a shop in the West Bank town of Hebron.

August 19: A major thoroughfare that divides the West Bank town of Hebron is partly reopened to Palestinian traffic.

August 25: Israeli and Palestinian negotiators reach a compromise on the timetable of a final withdrawal of Israeli troops from the West Bank. (More.)

August 30: Hamas offices in Amman, Jordan, are closed by Jordanian forces. (More.)

August 30: Palestinian and Israeli negotiators hope to bridge the Wye accord differences.

August 31: Israeli and Palestinian representatives try to hammer out an agreement before the arrival of U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

September 1: The Mideast talks are clouded by pessimism.

September 2: U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright arrives in Egypt. (More.)

September 3: Israel and Palestinians agree on s new Mideast accord. After weeks of detailed and often acrimonious negotiation, the Israelis and Palestinians sign a new peace agreement, setting the stage for finals talks on the shape of Palestine. Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak meet in a luxury hotel in the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh for the signing.

September 4: Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat sign a breakthrough agreement to implement the land- for-security Wye River accord.

September 5: Twin blasts, in the Sea of Galilee resort town of Tiberias and the Mediterranean port city of Haifa, come less than a day after the updated Wye River accord.

September 5: The Cabinet ratifies the updated Wye River land-for-security accord.

September 6: Setting a landmark in Israel's decades-old conflict between democracy and security, between respecting human rights and protecting citizens from terrorism, the Supreme Court bans the use of torture in interrogations.

September 6: The Palestinian Cabinet ratifies the Mideast peace deal.

September 8: The Knesset approves a revised land-for-security accord with the Palestinians.

September 9: Israel releases Palestinian prisoners. (More.)

September 10: Israel transfers 7 percent of the West Bank to Palestinian civil control.

September 12: Israeli and Palestinian officials head back to the table, launching a new round of talks to reach a lasting peace settlement within 12 months.

September 13: Israel and the Palestinians launch their final status peace talks, setting themselves a daunting series of deadlines. They also adopt tough opposing positions on the vexed issues of Jerusalem and refugees.

September 14: A day after the launch of talks for a final Israeli-Palestinian peace accord, Prime Minister Ehud Barak promises to strengthen Ma'ale Adumim, the largest Jewish settlement in the West Bank.

September 15: Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, are questioned for more than seven hours as part of an investigation of possible financial irregularities while he was in office. (More.)

September 17: Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat make headway in discussions of a final peace deal, vowing to finish the talks within a year.

September 22: Jordan detains three leaders of the Palestinian group Hamas after their plane lands in Amman from Tehran, Iran.

September 23: In a speech before the U.N. General Assembly, Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat calls for an immediate end to Israeli settlement activities.

September 24: Speaking to more than 100 business representatives at a U.S. Chamber of Commerce luncheon in Washington, Arafat offers assurances that investors need not worry about attacks by terrorists on their properties.

September 27: The government announces it will revive dormant laws of censorship and the criminal prosecution of incitement to crack down on members of the Islamic Movement.

September 28: While the approach of the year 2000 draws Christian pilgrims from across the world to visit Biblical holy lands in Israel and the West Bank, bringing much-anticipated tourism revenue to the region, it has also drawn visitors the Israeli hosts prefer would stay home -- those who hope to witness the end of the world.

September 29: US President Bill Clinton pushes for a new start to the Israel-Syria talks.

September: The Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial breaks ground for a Hall of Names that will house millions of pages of testimony about Shoah victims.

October 3: Israel delays the opening of the safe passage route for the Palestinians. (More.) Israel wants to have retain full control of security arrangements. The negotiating hiccup is the first of many.

October 6: Prime Minister Ehud Barak defends new construction in West Bank settlements.

October 9: Celebrated glass artist Dale Chihuly's work is on display in the Tower of David Museum in Jerusalem.

October 9: Sixteen people are killed when a bus carrying members of a singles club overturns on a slippery road and plunges into a ravine.

October 10: Prime Minister Ehud Barak secures approval from the Cabinet to uproot illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank. (More.)

October 13: Responding to growing public frustration over violence, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat tries a new approach to restoring order: Gun control.

October 13: Jewish settlers agree to abandon 12 West Bank settlements.

October 18: Israel begins dismantling a dozen illegal Jewish settlements in the West Bank, putting into action an agreement with settlement leaders that has angered both Palestinians and militant settlers.

October 20: Former South African President Nelson Mandela visits the Gaza Strip.

October 20: Police search the Jerusalem apartment of former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, seizing "dozens" of items police say he received in his official capacity and may have illegally kept.

October 24: Samuel Sheinbein, the teenager who fled to Israel after being accused in the murder of a teen acquaintance in 1997 is sentenced to 24 years in prison by an Israeli court.

October 25: An Israeli soldier shoots and kills a Palestinian near a Jewish holy site in Bethlehem, prompting clashes between Israeli soldiers and hundreds of angry Palestinians. (More.)

October 25: Israel opens a safe passage between the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

October 25: Israel detains a Christian group in a pre-millennium sweep.

October 26: Foreign Minister David Levy arrives in Washington with a mission to revive peace talks with Syria.

October 26: Both Christians and Muslims voice their displeasure with an Israeli compromise that will allow Muslims to build a mosque -- though smaller than most Muslims wanted -- near a sacred Christian site in northern Israel.

October 28: Norway calls a Middle East summit to mark the anniversary of Yitzhak Rabin's assassination. (More.)

October 28: Israel and Mauretania establish full diplomatic relations.

October 29: After 50 years of teaching young Israeli students that their nation was born from a heroic struggle against superior Arab forces, Israel is now tweaking its history curriculum in a move that has sparked a storm of controversy.

October 30: U.S. President Bill Clinton leaves for Norway, where he will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

November 1: Prime Minister Ehud Barak vows to evict Jewish settlers in the West Bank in a matter of days if the settlers did not leave on their own.

November 1: U.S. President Bill Clinton, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat gather in Norway's capital for a two-day summit aimed at working toward a new, comprehensive peace pact for the Middle East.

November 2: The Mideast summit in Oslo is seen as a step on the long path to peace.

November 2: A memorial ceremony for Yitzhak Rabin takes place in Oslo.

November 3: Prime Minister Ehud Barak returns from Oslo.

November 4: A memorial ceremony for Yitzhak Rabin takes place in Tel Aviv.

November 7: Three pipe bombs explode in Netanya, injuring at least 19 people.

November 8: Israeli and Palestinian negotiators launch peace negotiations and establish two deadlines in their latest effort to broker lasting peace for the Middle East.

November 10: The Israeli Cabinet approves a further troop withdrawal from the West Bank.

November 10: US President Bill Clinton's wife Hillary visits Israel. (More.)

November 10: Hundreds of Israeli troops, using bulldozers to smash burning barricades, remove settlers from an unauthorized Jewish settlement in the West Bank.

November 10: Some groups praise Israel for its forcible evacuation of Jewish settlers from a West Bank outpost. Others call the move a form of "ethnic cleansing."

November 13: Government and religious officials are concerned that the Church of the Holy Sepulcher cannot cope with the burgeoning number of pilgrims crowding the traditional site of the entombment of Jesus, particularly because a single doorway serves as the only entrance and exit.

November 14: A delay in Israel's handover of some West Bank territory forces a meeting between Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak. (More.)

November 17: US President Bill Clinton and Prime Minister Ehud Barak meet.

November 18: The United States plans to sell Israel the technology to convert 700 of its bombs into top-of-the- line, satellite-guided munitions, which now are only in the U.S. military inventory.

November 18: Israeli and Palestinian negotiators are scheduled to resume talks aimed at resolving a dispute over Israel's agreed partial pullout of occupied territories.

November 21: Israel and the Palestinians fail to break a deadlock that has delayed an Israeli pullback in the West Bank.

November 23: The Nazareth mosque dispute divides Israel and the Vatican.

November 24: The Dalai Lama visits Israel.

November 29: Palestinian security forces detain four more intellectuals who signed a leaflet urging Palestinians to battle "tyranny, corruption and political deceit" in Yasser Arafat's government.

November 30: Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat, in Cairo for talks with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, condemns Israel's plans for more settlements - particularly around Bethlehem - ahead of the millennium.

December 1: A Palestinian lawmaker says he was shot for criticizing Arafat.

December 4: Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat lights the Bethlehem Christmas tree.

December 5: US Mideast envoy Dennis Ross arrives in the Middle East. Palestinians and Syrians demand US help in their disputes with Israel.

December 6: Peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians remain stalemated over the issue of new Jewish settlements in the West Bank and Gaza.

December 8: President Clinton announces that Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Syrian President Hafez al-Assad have agreed that the Israel-Syrian peace negotiations will be resumed from the point that they were halted since January 1996. The talks will be launched in Washington the week of December 12 with Prime Minister Barak and Syrian Foreign Minister Farouk a-Shara.

December 12: Prime Minister Ehud Barak enters Syria talks with Knesset backing. The White House expresses optimism. (More.)

December 16: Proclaiming "a new beginning" for Mideast peace, President Clinton announces that Israel and Syria will resume "intensive" negotiations near Washington on January 3.

December 18: Prime Minister Ehud Barak meets with Palestinian President Yasser Arafat amid PLO concerns that peace negotiations between the two nations may suffer from Israel's newly revived talks with Syria.

December 21: It is announced that the Israeli-Syrian talks will be resumed in Shepherdstown, Virginia.

December 21: Bethlehemhurries to get ready for Christmas.

December 22: Disputes over an Israeli troop pullback and the release of Palestinian prisoners are expected to be resolved in the next few days.

December 27: The Orthodox Shas party threatens to bolt from Prime Minister Ehud Barak's coalition amid a budget dispute. Barak scrambles to keep a majority in the Knesset.

December 29: Ultra-nationalist Jewish settlers clash with Israeli troops as the army tears down a shrine built to Baruch Goldstein who massacred 29 Muslims as they prayed at Hebron's main mosque nearly six years ago.

December 31: Two thousand "doves of peace" take wing in the midnight sky over Bethlehem to mark Christianity's third millennium.

The Meimad Party (Hebrew acronym for "Jewish State, Democratic State") is founded.


March 7: Stanley Kubrick, influential film director whose list of credits includes such disturbing but popular films as 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), A Clockwork Orange (1971), Dr. Strangelove (1964), and The Shining (1980), dies, aged 70.

March 12: Yehudi Menuhin, violinist and conductor, dies.

October: The New York-based Ronald S. Lauder Foundation opens Jewish schools in Berlin, Vienna and Warsaw as part of its efforts to promote Jewish education and support the Jewish revival in Central and Eastern Europe.

November 7: Pepi Deutsch, one of the oldest survivors of Auschwitz, dies, aged 101. She lost 37 of her relatives, including her husband and son. She and her daughter, Clara Knopfler, survived and managed to remain together throughout the ordeal.

November: U.S. Vice President Al Gore speaks at the opening of the General Assembly of the United Jewish Communities.

November: Hungarian police confiscate copies of "The Protocols of the Elders of Zion," a century-old anti-Semitic treatise, from bookstores in three Hungarian towns.

November: The Russian branch of the Chabad-Lubavitch movement launches an umbrella organization, the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia. The federation, founded by some 200 delegates from several dozen Jewish communities across Russia, establishes as its goal the representation of Jews from "all walks of life in Russia in all matters."

December 12: Joseph Heller, American novelist best remembered for writing the satiric World War II classic Catch-22, dies, aged 76.

December: The Russian government returns 10 Torah scrolls, looted by the Nazis or confiscated by the state during the Soviet era, to the Congress of Jewish Religious Communities and Organizations of Russia. The government originally promises to return 61 scrolls, but lowers the number after arguments within the Russian Jewish community.

December: A number of countries reach agreements or issue reports concerning the compensation of Holocaust survivors and their families, including France, Germany and Switzerland.

December 6: The results of a three-year investigation into accusations that Swiss banks hoarded the money of Holocaust victims are made public. The investigation committee, headed by the former United States Central Reserve chairman, Paul Volcker, is set to publish the account names on the internet so that relatives of Holocaust victims can file claims. The Volcker report also comments on the banks' treatment of many descendants of Nazi death camp victims who were refused access to money left by their relatives.

December 10: A panel of historians from Switzerland, Israel and the United States, led by Lausanne history professor Jean-Francois Bergier, releases an 800-page report on Switzerland's links with the Third Reich.

The Jewish Museum New York exhibits: Ikat: Splendid Silks of Central Asia; Sigmund Freud: Conflict and Culture; The Changing Face of Family: Photographs from the Collection of the Jewish Museum.



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12 Nov 2007 / 2 Kislev 5768 0