NEW YORK, Jan. 15 (JTA) — The following is a chronology
of key events leading up to this week’s agreement for Israel to turn
over most of the West Bank town of Hebron to Palestinian
control. * Sept. 13 — Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and Palestine Liberation Organization leader Yasser Arafat exchange a historic handshake on the White House lawn as the two sides sign the Declaration of Principles, a timetable for launching Palestinian self-rule in the Gaza Strip and West Bank.
1994 * May 4 — Israel and the PLO sign the Cairo Agreement for establishing self-rule in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank town of Jericho. Jericho comes under self-rule on May 13. Israel completes its withdrawal from Gaza on May 18.
* July 1 — Arafat takes up residence in Gaza.
1995 * Sept. 28 — Rabin and Arafat sign the Interim Agreement, which sets the stage for an Israeli withdrawal from six West Bank towns. The withdrawals begin in October. A redeployment in Hebron is set for March.
* Nov. 4 — Yitzhak Rabin is assassinated by Yigal Amir, a 25-year-old religious Jewish law student, after a Tel Aviv peace rally. Shimon Peres steps in as prime minister.
1996 * Jan. 20 — Palestinians in the territories vote for the first time to elect an 88-member legislative body. Arafat is elected leader of the Palestinian Council with 90 percent of the vote.
* Feb. 25-March 4 — A series of Hamas suicide attacks in Israel claim 59 innocent lives and wound some 220 others.
* March 13 — Leaders of 29 nations, including the United States, Israel and 14 from the Muslim world, meet at an anti-terror summit in the Sinai resort of Sharm el-Sheik.
* April 24 — The Palestine National Council votes to amend those portions of the charter that call for the destruction of Israel.
* May 29 — Israelis narrowly elect Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu as prime minister.
* June 22-23 — Egypt hosts the first Arab League summit in six years in an effort to develop a united front against the Netanyahu government’s approach to the peace process.
* July 23 — Israeli Foreign Minister David Levy meets with Arafat in what is the Palestinian Authority leader’s first meeting with a senior official in the Netanyahu government.
* Sept. 4 — Netanyahu and Arafat hold their first meeting. Both sides agree to discussions on redeployment from most of Hebron, the last West Bank town to be turned over to the Palestinians.
* Sept. 25 — Palestinian rioting erupts in response to the opening of a new entrance to an ancient tunnel alongside the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City. In three days of violence, 15 Israelis and 61 Palestinians are killed, most of them during exchanges of gunfire between Israeli soldiers and Palestinian police. Hundreds of people are wounded.
* Oct. 1-2 — Netanyahu, Arafat and Jordan’s King Hussein attend an emergency summit in Washington. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak declines to attend. The summit ends with an agreement for Israel and the Palestinians to launch intensive discussions aimed at reaching a Hebron agreement.
* Oct. 7 — Negotiations regarding the Hebron redeployment begin. The ensuing three-and-a-half months of talks, mediated by U.S. Middle East envoy Dennis Ross, are marked by hopeful statements, angry recriminations and threats that the peace process may collapse.
1997 * Jan. 1 — An off-duty Israeli soldier wounds seven Palestinians in a shooting rampage in the central Hebron market.
* Jan. 12 — King Hussein of Jordan intervenes in the negotiations, breaking a critical deadlock.
* Jan. 15 — Netanyahu and Arafat reach an agreement on Hebron and further withdrawals from the West Bank during a nighttime summit.