NEW YORK (Oct. 10)
Following are major events in the recent Middle East crisis:
Sept. 28 — Some 30 Israeli policemen are wounded on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount when angry Palestinian demonstrators attack them with stones. The confrontation follows a controversial visit to the site by Likud Party leader Ariel Sharon and a group of Likud Knesset members. Hours later, similar clashes erupt in the West Bank town of Ramallah.
Sept. 30 — A 12 year-old-boy, Mohammad al-Darrah, is killed in his father’s arms when they are caught in the middle of a firefight in the Gaza Strip. Video footage of the incident is broadcast around the world. The incident inflames rioting Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, and prompts similar riots by Arabs living within Israel’s borders.
Oct. 4 — Israeli and Palestinian leaders agree to a limited cease-fire during 10 hours of talks in Paris that bring together Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak, Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat and U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.
Oct. 5 — The cease-fire agreed to a day earlier in Paris, like others reached several times before by Israel and the Palestinian Authority, holds for only a few hours before new violence erupts.
Oct. 7 — Israel’s army withdraws from Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus after Palestinian security officials give assurances that they will protect the site. Within hours, a Palestinian mob destroys the Jewish holy site.
– Hezbollah gunmen kidnap three Israeli soldiers, Staff Sgt. Avraham Binyamin, Staff Sgt. Omar Suad and Sgt. Adi Avitan. The Israel Defense Force fails to stop the kidnappers from advancing north across the Israel-Lebanon border.
– By a vote of 14-0, the U.N. Security Council approves a resolution calling for an end to the past week’s violence and obliquely blames Israel for using “excessive force” against the Palestinians. The United States, wanting to be viewed as impartial, abstains from voting.
Oct. 10 — U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan holds separate meetings with Arafat and Barak in an effort to find a way out of the cycle of violence.
– Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak extends a 48-hour deadline he gave the Palestinians to end the rioting. He also says he is willing to attend a U.S.- sponsored peace summit.