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SPECIAL REPORT / ISRAEL at 50

Seeking a Solution

April 12, 1998

By the early 1990s, the time had come to address Palestinians' demands for self-government. While progress has been made, the process has been fraught with setbacks, killings and political reversals.

Following are highlights of the effort to find a lasting peace:

February 1993: Israeli and Palestinian negotiators begin secret talks in Oslo that lead to an agreement by Israel to withdraw from most of Gaza and the West Bank town of Jericho. A Palestinian Authority led by PLO chief Yasser Arafat would administer these areas.

Sept. 13, 1993: Israel and PLO sign Declaration of Prin-ciples outlining a plan for Palestinian self-rule in occupied territories.

Feb. 25, 1994: Jewish settler Baruch Goldstein shoots dead about 30 Palestinians in a Hebron mosque.

May 4, 1994: PLO and Israel sign accord in Cairo, giving Palestinians self-rule in Jericho and Gaza but allowing Jewish settlements to stay.

May 13, 1994: Israel hands over Jericho to jubilant Palestinian police.

July 1, 1994: Arafat returns to Gaza after more than a quarter-century of Israeli occupation and takes over as head of the Palestinian Authority.

Oct. 19, 1994: Hamas bomber kills himself and 22 others in suicide attack on Israeli bus in Tel Aviv.

Oct. 26, 1994: Israel and Jordan sign a peace treaty in a border ceremony attended by President Clinton.

Jan. 22, 1995: Islamic Jihad suicide bombers kill 21 Israelis, mostly soldiers, in explosions at Beit Lid bus stop in central Israel.

Sept. 28, 1995: Israel and the PLO sign agreement extending Palestinian civil authority to most of the West Bank.

Oct. 25, 1995: Israel begins West Bank pullout.

Nov. 4, 1995: Rabin is assassinated by Jewish law student Yigal Amir, who is opposed to Israeli-Palestinian peace accords. Shimon Peres takes power.

Dec. 27, 1995: Israel pulls out of Ramallah, giving Arafat civil control of seven out of eight West Bank cities and 400 villages.

Jan. 5, 1996: Islamic fundamentalist bomb maker Yehiya Ayash is assassinated in Gaza with exploding telephone. Israel is widely believed responsible.

Jan. 20, 1996: Palestinians hold first election for a self-rule government. Arafat is elected president of Palestinian Authority with 88% of the vote.

Feb. 25 to March 4, 1996: Four suicide bombs kill 62 people. Islamic extremists opposed to peace process claim responsibility.

May 29, 1996: Likud Party leader Benjamin Netanyahu beats Peres in national elections.

Sept. 24, 1996: Netanyahu opens a tourist tunnel door in Jerusalem's Old City, sparking four days of riots and armed clashes between Palestinian police and Israeli soldiers that leave 75 dead and more than 1,000 wounded.

Dec. 12-13, 1996: Palestinians opposed to peace accords kill a mother and son from the West Bank settlement of Beit El in a drive-by shooting. The next day, Netanyahu moves to strengthen West Bank Jewish settlements.

December 1997: Netanyahu agrees to a withdrawal from most of the West Bank town of Hebron.

*

Sources: Times staff and wire reports; Columbia Encyclopedia; CQ Researcher; "The Timetables of Jewish History" by Judah Gribetz; Congressional Quarterly; World Book Encyclopedia; 1998 Information Please Almanac

Researched by JULIA FRANCO / Los Angeles Times

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